One Husband. Two Wives. One Child.
Bad decisions made by Sarai, Hagar, and Abram. Lack of patience and faith takes place. God suffers their polygamy. Sarai did not anticipate Hagar’s equality with Abram. Strife and division have flourished from these events. All because God was not the sole source of inspired authority in which they sought council. And so, trusting in themselves, and not going through the proper channels. Some disorder and bitter feelings had set in.
And now it’s time for the LORD to intervene once again among mankind, so as to direct their paths towards His preservation, security, and providence.
“Angel of the Lord” = Jesus (2nd person of the Godhead)
Hagar is found traveling back to the area in which she was from. Returning “home” if you will (Egypt). She was out of her place (which was now with Abram & Sarai), and out of the way of her duty (submitting to Sarai & being a wife to Abram), and going further astray (separating herself from the designated area of safety and work).
Do we not have safety and work to do as citizens of the kingdom of GOD? Most certainly! Do we at times go through very difficult moments due to our lack of faith, patience, and poor decisions? Absolutely! We at times choose to follow our own hearts instead of the Bible, and we suffer the consequences of it (i.e. church splits, divorces, unbelieving children, etc).
Jesus’ asks Hagar two questions. Not because He does not know the answer but rather because He has plans for her, and she needs to learn something.
“Where have you come from?” - On the surface the answer is simple and literal, she just recently came from Abram’s camp, fleeing from the presence of Sarai. But the question, when understood from the idea behind the original language, brings much more depth to the context. The LORD is trying to bring to her attention, a remembrance, the journey she’s been on in her life thus far. She used to be in the hands of the Egyptians, and now she’s in the hands of the blessed (Abram). She was outside the church and needed to go back. The lineage of God’s people. There’s a difference, and so the LORD further asks…
“Where are you going?” - Are you going back to the Egyptians? Hagar needed to think deeply about the ramifications of her current direction in life, away from her designated area of safety, duty, and blessing. She needed to look at the future, both if she decides to return to Egypt (which would be death), or return to Abram’s camp (“church”) to partake in work and blessing.
When we deal with difficult moments in our lives, we must remember from where we come from, and where we are going. This will sober us up, away from our misguided emotions and back into the direction of our LORD. Acting without God’s authority will divide us as the church. Remembering these questions will keep us united and working together (i.e. evangelizing, being benevolent, not forsaking the assembly, giving right and living right).
The LORD commands her to go back, and not only go back but submit to Sarai’s authority. The very person she’s currently having a “beef” with.
We must repent when we find ourselves straying from the source of discouragement which at times takes place within the church. We must remember that we were much worst off before Christ and that in Him we have blessings and work to do.
Two Christians in the church get into a fight (could be a married couple, family), one decides to leave the church and go back to the world (“Egypt”) because he can’t stand seeing the other. They should remember our LORD’s questions, should they not? Of course! Remembering such will cause repentance to take place, and unity once again.
*Our kids get into a fight, do we adults in reaction start fighting among ourselves, resulting in some falling from grace? Again, let’s remember our LORD’s questions.
10, 11, 12.
And so, on top of verse 9, as a continued consequence to the polygamist context they put themselves in, Hagar’s lineage will be numerous. And though that might be a blessing in one sense, in this case, it will be a curse also.
The LORD has “given heed” to her affliction. Meaning He took special attention, He took notice of her current situation and used it for His providence.
The LORD mentions how this child will be a son named Ishmael (name meaning: “God hears” in relation to Hagar’s pain and suffering).
The LORD further describes the behavior of this child in that he will be untamable, wild, and dangerous. He’ll be fighting against everyone and everyone will be fighting against him.
After this declaration, to Hagar. She addresses her perspective regarding the encounter which took place between her and the LORD. She recognized that the LORD had recognized her.
The LORD revealed Himself to her and instructed her into repentance, “return back to your duty (“church”), under the leadership of Sarai (“Christ”).
Hagar was amazed that she was able to have direct interaction with the LORD and survive it. She was humbled to have had the LORD’s presence with her.
14, 15, 16.
Hagar obeys the LORD, and so the LORD’s will remains on course and Hagar receives blessings.
And so the LORD intervenes with mankind. He begins by declaring His ability to recognize exactly who Hagar was. Once His presence established, He preaches a sermon. One which utilizes two questions in its fullest capacity, designed to bring forth repentance (“return”). He concludes with the cure to Hagar’s troubles, her submission. And as a result of a perfectly crafted sermon, the desired goal is achieved. Hagar returns to the camp.
With this principle, we can apply the same pattern of inspired instruction to our lives. Have you separated yourself from the church? Think about where you’ve been, and where you’re going. Repent and return. Submit to the authority of Christ and His elders.