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Genesis Chapter 16: The Redemptive Power of Obedience


As you look back over your life, can you recall the providential hand of God moving in your life? An opportunity for a new job, an unexpected pregnancy, the spouse you have prayed for, or friendship. Now recall a moment you tried to do things on your own; remember the consequences. In this place, we meet Sarai and Abram; before we look at Genesis chapter 16, let's take a quick glimpse back at chapter 15. Specifically, verses 3-4 state, " And Abram said, you have given me no children; so, a servant in my household will be my heir. Then the word of the Lord came to him; This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your flesh and blood will be your heir." Fast forward to chapter 16, verses 1-2, which state, "Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar, so she told Abram, The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her. Abram agreed to what Sarai said."


Now, Abram was around 85 years old, and Sarai was approximately 75. Perhaps they grew tired of waiting, so they decided to give God a helping hand. How many times have we all done this? There is so much to unpack in this chapter, but I will focus on the redemptive power of obedience. I encourage you to read the entire chapter of Genesis 16. Hagar did conceive (v. 4), and she began to despise her mistress. Then Sarai seeks reprieve from Abram (v. 5), next Hagar runs away (vs. 7-12) and is visited by an angel from the Lord. A conversation begins, and by (v. 13), Hagar now knows God by a new name, the God who sees. it states, "She (Hagar) gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her; You are the God who sees me, for she said, I have now seen the one who sees me." This moment is very important. Please don't miss this. God meets Hagar right in the middle of her sin. God shows up and shows her how much he values her. Despite her sin or her social status. Wow, did you see it? We are so important to God that he shows up for us while we are in our sin (Romans 5:8). Listen carefully. We don't need to clean up ourselves because all have sinned and fallen short (Romans 3:23). However, we need to do it in God's way, through a relationship with His son Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Today if you are running, let me encourage you to sit, cry, yell or talk to the One who sees. Be reassured that He is patiently waiting for you with grace, mercy, love, and understanding. Note: Hagar returned and gave birth to a son named Ishmael when Abram was 86 years old. Nothing is too hard for God. Learn from Hagar, return, repent, and know that although each action has consequences, there is no condemnation in God through Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior (Romans 8:1). Don't ever feel that you cannot return to God. The truth is He is waiting for us with open arms.


Remember, God loves you, and so do I.

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