Genesis 16:1-2: "...no children. But..."

Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, "The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her."

Abram agreed to what Sarai said. (Genesis 16:1-2, NIV)

Context: Genesis 16

Have you ever experienced a high point in your relationship with God only to follow it with falling flat on your face? God had just clearly confirmed His covenant with Abram (Genesis 15). He promised Abram and Sarai an heir although they were too old to have children. But, moving mountains doesn't always mean getting out the pick and shovel. That's the lesson Abram and Sarai learned. They set out to make God's promise happen using the standard means of their day, but the result only left them with trouble and strife. While Ishmael means "God hears," it sounds similar to a word meaning "wilderness" or "wasteland."

Following God's will doesn't mean sitting passively waiting. It means submitting to God's standards, not improvising with popular shortcuts. Impatient improvisations often lead to wasted effort, exhaustion, and despair. Planning by the world's standards is an educated guess at best (James 4:13-17). Living by Christ's example (1 Peter 2:21) leads to the confidence that God is at work in our lives (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:13).

©2002 Perry Vernon Webb. You may quote this page in part or the whole as long as you
1) do not alter the wording and
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Related page: Galatians 4:22-23: Abraham's example of faith

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