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Sunday, September 4 2011

Hagar's Return

Bible History records a number of situations in which two specific people were in direct conflict with each other. A prime example was Sarai (who the LORD later renamed as Sarah; see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM') and her Egyptian servant Hagar. Childless Sarai wanted to have children with her husband Abram (who the LORD later renamed as Abraham; see Abram and Sarai); when she was unable to do so on her own, she resorted to Hagar having a surrogate child with Abram.

"16:1 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 16:2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her.

And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. 16:3 And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. 16:4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes."(Genesis 16:1-4 KJV)

Rather than solving a problem, the plan of recourse created a far bigger conflict - so pregnant Hagar fled into the wilderness after being physically assaulted ("thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled").

The Holy Scriptures

"16:5 And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.

16:6 But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face." (Genesis 16:5-6 KJV)

The LORD appeared to Hagar in the wilderness and commanded her to return, with a prophecy and a promise about the nation that would be created from her child of Abraham. Although Ishmael (a name chosen by the LORD which means God hears) would be a "wild man," the LORD would "multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude":

"16:7 And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. 16:8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go?

And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.

16:9 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. 16:10 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.

16:11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. 16:12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.

16:13 And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? 16:14 Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

16:15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. 16:16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram." (Genesis 16:7-16 KJV)

"Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation"

Hagar's God-commanded return and submission to Sarai did not bring peace between the two women, because the problem between the women was not the women themselves, but a child of Abraham - a contention that thereafter doubled when the LORD enabled Sarai to have a child of her own with Abram.

Hagar and Ishmael

"18:1 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre [see The LORD And The Two Angels]: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 18:2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,

18:3 And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: 18:4 Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: 18:5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant.

And they said, So do, as thou hast said.

18:6 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.

18:7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it. 18:8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

18:9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife?

And he said, Behold, in the tent.

18:10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son.

And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.

18:11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 18:12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

18:13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

18:15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh." (Genesis 18:1-15 KJV)

So "Isaac" was born - a name based upon Sarai's disbelieving laughter ("Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid"), as quoted above. Sarai did become a believer when the child was born: "God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me."

"21:1 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. 21:2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 21:3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. 21:4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him [see Circumcision]. 21:5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

21:6 And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. 21:7 And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age." (Genesis 21:1-7 KJV)

The rivalry between the two women reached its peak on the day that Isaac was weaned. Hagar was again forced out by Sarai (by then renamed as Sarah), this time permanently. The LORD however kept His promise to Hagar - as He restated in His second appearance to Hagar: "Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation."

"21:8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. 21:10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.

21:11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. 21:12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. 21:13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.

21:14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

21:15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. 21:16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.

21:17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. 21:18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.

21:19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.

21:20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. 21:21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran [see Ishmael's Paran]: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt." (Genesis 21:8-21 KJV)

Fact Finder: What is the direct Christian significance of Abraham's children through Sarah and Hagar (considering also that today both the non-Christian Jewish and Muslim descendants of Abraham, through Sarah and Hagar, both do not yet recognize the Messiah)?
See Hagar Today; also When Do Jews Become Christians? and 'Raghead' Racism


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This Day In History, September 4

476: Romulus Augustulus, 16, the last Roman emperor, was deposed when Odoacer proclaimed himself the King of Italy. The date is incorrectly considered by some historians as the "fall" of the Roman empire, but history and prophecy say otherwise (see Ancient Empires - Rome and The "Holy" Roman Empire).

925: The coronation of Athelstan, the first king to rule over all of England.

1189: King Richard I (the Lion-Hearted) of England was crowned in Westminster.

1609: English explorer Henry Hudson discovered a large, heavily wooded, nearly unpopulated island on the east coast of North America. Today, it is known as Manhattan.

1781: In southern California, Spanish settlers named their small (population 44) new settlement Los Angeles.

1783: The Treaty of Paris was signed to end the Revolutionary War between England and the New England colonies that English pioneers created in the undeveloped wilderness over a century earlier.

1820: Czar Nicholas of Russia claimed all territory from Alaska to Oregon, closing all Alaskan waters to foreigners. Russia sold Alaska to the United States in 1867. The territory became the 49th U.S. state in 1959.

1886: To stop the further genocide of his people, Apache chief Geronimo surrendered to U.S. troops in Arizona, ending the last major native-American war.

1957: Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus mobilized his National Guard to prevent black students from attending Central High School.

1976: Viking II landed on Mars and transmitted the first close-up, color photographs of the planet's surface.

1985: The first fullerene (an allotrope of carbon in which the atoms form ball-like structures) molecule of carbon was discovered. It was given the name Buckminsterfullerene.

1998: The Internet search Google was founded by Stanford University students Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

2010: A magnitude 7.1 earthquake caused widespread damage on the South Island of New Zealand.





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Copyright © Wayne Blank