Genesis 16* Sarai gives Hagar to Abram. (1-3) Hagar's misbehaviour toSarai. (4-6) The Angel commands Hagar to return, The promise toher Birth of Ishmael. (7-16)1-3 Sarai, no longer expecting to have children herself,proposed to Abram to take another wife, whose children shemight; her slave, whose children would be her property. This wasdone without asking counsel of the Lord. Unbelief worked, God'salmighty power was forgotten. It was a bad example, and a sourceof manifold uneasiness. In every relation and situation in lifethere is some cross for us to bear: much of the exercise offaith consists in patiently submitting, in waiting the Lord'stime, and using only those means which he appoints for theremoval of the cross. Foul temptations may have very fairpretences, and be coloured with that which is very plausible.Fleshly wisdom puts us out of God's way. This would not be thecase, if we would ask counsel of God by his word and by prayer,before we attempt that which is doubtful. 4-6 Abram's unhappy marriage to Hagar very soon made a greatdeal of mischief. We may thank ourselves for the guilt and griefthat follow us, when we go out of the way of our duty. See it inthis case, Passionate people often quarrel with others, forthings of which they themselves must bear the blame. Sarai hadgiven her maid to Abram, yet she cries out, My wrong be uponthee. That is never said wisely, which pride and anger put intoour mouths. Those are not always in the right, who are most loudand forward in appealing to God: such rash and bold imprecationscommonly speak guilt and a bad cause. Hagar forgot that sheherself had first given the provocation, by despising hermistress. Those that suffer for their faults, ought to bear itpatiently, #1Pe 2:20|. 7-16 Hagar was out of her place, and out of the way of herduty, and going further astray, when the Angel found her. It isa great mercy to be stopped in a sinful way, either byconscience or by providence. Whence comest thou? Consider thatthou art running from duty, and the privileges thou wast blestwith in Abram's tent. It is good to live in a religious family,which those ought to consider who have this advantage. Whitherwilt thou go? Thou art running into sin; if Hagar return toEgypt, she will return to idol gods, and into danger in thewilderness through which she must travel. Recollecting who weare, would often teach us our duty. Inquiring whence we came,would show us our sin and folly. Considering whither we shallgo, discovers our danger and misery. And those who leave theirspace and duty, must hasten their return, how mortifying soeverit be. The declaration of the Angel, "I will," shows this Angelwas the eternal Word and Son of God. Hagar could not but admirethe Lord's mercy, and feel, Have I, who am so unworthy, beenfavoured with a gracious visit from the Lord? She was brought toa better temper, returned, and by her behaviour softened Sarai,and received more gentle treatment. Would that we were alwayssuitably impressed with this thought, Thou God seest me!
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