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What to Remember When It’s Not Your Fault

SERIES: Feminine Voices

Genesis 16:1-13 GNV
1 Abram’s wife Sarai had not borne him any children. But she had an Egyptian slave woman named Hagar,
2 and so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Why don’t you sleep with my slave? Perhaps she can have a child for me.” Abram agreed with what Sarai said.
3 So she gave Hagar to him to be his concubine. (This happened after Abram had lived in Canaan for ten years.)
4 Abram had intercourse with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When she found out that she was pregnant, she became proud and despised Sarai.
5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “It’s your fault that Hagar despises me. I myself gave her to you, and ever since she found out that she was pregnant, she has despised me. May the Lord judge which of us is right, you or me!”
6 Abram answered, “Very well, she is your slave and under your control; do whatever you want with her.” Then Sarai treated Hagar so cruelly that she ran away.
7 The angel of the Lord met Hagar at a spring in the desert on the road to Shur
8 and said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She answered, “I am running away from my mistress.”
9 He said, “Go back to her and be her slave.”
10 Then he said, “I will give you so many descendants that no one will be able to count them.
11 You are going to have a son, and you will name him Ishmael, because the Lord has heard your cry of distress.
12 But your son will live like a wild donkey; he will be against everyone, and everyone will be against him. He will live apart from all his relatives.”
13 Hagar asked herself, “Have I really seen God and lived to tell about it?” So she called the Lord, who had spoken to her, “A God Who Sees.”

Genesis 21:1-21 GNV
1 The Lord blessed Sarah, as he had promised,
2 and she became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham when he was old. The boy was born at the time God had said he would be born.
3 Abraham named him Isaac,
4 and when Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God had commanded.
5 Abraham was a hundred years old when Isaac was born.
6 Sarah said, “God has brought me joy and laughter. Everyone who hears about it will laugh with me.”
7 Then she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
8 The child grew, and on the day that he was weaned, Abraham gave a great feast.
9 One day Ishmael, whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham, was playing with Sarah’s son Isaac.
10 Sarah saw them and said to Abraham, “Send this slave and her son away. The son of this woman must not get any part of your wealth, which my son Isaac should inherit.”
11 This troubled Abraham very much, because Ishmael also was his son.
12 But God said to Abraham, “Don’t be worried about the boy and your slave Hagar. Do whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that you will have the descendants I have promised.
13 I will also give many children to the son of the slave woman, so that they will become a nation. He too is your son.”
14 Early the next morning Abraham gave Hagar some food and a leather bag full of water. He put the child on her back and sent her away. She left and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba.
15 When the water was all gone, she left the child under a bush
16 and sat down about a hundred yards away. She said to herself, “I can’t bear to see my child die.” While she was sitting there, she began to cry.
17 God heard the boy crying, and from heaven the angel of God spoke to Hagar, “What are you troubled about, Hagar? Don’t be afraid. God has heard the boy crying.
18 Get up, go and pick him up, and comfort him. I will make a great nation out of his descendants.”
19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well. She went and filled the leather bag with water and gave some to the boy.
20 God was with the boy as he grew up; he lived in the wilderness of Paran and became a skillful hunter.
21 His mother got an Egyptian wife for him.

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