Genesis 16:3-4 “Then Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan. So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes.”
I decide to take a break from the study of Romans to focus on moms. As a mother, I can really say that I enjoy this holiday, where my family celebrate me in the space of motherhood. I was looking through my blogs, when I saw one titled, “Boaz’s Mom” and thought I would stick with that and write about Hagar, Ishmael’s mom.
Hagar was an Egyptian girl who served as a maid to Sarai, Abram’s wife. We don’t know how old she is, but the fact that she is of childbearing years is a must in order for Sarai to have chosen her. She’s obviously single and probably even pure, since she is Sarai’s maidservant. One day she is a servant, the next she is a wife! Not because she has desired it, or been courted, but because her mistress wants a son.
The Bible let us know that Abram agreed with the plan, went in to Hagar, and she became pregnant. As soon as she realizes that she is pregnant, she despises Sarai.
Traditional commentaries assure us that Hagar was full of pride after conceiving Ishmael. They even go so far as to say that Hagar’s getting pregnant made her feel exalted above Sarai, since she was able to conceive and Sarai was not. And lastly, they suggest, that Sarai was so torn up over the fact that Abram was able to get Hagar pregnant, that Sarai barrenness has just been solidified as her problem! A lot was going on in this drama. So let me throw something else in!
What if Hagar wanted no part of the plan? Hagar wasn’t sent to be with Abram, she was taken! What if the last thing that this young woman wanted was to be with this old man? Even if doing so exalted her position? And although she knew she was being used to produce an heir, what is she didn’t want that either?
Can you just imagine with me the trauma that Hagar might have gone through? Can you see that this was a situation that she didn’t ask for and probably was not excited about being a part of? Maybe she had plans of her own to marry some day! Maybe she had a young man she had her eyes on! And now, she’s being used as a surrogate mother with no thought to how she feels about it!
As an Egyptian, she was taken from her home and country to be a maid.
So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful. The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s house. He treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels.Genesis 12:14-16 NKJV
She was Abrams’, and therefore, Sarai’s servant and she had to do what she was told. But maybe this thing was more than she had bargained for. Maybe she despised Sarai because she was now pregnant with a child that she didn’t want or couldn’t become attached to because Sarai was to be given the child to raise as her own. Things were in a bad place for Hagar!
Then to make matters even worst, Sarai becomes angry with her and goes to Abram and complains!
Then Sarai said to Abram, “My wrong be upon you! I gave my maid into your embrace; and when she saw that she had conceived, I became despised in her eyes. The Lord judge between you and me.” So Abram said to Sarai, “Indeed your maid is in your hand; do to her as you please.” And when Sarai dealt harshly with her, she fled from her presence.Genesis 16:5-6. NKJV
Dealt harshly? The Young’s Literal Translation says that Sarai afflicted her! In others words, she beat her! And this caused Hagar to run away from Sarai!
I’m sure that Hagar is feeling really low at this point! If she could lose the baby, it would solve all of her problems. Maybe that was Sarai’s intent when she beat her!
Today’s blog is for all of you wonderful mothers who found yourself pregnant and in a tight spot, and as a result of it, you thought about an abortion, maybe even went to get one or looked into it, but for some reason you had the baby. Happy Mother’s Day to you!!
Maybe you didn’t like the circumstances of the birth! Maybe you didn’t like the father! Maybe you didn’t like the timing! Or maybe you just didn’t want to be pregnant at all, but you were! You are! I salute you for finding the courage to bring your child into this world and for making a commitment to raising your child! Happy Mother’s Day to you! You rock!!
Just when Hagar felt she couldn’t deal with anymore of the harsh realities of the life thrust upon her, she had a divine appointment! It was with the Angel of the Lord! When we see this phrase, it refers to the pre-incarnate Jesus! Jesus left heaven to have a very special conversation with Hagar. It went like this:
Jesus: Hagar, what are you doing here?
Hagar: I’m running away from Sarai.
Jesus: Go back to your mistress and put up with her abuse! I’m going to give you a big family, a lot of children. From this pregnancy you will have a son. Name him Ishmael, because God heard you and answered you.
Hagar: You are El Roi, the God who sees!
Hagar returns to Sarai and gives birth to her son. Abram is 86 years old when Ishmael is born. Did things improve between her and Sarai? Probably not! But she remained in the camp and dealt with what she had to deal with!
The stuff moms have to go through! It can be a lot! But just as Jesus saw what Hagar was going through and had a plan for her in the midst of her distress and heartache, He has a plan for you!
Eventually Hagar was put out of the tent with provisions for her and her son. But it was not enough for them to live off of. But God had made her a promise, and He fulfilled it to the letter!
Moms! Your situation may not be as bad as Hagar’s, or it could be worst. Right now, you could not have enough food to put on the table, or enough money to provide adequate shelter. You could have every material good, but feel like you are alone in this role, or you are alone. The situations we find ourselves in as mothers are numerous! But one thing that is true for every mom, is that an overwhelming sense of love and protection is embedded in her heart for her babies. And she’ll do a whole lot to make sure they are taken care of! I’ve seen it over and over again!
If you are struggling as a mother, for any reason; reach out to El Roi, the God who sees! Jesus is still willing and able to have a divine appointment with you to encourage through this difficult time. Or you can just be honest and reach out to someone who loves you, in your family or in your church, to get the encouragement that you need. He still uses ordinary people to get His work accomplished!
This Mother’s Day, be strengthened knowing that El Roi hasn’t forgotten how to hear and answer the cry of a mother’s heart! Blessings to you and your family! Wonderful Jesus!