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vs. 1-4 "Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 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. 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. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes."

Abraham and Sarah had now lived in Canaan for ten years. Sarah was becoming impatient for a child. According to the tradition of that time, it was a wife's obligation to give her husband children. If she could not do that herself then she would give her handmaid to her husband to marry and have children through her. Sarah suggested this plan to Abraham and he went along with it. First of all, the plan was wrong. God had promised Abraham a son and Abraham should have waited on Him to produce one. Sometimes we get impatient with God's timing. But we must remember, God does not view time as we do. His timing is perfect. Just when you think He has forgotten His promise, you look up, and there He is with a blessing so big you can't believe you ever doubted Him!

So Hagar conceived. And when she did, she despised Sarah. She became disrespectful to her mistress. She no longer saw herself as a servant but as the mother of the heir! The relationship between these two women had now changed drastically. Sarah complained to Abraham and he told her to do whatever she wanted to. This was cowardly of Abraham for now Hagar was carrying his child. He should have just separated the two women and dealt with the situation he was responsible for creating! When Sarah dealt harshly with Hagar she ran away. There have been several times in my life when I have run away from a difficult situation. In hind sight, I now see it would have been better to have stayed and "faced the music", so to speak. But Hagar thought she had come up against a brick wall. Here she was unmarried and with child and no place to go. There were no pregnancy centers in that day!

When Hagar had gotten to Shur (an area south of Palestine, on the way to Egypt), she was met by the "angel of the Lord." He told her to return to Sarah and submit to her authority. He told her she would have a son named Ishmael (God hears), that he would be a wild man and that her descendants would be so many they could not be numbered.

Abraham was 86 when he had his first child!

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Have you ever got tired of waiting for God to answer a prayer and took the matter into your own hands? What was the outcome? Please write and tell me about it, I would love to hear from you! Please reference this devotion when you write.

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