Genesis 16:1-16, “4 …When she knew that she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress”(NIV)
Today there are people who quit their jobs, ministries because of mistreatments. At one point they could take it when it was bearable, they hoped and prayed it would get better. I have talked to people especially Christians who have been mistreated to the point of thinking of quitting. That was Hagar’s situation, Genesis 16:6, “Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her. Let’s see if the Lord takes notice of the victims of mistreatment.
Vs. 7, “The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert…vs. 8, And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” This verse is an encouragement. Right in the midst of discouragement, quitting and running a way, an Angel of the Lord visited just at the right time. I don’t know if she ever had an experience where someone came to her rescue but here came an Angel. Abram could not defend her, he couldn’t even intervene when his wife Sarai was mistreating Hagar. Don’t you love it when you are going through things that drive you to run away and then here comes an angel and not just any angel but the Angel of God (often identified in the old testament as the pre-incarnate Christ)?
The Angel did not refer to Hagar as Abram’s wife, He referred to her as Sarai’s servant in other words, He reminded her of her days of humble beginnings, what she had missed. Jesus said, Mark 9:35, “…If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Pride or ego might have come in but just like Jesus said, “be a servant of all“. She was also being reminded of the order of things. Sarai was her leader in this sense.
You would think the Angel would say, “wait here I will put in a good word for you or deal with Sarai or make a new way”. Angel said to her, vs. 9″…”Go back to your mistress and SUBMIT to her“. This is a word that is hard to receive because it requires humility. I know not of anyone who can bend who are not humble. Hagar was told to RETURN and SUBMIT. Some situations are not meant to be ran away from, you and I just need to learn to rearrange the order of things and do what the Lord requires of us, go back and submit. This is a good reason to trace back the roots that led to the current situation and revisit. You do an evaluation to understand the cause. You can try and run away from it but the key to your release depends on if you are willing to deal with submission. It is hard to submit when you feel or know you have more than the person you should submit to or more right. Hagar was young, had more attention now and she was expecting a son (highly valued), why would she submit? Her blessing would come from yielding and surrendering to Sarai’s authority. There can be no submission without humility. How can one bow if they are not humbled?
To quote Pastor Gregg Johnson, “Humility is not a sign of weakness, it’s strength under control“. Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient even unto the death of the cross. Was He weak? of course not, He said, “No man takes my life, I lay it down“, submission is A CHOICE NOT A CONDITION. He bowed because He was humbled and after it was said and done, He received the crown, dominion and a sit at the right hand of God the Father. The bible says, in Philippians 2:9-11, “9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” In Hagar’s case, her humility would choke out her pride and arrogance that was within her.
Do you see again that a situation (fire) brought out the viper within her an Sarai. She had an opportunity to throw it back into the fire as the Angel of the Lord helped her deal with it and God blessed her more after.
We thank God for situations He continues to allow in our as fires to bring about the vipers our lives not yet consumed by His fire. This also reminds us we have not arrived yet and continue to put our confidence in God to deal with us through the Power of the Holy Spirit. In situations like this, God is growing us in character, integrity, in holiness, the fruit of the Spirit. Blessings Ev