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Impatience: the Mark of Disobedience

DevotionsImpatience: the Mark of Disobedience

Genesis 16:1-16

Hagar and Ishmael

16 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”

Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.

When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”

“Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.

The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”

“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.

Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”

11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:

“You are now pregnant
    and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,[a]
    for the Lord has heard of your misery.
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;
    his hand will be against everyone
    and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
    toward[b] all his brothers.”

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13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen[c] the One who sees me.” 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi[d]; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.

15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. 16 Abram was eighty-sixed years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.

📖The Old Testament gives us the account of Abraham’s life. While the patriarch had a special relationship with God, his faith was not perfect. Over the years, he came to understand the importance of obedience—and how costly it can be to rebel.

📖Abraham learned the hard way that manipulating circumstances to gain the desired result can bring heartache.

📖God had promised him and Sarah a child, but they were still waiting for that blessing when they were elderly. Already in her 70s, Sarah suggested that Abraham get an heir by having a child with her servant Hagar.

📖The result was jealousy, family strife, and a bloody conflict that still rages today between the descendants of Hagar’s son Ishmael and Sarah’s son Isaac.

📖Obedience will bring the Lord’s best, but it requires waiting on Him.

📖Abraham was already an old man when God promised him descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky (Gen. 15:5). This would not be fulfilled until he was 100 and Sarah was well past her child-bearing years, which meant that all the glory for Isaac’s miraculous conception and birth went to the Lord (Gen. 21:1-7).

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📖 Jumping ahead of God had harsh, long-term consequences. But the good news is that the couple’s mistakes could not prevent Him from carrying out His plan.

📖The Lord has given us His Word so we might learn from the saints of old.

📖The story of Abraham’s life teaches us that obedience is essential. When we place our trust in a sovereign God and wait upon His timing, He will always prove faithful.

📖Therefore, do not jump ahead of God. Be patient with Him as He leads you through the path of life. May His blessings flow to you this month as you patiently and obediently follow Him, Amen!

Shalom & Maranatha !

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