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The Progression of a Mother (slides)

Genesis 16:1-6
Genesis 16:1–6 NKJV
1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai. 3 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. 4 So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes. 5 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.” 6 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.

V. 2 - The Lord has restrained me from bearing children.

Sarai is blaming God for her not having a child yet. It was promised that Abram would have a son, but it was not specified how or through whom. As I initially react with the thought that it is not God’s fault, the truth is that it is.
Time and time again, God has withheld His blessings from us until our hearts are right and ready to receive them.
When our hearts are not right, we fail to be worthy vessels of God’s blessings.
2 Timothy 2:21 NKJV
21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
NKJV21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
Jeremiah 5:25 NKJV
25 Your iniquities have turned these things away, And your sins have withheld good from you.
When our hearts are not right, we fail to be worthy vessels of God’s blessings.
God is not punishing in this situation, He is continuing His work in them so that they may be ready to accept the blessing for what it was meant to accomplish, His glory alone. They were not ready.

It’s not our job to create the miracle, its our job to be obedient.

Sarai was anxious and eager and her impatience caused her to try to help God by coming up with her own plan. Which is often the case for you and I. When we feel God is not doing what we think He should be doing, we begin to look at the world and ourselves for answers and alternatives. This only leads us into trouble.
Hebrews 11:1 NKJV
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Our faith is based on the promises of God. Some of those promises have already been kept while others are still to come.
When we take God’s promises into our own hands, they cease to be our hope and become our disobedience.
When we take God’s promises into our own hands, they cease to be our hope and become our disobedience.

When we take God’s promises into our own hands, they cease to be our hope and become our disobedience.

So Sarai, taking a cue from Abram in earlier passages, comes up with her own plan to fulfill God’s promise. Her plan works in conceiving a child, but is far from the blessing God had in mind.

Explain the plan and it’s outcome

V. 5 - My wrong be upon you!

It’s always our fault isn’t it guys? Even though we had nothing to do with it! Abram was just trying to support his wife and make her happy right? In this case, IT WAS HIS FAULT!
As the spiritual leader in his home, he should have said ‘no’. He should have set the example for faithfulness in God’s word to be carried out in God’s time. And when Sarai came to him angry towards Hagar, he should have done the right thing and protected her and the baby. But instead, he stepped away, washed his hands of it and took no part in it.
I think of Adam when Eve offered him a bite of the fruit. There may be a message in there somewhere about heeding the voice of a woman and getting into trouble. But that’s a different sermon.
2 Timothy 2:21 NKJV
21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

When our hearts are not right, we fail to be worthy vessels of God’s blessings.

Genesis 16:7–16 NKJV
7 Now the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. 8 And He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” 9 The Angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.” 10 Then the Angel of the Lord said to her, “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.” 11 And the Angel of the Lord said to her: “Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, Because the Lord has heard your affliction. 12 He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, And every man’s hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” 13 Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?” 14 Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; observe, it is between Kadesh and Bered. 15 So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.
I want to take these last few minutes and really focus on Hagar.
she was a gift from Pharoah
treated as property
used as instrument of purpose (bearing a child)
had no identity ( referred to as ‘the maid’)
abused and mistreated
non person
invisible
no freedom
Alot of you moms out there are thinking, ‘wow, that’s me!’ That sounds alot like motherhood doesn’t it? Losing your identity to serve someone who at times overlook your needs and feelings. You are no longer a person with a name, but you become a maid, cook, taxi, nurse, atm... obstacle, annoyance, enemy or an afterthought.
It wasn’t until Hagar met the God that saw her that she recieved what she had been missing, identity and purpose.
Jesus himself came down and called her by name and told her to go back to Sarai as difficult as that may have been for her. He gave her identity as woman and mother, and purpose through her son and the nation that would come from him.
There’s much more we could talk about in this passage. Ishmael, Isaac, modern day ramifications. But for today, I want us to understand that Hagar met God on that day. She gave Him a name and experienced Him on a very deep level because of that need. It is in our need that we are able to experience God.
If you are here this morning and you feel as though you are invisible, I promise you this: God sees you.
To be seen is to be understood and to be seen is to be encouraged. To be seen is to be significant, it's to be safe, its to be strengthened.
2 Chronicles 16:9 NKJV
9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”
2 Chronicles 16:9 NKJV
9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”
To be a mother is to live selflessly and sacrificially, a beautiful representation of the life of Jesus Christ. To be seen is to be rewarded.
Matthew 6:6 NKJV
6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
Matthew 6:6 NKJV
6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
What will he reward us with? He will reward us with his presence, purpose and promises.
What will he reward us with? He will reward us with his presence and his pleasure.
What will he reward us with? He will reward us with his presence, purpose and promises.
But we must also see Him. Do you see Him this morning?
What will he reward us with? He will reward us with his presence and his pleasure.
I know Mother’s Day is difficult for many of us. The loss of a mother or the loss of a child are extremely painful. I challenge you to not make today a day of sorrow, grief, or bitterness, but one of joy and celebration knowing that we serve a God who loves us and carries us and gives us hope for the future. He wants to be the one you trust with your life. We invite you to do that this morning.
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