Genesis – First, God.
We are human. We are not perfect. As hard as we try to wait on God…we don’t always do exactly that, we take steps to “help” God fulfill his promised purposes. As we see with Sarai, moving ahead of God, taking matters into your own hands will have consequences that will be harder than the wait.
When did you rush God by taking steps that you thought would be helpful in the wait only to regret doing it?
Is waiting as hard for you as it is for me?
We don’t even like to wait the seconds it takes the microwave to heat up our slice of leftover pizza, so don’t be too hard on Sarai. As we read this, notice how God is always at work and will love all who call on His name. God knows what He is doing. We do not. God works all things (our mistakes and missteps) out for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28) God causes a time of waiting for our good in ways that will give Him all the glory He deserves!
So, why don’t we just wait on God and make Him smile on us? The blessings of waiting will be sweeter. God is in control even when we think He is not. We will always grow closer to God in the wait.
“The best things come to those who wait”! -Mom, (all my life.)
Genesis 16, The Message
1-2 Sarai, Abram’s wife, hadn’t yet produced a child.
She had an Egyptian maid named Hagar. Sarai said to Abram, “God has not seen fit to let me have a child. Sleep with my maid. Maybe I can get a family from her.” Abram agreed to do what Sarai said.
3-4 So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took her Egyptian maid Hagar and gave her to her husband Abram as a wife. Abram had been living ten years in Canaan when this took place. He slept with Hagar and she got pregnant. When Hagar learned she was pregnant, she looked down on her mistress.
5 Sarai told Abram, “It’s all your fault that I’m suffering this abuse. I put my maid in bed with you and the minute she knows she’s pregnant, she treats me like I’m nothing. May God decide which of us is right.”
6 “You decide,” said Abram. “Your maid is your business.”
Sarai was abusive to Hagar and Hagar ran away.
7-8 An angel of God found her beside a spring in the desert; it was the spring on the road to Shur. He said, “Hagar, maid of Sarai, what are you doing here?”
She said, “I’m running away from Sarai my mistress.”
9-12 The angel of God said, “Go back to your mistress. Put up with her abuse.” He continued, “I’m going to give you a big family, children past counting.
From this pregnancy, you’ll get a son: Name him Ishmael;
for God heard you, God answered you.
He’ll be a bucking bronco of a man,
a real fighter, fighting and being fought,
Always stirring up trouble,
always at odds with his family.”
13 She answered God by name, praying to the God who spoke to her, “You’re the God who sees me!
“Yes! He saw me; and then I saw him!”
14 That’s how that desert spring got named “God-Alive-Sees-Me Spring.” That spring is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.
15-16 Hagar gave Abram a son. Abram named him Ishmael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar gave him his son, Ishmael.
Abraham was now eighty-five years old. He had been walking with the Lord for ten years and had learned some valuable lessons about faith. God had promised Abraham and Sarah a child but had not told them when the child would be born. It was a period of waiting, and most people don’t like to wait. But it is through “faith and patience [that we] inherit the promises” (Heb. 6:12).
God has a perfect timetable for all that He wants to do. After all, this event was not the birth of just another baby: It was part of God’s great plan of salvation for the whole world. However, as Sarah waited for something to happen, she became impatient.
Why did God wait so long? He wanted Abraham and Sarah to be physically “as good as dead” (Heb. 11:12) so that God alone would get the glory. At age eighty-five, Abraham was still virile enough to father a child by Hagar; so the time for the miracle baby had not yet arrived. Whatever is truly done by faith is done for the glory of God (Rom. 4:20) and not for the praise of man.
A willingness to wait on the Lord is another evidence that you are walking by faith. “He that believe shall not make haste” (Isa. 28:16). Paul quoted this verse in Romans 10:11 and amplified its meaning: “Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.” (The same Holy Spirit inspired both Isaiah and Paul, and He has the right to make these changes.) Whenever we stop trusting God, we start to “make haste” in the wrong direction and we end up being ashamed.
Whenever we act by faith, God will give joy and peace in our lives. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Rom. 15:13). Conflict may surround us, but we will have God’s peace and joy within us.
The evidences of true biblical faith are:
(1) We are concerned only for the glory of God;
(2) We are willing to wait;
(3) We are obeying God’s Word;
(4) We have God’s joy and peace within.
While Abraham and Sarah were waiting, God was increasing their faith and patience and building character (James 1:1-4). Then something happened that put Abraham and Sarah on a painful detour.
But WAIT, there’s more…tomorrow…
Dear Heavenly Father,
You are God and we are not. Help us to wait. Help us in the wait to grow in character and strength. Give us wisdom, insight and understanding as we wait on You. When the wait is over, may we give you all the glory with a grateful gratitude of praise! AND may we praise you as we wait.
In Jesus Name, Amen