Making Treaties Without God, Part II
The Abraham, Sarah and Hagar story is another Bible account of self-made problems. The only reason Hagar is mentioned, and a whole nation of her descendants exists today, is because of Abraham and Sarah’s lack of faith in God to deliver on His promise that they would have an actual child from their bodies. They made a treaty, a contract with Hagar without trusting God, and as a result there has been and will always be tension in the world because of their choice.
How did they make a treaty with Hagar without God you ask? During their day, a female slave could actually be a surrogate for her barren mistress. And that’s what Hagar was, their surrogate.
Here’s the thing, Hagar wasn’t even supposed to be in their lives. Hagar was an Egyptian slave in Abraham’s household. She likely came to be their slave as a gift from Pharaoh in exchange for Sarai (her name before God changed it to Sarah), from an event where Abraham also didn’t believe the promise He had given them (Genesis 12: 11-16).
God had made a covenant with Abraham back in Genesis 12:2 that He would make his name great and make him a great nation. But by verse 11 Abraham asked Sarai to deceive Pharaoh and say that she was his sister (which she was)- but to leave out the wife part. When Pharaoh found out Sarai was Abraham’s wife and that he could have almost slept with her, he gave Hagar is a peaceful gift offering.
Just like with Joshua’s story from last week with the Gibeonites, with these two great men of God, we see that when faced with daunting choices, they both had a lapse of faith. Had Joshua asked God if he should make a treaty with the Gibeonites, and if Abraham and Sarah would have waited for God’s promise to manifest in the natural, they would have avoided self-made problems and a lot of grief could have been avoided.
When have you had a lack of faith in God and did something that caused a self-made problem? How can you make choices to help strengthen your ability to trust in God’s promises for your life?