Genesis 16.1–16: The God who sees me (Day 15)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.

Pray

Pray

Lord, prepare me to receive your word. Clear my mind and warm my heart. Assure me of your loving purposes for me, and speak into my life today.

Reflect

Daily reflection: Genesis 16

The story of Hagar is one of the Bible's small domestic tragedies. It arises when Abraham's faith wavers. He has believed God will give him a son, but nothing seems to be happening so with Sarah's encouragement he takes matters into his own hands. In those days his behaviour would have been normal enough. Human nature being what it is, though, the stresses of the situation erupt into conflict. Only divine intervention preserves the lives of Hagar and her son Ishmael.

So in the story there is a warning and a blessing. Abraham and Sarah took an unworthy path towards an end they had been promised. That's not how God works. If we are given a vision from him, everything that fulfils that vision will be honouring to him. This can be a problem for church leaders, for instance, who might be very driven to achieve things; waiting can be hard, but it is better than being tempted to cut corners in terms of ethics or relationships.

The blessing is Hagar's. She has learned a painful lesson. Nothing about her situation is easy, but she has the comfort of knowing God has 'seen' her (verse 13). Whatever we go through, we are seen by God, who watches us with compassion; and sometimes we are given the privilege of seeing him, too.

Pray

Pray

God, thank you that you see me when I sin and when I suffer. Help me to trust you, to wait for your blessing, and do the right thing.

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