God's People: Sarai/Sarah

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, bore him no children. She had an Egyptian slave-girl whose name was Hagar, and Sarai said to Abram, “You see that the Lord has prevented me from bearing children; go in to my slave-girl; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her slave-girl, and gave her to her husband Abram as a wife. He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my slave-girl to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the Lord judge between you and me!” But Abram said to Sarai, “Your slave-girl is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she ran away from her. ~ Genesis 16:1-6


When Sarai (Sarah) heard she would bear a child in her old age, she laughed. Not an odd response given the circumstances. Can't imagine I'd do much different.

But before the laughter came another reaction altogether. Jealousy.

Because Hagar had had a son for Abram before Sarah had gotten pregnant. It seems Sarah had resigned herself to the fact that Abram's numerous offspring would not come from her and so had given Hagar to Abram to conceive a son.

Taking aside the idea of the fact that it sounds like Hagar had no say in the matter, we have to wonder what Sarah was thinking.

Because she had to know that once Hagar had a son that the green monster would rear it's head.

Maybe whether Hagar truly looked down at Sarah isn't really even the point. Maybe she did, or maybe Sarah was projecting.

All we know is that what sounded to her like a good idea at the time, ended up bringing her pain and then her very worst instincts.

Do we ever try to cover for ourselves when we made a bad decision? When we hurt someone but don't want to own up to our part in their hurt? 

When jealousy turns us from our best instincts?

It would turn out that God wasn't done with Sarah despite the pain she caused Hagar.

And God isn't done with us yet either, even when we've shown the worst parts of ourselves.


Prayer: Lord have mercy on me when I let jealousy turn me into someone I don't recognize. Remind me then who I am and whose I am. Amen. 

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