WHEN GOD HONORS THE UNDERDOG
And the angel of the Lord said to her, “Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has listened to your affliction. He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.” Genesis 16:11-12
The power of God is on full display in the story of Hagar, just as it is in the story of Abram and Sarai. This mother of Arab nations is often thought of as the subject of some side plot in Genesis. Oh, but that is a mistake. There are some astounding things to consider in God’s encounter with Hagar.
Every ancient people of Hagar’s world are no longer alive today. They are all relegated to history books. The only two who have survived, and who are thriving, are the descendants of Ishmael and the descendants of Isaac. The point? God is true to His promises.
Though God told Hagar to return to Abram and Sarai and, under difficult conditions, resume her role as their slave, her son Ishmael would grow to become independent of the clan of Abraham. He would be the father and ruler of 12 princes, paralleling the 12 tribes who would descend from Isaac.
God had compassion on this Egyptian slave girl who had been a pawn between powerful men. King Abimelech of Egypt had passed her off as a gift to Abram. As a slave, Sarai had passed her off to Abram to be used as a surrogate mother. She was without power in a world where women and slaves had no rights. When no one else had kind regard for her plight, God did. God is a kind champion of women!
The promises of God, spoken through the Word of God, stand for all time. There are things that He speaks today that will be true thousands of years from now. I am learning that my heart is time bound. I am consumed with the fulfilling of God’s promises for the immediate, not the long run. That’s because pain is short sighted. I want relief, resolution, and deliverance today. What happens a thousand years from now is usually not as important to me as what will happen tomorrow.
Nevertheless, my heart takes notice that I belong to a God whose Word is powerful enough to transcend time. There is nothing that can nullify what He has spoken. No power will come against me to erase God’s plans. However badly things may look for me on a given day in history, once God chooses to pour out His favor on the oppressed and forgotten, a blessed future commences and remains. No threat, no arrow, no scheme, even perpetrated by the kings of this world, can undo what God has put in motion.
I’m living in Your timeless plot. Though the hands of time move slowly and I don’t see the fulfillment of Your promises in these 24 hours, the future course of blessing is set on Your servant who obeys. I will see my life through the eyes of faith today, Lord. Amen