"Give Thanks To Jehovah, For He is Good"
Psalm 106:1
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Genesis Chapter 16-

Humility - A Quality to Cultivate

Sarai was now 75 years old, too old to bear children. But her hope in the promised seed was still intense. (Gen 3:15; 15:4, 5) She wanted that seed to come as promised, through Abram. It was with this in mind that, Sarai offered Abram her Egyptian maidservant, Hagar.- Genesis 16:1, 2.

Was it proper for Sarai to offer her maidservant Hagar as a wife to Abram?

Sarai's offer was in line with the custom of the day- that a barren wife was obligated to provide her husband with a concubine in order to produce an heir. The practice of polygamy first appeared in the line of Cain. Eventually, it became a custom and was adopted by some worshipers of Jehovah. (Gen 4:17-19; 16:1-3; 29:21-28) However, Jehovah never abandoned his original standard of monogamy. (Gen 2:21, 22) Noah and his sons, to whom the command to 'be fruitful and fill the earth' was repeated, were evidently all monogamous. (Gen 7:7; 9:1; 2Peter 2:5) And this standard of monogamy was reasserted by Jesus Christ. -Matthew 19:4-8; 1Tim 3:2, 12.
Abram and Sarai acted in good faith, adopting a course that was an acceptable practice in their day. However, it was not Jehovah's way of producing Abram's seed, as we shall see later.

As a secondary wife to Abram, Hagar became pregnant. She should have been deeply grateful for her honored status. Instead, she allowed her heart to become haughty. -Gen16:4.
That attitude caused such strife in Abram's household that Sarai chased Hagar away. (Gen 16:5, 6)

Could this stressful situation be resolved? If so, how?
God's angel was sent to counsel Hagar. Please read this counsel at Gen16:7-10. Hagar followed this counsel, adjusted her attitude toward Sarai, returned to Abram's household where her son was born in a safe environment. She became ancestress to a multitude.-Gen 16:11-16

What happened to Hagar shows us that when someone's situtation changes for the better, haugtiness may result. The lesson is that even a Christian who has shown a good heart in serving God can become haughty when gaining wealth or authority. That attitude can also develop if others praise him for success, wisdom, or ability. A Christian should therefor, be alert to keep haughtiness out of his heart. That is espeically true if he acheives success or recieves more responsibility. The most powerful reason to avoiding haughtiness is God's view of this trait. Compare: Proverbs 21:4.

Ishmael, true to prophecy became a "Zebra of a man". This meant he had a fiercely, independent disposition. (Gen 16:12) He was a restless wanderer who roamed the wilderness of Paran and lived by his bow and arrow. We will learn more about Ishmael in later chapters of Genesis.


sandyseashells said...

good lesson

sandyseashells said...

I understand why Hagar needed to humble herself, but why was Ishmael a "wild man"?

In the wine country said...

Ishmael inherited this fierce disposition, would he master over this bad trait by submitting to God's will or would he insist on doing things his way? Keep reading Genesis to find out!

We all inherit both good and bad traits, we can cultivate the good traits and weed out the bad traits. It takes hard work and self-control. We are not left alone to do this, we have Jehovah's guidance (Holy Scriptures) and his holy spirit to help us live in harmony with God's will. -Galations 5:22, 23

Love Ronna

sandyseashells said...

So I guess Ishmael had
"bad attitude."?