Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. Genesis 16: 1-2
If we camp out here in this passage, we begin to notice a reoccurring trend. Abram and Sarai’s biggest insecurity was rooted in their desire to conceive a child, and their inability to do so forced them to again, forgo their trust in God. When Sarai declared that, “the lord has” we can speculate that she has done two things, they being that Sarai superimposed her own understanding of God’s covenant with Abram, and as a result, acted outside of that promise for the both of them.
In the previous chapter, God presents Abram – and by extension Sarai – an infallible promise that Abram will have children as numerous as the stars in the sky; yet, Abram and Sarai both forget the covenant God made with them, and again, began to work with their own understanding. As a result, God through an angel, had to intervene and remedy the situation Abram and Sarai brought unto themselves.
Faith is so invaluable, because even when He promised Abram and Sarai children, they in the moment could not see when, where and how His promise would come to be. What makes God so objectively trustworthy and reliable, is that when He makes a promise, it is kept; as we learn a chapter later. However, this is why faith is important, because all of scripture is a testimony of how God’s promise is always fulfilled. It is our faith in His promises that keeps us rooted in Him.
“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Genesis 16:1
Sarai and Abram were promised a child, however, doubt flooded their hearts, and they decided to take things into their own hands and this action was not done by asking the Lord’s counsel. As soon as doubt had entered, God’s almighty power could not present itself. As followers of the Lord, we each experience times in which our patience and faith is tested. But we ought to pick up our cross and hold fast to the hope we have in Jesus. Sarai and Abram did just the opposite. False hope is dangerous because it distracts us from God’s infinite power, and places our attention on the problem that lies before us. As false hope starts manifesting itself, it’s often very difficult not to want to take the reins and try to make things happen our way. Just like in the story, this only ends in sin and conflict. However, let us not be like Sarai and Abram, but rather choose to put our hope and faith in the Him, and by doing so, we will experience His power and perfect will at work in our lives.
Genesis 14: 14-16 The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted.
Abram understood what God’s promise to him meant, and when he conquered the kings and land before him, he denied what he had learned, choosing instead to have faith in what He promised. That promise God made to Abram was meant by faith, and not by means of man. Abram refused what he rightfully won, and chose instead to believe Gods promise for his life.
Abram chose instead to give up the lands he conquered in favor of letting God fulfill his promise by faith; not Abrams hands alone.
What we need to realize is that God will never forget his promises. Sometimes it’s difficult to put our faith in God because we do not know if he is going to fulfill the promise that he has made us, and we see that man may fulfill that promise instead. What we do instead is try and find a way to do it for him. That is what causes us to fall. Abram chose instead to give up the lands he conquered in favor of letting God fulfill his promise by faith; not Abrams hands alone.
Abram was told he could have all the goods of the king of Sodom; all that the king wanted were the people. Abram understood what it would mean if he were to take these things, because God made a promise Abram, and he did not want to attribute the fruition of His promise to man. Abram needed to have faith in God’s timing.
Why is it that we sometimes allow earthly desires take advantage of us and our decisions, or we do not trust in His timing? We hunger for these earthly possessions, so much so that we forget they are temporary. As believers, we need to allow ourselves to give these belongings up for the glory of God. Do not allow this life be a barrier between you and God, instead give them up and allow that to eulogize the name of God.
God granted Abram a destination that was good, and he was asked to go. As seen in the passage, he was then blessed by Him.
Doubt gave birth to fear and other worries began the fall from this promise. Instead of trusting the Lord in what He promised, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation” (Genesis 12:1-2) Abram went so far until something began to worry him. This in turn caused turmoil on Pharaoh. A lie that could’ve been avoided, ended up swindling the promise of God.
How many times do we screw up the path or take a ‘shortcut’ in the promises God trusts us with? God does not expect perfection from man or women, even though the amount of trust He grants says differently, a perfect being isn’t anyone but Christ, Jesus himself. Hence the reason why Holy Spirit and the Bible is present and here today, so promises like these – God to Abram – don’t have to be screwed up because of doubt or worry; but rather, guided by something greater and more perfect.
“And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:2-3
The call God gave to Abram is key in this passage, because it is not necessarily entertaining to the average person. The weight of the call was so major that it could cause serious destruction if error was to be in the midst. It was not about what God promised Abram; it was what He trusted him with. The nation, the people, and the future was not a thought for Abram; rather, it was more directed at what he was told without question or concern.
Betrayal isn’t something that arises from nothing, it is something that arises from the people, from within us.
Why was betrayal even thought about if everything seemed so perfect and in order? Betrayal isn’t something that arises from nothing, it is something that arises from the people, from within us. It isn’t ‘planned’. Betrayal began when fear arose, and it grew when the truth and innocence wanted to hide. A misunderstanding was the only thing that could explain the short truth that was twisted at the end of the passage. Today we know that fear takes over our future sometimes, no matter what promise was granted to us before. Betrayal becomes our new path and an old promise is only hymn of the past.
Don’t let a promise from God be a forgotten note card of your past but rather, let it light up path of your future.
The Tower of Babylon represented the pinnacle of human achievement and accomplishment. It demonstrated how the world had valued their technological abilities over God. It was man’s way of showing that they did not need God anymore, because they have placed their trust not in him, but the world around them. As a result, God scattered the people, and removed their pride by confusing their language.
They began to build monuments to man, and not God.
The tower is that monument to man, God seeing the pride, toppled the tower and confused the people to ensure his will would continue. Where is our tower? Have we not reached a highlight in our own world? Our modern world is so advanced that just like in Babylon, we begin to think that we do not need Him. When we become prideful and self-dependent, we start to lose sight of God.