Faith and waiting go hand in hand, and both are nurtured through obedience to God’s will. When the character and reason of Sarai and Abram were tested in Genesis 16, they failed to trust in God’s promises to them. When we are tempted to take matters into our own hands, the result is often chaos as well. Alistair Begg reminds us of the blessings that come from doing God’s will, God’s way in the waiting rooms of our lives.
1Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. 2And 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 children1 by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife. 4And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress.2 5And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant 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!” 6But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.
7The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. 8And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” 9The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” 10The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” 11And the angel of the Lord said to her,
“Behold, you are pregnant
and shall bear a son.
You shall call his name Ishmael,3
because the Lord has listened to your affliction.
12He 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.”
13So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,”4 for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”5 14Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi;6 it lies between Kadesh and Bered.
15And Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.
Abraham’s journey of faith could be described as a series of new beginnings. Although his walk contained many pitfalls and failures, Abraham learned that with God, failure is never final. Abraham’s trust grew with each new beginning as he responded in obedience to God’s call. Throughout this series from Genesis, Alistair Begg explores faith as expressed through the changes and challenges of life. The measure of our faith grows as our understanding of God’s character grows, and we can walk boldly in light of His promises.
|One Man's Background||Genesis 11:27-32|
|Pitching Tents and Building Altars||Genesis 12:1-9|
|A Failure of Nerve||Genesis 12:10-20|
|Let's Have No Quarreling||Genesis 13:1-8|
|Abram to the Rescue||Genesis 14:1-24|
|How Can I Be Right with God?||Genesis 15:1-6|
|Faith in the Waiting Room||Genesis 16:1-15|
|The Covenant Confirmed||Genesis 17:1-27|
|The Principles and Practice of Intercession||Genesis 18:16-33|
|The Peril of Inconsistency||Genesis 20:1-18|
|Faith Put to the Test, Part One||Genesis 22:1-8|
|Faith Put to the Test, Part Two||Genesis 22:9-19|