Trust and Obey

  • Tuesday, May 10, 2011

  • Hagar has a lesson for us. She is an interesting person we first meet in Genesis 16. She was from Egypt and was maid to Abraham’s wife Sarah. She’d become part of the traveling group following Abraham and Lot on their journey to a land promised to them by God. And, God promised to make a great nation from their family. We learn in Genesis 16 of Abraham and Sarah’s difficulty in having children. How could God’s promise of making a great nation from Abraham’s offspring if they couldn’t have children?

    Sarah thought of a way. She would send Abraham into Hagar her maid, and their children would be part of Abraham’s offspring, thus helping God with His promise of making a great nation. Problem number one, taking matters into your own hands to “help” God.

    Eventually, Ishmael is born to Abraham and Hagar. At last, the promise of God begins to unfold, so they thought. But the new baby raised many issues between Sarah and Hagar and Sarah’s harsh treatment causes Hagar to run away with Ishmael. Problem number two, taking action apart from God’s plan causes strife.

    Hagar and Ishmael left the camp and nearly died in the wilderness. Genesis 16 details the first recorded appearance of the Angel of God when Hagar and Ishmael are about to die from lack of water. They’re led to water, then told to return to Abraham’s camp and submit to their authority. Trust and obey were her instructions.

    As the story continues to unfold, the Angel of God appears again, this time to Abraham who is told he’ll be the father of many nations. Genesis 21 details the conception and birth of Isaac. Eventually, we learn that from both Ishmael and Isaac, sons of Abraham, great nations are born.

    But let’s return to Hagar and the lessons we see from the situation that she found herself in. First, when you run from problems, as Hagar did, you will run directly into the arms of God. Read Genesis 16:6 & 7.

    Second, when you cease trusting God, you soon blame God for your problems. Read Genesis 16:5.

    And third, the path to God’s blessing will often require you to trust and obey, going back to be under the authority He has established and starting over with your life. Read Genesis 16:9.

    As you go about your day, reflect on the words of this old hymn to give guidance to your life.

    When we walk with the Lord
    In the light of His word
    What a glory he sheds on our way!
    While we do His good will,
    He abides with us still,
    And with all who will trust and obey.

    Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
    To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.


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