Last week I introduced Sarai. I spoke about how her desperation led her to influence her husband to make an unwise choice.
Read Hello Sarai Part I here.
This week I want to explore the aftermath of Sarai’s choices.
Sarai took control of the situation thinking she could force the promise to come to life. She thought that maybe she was not the one God would fulfill the promise through. In Genesis 16:2 Sarai said to Abram, “The LORD has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.” And Abram agreed with Sarai’s proposal.
1. Did she think her servant would be okay with this arrangement?
2. Was she planning on just taking the baby away from the servant girl and raising it as her own?
3. Did she truly believe God would bless this arrangement?
4. Where did her faith go?
Post Abram’s agreeing to sleep with the servant girl, we quickly see the situation spiral out of Sarai’s control.
I want to share two points that I found in this passage.
Verse4 tells us that Abram slept with Sarai’s servant and she became pregnant.
Read her reaction, “when she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.“
So much for Sarai’s plan to create a family with her servant’s child!
As we continue reading Genesis 16 we learn what the servant’s reaction causes. Verse 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me.”
“You are responsible…”? Really Sarai?!?!
Last time I checked whose idea was this?!?! Who came up with this genius plan?
Point #1: Sarai’s plan caused division in her marriage.
She made the choice to suggest and encourage it but instead of taking responsibility for her poor decisions she blames Abram. I’m not saying that he is completely innocent in this, he very well could have said NO! He didn’t have to accept the indecent proposal but he did… womp!
In verse6 Abram responds to Sarai. He put’s it back on her washing his hands of the whole situation. “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar…
Point #2 Sarai’s plan causes unmanageable resentment towards her servant.
I can’t imagine the pain Sarai felt in these moments. I mean, she’s been married for decades and has undoubtedly slept with her husband enough times to conceive. Her servant sleeps with her husband ONE time and immediately becomes pregnant! I’m tempted to excuse her resentment. I feel badly for Sarai. I think I might have responded the same way if I had been in her sandals. This situation reminds me of the quote,
“Hurting people hurt people.”
That’s exactly what happens here. I think Sarai, a normally God fearing woman doesn’t know what to do with her emotions and finds herself treating her poor servant girl horribly.
There is so much to learn from this portion of the story.
Firstly, it reminds me to be introspective. It’s so important to make the time to self evaluate our choices and reactions.
Let’s make sure we take responsibility for our own.
Secondly, I learned that it’s easy to lash out when we don’t get our way. Sarai is totally throwing a temper tantrum here because things did not go as she planned. I can relate. I’ve acted out tantrum style in my adult life… haven’t you?!
I think we benefit from being aware of our emotions and taking control of them before they take control of us.
Let’s not mistreat those around us who are innocent bystanders to our messes. Yea, I know. Easier said than done, but if we learn to control our thoughts we will be able to grab hold of our emotions which stem from our thoughts. I love how much this story is like a telenovela!
I’m excited to say that I will be extending the three week series to a four week Sarai/Sarah series.
Next week I want to explore chapter 18 and see what God says next. I hope you can stop by again next Friday and take a look at Hello Sarai Part III. Memory Verse: Philippians 4:8
Philippians 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
My Prayer for you:
Heavenly Father, thank you for your precious word. I believe it is alive and working in us. I pray for all of the readers who are struggling with the guilt or shame of a poor decision. I ask you to help them surrender those emotions to you. Help them accept that even though the choice was bad they are NOT bad. I pray, Father God, that you may minister to someone through Sarai’s story. That we may see and understand the relevance that her experiences then have to our lives today. Help us lean into your word and glean the wisdom you desire for us to gain. Thank you, Lord. I am confident that you will show up and show off in the lives of my readers. I trust that you guide us to reflect on our choices and emotions that we may not blame or hurt the innocent but that we may allow you to turn all of our circumstances into good for your Glory! In Jesus’ name, Amen!