Once Sarah had convinced Abram to have relations with her servant, Hagar, in an attempt to create an heir from Abram’s own body, things in Sarah’s tent began to turn ugly. When Hagar discovered she was pregnant, she began to openly despise her mistress. Sarah was upset by this, and complained to Abram. He gave her permission to treat Hagar however she wished. (I think this is really sad because it shows how little concern Abram had for Hagar (with whom he had been intimate) OR for the baby (of whom Abram was the FATHER!). We can see that Abram certainly did not love Hagar or see her child as the answer to God’s promise of an heir.
So! Sarah “dealt hardly” with Hagar, to the breaking point! Hagar “fled from (Sarah’s) face.”
CHRIST HIMSELF (appearances of Christ in the Old Testament refer to Him as “the angel of the Lord”) followed Hagar into the wilderness and spoke to her. IMAGINE THAT! Here is a pregnant slave girl to whom God showed love and compassion and He SPOKE as directly to Hagar as He had spoken to Abram! Truly, God is NOT prejudiced, nor does He value one person more highly than any other. PRAISE HIS WONDERFUL NAME!
Here was Hagar’s plan: RUN AWAY from my difficult situation! (This would probably have resulted in her death out in the desert).
Here was God’s plan: RETURN to your difficult situation! God did not change the way Sarah was behaving, but He DID address Hagar’s attitude toward Sarah (see 16:4-5). He told her to go back and submit to Sarah’s authority. This command was attached to a wonderful, yet terrifying promise:
*You will bear a son and name him “Ishmael”, which means “God Shall Hear”
*He will be wild and pugnacious
*Other men will oppose him, but he will dwell safely among his many brothers
Hagar’s response shows that she knew she had met the all-knowing, ever present God–she named the location “Thou God Seest Me”.
Even today, women are blessed to hear directly from God through the Word–open to all people. As God speaks, He promises us the grace and blessing that comes as we “humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God” and stay in even very difficult circumstances. As we obey God and submit to His ordained earthly authorities, His presence, grace and blessing will result–for GENERATIONS.
Proverbs 8:32-35 “Now therefore children, hearken unto me: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord.”