the faith of abraham part 6 genesis 16 1 16 11 01 2009 dane boyles l.
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“The Faith of Abraham – Part 6” Genesis 16:1-16 11/01/2009 Dane Boyles. “Faith of Abraham – Part 6”. In Genesis 16:1-16, Abram continues his journey, just after God has revealed to him that his seed would be as the stars in heaven.

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faith of abraham part 6
“Faith of Abraham – Part 6”
  • In Genesis 16:1-16, Abram continues his journey, just after God has revealed to him that his seed would be as the stars in heaven.
  • But, following years of waiting, no son has yet been born to Abram.
  • Does the promise still hold true?
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  • One piece of advice that we often hear is that God helps those who help themselves.
  • Does he?
  • The answer from our text is a surprising yes, but not in the way we might think.
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  • Helping God (16:1-6).
    • The Divine Tension (16:1-4a).

1Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; (Gen. 16:1)

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2so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. (Gen. 16:2)

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3So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife.

4He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. (Gen. 16:3-4a)

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  • The story now turns from Abram to the matriarch, Sarai.
  • There are two details that will drive this story:
    • she is barren
    • she has an Egyptian maid.
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  • The longer the delay, the greater the pain they sense, especially Sarai.
  • For the first time in the story she becomes the prime force behind what is about to happen.
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  • Human Help to End the Tension.
    • She adopts the normal cultural practice of surrogate motherhood.
    • First, notice that there is no mention of prayer in the text.

2“Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” (Gen. 30:2)

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21Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived (Gen. 25:21).

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  • Second, the story has ominous echoes of Genesis 3, the first temptation story.
    • We give in rather than waiting on God through persistent prayer and persevering faith.
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  • As is the case in this story, this often involves our sexuality.
  • I wonder whether such compromises are more an attempt to alleviate pain rather than seeking pleasure.
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  • New Family Tensions (16:4b-6).

4 When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. (Gen. 16:4b)

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5Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my servant in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the LORD judge between you and me.” (Gen. 16:5)

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6“Your servant is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her. (Gen. 16:6)

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  • From the human point of view, it would seem that everyone has an injustice to complain about.

11“May the wrong done me be upon you!” (Gen. 16:11)

6“She is your maid; do what is right in your own eyes.” (Gen. 16:6)

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  • From God’s perspective, everyone has been hurt.
  • No one has exercised faith; everyone shares in the wrong- doing.
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  • Does God helps those who help themselves?
  • Absolutely!
  • He has to come to our rescue and intervene because of the mess we make when we help ourselves!
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  • God’s Help (16:7-16).
    • Sought by an Angel (16:7-8)

7The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. (Gen. 16:7)

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8And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered. (Gen. 16:8)

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  • For the first time in the Bible the “angel of the LORD” appears.

8“Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” (Gen. 16:8)

8“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered. (Gen. 16:8)

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  • Blessed by the Angel (16:9-12).

9Then the angel of the LORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” (Gen. 16:9)

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  • New Family Tensions (16:4b-6).
    • Basically the angel tells her to go home and submit to your mistress.

10The angel added, “I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count.” (Gen. 16:10)

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11The angel of the LORD also said to her: “You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery. (Gen. 16:11)

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12He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.” (Gen. 16:12)

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  • Seen By the LORD (16:13-16).

13She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (Gen. 16:13)

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14That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi ; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.

15So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. (Gen. 16:14-15)

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16Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael. (Gen. 16:16)

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  • Hagar’s obedience is seen not only in the act of her return, but also in the fact that Abram names the child with the divinely given name.
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  • In our culture she might have chosen abortion as a way to erase the memory of her abuse, but instead she chose life.
  • The story concludes with the report of Abram’s age.
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  • One wonders what would have happened if Sarai hadn’t have acted hastily.
  • But the good news is that despite our wrong choices the God of grace will intervene to redeem.
  • Thank God, that He helps those who help themselves.
faith of abraham part 6 genesis 16 1 16 11 01 2009 dr dane boyles
“Faith of Abraham – Part 6”Genesis 16:1-1611/01/2009Dr. Dane Boyles