Sunday, February 26th
7 The 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, slave-girl of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?’ She said, ‘I am running away 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 so greatly multiply your offspring that they cannot be counted for multitude.’ 11And the angel of the Lord said to her,
‘Now you have conceived and shall bear a son;
you shall call him Ishmael,*
for the Lord has given heed to your affliction.
12 He shall be a wild ass of a man,
with his hand against everyone,
and everyone’s hand against him;
and he shall live at odds with all his kin.’
13So she named the Lord who spoke to her, ‘You are El-roi’;* for she said, ‘Have I really seen God and remained alive after seeing him?’* 14Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi;* it lies between Kadesh and Bered.
15 Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
Genesis 16:7-15, A Reflection, of sorts
When Polly asked me to write a reflection on Genesis 16:7-15, my first reactions was “Hmmm? I don’t know that one.” Then I read the verses, and I thought “Wow, I have no idea how to reflect on this. What does it even mean?”
So, I did a little research and found out that what these verses are discussing mainly centers around both obedience and sticking it out when things get tough. O.K. Those are two things I can talk about.
Obedience might be the tougher of the two. When we are being obedient to God, often times, we are going against what is generally acceptable to society. What God
wants us to do, we will usually want to do and know that it is the right thing to do , but it is at times much easier to ignore God’s commands and follow along with the pull of society.
Which leads perfectly two the second point: sticking it out when things get tough. I have run two marathons. I like to think of myself as an endurance athlete. I know a thing or two about sticking it out when things get tough. But, I often times find it easier to run a lot of miles than it is to do something that goes against the norm of society. And once things get hard, I find it easier to give up than to see it through to the end.
The articles that I found online to discuss these verses dealt mainly with marriage and divorce. How long could you be obedient, both to your spouse and to God, and how long would you stick it out before giving up on love and marriage. Well, as a single man, I feel I might not be an expert in that category. But, I do know a thing or two about sticking it out. I feel that where this verse is calling me is my “Lenten sacrifices.”
If you don’t like discussing your religion or faith, it will probably be hard to give something up for Lent. Especially alcohol. Last year was the first year I gave up alcohol for Lent. Man, people ask a LOT of questions. Sometimes, I found it easier to brush the questions away than to stand up and represent my faith. When God tells Hagar to go back, I can sympathize with what must be her internal struggle. “All these people will know,” she might have been thinking. For me, that leads to “what will they think?”
My goal this lent is to be obedient to my sacrifices and to God, and to stick it out for 40 days. More so, though, to do this because I want to be pleasing to God, knowing that when I make my sacrifices, they are nothing like the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made.
By Adam Bogucki