Monday, October 08, 2007

Genesis 16:10 -- A Promise to Hagar?

Genesis 16:10: Moreover, the angel of the Lord said to her, “I will greatly multiply your descendents so that they shall be too many to count.”

Wait a minute. Is not this the kind of promise that God made to Abram in Genesis 15:5? And we know that that promise was to come through Abram and Sarai, not Hagar. Yet, God’s Angel is now telling Hagar that her descendents will be “too many to count”.

Hagar was asked to return to her mistress and submit to her authority and we can only assume that she was willing, knowing it was the right thing to do. Now the Angel encourages her in that most difficult task by sharing the mercy God will show her and her offspring for generations to come.

Was God putting less emphasis on His original plan like politicians who change their minds? No. What about His original promise to Abram? It still stands. Was the plan changing? No. Why did God do that? We don’t know. We can only surmise and many have done just that.

I like to think that how God treated Hagar is just one more indication or foretelling of how He planned to treat the world beyond Abram and his seed. One thing we know for sure and that is that Abram could not go to God and complain about the fact that a similar promise was made to Hagar.

None of us have the right to see others get less of a blessing if God so chooses to bless them. God will keep His promises to us, but He has the right to make similar promises and blessings on others, even with fewer conditions attached. That’s a lesson many of us do not easily accept.

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