Taking A Second Look At Hagar

Today I spent time studying about the women of the wells in the Bible. There are common threads that run through their stories. A thought that inspired me to look deeper into this subject was, “the Holy Spirit was waiting to meet these women at these wells.” So as I looked at some of the different accounts, one thing kept tugging on my heart. It was the uniqueness of Hagar’s “TWO” experiences with God at wells.

Even Hagar’s name was something that somewhat baffles my emotions. Hagar was the slave servant of Sarai, Abram’s wife. No I didn’t misspell it. Hagar the Egyptian girl was in the picture before they became Abraham and Sarah. They each had TWO Bible names and if you look at it closely, Hagar had NONE.

Kinda like in the old Tarzan movies, his son’s name was “boy” only because he was a boy. In Hagar’s case, her Bible name is a description of what she is, not who she is. Hagar, Ha -“the” gar -“resident alien.”

But Hagar becomes more that just “the resident alien” servant slave of Sarai while her name is still Sarai. Hagar becomes the “wife” of Abram.

Genesis 16:3  And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

Genesis 16:3 wife in Strong’s Concordance – H802 Transliterated – ‘ishshah nashiym, first used in the Bible in Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother,and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Hagar had no rights even to her own body. It was “given” by it’s owner Sarai to fulfill her own self condemnation for failing to provide an heir to Abram. So how exactly can you be a servant slave to the wife of your own husband? Not very easily as Hagar would soon find out.

There are only 3 women in the Bible that God spoke to and gave them a promise concerning the child they would bare. Hagar, the mother of Samson and Mary the mother of Jesus.

The Angel of the Lord reveals the future of Hagar’s unborn baby to her: The 1st meeting with God,

Genesis 16:11-12 “The angel of the LORD also said to her: ‘You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael [which means ‘God hears’], for the LORD has heard of your misery. He 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.'”

Hagar Names God – Genesis 16:13-14 And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?

14 Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

Beer-lahai-roi: “the well of him that liveth and seeth me,” El Roi: “The God Who Sees Me”

In his book Angels, Billy Graham writes: “The angel spoke as an oracle of God, turning her mind away from the injury of the past with a promise of what she might expect if she placed her faith in God. This God is the God not only of Israel but the God of the Arabs as well (for the Arabs come from the stock of Ishmael). The very name of her son, ‘Ishmael,’ meaning ‘God hears,’ was a sustaining one. God promised that seed of Ishmael would multiply and that his destiny would be great on the Earth as he now undertook the restless pilgrimage that was to characterize his descendants. The angel of the Lord revealed Himself as the protector of Hagar and Ishmael.”

Hagar’s 2nd Meeting With God,

Genesis 21:14-21 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.

16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.

17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.

18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. 19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.

20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. 21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.

So what are we to learn concerning the life that was dealt a young Egyptian girl who had no idea what she was getting herself into when she agreed to be the servant slave in the house of Abraham, the called out one of God?

I think this Bible account teaches us that even if life has dealt us what “looks like” a bad hand don’t give up hope. Hagar is described for the most part as a humble and submissive servant slave. We aren’t told that she schemed against Sarah or tried to entice Abraham in any way. When they put her out, she left without a fuss being told of. This story reminds me of a verse from the Prophet Isaiah. God tells us that he dwells in only certain places. He isn’t found with the proud and arrogant. In Deuteronomy God tells Israel to keep their camp clean if they want Him to walk amongst them,

Deuteronomy 23:14  For the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and give your enemies over to you; therefore your camp shall be holy, that He may see no unclean thing among you, and turn away from you.

In Isaiah God states plainly where He can be found,

Isaiah 57:15-18  For thus says the High and Lofty One
Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
To revive the spirit of the humble,
And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
16 For I will not contend forever,
Nor will I always be angry;
For the spirit would fail before Me,
And the souls which I have made.
17 For the iniquity of his covetousness
I was angry and struck him;
I hid and was angry,
And he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.
18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him;
I will also lead him,
And restore comforts to him
And to his mourners.

If you think you are doing God a favor by serving Him, loose that attitude asap. If you have drifted away from Him and have picked back up some of the bad habits that He Graciously delivered you from, REPENT!! Turn back to God with all your heart. You haven’t committed the unpardonable sin even if that’s what satan is telling you.

Eventually you will come to your senses like the prodigal son of Luke 15 and realize it’s much better to be the servant slave to a Loving and Dear Heavenly Father than to a cruel and destructive one like Satan. Satan “enslaves” his captives in the bondage of sins. Sins that once brought pleasure will eventually bring nothing but sorrow, shame, guilt, no more pleasure and only the dread of their consequences.

Jesus told us about the depth of love someone can have towards God after He delivers them from a multitude of sins. I too had to learn the hard way to love God this deeply,

Luke 7:41-48 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”

And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

My prayer for you is that you too come to deeply love “The God Who Sees”


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