Day 1: What Were You Thinking?
God things come to those who wait: "Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31).
The scripture basis for this lesson is Genesis 16:1-4.
1. "Now" what was happening in the lives of Abraham and Sarah?
They had waited for 10 more years for God to fulfill His promise to give them a son.
2. Describe the new character introduced in our study.
Hagar was Sarah's maidservant. She was from a foreign land, and was not given many rights in their society.
3. Who did Sarah blame for her infertility? Do you think she was justified? Share a Scripture to support your theory.
She blamed God for her infertility. I'm sure she was frustrated, but justified? I don't think so! I think a great scripture to support my theory is one presented preceding this lesson: Isaiah 40:31.
4. What do you learn about Sarah from the solution she offered?
She wasn't willing to wait on the Lord's timing and plan. She was willing to do anything, including having her husband sleep with another woman, to get what she wanted and felt she deserved. She did not trust the Lord to keep His promises.
5.a. How did Abraham respond to this plan?
He was all for it!
b. What insight into him does this give you?
He was human, like any man offered a woman to take to bed! LOL He, too, wasn't willing to wait and let God do what God said He would do.
6. Recount the outcome of this plan and how it affected Hagar.
She did become pregnant, and lost even more in doing so. She was no longer a maidservant, and was cast out of relating to Sarah and despised by her. She gained a son, but lost respect and friendship.
7. Hagar had no choice in becoming a maidservant. As believers, Christ asks us to become servants by choice. Jesus said,"If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all" (Mark 9:35).
a. List some ares where you come in first and some in which you are last.
I'm last in anything that involves sports! I'm first in singing, maybe...and ability to make friends.
b. Now rewrite Mark 9:35 into a personal prayer of humility.
Dear Lord, if I am to be first in your eyes, then I must place myself as last in everything else. If I place others before me and you at the top of my list, then I will be given Your glory in Heaven!
8. Sarah wanted the right thing but went about it the wrong way. Make a list of things you've done or witnessed that were done with good intentions but produced bad results.
Desire a husband---had too many relationships that I let go too far
Desire a job-----called people that I shouldn't have
Desire people be treated equally----overstepped my bounds verbally, hurt feelings.
Desire friends, attention-----gossiped
9. When Hagar got what Sarah wanted, she felt she had the upper hand. Later this got Hagar into a lot of trouble. Its easy to put people down when things are going our way. Journal about a time when this was true of you.
I can't honestly think of a time right now...I'll come back and write about this when one comes to mind!
The chapter ends with a quote by Paul Ehrich:
Before you can cure the diseases of the body, you must cure the diseases of the soul--greed, ignorance, prejudice, and intolerance.