Genesis 16 tells the account of Sarai and Hagar. Sarai was impatient about not having any children so she thought it would be a good idea for Abraham to have a child with her maidservant, Hagar. It was customary back then for whatever the servant had, was actually the master’s. So Sarai could technically have a child through her servant. So Abram listened to his wife and had a child with Hagar. Well, as you can guess, in reality, that didn’t work out so well. Sarai rushed God’s plan. She thought that she knew better.
Isn’t that like us sometimes? We think that God isn’t moving fast enough or we think that we know better and so we act, usually rashly and irrationally. We don’t think through the situation and wait for God’s plan to be revealed to us.
But that’s hard to know. How do we know when we are supposed to act and when are we supposed to wait? Here are some Bible verses that I like to read when I’m going through a difficult time and I feel like I’m in a state of waiting.
Psalm 27:14 – “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
Isaiah 40:31 – “Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”
Waiting can be a very good thing! Waiting is when we gain strength. But how? Do we just do nothing while we’re waiting? No!
Read the following verses:
Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Matthew 6:33-34 – “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Proverbs 16:3 – “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”
Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
While we wait, we are to pray and stay in God’s Word. We are to be in a close relationship with God trusting that He is working everything out for our good. He wants what’s best for us. God knows what’s best.
The problem is, we can’t actually hear God speaking to us, I mean audibly hear Him. That’s why we need to be in His Word, that’s how He speaks to us. I believe that He uses other people to speak to us as well.
Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
Just make sure that the people that you are listening to are godly advisers, looking for what God wants and says, not just saying what you want to hear.
Waiting can be difficult, almost excruciating sometimes. It feels as though God left you alone to deal with your problems or plans. Just remember the last words that Jesus said, in Matthew 28:20, before He ascended into heaven, “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” That is a comfort to us that He is always with us and will never leave us.
Sarai didn’t wait for God’s plan, she thought she needed to intervene. Some people might think that she gets a bad rap. She waited, just not long enough. How was Sarai to know how long to wait and that she wasn’t supposed to do something? The problem with Sarai’s decision, was that she didn’t do it God’s way. She had her husband sleep with another woman in order to have a baby. Do you think that was God’s plan? No! God told Sarai that SHE would have a baby, not her maidservant. By Sarai not doing things God’s way, she created problems that are still continuing today. That’s why we need to be in God’s Word while we are waiting, so that we can line up what we think God wants us to do with His Word.
Wait, pray, stay in His Word, and then you’ll have your answer. Just be open to what His plans are, not yours.
3 thoughts on “Waiting on the Lord: A Lesson from Sarai and Hagar (Genesis 16)”
This was a very good explanation of this chapter.
Very educative indeed!
Thank you for this, May god bless you all ❣