‌*Below is Pastor Andrew’s teaching outline from Sunday’s sermon, not a word for word manuscript. This is meant as aid in seeing the thought and direction of the sermon.

The Folly of Man (1-6)

Genesis 16:1–6

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife. And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the Lord judge between you and me!” But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.

The Problem: Sarai remains Barren (And blames God)

-Following the covenant of 15 we are reminded that Sarai is still Barren

-For many women infertility can be a great burden and struggle.

-Each of the 3 patriarchs will have wives who struggle with infertility

-Sarai, Rebecca and Rachel

-In each of their cases it is the Lord who is seen as the source of their fertility. He is the one who will bring them children.

-Sarai Blames God as the source of her barrenness

(In her mind if the promise was meant to be fulfilled by here why hasn’t God done it yet)

Chapter 15 doesn’t say how Abram will receive his offspring, but it is well implied that Sarai would be the source as she is his wife when the promise is given.

(We can lean into this for a moment and feel the weight of her agony, we can sympathize with her)

Transition: Into her pain she comes up with a solution.

The Plan: Take Her Maid Servant as a wife

-Sarai comes up with a plan to solve here disgrace (She will give Hagar to Abram)

-Common practice in the ANE

-In our modern context you could think surrogacy

-It was very culturally acceptable, and in many cases preferable

-Throughout the exchange of the first 6 verse Abram and Sarai will never refer to Hagar by here name: she is always the maid servant/ or slave girl.

-Hagar is seen as a means to an end

-Hagar is an Egyptian probably given top Sarai when she was wife to Pharaoh in Egypt back in chapter 12

-The text purposely strips her of here identity in relation to Abram and Sarai (This is key to the back half of the chapter) While the narrator tells us here identifying information it does not originate from either Sarai or Abram.

-Any Son born to Hagar would be Sarai’s son culturally. She would be seen as the mother unless otherwise planned

Now when we look at the text the Hebrews has a very specific set of words that immediately clue us into the fact that this is a bad plan, and the actions being taken are not wise:

Genesis 16:3

So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife.

The language here takes us back to the garden and the temptation of eve.

-Here again though there is no serpent present the same questions remains: Did God really say?

-She can’t see how this could be possible, so she takes and gives to her husband

-WHo in this text is seen as consuming Hagar.

-There is nothing in the text to connect that their is any type of emotional attachment that comes with this union, it is purely transactional.

-Yet through their scheming, Hagar does conceive , and then it all comes crashing down:

Paul will use this story allegorically in Galatians to highlight the difference between trying to achieve salvation through your own power vs trusting in the Promise of God?

We see this clearly in the text, and ultimately the fallout is much the same as when we try to achieve salvation on our own.

The Fallout: Hagar-Pregnant, Sarai angry & Bitter, Abram removes himself from the problem

-Hagar become pregnant and in so doing losing respect for Sarai,

-Multiple reasons are given for her reaction:

She feels superior to Sarai since she has conceived

She feels contempt for what Sarai has made her endure

She feels Like she should be a true wife

-The text though does not give us any more information than that Sarai had become dishonorable to her.

-This was event though leads to Sarai’s great anger

Sarai demands a legal remedy from God

-Charges Abram as the source of her problems

-She gave her servant to him (Literally the text states into his lap)

-IN SO doing proving that the infertility was with her and not Abram

-And now she has turned on Sarai ( As if this was his plan)

-She demands a verdict as to who is in the wrong.

-Here calling on God not to give her a child but to judge who is to blame for their current circumstances.

-This is the 2nd time we have seen Sarai charge God with a type of Wrong doing. He has made here barren and now when clearly the actions taken were contrary to the promise she wants God to declare her actions valid and Abram to be the guilty party.

-This is not a great moment for Sarai, yet Abram doesn’t even deal with it, he just passes the whole problem off on to her to deal with.

-He in this moment wipes his hands of the whole situation, but asking Sarai to deal with her “rightly”

-The text alludes to the fact that he gives Hagar back to Sarai’s command and no longer as a wife, with the charge to do right by her.

-However Sarai does no such thing,

-The words chosen fro how she will treat Hagar echoes the words of

Genesis 15

and the book of Exodus of how the Israelite slaves were treated by the Egyptians.

-Up to this point in the text the early Israelties were being reminded of the great things God had done promising the land and

-Here though they come face to face with the reality that the family they come from isn’t any different from the ones they were just freed from.

-Thus why the law of moses has so many qualifiers for treating slaves with mercy and justice, They are not to be treated harshly, They are also called to treat sojourners and foreigners with hospitality and kindness.

-The treatment is not just being mean to her, she was acting in a way that made her fear for the life of her child, thus she leaves.

-It was not a small thing to run away

-She was leaving her source of protection

-She was leaving the only stability she had

-A pregnant women in that era world be the most vulnerable on the wilderness trails, and yet we see she feels this is her only recourse

Yet here again is the great testament to our God for this is not where the story ends. God is merciful. He is with the broken and cast off, He is with those who have no hope.

And so the scene changes in our text to wilderness (A place not too unfamiliar to our Israelite sojourners)

And here we come face to face with the Angel of the Lord and the Mercy of God

The Mercy of God (7-16)

Genesis 16:7–16


The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” And the angel of the Lord said to her, “Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has listened to your affliction. He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.” So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered. And Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.

The Angel of the Lord

-Here in Chapter 16 we get the first glimpse of a very important figure throughout the OT: 48 times (

-6 times in

Genesis 4

times here and then in the account of Abraham sacrificing Isaac in ch 22

-Chapter 16 illustrates the ambiguity of the angel’s identity.

He speaks in first person as God himself (v. 10), and

both the narrator and Hagar’s speech identify the angel as the Lord God (v. 13)

. He also is identified as the Lord when he calls from heaven to rescue young Isaac (22:11, 15). (NAC 188)

-The Term angel simply means messenger, and here as elsewhere it is tied directly to the Name of the LORD, The Personal emmisary of God to Man

-We will see him also called the Angel of God in the second Hagar narrative in Chapter 21.

-So here into our text we see the first appearance of what has historically been the name given to the pre incarnate Christ, and he doesn’t appear to Abram or Sarai. The first record appearance is to a pregnant slave girl running away from her cruel mistress to a land she has long since been away from.

And the first words out of his mouth are her name.

-Let that sit. Now one has called here by name up to this point besides the narrator. To here master and mistress she is but a slave girl, a maid servant, but here the angel of the Lord calls her by name.

-The Lord knows Hagar, He has a word fro Hagar, he has care for Hagar

-Into the violence and fear of everything going on around here, the God of Abram speaks to her

-We’ve seen this before, another reminder that God is not just the God of Israel. Even here to an Egyptian slave he comes and brings hope.

-And so he speaks to her her name and asks the rhetorical questions where is she going (The last two times God asked people questions like this they were quick to cast blame or shift topics, but here she answers straight forward. She is a runaway slave)

-Here though he does something that modern audience may not appreciate: He tells her to go back to here mistress.

-The Hebrew literally states to return to her harsh treatment. (THE ESV softens the language)

-But in so doing though he giver her a promise (I will multiply your offspring)

The promise is worth the suffering

Christ entered into suffering for the promise of Salvation

-He sends her back with a similar promise given to Abram.

-He doesn’t send her back empty handed in doing so he is promising her his protection and the future of her child

The language again echoes the same words given to Abram of offspring beyond measure.

-Again having children is a driving force in the culture of the day and having many was seen as the blessing of God and security for yourself and your family.

-He then continues into a poetic prophecy about this Son: Language New testament audience may be familiar with, but not given here to the promise one but to his brother.

-Work through the promise and some significance

God Named:

-Following the pronouncement Hagar speaks and give the Lord a name: El Roi: The God who sees

-The name echoes the fact that she was not ignored, God has seen her

Not only that She has beheld God, She has seen the divine and he has seen her

The well reflects the presence of God with man, and his grace towards them

Conclusion of 16:

-Hagar bears Abram a son, not Sarai

-Sarai is absent from this occasion and by Abram naming Ishmael he is seen as a true son

-God is merciful to Hagar and gives Abram a son

-Though he will not be the promised son he will be cared fro by God as we will see late rin Genesis:


-We can not achieve salvation on our own, but rather through faith in the God who sees,

-Through even in our mess God is faithful and merciful,

-We who are needy and cast off have a Lord who sees, he is not distant he is near

-He calls us to trust in his promises and that he is a God of his word

-Hagar believes God’s promise

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