Posted by: springsinthedesert | October 7, 2009

Running Away From Trials

The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered. Then the angel of the LORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count.”

              Genesis 16: 7-9

 Hagar was one of the inspiration to name this blog “springs in the desert”. I am always fascinated by the desert and the oasis in them. What a relief it would be for a traveller to see the spring in the middle of a scorching desert. Let me briefly explain the context of the above verses. Hagar is an Egyptian maid servant of Sarai, Abraham’s wife. In Genesis 12, we read that Abraham and Sarai had to move to Egypt as there were a great famine in the place where they were dwelling and Hagar might have been the maid servant they brought from Egypt as they moved out of Egypt( Genesis 12:11-20).

When God promised Abraham a son, he was seventy five years old. Even after 10 years, the promise was not fulfilled and Sarai could not wait any longer. She took things in her own hand and decided “to help God out” by giving her maid servant to Abraham…with the hope that the children Hagar bears will be hers. In those times, such practices were not considered illegal and many in the world did the same. But that was not God’s plan and promise for Abraham. It is so true that when you go out of God’s will, you will end up in a state of bitterness which will make you think “Oh I should not have done that”. The same thing happened with Sarai..When Hagar received something that Sarai had been waiting for years, she started despising her mistress. Waiting for a promised child, seeing  the maidservant pregnant and also the guilty feeling of acting against the will of God made Sarai burst out one day and she complained to Abraham. When Abraham gave her the full responsibility to handle Hagar, Sarai decided to mistreat her. Hagar could not take it any longer and she fled from there.

My attention is not on the things that happened with Hagar before she came to the wilderness, near the springs in the desert, on the way to Shur, but on the things that are about to happen. Shur is a place in the border of Egypt. so we can assume that she might have been going back home to Egypt. Sitting near that spring, she must be thinking “It  is true that I despised my mistress Sarai few times, but everything that has happened was not my fault…I have listened to everything she said and acted accordingly…and now she started mistreating me which I cannot take any longer…I am running  back home.” When Hagar was brought from Egypt, she had only one hope…to serve her mistress and family…but she is about to meet the God of Abraham who takes care of even his neglected maidservant. What a mighty God we serve!!!

The angel of the Lord exactly knew where she was sitting and called her by name. In those times, maid servants will be addressed only as a “servant”…but the God of Abraham, called her by name. I love the two questions, God asked…”Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” As if God did not know that!!! There is a reason behind that question. It gave her the time to think and confess her current situation and life in a short sentence. Hagar, you are bought from Egypt for a price and placed in Abraham’s family for a purpose..may be to know the God of Abraham more in your life…do not think it was just coincidence and destiny…God asked her to go back and submit herself to Sarai, her mistress. He very well knew the condition of her heart and so he encouraged her with a promise about her child. Near that spring, that day, God promised that her child is going to be a son, with the name Ishmael and also told her about his future. For a mother , it is just amazing to know the gender of the child, the name and also the future ,God has planned for him, even before the birth. So she named the God, “the one who sees me” and called that well “Beer-Lahoi-Roi” which means “the well of him that lives and sees me”.

Egypt resembles our past life, our sinful nature. Today, are you at the wilderness, on the way to Egypt. Are you running away from the troubles of life? You are bought from Egypt by paying a price, to be in the family of God. You are in that situation for a purpose. Please do not run away back to Egypt. The God who sees Hagar, sees you…your exact position. He is asking you two questions “Where did you come from” and “where are you going”. We are called to walk with Jesus and possess the promised land and not to run back to Egypt. We are always so quick to run away from troubles and pain and from relationships that are not ideal. In some cases, God allows such in the case of Moses. But other times, God expects us to endure hardship and harshness in life , for a higher more redemptive purpose.

That spring in that desert was a turning point in Hagar’s life. She realized her mistake there in that wilderness. She experienced the God who cared for her. She got a direction in her life and also received a promise from God. Today, God sees you in your wilderness..He is standing next to you to give you hope and direction. He will encourage you with promises.  Jesus  alone can satisfy your thirst. Let that spring be a place of change for you too, like Hagar and me.

In Him,

Rani John


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: