In Genesis 16 and Genesis 21:8-21, we come across the story of Hagar. Hagar was the slave girl of Sarai (later Sarah), who was the wife of Abram (later Abraham). God had promised Abraham and Sarah that they would have a child and He would make of them a great nation. But they were very, very old and not quite sure they could bear a baby. Abraham and Sarah believed God but their faith sometimes wavered and doubt often clouded their hope. After a long time of waiting, their promised child had still not arrived and Sarah decided to take matters into her own hands. She told her husband to take Hagar and have a baby by her. As soon as Hagar became pregnant with her son called Ishmael, Sarah began to treat her badly and Hagar fled from her mistress’ abuse. Alone in the wilderness, Hagar met the Angel of the Lord who encouraged her and gave her strength. Here is what we can learn from Hagar’s story.
1. Hagar ran. When Sarah began to mistreat her, the Bible does not say that Hagar tried to work things out between them or understand Sarah’s change of behavior toward her. It simply says that she fled.
The world is full of running people. We run from our problems, bad situations, difficulties, mistakes, and those who hurt us. Sometimes we run without knowing why we’re running or what we’re running to. We run because we want our situations to change or because we want to start over. But running never brings change; it doesn’t make our problems disappear. And the problem with Hagar’s running was that she did not know Who to run to. When life is mean to us and we feel the urge to run, we need to run to Jesus. He has the solution to every negative situation and He has the power to bring us the change we desire.
2. Hagar was heard by God. In the wilderness, Hagar was on her own. She probably felt abandoned, uncertain of her future and the future of her unborn child, and maybe wondered if she had made the right decision to run away from all she had known. However, God had not forgotten her. God saw her. God heard her. And He answered her. Not only once did this happen to Hagar. Thirteen years after she gave birth to Ishmael, Hagar had to leave Abraham and Sarah again, but this time for good. Again she went to the wilderness and soon her and her son were without food and water. Ishmael was near death and Hagar wept. Again God saw her distress, again He heard her cries, and again He answered her. God showed Hagar that He cared for her by providing her needs and He promised to make of Ishmael a great nation.
God will do the same for you too. He sees the tough spot you are in and sees how some people may mistreat or bully you. God knows exactly how you feel. He hears your prayers. Just as God heard the affliction of Hagar, He hears your affliction and He will answer you. Do not give up hope. God has promised to never leave or forsake you and that is a promise that cannot be broken.