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Intro: Abraham may have been the father of the faithful, but His family life was a shambles! Ill. The context of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar and Ishmael. According to Gen. 16, this arrangement did nothing but cause trouble for Abraham, Sarah and Hagar. Sarah was jealous of Hagar and her baby; Hagar was jealous of Sarah and her relationship with Abraham; poor Abraham is caught in the middle trying to please two women.
In our text, things have come to head. There is all out civil war in Abraham’s tent. As a result, Hagar finds herself in a desperate situation. In the midst of that terrible time, she has a powerful, personal encounter with Almighty God. Out of Hagar’s pain comes a ray of hope for all those who find themselves in the hard, harsh places of life.
I want you to see that God can take your hopeless situation and turn it around for His glory. I want to focus in on the question the Lord asks Hagar in verse 17, “What alieth thee? If you have an ailment, regardless of what it may be, God has a word of hope for you in these verses.
A. v. 9-10 The Reasons For This Rejection Ishmael was mocking and making fun of Isaac and the festivities. (Ill. The word mocking is a strong form of the word Isaac, which means laughter.) Ishmael saw all his hopes of inheritance dashed in Isaac. He knew that Isaac was the son of promise and that he was just the son of a slave. So he is jealous of Isaac and he acts out during the feast. Sarah sees this and blows her stack and demands that Hagar and Isaac be sent away!
B. v. 11-14 The
Realities Of This Rejection Abraham is reluctant, but God tells him
that this is part of His plan for Isaac and for Ishmael. For Abraham, this is
as real as it gets! He is forced to send away his oldest son and that sons
mother. It broke Abrahams heart to have to send them away. Ill. Hard morning for Abraham, a worse coming!
all know that life can be just like that at times. We are enjoying ourselves
one moment and the next; we are on the bottom, looking up, wondering how we got
down here. This life is filled with hard realities and heartbreaking moments.
Sickness comes; people die; relationships fall apart; depression rears its
head; difficulties arise; troubles dog our steps. That is the reality of life!
II. v. 15-16 IT WAS A TIME OF HOPELESS REALITIES
A. v. 15 There
Were Problems The water ran out, the sun beat down and Hagar gave up!
B. v. 16 There
Was Pain Hagars heart is broken. She is sure Ishmael is going to
C. v. 16-17 There
Was Prayer Hagar may have prayed: Ishmael certainly did. God heard
him and moved to help him. (
Here’s the truth: Problems are going to come in our lives. When they do, they
will come unwanted and unannounced. When they come, they will hurt us deeply at
times. When they come, we must not delay, but we must run to the Lord. He will
hear us and He will help us. He may change the situation, more often; He will
change us in the situation,
III. v. 17-21 IT WAS A TIME OF HIDDEN RESOURCES
A. v. 12-13 God’s
Providence God had a plan in all of this. (Ill Ishmael represented
the efforts of the flesh and he had to go, so the son of faith, Isaac, might
obtain his rightful place.) The pain and suffering was part of Gods plan. (
B. v. 17a God’s
Presence She didnt know it, but God had been there the whole time. (
C. v. 17b God’s
Peace Called by name/ concerned about her problem/ spoke peace. (
D. v. 18 God’s Promise Ill. He may not make you a great nation, but He will take care of you Matt. 6:25-34; Phil. 4:19; Psa. 37:25.
E. v. 19 God’s
Provision He opened her eyes and showed her what had been right in
front of her all along!
Conc: What aileth thee? Bring it to the Father today!