a covenant in crisis
A Covenant in Crisis!
Genesis 16: 8 … “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.
Have you ever been in a crisis - I mean a life or death crisis where everything was on the line? You had to make some tough decisions. You knew that one decision made or not made and your world would likely change forever. I feel like that’s the story of my life. I read a quote that said “We are all one decision away from a different life.” One choice can forever change the course of our lives.
In Genesis Chapter 16, Hagar, the slave of Sarai, was running. She was running from a decision that she made, but the consequence was unbearable, so she ran. She ran to get away from the known – seeking the unknown. She ran!
She was in crisis. She was hurt, disappointed and ready for her new unknown life. But as she was running she ran right into an angel of the Lord, who told her to go back and submit to her mistress. Wait? What? No… I imagine Hagar asking, “you see that I have been mistreated and you want me to go back to the very place that I have been mistreated, stay there and be content with the foolishness that made me want to run away?” And God answers… “Why yes, my child, that is what I want you to do.”
You see God had promised Sarai and Abram a child and not only that, but that their offspring would dominant the earth. However, Sarai was tired of waiting on God (that’s a“whole”nother blog post) and took matters into her own hands. She decided to have Hagar sleep with her husband, Abram, in order to conceive a child – the child of promise. The plan worked and Hagar became pregnant but she began to taunt Sarai because she was infertile. Long story, short, Sarai was upset and told Abram it was his fault. He placed Hagar in her hands and Sarai dealt with her harshly, so Hagar ran away.
Could Hagar have said no to Sarai? I’m sure. Could she just have run away when asked to sleep with another woman’s husband? I’m positive. But she stayed and complied and then when things got too far out of hand, she ran! Sounds like us, huh? Well let me make it personal. It sounds like me! Now this is the part where God’s grace can supersede any problem, situation, circumstance that we have gotten ourselves into. Aren’t you glad God can bless y(our) mess!? God, our loving father, meets Hagar in her place of wilderness. He asks her questions that He already knows the answers to; Where have you come from and Where are you going? (Genesis 16:8). Hagar replies… I am running.
Listen! I love her honesty! I love that she tells the angel of the Lord, I am running. We need to rest in our truths - rest in the place that we find ourselves in and become honest about how we came to that place. Hagar was running! Sis, are you running? Maybe from a different scenario, but running nonetheless. Perhaps you are running from your past, your grief, a husband, a job, a child. Confess to God like Hagar did that you are running. Many of us, yes I said, US, don’t want to confess because we don’t want to hear God’s answer. I was a little taken aback by the answer too. Go back! What? Wait? Huh? To that husband that I am trying to divorce; to that job that I hate? To that situation that is harsh and hard? And not only go back, but be obedient when you go back - submit. Say what? What you talking about, Willis? No sir! No ma’am! So many of us continue to run, because we don’t want to hear or obey God’s instruction.
But see God didn’t just send her back to that same place in the same way. He sends her back with covenant – with a promise that He gives directly to her, not from a prophet or medium, but from God’s mouth to her ears - the ears of a slave girl, Abram’s concubine. He says, I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count (Genesis 16:10). Have you heard that before? That is similar to the covenant that God made with Abraham (Genesis 15:5). I am so excited that in the midst of my crisis God creates covenant with me. God created covenant with a slave girl who had slept with a married man. God had a conversation with her, Himself. Are you shouting yet? Your situation is NEVER too bad, too impossible, too insurmountable for God! Take about 15 seconds to just shout right here!!!
We often try to hide from God when we have done some things that are wrong or against His will, but in Genesis 16:13, Hagar says you are the God that sees me (El roi) and she goes on to say, I have seen the one who sees me. Wow! Have you seen the one who sees you? Have you experienced the one who sees you? Do you know the one who sees you and yet still loves you? Sis, God sees that situation, that circumstance, that crisis. You don’t have to hide from Him. You can’t hide from Him! He sees you and yet just like He did with Hagar, He wants to come into covenant with you. He hasn’t forgotten you or any of the promises He’s made to you! Stop running from your problem and run to God. He’s waiting – arms wide open. Remember to Live in the RED! ~ Loved and Forgiven.
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