Wednesday, January 20, 2010
But Hagar did not benefit from being from the mighty empire. She was a slave. From the underclass.
I imagine she was given to Abraham when he was in Egypt. She may have been attractive, since she was probably a slave in the Pharoah's household. But that did not give her any great benefit.
She had no say in the decisions made about her. She served in Pharoah's court. Then she was summarily yanked away and placed in Abram's control. Not consulted. When Abram left Egypt, she probably never saw her family again. Nobody cared. She had virtually no rights. Not to her life. Not to her time. Not to her own body.
She becomes a bit player in the story of Abram. He and his wife get tired of waiting for God's provision of the promised heir.
Sarah offers her to Abram. Did he enjoy having sex with her? Doesn't say. Her feelings are not considered. She gets pregnant. The child belongs, not to her, but to her masters.
Ends up she gets "uppity" once she is pregnant and her beautiful mistress is not. It bothers Sarah. Sarah appeals to Abram. Abram says, "She is yours to do with as you wish."
Sarah sends her away - into the desert - pregnant and penniless!
Here is the part of the story that hit me...
7 "The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 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.
9 Then the angel of the LORD told her, "Go back to your mistress and submit to her." 10 The angel added, "I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count."
11 The angel of the LORD also said to her:
"You are now with child
and you will have a son.
You shall name him Ishmael, [a]
for the LORD has heard of your misery.
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone's hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
toward [b] all his brothers."
13 She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen [c] the One who sees me." 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi [d] ; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.
15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael."
God cares about the lonely. The hopeless. The disenfranchised. The outcast. The poor.
That is what struck me today...