Conniving Women, Spineless Men, and God's Kind of Sympathy.

Once upon a time a man named Abram was told by God himself that he'd be a big deal. Notorious. And God promised him offspring. Lots and lots of really important offspring. I mean, like, God was going to bless him big.

The problem was, time ticked on by, because God doesn't seem to be encumbered by the same clock we humans are, and Abram and his wife Sarai found themselves elderly folks in their nineties, the age when most of us are dead, and.... still no bundle of joy. And clearly, well... there's no maternity wing down at the old folks' home, know what I'm sayin'?

But Abram knew what he'd been promised. And Sarai knew what Abram had been promised. Should have gone without saying that as Abram's wife, God's promise would have been half hers... The trouble is, Sarai was a woman, and back in that day a woman's only value was in popping out offspring for their husbands. If they couldn't procreate, by gosh, women were worthless, and it was their duty to offer up one of their servants or somebody, some way, some how, to give birth to their husband's baby. And Sarai being a woman meant that she was intrinsically conniving and manipulative, like most women are {present company excluded, of course}. And she did what EVE did... and probably all women at one time or another since then... she questioned what God really said.

Did God really intend for ME to be the baby's momma? Because ... I think God only said something about Abram's offspring, not mine... So Sarai's faith faltered and she failed to wait for God to come through on His promise and failed to let her husband be the head of the family and connived to manipulate him to impregnate her maidservant, Hagar. And Abram, being intrinsically spineless like most men are {my own excluded, of course}, let his wife manipulate him and failed to wait for God and failed to stand up and be a real man and have some character and be faithful to Sarai {at least in this instance.} Shame on him. I mean, it was the custom of the day and all, but God's people should behave better than the rest of the world, AMEN?

Hagar has always sounded like 'Hag' to me, but whatever. I'm sure she was at least somewhat young and moderately attractive and in my mind should have been named something better than Hagar, but that's all beside the point; I didn't write the story.

Well, Hagar did indeed become pregnant, and as you can imagine tensions between the women escalated. Here Sarai was Abram's wife, with all the benefits of being married to Mr. Big, getting to live in the big tent, drive the LX 570, and eat lunch at the country club while sweaty, fat as a barn, and nauseated Hagar had to sleep in the servant's tent out back. Sarai resented Hagar and her growing belly, and Hagar resented Sarai having all the benefits of being the wife with none of this sweaty pregnancy hassle.

So Sarai had E.NOUGH. and went to Abram to FIX. THIS., and him being the spineless cowardly excuse for a man that he was, told Sarai that it wasn't HIS problem, and she could do whatever she wanted with Hagar because he had a tee time to get to.

So Sarai let the air out of Hagar's tires, left mean comments on her blog, and sent her hateful text messages in the middle of the night because that's what jealous, conniving, manipulative women do, and Hagar decided she had done had enough and took her pregnant self and LEFT. She came to a spring in the desert and while she was sitting there having a pity party and uploading this to her Facebook profile,

THE angel of the Lord heard her crying and came to help her. THE angel of the Lord, not just an angel of the Lord. There is an important difference, and you can research that if you want.

Now, if you'll notice... God had sympathy on Hagar. He heard her cries; here she was in a bad situation NOT of her own making, and God saw her there, trapped by the bad choices of a spineless man, and blessed her.

The angel of the Lord didn't say, "Oh, you poor thing! Let's go eat some ice cream and watch Lifetime movies all day and talk about all the ways men have done us wrong." NO, God's sympathy isn't like that.

"Look, put down the iPhone and listen to me," the angel said. "You need to suck it up, stop the Facebook man-bashing and get on back home. Submit to your master, because this is all going to be worth your while, I promise... but you do have to submit." So Hagar returned home and gave birth to Ishmael who became the father of all the middle eastern countries surrounding Israel.

And that, right there, is the whole point of this blog post: God heard her cries as she was trapped there in a situation she didn't create. God blessed her. God did NOT, however, encourage her to sit around and be depressed about her lot in life inflicted upon her because of a spineless man's bad choices (ahem). She could have been left to give birth out there in the desert where they both would have withered and died; but God heard her and came after her. And I love that about God. I've seen him do that over and over.


The story doesn't stop there though. Hagar's son, Ishmael? The Bible says

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 all his brothers.

Wild donkey? Hostility? Hand against everyone? Sound like any middle eastern countries surrounding Israel that you know of?

Remember how Abram and Sarai failed to trust God and wait for his timing and took things into their own hands and the end result was a baby named Ishmael?


Sins have consequences, some of them bigger than others with really bad consequences for the entire world for generations to come. So trust God, wait for his timing, and if you're tempted at all to impregnate your wife's hand maiden, just know that it would be best if you didn't.

The end.

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1 comment:

Marksgirl Tlb said...

We just read this story today! Although it didn't read quite the way you wrote it ;) the sentiment was still the same.

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