Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sarah and Hagar

Last night for Relief Society Meeting several sisters shared stories from the women of the Old Testament.

I was assigned to report on Sarah and Hagar.

Before I began my studies, I knew more about Sarah.

Earlier this year I posted THIS about Sarah.

       I knew that she married Abraham.

       That her name changed from Sarai to Sarah.

       When Sarah was unable to conceive she gave her handmaid, Hagar, to Abraham.

       Sarah was 90 when an angel of the Lord told her she would have a child, and, well, she laughed. (Um, wouldn’t you . . . okay, cry maybe??)

       With Abraham, Sarah begat Isaac, their only begotten son who would serve as a type and a shadow of the eternal and atoning sacrifice of the Father’s Only Begotten Son.

But what I learned about Hagar allowed my faith to deepen for our loving Heavenly Father who loves all His daughters – each of them, individually.

Hagar was an Egyptian servant, given as a dowry to Sarah.

Perhaps when she was given to Abraham, Sarah was hopeful that she (Sarah) would conceive a child before her.

However, after Hagar conceived, Sarah became very angry with her and vented to Abraham about her feelings. After all, Sara was the wife of the covenant!

Abraham (the good husband that he was), instructed Sarah to do with Hagar as she pleased. Whereupon Sarah sends Hagar away.

But here is one of the most important elements of this story – The Lord is aware of Hagar! He loves her! And in His love He sends an angel her way to teach her, to bless her and also to humble her.

The angel tells Hagar that she will have a son. His name would be Ishmael and that he would have 12 princes and would make a great nation. Furthermore, the angel instructs Hagar to return and “submit” herself to Sarah.

How difficult that must have been! But Hagar obeys.

By and by, Sarah is also blessed, because the Lord loves her, too! She has a son named Isaac who becomes the grandfather to the 12 tribes of Israel. And because of this Sarah now has ample reason to cast Hagar out forever.

The morning that Hagar and her young son Ishmael depart, the scriptures say that Abraham awoke early to give to them bread and a bottle of water. What a sweet and tender gesture by Abraham.

Hagar and Ishmael walk for a long while and find themselves hungry and thirsty. Hagar, not thinking of herself, prays that they can find just enough water for her son – so was willing to die.

But lo, and behold, an angel of the Lord appears again to Hagar and tells her everything is okay. The Lord is aware of her. Think of that! He is aware of HER when she is NOT the wife of the covenant!

And Hagar’s eyes are opened to see water and Ishmael does grow to raise 12 nations.

So from the loins of Abraham springs two great nations. Nations that are in conflict even today.

And I believe that even amidst that conflict, the Lord loves each of us individually and divinely.  I know He will come to our aid whether we are in or out of the "covenant!"

1 comment:

  1. You always amaze me girl! Thanks for my spiritual boost today! Love ya!