Genesis 16

Review & Remarks: Since Abram is a wealthy man, old in years, and without a bloodline heir, his wife Sarai, who is barren up unto this point offers her Egyptian maidservant Hagar to him to conceive a child (vv. 1-3) … And so it goes, Hagar gets pregnant and a natural animosity is born between Sarai and Hagar (v. 4) … Sarai confesses her wrong to to Abram in conceiving, both in plan and execution. (v. 5) … Sarai deals “harshly” with Hagar, sending her away (v. 6) … At that time, childbearing was the mark of a successful woman, one favored by the LORD … In her estrangement, an Angel of the Lord meets Hagar telling her to obediently return to Abram’s estate. She will bear a son, Ishmael, whose descendents will be innumerable (vv. 7-11) … Ishmael’s disposition is wild, not the peaceful sort (v. 12) … Ishmael is the Arabs forefather, those “ites” in the OT … Hagar encounters God at a water well between Kadesh and Bered (vv. 13-14) … At the age of 88, Abram becomes a father, Hagar bears him a son, Ishmael (vv. 15-16) … Later (Gen. 21:9-21), after the birth of Isaac, Hagar and Ishmael are cast out for good … This is the start of our present day peace difficulties in the Middle East … Muhammad, founder of Islam, says the Arabs are favored. His claim is based on Ishmael as the first born heir to YHWH’s covenant with Abram (Gen. 12:1-3, 14-18, 15:1-6) … This saga seems strange to us looking at it around 4000 years later. However, it closely follows the precepts of the Code of Hammurabi, the conduct/law code of Mesopotamia, the homeland of Abram (Gen. 11:27-28) … Judaism/Christianity also claims the heir’s of Abraham through the birth of Isaac (Gen. 21:1-8), claiming his birth legitimate and Ishmael’s birth illegitimate … The viewpoint of each is easily understood… Sarai’s scheme has begot complications … God has used these descendents of Ishmael to discipline Israel up to the present hour … Some of their encounters have been God endorsed, many sections of the OT says as much. Others, based simply on their hatred of Jews, are not endorsed by God … Knowing exactly where the LORD’s will ends and human-kinds will begins is not easily discerned, at least by me … We’re left wondering, was there a better way? … In the fallen world in which we reside, possibly there was/is not a better way. It seems the plan of YHWH to create diversity among human kind … He certainly was/is perfectly capable of creating a human species completely devoid of diversity – all the same color and race, yet He did not … The rest, given our will is free, should always be a response to make the best of it … To this entrusted responsibility, well, you decide?!