Genesis: Under The Radar – Part 6 Hagar: The Stranger that God Sees Genesis 16:1-16 October 15th, 2017
I. So MUCH to SEE. (v.1)
A. A GIFT from EGYPT. (v.1; Gen. 12:16)
B. A future PLOT REVERSAL. (v.1; Gen 15:13)
C. A NAME with MEANING. (v.1)
Hagar is definitely a candidate for our under the radar series. She’s an Egyptian slave girl who serve Sarai, the wife of Abram. Little did she know, on the day she left her home in Egypt, of the large scale drama should would be pulled into. God weaves a masterful story through our lives as we interact with Him and His purposes.
1. Jeff shared a lot of ideas about what is going on behind the scenes of this story. What did you see for the first time here in this passage and what thoughts has it stirred within you?
2. Think for a moment what it would have been like to be Hagar? What might she have been thinking or experiencing as she left her home to be a slave to Sarai?
II. A TALE of two WOMEN. (v.1-6)
A. Sarai DOES what was EXPECTED.(v.2-3)
B. Hagar GIVES Sarai “the LOOK”. (v.4-5)
C. Abram is PASSIVE, things get WORSE. (v.6; Gen 15:13)
We are often really hard on Sarai here, but what she was doing was fully expected in her culture. Having a son was very important to any family, and Sarai was obviously not going be able to make that happen. 10 years after the promise of a son, she finds a way to make it happen. But as is often the case, when we get what we think we wanted, it often has implications we were not prepared for.
3. What Sarai did seems very wrong according to what we know to be the law of God. Why would God allow this?
4. Imaging the tension between these two women in this story. Hagar flees because it gets so bad. How would she see God’s perspective of her or plans for her at that moment?
5. What role does Abram play in this? Do you have any sympathy for him in this situation? Why or why not?
III. An INCREDIBLE ENCOUNTER. (v.7-14)
A. The ANGEL of the LORD. (v.7,9,11,13)
B. A call to DIFFICULT SERVICE. (v.9)
C. A MISUNDERSTOOD PROMISE. (v.11-12; Gen 17:18-19)
D. YAHWEH is the God who SEES her. (v.13)
This meeting between Hagar and the “Angel of the Lord” in the desert has enough material for 10 sermons. It’s filled with things that elicit questions. Who was this “Angel of the Lord”? Why does he call her to return? And is what he says a blessing or a curse? It kind of sounds like both. And finally, what’s the deal with this new name for God?
6. Who do you think the “Angel of the Lord” was in this passage? Why? What is your reaction to telling Hagar to return to Sarai and submit to her?
7. Did Jeff’s ideas around the “blessing” of Ishmael challenge any presumptions you may have had in the past towards the Arab descendants of Abram?
8. When have you felt “unseen” in life? How does this passage give perspective to those times
IV. WHO is YAHWEH?
A. One who LOVES HUMANITY. (Gen 17:18-19; Ps. 87)
B. One who SEES US.(v.13; II Chron. 16:9; Ps 121)
C. One who calls us to SERVE through, not RUN from. (v.8-9; Mk. 10:42-45)
This entire passage pushes us to ask the question, “Who exactly is this Yahweh”? What kind of God is this and what is He up to? Hagar is a stranger, yet blessed to be a part of the family of Abram. She is having a child which is not the son of the promise, and yet God is giving a blessing to her son. And in the most poignant phrase, Hagar is amazed that God is one who “sees her”. What can we learn about God through this text?
9. God calls us to love ALL people. What is the most challenging aspect of that command for you personally? In other words, who is hardest to love?
10.How can we live in such a way that helps others feel “seen” by God? What are some specifics that we could do to help that happen?
11.When have you been tempted to “run from” when God might have been calling you to “serve through”?