Genesis: Under The Radar – Part 7 The people God chooses (and uses). Genesis 21:1-21 October 22nd, 2017
I. CATCHING up on the STORY. (v.1-13)
A. Hagar is a SLAVE, Ishmael a SON. (Gen. 16; v.10-11)
B. FINALLY Isaac ARRIVES. (v.1-5)
C. From LAUGHTER to ANGER to EXILE. (v.6-14; Gen. 18:12)
D. A tour of “DYSFUNCTION JUNCTION”. (v.6-11)
Just like last week, it’s hard to fathom what it was like to live in Abram’s day. Our culture is so different. But God is working still, and he will not be stopped. He will bring Isaac, the “Son of the Promise” and He will bless Ishmael as well. He works despite the disfunction we see in the “First Family” of the Jewish nation.
1. Before this week’s text, what as your perception of Abraham and Sarah and their relationship? Is it different now?
2. Imagine Sarah’s feeling when she finally held Isaac in her 91 year old arms. How do you think that contributed to her actions in 21:9-10. Can you identify with what she might have been feeling?
3. Why does Sarah love the idea of laughter in v.6, but hate it in v.9? What does that show us about Sarah?
II. Yet another WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE. (v.14-21)
A. Hagar’s FREEDOM comes with HARDSHIP. (v.14-17)
B. A CRY of DESPERATION. (v.16-17)
C. “God HEARS” and PROVIDES. (v.17-19)
Sarah seems to really like laughter, unless it’s Ishmael laughing. This sends Hagar on yet another journey into the wilderness. This one is different, and definitely life threatening. But God will be faithful to her, and to her son. 4. Hagar has probably longed for her freedom, but not this way. When has God answered your prayers in a way that you didn’t expect? What happened?
5. Take a moment to feel what Hagar might be feeling as she wept in the desert. When have you felt like that?
6. The water was important, but how important was what God said at that moment to Hagar? What is different about the way God addresses Hagar here from the way He did it in chapter 16?
III. The WAY God WORKS. (Acts 17:24-25)
A. The BIBLE exposes our BROKEN reality. (v.6-11; Heb 4:12)
B. Our LIMITATIONS don’t LIMIT God. (v.12,13; Titus 3:3-7)
C. The key is BEING WITH… (v.20; Mark 3:14; Jn. 17:20-24)
Some of these Under the Radar characters are under the radar for a reason. Their stories unearth a side of our spiritual heroes that we don’t like to see. We don’t want to see Abraham and Sarah as in need of marriage counseling. We don’t want to see people holding tightly to what they want and sending others off to die. But the Bible doesn’t hide these stories…it exposes them. It exposes us too, and all the things we would like to hide when it comes to the spiritual life.
7. Do stories of the dysfunctions and brokenness of Biblical heroes bother you? Why or why not?
8. How willing are we to see ourselves as weak and broken? Are we more willing to do that in some areas of life than we are in others? Why is that?
9. What limitation do you have that you have felt (in the past) limited God’s ability to use you? What might He be saying to you through this text?
10.What does “being with” God look like in your life? What if for some reason you couldn’t do things, or maybe even speak. Would that challenge the reality of you being with Him?