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TEXT: Genesis 16:1-16
MESSAGE: “The God Who Sees”
“This chapter marks another stage in eliminating every means but miracle toward the promised birth.”  Derek Kidner
 
And so, how does it all unfold? It happens in three stages…(1. The Frustrating Problem 2. The Selfish Plan 3. The Redeeming Presence)
  1. The Frustrating Problem v. 1-3
“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has prevented mefrom bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife.”
“…God’s work must always be done in God’s way to see results that are worthy of God’s reality and greatness.”Os Guinness
 
“What we have here is a classic human attempt to solve a problem with man’s wisdom, not God’s.” — Iain Duguid
  1. The Selfish Plan (human plan and mess) v. 4-6
“And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the Lord judge between you and me!” But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.”
  1. The Redeeming Presence (Angel of the LORD) v. 7-13
The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” 11 And the angel of the Lord said to her, “Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has listened to your affliction. 12 He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.” 13 So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”
TAKEAWAYS: How does God’s presence transform us?
 
* It shifts us from grumbling to grace
Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.” James 5:9
 
It reminds us that God searches the heart
 
“You say, you find it hard to believe it [is] compatible with the divine purity to embrace or employ such a monster as yourself…We have little to rejoice in ourselves, but we have right and reason to rejoice in him.– John Newton
 
It challenges us to trust God’s wisdom over our own
  • “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding…” — Proverbs 2:6
* It gives us strength to obey when it’s hard
  • “As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind— so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.”
    Isaiah 52:14-15