Secure in God’s Care
Paul wrote, And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Few other Old Testament narratives convey God’s love for the downtrodden quite as poignantly as Hagar’s story does. She was merely a foreign slave, probably a gift from Pharaoh during Abraham’s sojourn in Egypt (Genesis 12:16).
For some reason, Sarah selected Hagar to be the cornerstone of her plan to assist God and provide an heir for her husband. Hagar probably didn’t volunteer to be a pawn in Sarah’s scheme, but she was no fool. As soon as she became pregnant, she flaunted her position as “heir-bearer” (Genesis 16:4).
After Ishmael was born, Hagar fiercely protected his firstborn rights. She also tried to preserve what privileges she had as a second wife. All she really wanted was security—a comfortable life and a future for her son.
However, Hagar found herself homeless, jobless, and friendless at least two times (Genesis 16:6; 21:14). In both instances, God Himself became her rescuing knight, not because she deserved to be rescued but because He cared about Hagar and Ishmael. In fact, He deliberately reached out to them, blessing them with His favor and extending His covenant with Abraham to include the two outcasts. God provided—not the life Hagar may have desired—but the life He deemed best. Hagar needed to learn that security was not a home or an inheritance; security is confidence in the sovereignty and love of God.
God truly is El Roi, the God who sees me (Genesis 16:13). He is also the God who hears me when I cry out to Him. Sometimes His answers are puzzling, but His ways are always right. The path He chooses for us may seem unattractive or even dangerous, but He promises to care for us. How comforting to know that one Egyptian slave woman was precious in God’s sight. So are you and I.
Genesis 16:7-13 records the first biblical appearance of “the angel of the LORD.” Who did Hagar think this individual was (v. 13)? For more information about the identity of this individual, read Judges 2:1-4, Judges 6:21-22, and 13:13-21. Who do you think “the angel of the LORD” is?
What does Paul say to Timothy about security in 1 Timothy 6:6-10 and 17-19? What is his recipe for contentment?
Although Isaiah 54:1-17 is specifically speaking about Israel, it symbolically addresses women who find themselves in situations similar to Hagar’s. What does God say about those who are mistreated?
Denise K. Loock