Genesis 16:3-4 NLT
So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian servant and gave her to Abram as a wife. (This happened ten years after Abram had settled in the land of Canaan.) So Abram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she became pregnant. But when Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress, Sarai, with contempt.
Hagar kept her sweet and demure demeanor until she became pregnant.
Hagar probably didn’t think she would become pregnant by this old man in the first place. After all, he and Sarai were married forever and didn’t have any kids. In her mind, he was probably impotent.
Sarai was infertile, not Abram
When Hagar was pregnant, she realized that the problem with infertility was Sarai’s, not Abram’s. Finally, she had leverage over Sarai. Hagar could provide Abram with a baby, a son. There was nothing else Abram wanted more in this world. Now, the opportunity had presented itself for her to to have favor with Abram, and perhaps become the preferred wife.
Hagar had the advantage
Hagar must have felt very secure in this situation. After all, she was carrying Abram’s baby, and of course, Sarai and Abram would treat her with kid gloves. Certainly, she would no longer be expected to perform her usual duties. On the contrary, she would be treated like a queen, and be given the best accommodations, the most delicious foods, and have her every whim satisfied.
Hagar sees herself as the preferred wife. She would become Abram’s trusted confidant and lover, Her son, Abram’s heir, would secure their position and fortune for the rest of their lives.
Hagar considered herself better than Sarai
When Hagar looked at Sarai, an overwhelming sense of superiority arose from deep inside her soul. Her feelings towards Sarai changed from honor to belittling disrespect. The roles have reversed and Hagar felt that she was superior to Sarai and that Sarai was at her mercy.
The Bible does not record the words Hagar spoke to Sarai, but her attitude was contemptuous. Did Hagar harass Sarai about God cursing her with a closed womb? Did she flaunt herself as blessed by God because He opened her womb? Did she want Sarai to feel insignificant, worthless, and undeserving to both Abram and God? The situation was volatile all the way around.
The Other Woman
Hagar was haughty and hateful. Her attitude fits the ‘other woman syndrome’ experienced by mistresses who are involved in an adulterous affair. A boundary encircles a husband, wife, and God in the covenant of marriage that must never be crossed. A three strand cord is difficult to break (Ecclesiastes 4:12). When an extra person is added in the mix, the relationship becomes compromised. Hagar, through no fault of her own, became the fourth strand. Four in Hebrew is the number of man and man made effort. Paul describes this as a covenant of flesh (Galatians 4:22-24). Is Hagar excused from her despicable behavior? Absolutely not! But, neither are Sarai and Abram who executed this man made plan.
What is the lesson?
Do not involve others into a covenant sealed between exclusive parties. How many of us partnered with people who were not Christians in marriage? As best friends? What are the results of such a man made union? We deal with negative attitudes and create turbulent situations of our own making and everyone becomes deeply wounded.
Respect the boundaries of covenant established by God. Do not get anxious when the answer does not manifest itself for a while. Keep your eyes on God and consult with Him. God will keep His promises and give us the desires of our heart in His own timing and in His own way.
Father, in times past, I have become anxious when promises in Your Word have not come to pass. Help me to look to You for answers. I am learning to make covenant according to Your boundaries and with Your blessing. Thank You for knowledge and wisdom. In Jesus Name, Amen.
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