Chain Reaction

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Genesis 16:1-16

Have you ever noticed how what may seem right in our eyes, can get us into trouble? That's the situation I saw as I read Genesis 16 today. Sarai and Abraham (good people by the way) didn't seek the Lord in some key decisions. So one bad decision (Sarai giving Hagar to Abraham) led to more poor decisions and sinful behavior. Now it's not too hard to point fingers here, but if we're honest, we operate just like this all too often.

So how can we get better, be more diligent, in seeking God's will for the decisions we make in our lives? And if we find ourselves in the middle of a chain of poor decisions, what action do we take to get back on track? Tami W.

P.S. Did you know that "God Loves You Even When..."? That's the title of our series this week on Back to the Bible. So why don't you join Dr. Kroll and me for these encouraging studies. I think you'll like them.

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10 Comments

We are so blessed to have this story because it was haste that got Sarai and Abram into trouble. We can't blame them; they were truly getting old in terms of child bearing. The message for us is that in God's timing, it's never too late. We need to measure our actions against scripture and wait for God's timing.

And when we find ourselves in a place where we suddenly realize we shouldn't be it's time to stop, turn around and run. These situations may require us to ask forgiveness of others and of God. Chalk them up to a lesson learned.

HI, this is my first time here. I see myself in Sarai. WAITING on the Lord!!! She had already waited 10 years at this point-ha-I have a problem waiting one day!! I let fear, frustration, worry, anger, desparation and or impatience take over and there goes the chain reaction of BAD choices trying to fix the first bad choice.

Good morning and WOW. This happens all too ofte. Another point I saw here, is again the female led the male to this poor decision (just like Adam and Eve) and Abraham agreed to it. No I understand God created us women as the weaker vessels for a reason and sometimes we as women have a hard time submitting to God authority in our husbands and husbands who don't submitt to Gods authority and these types of things happen. Of coarse this is one of my least favorite topics however this can be improved if we/I would seek Gods face daily and STOP, LISTEN, BE OBEDIENT, and BELIEVE just as Hagar did at the well when God/the angel spoke to her.

There seems to be a lack of submission on several levels - to God by Sarai and Abraham, to Sarai after conceiving by Hagar. There is also submission in the wrong place; Abraham to Sarai. The whole thing started by not waiting for God or remembering His promise...running out of patience, I think. We have to remember that God always keeps His promises, but He is not restricted to time. (He created time for us, after all.)When we get off track, we need to apologize to God first and foremost (we might have to apologize to people around us too), and then ask God to get us on the right track - and then obey by getting on the track He wants us to be on.

We have to listen to the Lord. In Genesis15:13, the Lord said to Abraham, "Know of a surety that THY SEED(for emphasis)shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years". When God tells us something we must listen and ponder on it. If we are not quite sure what he is saying let Him know how you understand what He has said and He will make it clear to you through the Spirit of Truth. So believe in Him and trust Him.

As we have seen with Abraham and Sarah, God was merciful to them and told Abraham that "He will make him a great nation and that He will bless and make his name great, and that he will be a blessing" (paraprased). Genesis 12:2. He is our Creator and our Heavenly Father and He only wants what is good for us and if we truly believe in Him we have to be obedient but if we should fall confess our sins as 1 John1:9 says. He will always guide and lead us if we listen to Him.

Wow, my disobedience could affect generations to come, I hadn't thought about it like that. GENESIS 1:12 says "...his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers." This hostility has continued even until today. What I think, say and do and the consequences of those things could affect generations to come. It really is important that I get God involved in all my decisions and I haven't quite gotten there, yet. I act, then ask God to help. I do need to STOP, PRAY, LISTEN, WAIT IF THAT'S WHAT GOD ASKS, THEN BE OBEDIENT TO GOD'S VOICE.

Thanks for all your great comments. I learned from reading each of them. I have to agree with Arlene. I think we can sum it all up as she said very well - stop, listen, be obedient,and believe.
In our society today, that's easier said than done. I understand there is a movement on to just stop and listen to the silence. We as Christians can stop and listen to God's quiet voice speaking in our hearts.

I so need to stay focused on God, 'cause when I focus on "ME" everything goes wrong. Guess, that's what happened to Sarai ultimately affecting Abram and Hagar. Add to Sarai's desire for herself the desire to get what she wanted immediately.....she didn't want to wait. How often do I want something NOW....like instant oatmeal or instant rice. However, if I wait patiently....in due time, I get the best oatmeal ever or the best tasting rice. Same in my walk.....waiting for the Lord is way better than me pushing ahead in my own strength.

I identfy myself with Sarah/Sarai because I am also barren-- no children and up in age; but I long to have them. So I understand what exactly she was up against. When women such as myself who have no children you have a tendancy to forgo all of your spirituality just to achieve that sense of womenhood by the "world" standards.So again that sense of "self" comes in to play. The world can ridicule you to the point of a low self worth, or lusting after everything that puts you in a whirlwind of sin! I myself have done that or as they say " been there done that!" It is only when I got a reassurance from one of my sister in Christ that I felt my own self- worth again. Its not that I did not hear God's whisper I just thought in my own mind-- stinking thinking;that I did not deserve to be a mother! I did not ask God or seek His advice about my dilemma. I just kept going down my own road instead of His; sinking further and further into sin!

I love reading all the comments! I learn so much and get different perspectives. As I read the passage, Sarai was thinking logically for her time. And, since I am a logical person, it grabbed my attention. Face it, she was 86, God had let this ride for better than 10 years, culturally there was a perfectly logical solution, and Abram bought into it as well. And it all blew up in their faces. That's me, all over again. My logic is flawed by sin, I am flawed by sin, and I am short-sighted, no matter how far down the road I can see. Faith is very often counter-intuitive and, humanly speaking, not logical at all, at least from the perspective I can see. What I fail to take into account is that God sees it all and I don't; His agenda is not the same as mine and His logic is so far beyond me I will never get it. That's where faith comes in. Whenever I say, "But Father, that's not logical!", I sense I may be headed in the right direction :-) God has a sense of humor.

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About Me

Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

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This page contains a single entry by Tami W published on June 7, 2010 5:00 AM.

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