Families then and now have conflicts. “Cinderella” Hagar ran away from Sarah and on her way met “El Roi” the God who sees. He found her in the wilderness and revealed His plan to her. Returning to Sarah as “El Roi” said, all went well—that is for 13 yrs. Then God opened Sarah’s womb and she brought forth her own son named Isaac. At a great feast on the day Isaac was weaned, Hagar’s child, Ishmael, began to mock and Sarah convinced Abraham to cast Ishmael and Hagar from the home. Early one morning Abraham did just that.
Why did wealthy Abraham only give Hagar a skin of water and some food? Why did he not give them a donkey to carry supplies? Why no servant to be with them? We have lots of questions but the scripture is silent. Maybe you wrestle with God when you face situations like this. Try turning back to Deut 29:29 “the secret things belong to God and those that are revealed belong to us to understand.” (author paraphrase). Just at that moment in time Hagar again met “El Roi.” When we find ourselves in circumstances that are perplexing, God will meet us where we are just as he did Hagar. He may close one door but open another.
You may be like Hagar wondering what God is doing. Wherever you are, remember He is a promise keeper! We may not understand all that He is doing but He will be with us to show us the next step to take. Hagar found water and a wife for Ishmael and His promises came true.
Genesis 16 to 19 I love the story of little Cinderella. By no fault of her own, she was treated unrighteously by her wicked stepmother and stepsisters. Her life was one of drudgery day in and day out. Her fairy godmother came and gave her a reprieve for one night and in the end, she was loved by the prince who searched for her when she fled the ball at midnight. In our reading today, we find a true Cinderella named Hagar.
It all began when Abraham didn’t trust God; went to Egypt, and bought a slave girl for Sarah. Sarah, in many ways, resembles Cinderella’s wicked stepmother in attitude and character. Impatient Sarah decided it was too hard to wait for God to give her a child and convinced Abraham to impregnate Hagar according to the custom of the culture. We wonder how long Sarah had to nag before Abraham fulfilled that order.
When Hagar obeyed and then conceived, guess what? Sarah became disenchanted and despised her and began to treat her harshly. There was no fairy godmother, no pumpkin carriage, no glass slipper, no Prince Charming, and no ball to attend. Instead, day after day Hagar worked with no relief and so she ran away. This is where God steps in and the gospel is presented.
Hagar is a picture of us before salvation. God saw her condition, heard her plea and promised that He would multiply her descendants. She responded, “The God who sees–SEESme.” Yes, like Cinderella, she returned to the dust and ashes but now she knew that God cared for her and her unborn child.
At one time we were slaves of the unrighteous wicked Satan. We may have run away from the “wicked stepmother” but God sees beyond our circumstances to what will be. He sent His beloved Son to walk with us through those circumstances. Even though we might not be able to change those, we can trust that Jesus died that we might be saved from our sins and live a life that is full and rewarding.
Are you Cinderella? Trust God to be with you. Hagar’s story is the gospel message in a nutshell.