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Genesis 16:1-18:15

It is always interesting how each time I read thought a passage something different jumps out at me. So here goes. The follow verses from Proverbs came to my mind as I read today’s readings:

Under three things the earth is disquieted, and under four it cannot bear up: Under a servant when he reigns, a [empty-headed] fool when he is filled with food, An unloved and repugnant woman when she is married, and a maidservant when she supplants her mistress.
(Proverbs 30:21-23 AMP)

Leaving behind all the opinions about Sari finding a surrogate, Hagar, to carry her husband’s seed, according to the writer of Proverbs, Hagar, Sari’s “maidservant,” may have either tacitly or directly challenged her mistress’ authority. If the writer of the above three verses is correct in his assessment, than Hagar may have been making the ground shake, so to speak. She had produced for Abram what Sari couldn’t. She had been intimate with another woman’s husband, even if that woman initiated and facilitated the act. Talk about one-upmanship.

We are a funny folk. We counsel people and when they received and act on that counsel and it goes awry, we distance ourselves from the consequences. Sari presented her handmaiden to her husband in an attempt to “work” God’s promise to her husband, or had Abram kept the promise to himself? Hmmm. (If Sari knew that God has given a promise of a child to Him, why whould she have laughed when the angel spoke to her husband? Or could she have thought the Promise was to her husband and not to her? That’s a whole ‘nother essay.) Either way, she turned on the one she gave counsel too, her husband. Abram heard the counsel but didn’t have to receive it. How many times do we accept someone’s counsel without considering what is being said just to make the person happy. When it blows up in our faces, if we go back to the person who was so generous with their ideas, what usually is the reception we received?

Every one of us is responsible for your own choices no matter how strong the pressure to accept that advice. Bottom line is this: Not only will we have to serve our choices, but those we are responsible for, those under our leadership at home, work or church, will feel the effects. Abram’s relationship with Hagar was of the flesh. That which is born of the flesh is flesh. It is only the things born of the Spirit that will last. My prayer for all those who come to his Blog, myself included, is this: That we consider the consequences of our choices. May all here evaluate their decisions, are they of the flesh or of the spirit. All things of the “flesh” lead to death. Let us go on to live in Life. Let us stop producing Ishmaels in our lives.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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