Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar.
We are now introduced to the beginning of a sad twist that took place in the life of Abraham. Abraham believed God’s promises (Genesis 15:6), but his wife had doubts as to how God would fulfill the promise. Sarah was about 75 years old and had never been able to have a child, so the fulfillment of the promise through her seemed impossible.
Instead of having faith that God could and would work it out, Sarah began to try to work it out herself. Sarah had a maidservant named Hagar who helped tend to her needs.
Sarah then proposed that Abraham “go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her” (Genesis 16:2). Sarah’s proposal was for Hagar to serve as a surrogate mother to carry a child for Sarah.
The problem was that God never proposed—or needed—this to be the solution to Sarah’s infertility. This was a solution based on a lack of faith in God’s ability to perform a miracle. Unfortunately, Abraham heeded Sarah’s suggestion (as Adam, years earlier, had heeded Eve’s) and impregnated Hagar (verse 4).
The lesson for Christians today is that we must avoid taking situations into our own hands against God’s will. Christians must demonstrate faith when it comes to God’s promises and laws. The Bible teaches that “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
When Christians lack faith, instead of taking matters into their own hands, they should pray for more faith (Mark 9:24; Luke 17:5) and diligently study the Bible to understand the will of God (Romans 10:17).
To learn more about the importance of faith in your life, read our articles on faith.
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “A Blessing of Long Life and Peace.”