Gen. 16:1-3 Abram and Sarai try to help the Lord out 

            Gen. 16:1 "Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. 3 And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife."

            The Lord had promised to Abram on more than one occasion that he would have a child and that his seed would be multiplied to a great multitude.  The problem that Abram had was that he was 85 years old and Sarai was 75 years old.  They had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan and still were barren.  It was apparent to both Abram and Sarai that they were not going to have a child or so it seemed to them.  In their minds if the promise of God was to be fulfilled then they would have to come up with a way for that promise to be fulfilled.  This is simply doubt based on earthly sight.  How often all of us are guilty of this very thing?  We look at our earthly circumstances and think that God will not keep his promises if we do not do something.  We, in effect, doubt that God is able to do it himself. 

            "Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai" when she said unto Abram, "Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her."  In other words, this is a way that Abram can have a child and thru this child God will fulfill his promises to Abram.  It is extremely foolish of us to doubt the Lord even though we do it often.  We always make a mess of things when we doubt the Lord and try to help the Lord out.  The world is in a turmoil today nearly four thousand years later because Abram and Sarai tried to help the Lord out.  The descendents of Ishmael and Isaac are still fighting in the Middle East today. 

            One of the great myths today is that we must assist the Lord in getting someone born of the Spirit of God.  This is a very similar mistake that Abram and Sarai made.  The Lord does not need our help and in his due time he will cause all of his elect children to be born of the Spirit. 

            Please note that Abram actually married Hagar as she became his wife.  Therefore, Abram had two wives and finally had children by both wives.  Sarai was a free-woman and Hagar was Sarai's maid.  She was an Egyptian handmaid.  She was in bondage.  Just because she was married to Abram did not make her a freewoman.  She was still Sarai's maid and was to obey her mistress. 

            In Galatians chapter 4 these two women Sarai and Hagar and their sons are compared to an allegory representing two covenants.  One woman was free and the other a bondmaid.  The son of the free woman was born by promise.  The son of the bondmaid was born after the flesh.  I suggest the reader study the fourth chapter of Galatians to understand the spiritual significance of this allegory.  Even though they are an allegory, yet the things written concerning them in the Old Testament are literally true. 


Gen. 16:4-5 Hagar despises Sarai

            Gen. 14:4 "And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. 5 And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee."

            We are not told exactly why Hagar despised Sarai.  Most likely Hagar being a bondwoman despised the fact that she was in bondage and had conceived Abram's son and her mistress was a freewoman.  Perhaps she thought that Sarai had not given Abram a child and she gave Abram a child, therefore, she should not have to be a servant to the freewoman.  Moreover, she probably had an exalted opinion of herself as opposed to Sarai because she was able to conceive a child and Sarai was not able to conceive a child. 

            Now we understand that both Sarai and Hagar were wives to Abram.  However, Sarai was a freewoman and Hagar was a bondwoman serving Sarai. 

            The book of Galatians tells us that Sarah and Hagar were an allegory with Sarah representing the covenant of grace and Hagar representing the covenant of the law.  This follows the example above as the legalists despise those who worship God under the covenant of grace.  We have the above example as well as the case of Cain and Abel and the case of the Pharisees and Sadducees despising and persecuting the true worshippers of God under the covenant of grace.  Even today those who attempt to worship God under some legalistic system despise those who worship God under the covenant of grace.  Those under a legalistic system believe their works should be rewarded.  No doubt Hagar felt that her work in bringing forth a son for Abram should be rewarded and she be given a position better than her mistress who had not conceived. 

            "And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee."  Sarai immediately recognized that what she had done in giving her handmaid to Abram for wife was wrong as she saw the consequences of her action.  Next, she desired the Lord to judge her actions recognizing she had done wrong.  She was admitting to Abram that her actions were wrong.  She was also confessing to the Lord that her actions were wrong.  We need to learn from Sarai that we should not devise schemes to try and help the Lord out.  There are consequences to such actions.  The Lord does not need our help, and when we try to claim credit for what the Lord has done, then we will suffer the chastening rod of God for such actions.