One of the ways we can be sure God is the author of the Bible is that He clearly is not afraid to show the messy parts. Had man written the Bible there would be quite a few unsavory situations that would have been buried or tucked away for ‘appearance’ sake.
Take for example the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Sarah’s maidservant, Hagar. Abraham and Sarah had been set apart by God for a calling far beyond their own imaginations. I can only imagine the sense of destiny that God placed in their hearts when He told Abraham, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them…so shall your descendants be.” (Genesis 15:5)
Abraham and Sarah waited. After several years, Sarah looked at the situation and discerned its weakness. Rather than silence the voice of the enemy by faith in God’s promise, she bowed in servitude and did the devil’s bidding. She took it upon herself to establish in her own flesh what God Himself had promised to do. She told her husband, “Go sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her”? (Genesis 16:2)
Unfortunately, faithlessness has its consequences and Hagar, by no means an innocent woman, would become an innocent victim.
The Bible tells us that after Hagar became pregnant their relationship changed. Hagar began to ‘despise her mistress’. I imagine that the scorn was more than Sarah could bear. Knowing that she had the upper hand she would show Hagar how to take offense to a new level. The Bible says that Sarah ‘mistreated’ Hagar. I was surprised to learn that the Hebrew word for this actually connotes violence. Hagar was abused and mistreated in a violent way by Sarah, a woman called and chosen by God.
With no one to defend her from this harsh treatment, Hagar did what anyone with an ounce of fight left in them would do; she left.
Storm-tossed, and rejected, I imagine Hagar sitting in a desert wasteland partially conscious. With her mind, heart, and emotions whirling about a Mighty voice suddenly breaks through: “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” How amazing is God that He knows how to ask a question in a way that assures us He already knows it all?
After Hagar receives her instruction to ‘go back’, the Bible says that, “She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: You are God who sees me, for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’ “ (Genesis 16:13)
God was at work in Abraham and Sarah’s life. They were chosen and predestined ‘according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.’ (Ephesians 1:11) But what of Hagar? She wasn’t part of God’s plan. Yet, the Lord in His boundless mercy supernaturally broke into this woman’s world to comfort her, and assure her that there is a godly justice.
If God revealed Himself to Hagar as the ‘God who Sees’, how much more the blood bought, blood washed, and born again saints of the Most High?