Daughters of Grace Series: Hagar
Last week we started a study from the Daily Grace Co. called Daughters of Grace. We talked about Sarah, her story, her characteristics, and what we can learn from her life. This week we are talking about another influential woman in the Bible: Hagar.
If you would like a link to purchase the study we are reading from, click here. You may also head over to our Facebook Page and watch the live video from 12/14/21 if you would like to just listen to what the book reads and follow along.
I would also recommend you read Genesis chapter 11-23 to read the full story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar. It seems like a large amount to read, but this story is HUGE and has so many parts. I felt like it was important to read the entire story to get a good idea of who Hagar was. Last week's story overlaps quite a bit into tonight's because Hagar was Sarah's servant. The main chapters Hagar will appear in are Genesis chapter 16 and 21. I would normally give a brief synopsis of the story but because it is such a long one, I'm going to just jump into the conversation questions.
What do we learn about God and His character in the life of Hagar?
First and foremost, I want to talk about how Hagar was the first woman scratch that- first PERSON in the Bible to see an angel. I think this speaks volumes of who God is. Hagar was at the very bottom of the social hierarchy in Biblical times. She was a woman, a slave, and a foreigner. We are talking lowest of lows, not an important person in terms of social status at all. Yet God sends an angel to speak to her. God has a plan for Hagar in this story and I think that shows one of the biggest truths about who God is. He cares for and loves us all equally- it doesn't matter what our social status is or where we came from. Hagar was just a slave but God uses her in a big way and has a plan for her regardless.
Hagar's story also speaks to how God provides even in the most dire of situations. In Genesis 21 starting in verse 14, we see that God is with Hagar and Ishmael after they are sent away. He provides water for them and is with the boy as he grows up. God is not just a provider for our physical needs but is able to provide a way and a path for us when it appears there is none. Even though Sarah and Abraham strayed from God's plan when Hagar had a child with Abraham, God still recognized Ishmael and promised a nation under him as well. God is faithful, even when we mess up.
What character qualities, positive or negative, do we see demonstrated in Hagar's life?
I really feel for Hagar in this story. She most likely didn't want to have Abraham's child but listened to Sarah and then ultimately was cast out because of the things she was ordered to do. Some characteristics of Hagar I see illustrated in this story is her bravery, her obedience, and her faith. Hagar set out twice all by herself to go back to her homeland, which we know would have been a very far trip and took a lot of bravery. But she also demonstrates great obedience and faith by first obeying Sarah and then obeying and having faith when she saw the angel and when God spoke to her. She was an Egyptian woman and most likely did not have the same religious background as Sarah and Abraham, yet she ended up being obedient and faithful to the God she did not know.
Hagar stands as a huge symbol for women in a system of oppression and overcomes a not so good situation with so much grace. She does everything she can for her son and sees that he knows God and then would have an entire nation. It is the ultimate story of the underdog overcoming a truly difficult situation and then being able to glorify God for that outcome.
What can I learn from Hagar's story that I can apply to my own life?
The biggest lesson I feel that we can learn from Hagar's story is that even when we have been abused, used, and forgotten, that God has not forgotten us. He has a plan for our lives that will enable us to give Him the glory even in the most oppressing situations. God is a God of restoration and healing. He cares about each of us.
This ties in with the other lesson from this story, but I think it is important for us to take from this story the hope that God provides. There is always hope for us because God sees us and carries our burdens. He is always faithful and will always provide for us when we need Him most, often in ways we don't even see.
I would love to hear your thoughts or takeaways from the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar! Drop a comment below!