Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

God’s Love – For the Rejected

by Sue Griffiths

God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, ‘What is the matter, Hagar?  Don’t be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.  Lift up the boy and take him by the hand, for I will make him a great nation.’
Genesis 21:17, NIV

Abraham, that great patriarch of faith, that great Friend of God – Abraham also wobbled in his faith. When he doubted that he would ever have a child with his own wife Sarai, at Sarai’s suggestion, he takes his wife’s maid Hagar to have a son with her.

So now, Hagar is pregnant, and the maid despises her barren mistress. Sarai responds with jealousy and bullying, until the pregnant Hagar flees into the desert, while Abraham does nothing.

But God has seen it all. An angel of God meets Hagar in the desert. He addresses her by name. He knows she is pregnant with a son. He tells her to return to her mistress and that her son is to be called Ishmael – which means ‘God hears me’.

This rejected woman, Hagar, has met an angel! No-one else seems to care for her plight and the injustice done to her. But God sees her. Hagar says, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’  She returns to Abraham and Sarai, and her son Ishmael is born. There is celebration for this son’s birth. This is the heir to Abraham! Or is he?

The miracle happens, and barren Sarai gives birth to Isaac. Tension rises again between Sarah and Hagar until Hagar is turned out, a second time, into the desert, this time with her son.

She has no escort, no donkey even. Just food on her shoulder and a skin of water. Is she meant to survive on that? When the water is gone, she hides her son under a bush and moves away. She can’t bear to see him die. But God hears her. God sees her. He meets Hagar in the desert – again!

God makes promises to Hagar about her son: ‘Lift the boy up and take him by the hand and I will make him into a great nation.’  Then God opens Hagar’s eyes, and she sees a well of water. And we are told: ‘God was with the boy as he grew up.  He lived in the desert and became an archer’ (Genesis 21:17-18).

This is a sorry story of disobedience, of not believing God’s promises, of rivalry and weakness. But, for me, it is also a story of God caring for the downtrodden, the disobedient, the rejected. Hagar and her son were so rejected. And God met her, in her deep distress, twice. He saw her. He saw it all.

Sue Griffiths Sue found deep inner healing through the teaching and ministry at Ellel ministries and is now part of the associate ministry team at Ellel Grange. Previously, Sue was a specialist in English Literature and a vicar’s wife. Her passion is to see others coming into freedom in Christ in their personal lives. Sue’s an outdoors person, loves gardening, walking, and many creative things. She and Richard, her husband, now live in Northumberland and enjoy a great family of 3 grown up kids and some grandkids.

 

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