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Parents Go First

May 14, 2021

This past Sunday was Mother’s Day, and I was blessed to speak at C3 Church. 

I shared this crazy Bible story about Sarah and Haggar.  

A married woman and a single mom.

You can watch the sermon here!

 

If you don’t know the story,  Haggar is Sarah’s maidservant.  God had promised Abraham and Sarah a son, but life was passing them by, so Sarah took matters into her own hands. She had Abraham sleep with her maidservant.  I am not making this up……..

 

Just read Genesis 16:1-11 (NLT)  

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not been able to bear children for him. But she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “The Lord has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.”

And Abram agreed with Sarai’s proposal. 3 So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian servant and gave her to Abram as a wife. (This happened ten years after Abram had settled in the land of Canaan.)

4 So Abram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she became pregnant. But when Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress, Sarai, with contempt. (of course she did, because that is what women do!)  5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “This is all your fault! I put my servant into your arms, but now that she’s pregnant she treats me with contempt. The Lord will show who’s wrong—you or me!”  (Vacillator...Now it is Abrahams’s fault.) 

6 Abram replied, “Look, she is your servant, so deal with her as you see fit.” (avoiding) Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away.

7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur. 8 The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?” 

“I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied.

9 The angel of the Lord said to her, (you leave and demand your rights ..NO….)  “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” 10 Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.”

11 And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress.

 

The story goes on, and Sarah has a son…

Genesis 21:8-21 (NLT)  When Isaac grew up and was about to be weaned, Abraham prepared a huge feast to celebrate the occasion. 9 But Sarah saw Ishmael—the son of Abraham and her Egyptian servant Hagar—making fun of her son, Isaac. (why is Ishmael making fun of Issac because of what he has heard his mom say)  10 So she turned to Abraham and demanded, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son. He is not going to share the inheritance with my son, Isaac. I won’t have it!”

11 This upset Abraham very much because Ishmael was his son. (Abraham had 13 years with Ishmael before Issac was born)   

12 But God told Abraham, “Do not be upset over the boy and your servant. Do whatever Sarah tells you, for Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted. 13 But I will also make a nation of the descendants of Hagar’s son because he is your son, too.”

14 So Abraham got up early the next morning, prepared food and a container of water, and strapped them on Hagar’s shoulders. Then he sent her away with their son, and she wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba. 17 But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, “Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.”

19 Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink.

20 And God was with the boy as he grew up in the wilderness. He became a skillful archer, 21 and he settled in the wilderness of Paran. His mother arranged for him to marry a woman from the land of Egypt.

 

Here are some lessons we can learn from this story.

1. Don’t believe the lies of satan.  

Genesis 16:2 (NLT) “The Lord has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.”

Sarah believed the lie of satan, and her solution was not God’s way. It was culture’s way.  We need to make sure we are doing things God’s way and not the world’s way.

You have to declare what God’s Word says. That is truth.

I will have a son. I don’t know when and I don’t know how old I will be, but God promised, and I am holding on to His promises.  


The story continues…

Abraham and Sarah had a son named Isaac. After a fight with Sarah, Abraham sends Hagar and Ishmael into the desert with a little bit of food and water.  He tells them to go away, and they are left in the desert wondering on their own. And after a while, the water runs and food out.

It was very evident to Hagar that her son Ishmael was going to die. Being so heartbroken, she places him up under a shrub, and she walks away.  

She can't bear to watch her child struggle and die of thirst. It's a cruel, horrible death. 

It’s what many parents find themselves saying today, from time to time, because of the condition of their children (addiction, destroying their own potential). I can’t bear to watch... In order to maintain sanity, I've got to distance myself because I can't bear to see it. 

 

2. Don’t Ever Give Up on What God Can Do!

We have to stir up faith in ourselves.  All things are possible with God.   

Notice what she did not do

She lifted her voice, and she wept but notice that she did not cry out to God.

Genesis 21:16-18 (NLT) “I don’t want to watch the boy die,” she said, as she burst into tears. 17 But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, “Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.”

 

Ishmael was raised by Abraham, who taught him the things of God. Ishmael knew to trust God and God heard the boys cry.  

I think it is interesting that with all of Abraham’s issues (and if you read his life story, he had many of them), he raised two boys that cried out to God. 

Abraham wasn’t perfect, but he did model for his boy’s faith in God and how to cry out to God and trust HIm.  

If you are at the end of your skillset and don’t know what to do, get some help, don’t be an enabler, but don’t give up on your kids.   

Don’t ever lose faith and give up on what God can do.  

 

3. Teach Your Kids the Word of God. 

If leaders go first, moms and dads need to learn, memorize, and declare the Word of God.   

When you're separated from your kids, who are they calling out to?

Are you teaching them what God says about them, or are you speaking from your hurt and frustration?

Your life and your choices are not the standards. God’s Word is the standard.

You may be asking, “How can I teach them purity when I didn’t live a pure life?”  You are not the standard. God’s Word is. Teach them God’s Word and model for them how to live a life of purity now.   

God heard Ishmael's prayer, and Ishmael knew how to pray because he had been taught.

 

Genesis 21:17-18 (NLT)...Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.”

When your child was a baby, and you prayed for them, sang songs in the car, taught them Bible stories and to memorize the Word of God, brought them to church, and worshiped…

You were leading the way.

You were teaching them that when they are separated from you and in a terrible place, there is something they can do. Cry out for help. 

And God will hear the cry of their voice.   

Even if they're burdened with the sins of this world, there is something in them that God can hear that says, "Don't leave me here. I don't belong here.  God, I want you". 

Never give up - Hope’s name is Jesus!!!!!

 

What are some ways you can model or share the Word of God with your kids?

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