The desert is where you try and try to solve every problem your last solution produced.
So far, the angel has spoken to Hagar in
The Perfect Human Solution...
A quick read of
I think that this practice was culturally acceptable at the time so I won’t comment on how burdensome and violating it must have been for Hagar. Let’s focus instead on the not so obvious but more important problem. Genesis 16 is a book in the Bible written by God through men. In this chapter of the Bible, we find major problems mentioned in the first 6 verses but not one of the people there talk to God about it. Not one. In fact, Abram’s silence (his failure to speak of the matter to God) makes these verses analogous to Adam’s silence in Eden. The only thing we see Adam do in Eden when temptation comes is chew
Creates The Next Problem
Fine then, the cultural “solution” moves forward. Hagar becomes pregnant and begins to look upon Sarai with contempt
She has a solution to her own problem. Yet this solution, this answer so clear it could have passed for water, lands her only further in the wilderness. And in the wilderness, she finds another spring that seems acceptable. Only by now, she has almost found her way to Shur, a more barren desert. For the water at the spring looks good. It would have given her the strength to walk to Shur... and then die of thirst. If not for the Mercy and Justice of the Lord to insert Himself into a chapter of His Own Book, to shine His Light into this dark chapter in the lives of Abram, Sarai and Hagar, Hagar would have walked the reasonable, culturally acceptable, “they left me no choice” path to her own death. And from the angel, we find out in
We can now begin to see a pattern. My solutions to my problems will only create more problems. These problems will drive me out further and further in search of solutions that will only create more problems. No one ever suddenly arrives in the desert. We all get there by moving from spring to spring. That is why it’s so confusing and we are always so surprised to find ourselves in a dry place. We weren’t trying to get there. We were only trying to do our best. It’s just one obvious human solution after another. This applies not only when other people force us to become their solution but also when we try to be the solution to whatever problem we find ourselves in. For in the dry places, impure spirits abound,
But in my God, there is hope!!! He is the Hope, the Light that pursues us into the darkest places. For as Hagar found out, as David found out and as Jesus promised, even in the valley of the shadow of death, even when death is a breath away, even beyond what seems to be your final breath, the Lord seeks and finds His Own