Hagar Show Notes - Episode 101

One woman that literally jumps off the pages at me this week is Hagar. She is a maid servant in Genesis, she is one of the few maid servants I have read about and just fully connected with.

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Hagar is not just any maid servant either. In the Agrarian society, she is the head maid servant to Sarai, which means she was kind of a big deal.. She was owned by the head wife of the master of the household. In those days the wife of the master could order her maid servant around with little requests such as run to the market, but could also throw out demands like marry my husband and give him children.

I know, weird right?!

This was still considered legal and was done so that the wife could build her family in the event the wife was barren. In exchange for the maid servant having the honor of conceiving the masters children, she would give up all her rights and autonomy. Meaning she could no longer act on her own behalf, she was seen as somewhat of an extension of the wife.

I can't even wrap my head around this. Like let’s just pause and soak this in, while missing some of the yuckier aspects of pregnancy sound nice- Im not sure I want someone else sleeping with my husband and giving him a child. In Hagar’s world though, this was a thing, and weirdly it was an honor.

This meant she was respected among other servants and that she would have a child. Children were what secured the women’s future in these times, without a son or husband the woman had no protection or future. This was Hagar’s chance to have this, she did not even fight the choice. It was her moment and she embraced it, proudly.

Hagar was not a woman who worshiped the God of Abram. In fact, she likely worshipped the Pagan God's her village had set up.

Sarai, who we can study next week, is wife to Abram. Later on in Genesis, you see Sarai's name is changed to Sarah. Sarah is probably the name that is easier to recognize but technically while we look at Hagar, God had not completed his promise to Sarai.

In the bible, we see names change to signify God had fulfilled a promised to that person, he had changed them completely and so much so that their name could no longer even be the same. For our devotional today though Sarai was still waiting on her promise, so we still refer to her as Sarai.

Sarai was barren yet God promised her husband he would have as many descendants as the stars in the sky.

Genesis 15:5 He took him outside and said "Look up at the sky and count the stars-If indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."

With him being Abram, who also would have his name changed once this promise was fullfilled.

This story is one lots of us have colored in Sunday school or seen played out in veggie tales cartoons. Sarai and Abram were promised a baby, but being unable to get pregnant put a damper on the this. I can see how Sarai began to think it was her fault too. I mean given the roles available, she is the only one who could actually carry the baby. If she can't get pregnant, the promise can not happen.

Several years passed, while Sarai is described as someone who had strong faith, years of nothing began to shake her.

In Genesis 16:2 Sarai says to Abram “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”

As a miscarriage survivor I know that desperation and I hear it in her words here. She is shaky on her faith and desperate to pull this thing off. Like somehow if you can not get a baby, you are a disappointment. As if to carry the pregnancy is life or death. Like your body and everything you know can not be trusted because this one little thing can not come together.

Never have I ever taken the step though of, oh hey hubs, you can just go sleep with her and maybe we will get pregnant but, I can literally feel Sarai’s desperation as she grasps at straws here to have an answer now- in the way she wants the answer.

The problem is though it’s not what God promised and Sarai, in her hormonal jealousy, can not see this mistake for what it is. She is manipulating God’s plan. Manipulation stems in a lack of distrust from God. We distrust him and start to distort our truths from what he wanted for us.

Our decisions become something out of a need of power, to be able to control where we feel insecure. We begin to lie to ourselves as we take control back into our own hands.

Here comes Hagar and why she is so important to girls today.

Hagar, our leading lady today, did as her owner commanded. She married Sarai's husband and became pregnant quickly after. She followed instructions and understood the assignment.

Hagar began to have pride in her rapidly changing life. She had a sweet little baby growing in her belly, she was the had masters wife now. People respected her in the household, she was something special and her future was secured because what was growing inside of her. She had finally become something.

Hagar had so much pride she started to get under Sarai’s skin. I mean, here is this woman, who at the time was not even a follower of God’s, she was only a servant and she became pregnant. Really?!

As any wife would do, Sarai went to Abram and was like this is your fault. You did this, God’s going to judge us and you need to fix it

Genesis 16:6, “Your slave is in your hands, Do with her whatever you think best.” Basically a very early example of a hubby being like nope, not my mess -you deal with it. "

Which brings us to why Hagar is my encouragement today.

So far Hagar has been hosed in this story. She did as she was commanded, she doesn't serve this God that is making wild promises, now her employer, her protection, is angry with her. Hagar was finally getting something out of this deal and now it's bad?

In fact, Sarai is so angry she begins to mistreat Hagar. She mistreats Hagar to the point Hagar is willing to just leave. Give up her future, her protection and take on a culture that is not very forgiving to a pregnant woman, on her own, with no man in sight.


This is where Hagar steals my heart. She runs away. Hagar can not get passed the feeling of being so unwanted. She is pregnant and alone. The position of being Saria’s maidservant in Near Eastern households meant Hagar was held as trustworthy, obedient and held honor.

By running away she was giving that all up. Not only giving it up but basically setting it on fire. She was feeling so desperate that she gave up her position and left. Hagar was invisible, nothing she did had mattered. The life she was trying to set up was something she was not worthy of. At least that's what it began to feel like.

God saw it all.

I happen to believe he was waiting to capture her heart in this exact moment. He is omniscent, meaning he sees all. He saw Hagar, knew she was alone and came to her. To a well, I will have you notice, not a mountain, he sent an angel to the very spot Hagar was at. The angel met her her there and called her home.

God loved Hagar so much he sought her out even though she had not claimed him. He healed her heart as he made promises only he could keep.

“You are the God who sees me,” she said “I have now seen the one who sees me.” she says in Genesis chapter 16 verse 13.

To be seen is what my heart needs when I am in the middle of my mess. I just want someone to see me and acknowledge how big my mess is. To completely and fully see me and still choose to come after me.

Sometimes I think maybe the wind could blow me away and no one would notice. To be seen by the God who sees is where I stand today, and exactly where you are today too.

He sees you and he calls you forward.

He sees the messy rooms, the moments you scroll through instagram feeling unnoticed. As though somehow you do not stand out among the crowd.

He sees you staying up late to study to try and make the grades, or the mean words said to you in the hallway. He feels the worry in your heart and is there to fight off the whispers.

He cares enough to meet you right there in that moment too, just like he did Hagar, whether you have publicly claimed him or not. He is by the spring in your life. No burning bushes and mountain tops because he knows we are women, we are busy coordinating and finishing our to do lists. He just wants to meet you right where you are at. With out all the extra if you will allow him.

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