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Genesis 16:1-16

God has promised a child to Abram, but both Abram and Sarai become convinced they must figure out how to make this happen.

Waiting for God


Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not been able to bear children for him. But she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar. 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. 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.)
(Genesis 16:1-3)


Sarai was following a common practice of that time when she gave Hagar to Abram as a substitute wife. But at the same time, Sarai took matters into her own hands by doing this.

Abram was also acting in line with the custom of the day, but his action showed a lack of faith that God would fulfill his promise.

When we take over God’s role, we don’t give faith the chance to grow. Waiting on God can take a long time. In Abram and Sarai’s case, time was the greatest test of their faith and willingness to let God work in their lives on his schedule. Sometimes we, too, must simply wait. When we ask God for something and have to wait, we can be tempted to take matters into our own hands and interfere with God’s purposes. Like Abram and Sarai, we might fail along the way. But God is patient with us like he was with Abram and Sarai.


What situation have you been trying to control? How can you wait for God’s timing?

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6).

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