The scripture for today is Genesis 16:1-6, KJV.
1) "Now Sarai, Abram's wife, bare him no children: and she had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
2) And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may
obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
3) And Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
4) And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
5) And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into they bosom, and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the Lord judge between me and thee.
6) But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face."
At that point in history, a woman's worth seemed to be measured by her womb and the heirs she could produce for her husband. Even the women measured their own worth that way. How sad. According to the existing laws, it certainly was legal for Sarai to have Abram go to Hagar to produce a child, which Sarai could then claim as her own, thereby providing an heir for her husband. Legal, but was it moral? Did Sarai ask Abram's opinion, or did they pray together, seeking guidance from God? It doesn't appear so.
Abram did as his wife instructed, with no question nor any apparent hesitance. Do you see trouble coming? Indeed! Hagar conceived, and gloated, and no doubt felt superior to her mistress, and Sarai hated her for that. Abram washed his hands of the matter and backed off, telling Sarai to do whatever she wanted to with Hagar. No happily ever after result for any of them.
There have been times in my life I've gone off trying to get something I want, without praying, without guidance, and without even thinking about consequences to myself or others -- what I wanted seemed to be most important. I try very hard not to do that anymore. I have a bit more discernment these days, and I don't want to hurt others, especially those I love. The old saying goes, "Be careful what you pray for."
I believe one has to be even more careful if you don’t pray at all.
Forgiving and gracious Father, keep me mindful that my decisions and my actions or lack of action can affect others. Help me be careful rather than careless. I praise you for your patience with me and pray to you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Prayer Concern: Those husbands and wives who desperately want children but are unable to conceive.