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Hagar And The Secret Of The Desert

10.08.2017, Daniel Glimm

‹bersetzung: Margit Kelly

I would like to use the following word to show the significance of the desert.
For instance, when the people of Israel left the slavery of Egypt it pleased God to lead them into the desert first.
God delighted in leading His people from slavery into the desert in order to meet them there.
The Uncompromising Trait of God
The desert is a place, where days are very hot and nights are quite cold. This points to the uncompromising character trait of God, who is a God of stark contrast (note: black or white), as becomes clear in Revelation 3:16, where Jesus Christ addresses the Church of Laodicea.
Revelation 3:16:
16 So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
God is the LORD of real, i.e. true things: He expects us to follow Him truthfully and wholeheartedly and not just a bit, and fully walk on the straight path, for example.
As before mentioned, God is a God of stark contrasts: either black or white, whereas the color black isn't necessarily connected to evil, because God also dwells in a dark cloud (see Exodus 20:21 i.c.w. 1 Kings 8:12)
Exodus 20:21:
21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.
1 Kings 8:12:
12 Then Solomon said, “The LORD has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; …
Two Types Of Pillars
When they were in the desert, God's presence was present in a white cloud among His people by day to bring refreshing, and by night it was a burning pillar of fire to give warmth in terms of security (see Exodus 13:21-22).
Exodus 13:21-22:
21 By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.
22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.
The Egyptian Maid Hagar
Pertaining to the desert I would like to take a look at Hagar, Egyptian maid of Abraham's wife Sarah, at this point.
After God had given him the promise, Abraham by natural comprehension and being aware of his advanced years took the Egyptian maid Hagar on his wife Sarah's instruction and fathered a son. God commanded him to call this son Ishmael (note: means „God hears“; see Genesis 15:1-4; Genesis 18:9-14 i.c.w. Genesis 16:1-2.11.15).
Genesis 15:1-4:
1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
2 But Abram said, “Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?”
3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.”
Genesis 18:9-14:
9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him. “There, in the tent,” he said.
10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.
11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing.
12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13 Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’
14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
Genesis 16:1-2.11.15:
1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. …
11 The angel of the LORD also said to her (note: Hagar): “You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery. …
15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne.
The Importance Of A Humble Heart
When Hagar was pregnant with Ishmael, carrying God's answer inside of her, she had an argument with Sarah, Abraham's wife, for she did not respect her mistress any longer.
This shows quite clearly how important it is not to become prideful of other people, when we carry the promise of God in us.
Hagar's misconduct lead to Sarah ill-treating her, so that she (note.: Hagar) fled into the desert of Shur (see Genesis16:5-6).
Genesis 16:5-6:
5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the LORD judge between you and me.”
6 “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.
Patience And Divine Comprehension
Abraham's conduct (note: going to the maid Hagar) is a symbol for us today in the sense, that we should not try to help God bring about the things He has promised us according to our own idea, only because we are impatient. Rather, we should wait for the right time God has determined.
Impatience can have far-reaching consequences for our life.
If you were a runner at the Olympic games for instance, and you would start running before the start signal was given, the run would be abolished. Furthermore, if this was to happen repeatedly, you would eventually be disqualified.
In turn, if and when we are prepared to give our all and to be in the right place at the right time with the right people, we should wait for God to give the go-ahead. This leads to the best possible result.
Hagar's Entry Into The Challenge
Let us look at the Egyptian maid Hagar again: She entered into a challenging phase in her life, because she was taken into it by a person who was called by God, namely Abraham.
Hagar was not after receiving anything from her master Abraham; she received the promise because of Abraham's decision to sleep with her on his wife's instruction, so Hagar received Abraham's seed and became pregnant with Ishmael.
For this reason God spoke to Hagar in a special place in the desert of Shur, where there was a well/spring.
While she was there - hopeless, afflicted, sad and depressed - the angel of the LORD appeared to her and spoke about the promise, she carried inside (see Genesis 16:7.10-11)
Genesis 16:7.10-11:
7 The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. …
10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”
11 The angel of the LORD also said to her: “You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery.
The Desert And The Well
The desert and the well/spring caused God to send an angel to meet Hagar, as she carried a special seed inside of her.
Because of the promise God made, Abraham was holy unto the LORD. This means, everyone who associated with Abraham in a special way also became carrier of the promise (note: a person of special status), similar to the way described in Exodus 29:37 i.c.w. Exodus 30:29.
Exodus 29:37:
37 For seven days make atonement for the altar and consecrate it. Then the altar will be most holy, and whatever touches it will be holy.
Exodus 30:29:
29 You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy.
Abraham's „Misconduct“
The “misconduct” of Abraham shows us today, that God blesses other people, when we as saints of the LORD do wrong unto them, as we too are holy unto the LORD through Jesus Christ.
It happens, when our fellow men are affected by our wrongdoing that they are suddenly connected to the divine area without knowing, so that the blessing of God is released over their lives. This does not mean, we can treat people wrong willfully.
The Dry Season
There are times in our lives, which may look really dry and where we feel that nothing is happening.
But the LORD wants us to look for the well in the desert despite our circumstances, and position ourselves there. It is the place, where God looks at us from the deep, because that’s where the secrets for our future lie hidden.
Wisdom and knowledge are hidden inside the well, which or who is Jesus Christ (see Colossians 2:3).
Colossians 2:3:
… 3 in whom (note: Jesus Christ) are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
If we stay by the well we receive clear direction for the future and the security to take the next proper step.
Occasionally the direction of the LORD seems challenging - Hagar experienced this (see Genesis 16:7-9).
Genesis 16:7-9:
7 The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is (note: well) beside the road to Shur.
8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.
9 Then the angel of the LORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.”
The Temporary Challenge
This kind of challenge is temporary, so that we don't stay in this place forever, because the seed, i.e. the promise we received from God becomes public at the right time in the right degree of maturity, so that we then change to the new destination (see Genesis 21:8-9.12-14).
Genesis 21:8-9.12-14:
8 The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast.
9 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, …
12 But God said to him (note: Abraham), “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.
13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”
14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.
The Change Of Destination
The change of Hagar's destination to another wants to show us today that we move from the region of the protection and security of God (note: desert „Shur“ => „wall“) into the region of the oath of God (note: desert „Beerscheba“ => „Oath-/ Seven wells“). This is the place where God calls to our spirit from His depth to our low point, so that a solution is found and deliverance takes place (see Psalm 42:7).
Psalm 42:7:
7 Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
Hagar As Symbol For The Gentile Believers
The maid Hagar is also a symbol for us as saints from the gentiles today. In this context we realize, that we as Christians move from one time into another.
And every time the Body of Christ is in a transition, it has to pass through the desert to step into the next part of the Lord's promise.
In all of this it is important to find the well in the desert; it is the place of revelation, where we receive refreshing and direction for the future by the spirit of wisdom and knowledge.
There is a time frame in which we, just like the maid Hagar, will give birth to the child to bring it into the visible. And this phase of the visible and particular stage of maturity can also lead to a new phase of challenge. This can be seen in Ishmael's behavior towards Isaac, when Ishmael mocked Isaac (see Genesis 21:9).
Genesis 21:9:
9 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, …
The Second Desert Phase Of Hagar And Hagar's Responsibility
During the time where Hagar was in the desert a second time with Ishmael, i.e. the desert of Beersheba, she wasn't any longer just a woman, but also a mother.
Her field of responsibility was enlarged by the birth of the promise (note: Ishmael).
And this is exactly, where we stand as the Body of Christ globally.
Our field of responsibility is enlarged, where we give birth to the promise of God at the right time and care for it with love and responsibility.
The desert of Beersheba is a time frame, in which we should be ready to let go the things God gives us in order to receive them in a fresh way and to take them into greater responsibility as Hagar did.
Hagar finished a time cycle of provision by using up her masters (note: Abraham's) provision with her son in the desert of Beersheba. Thereafter she placed her son Ishmael under a bush and left. This led to Hagar's promise making a new sound of desire, which was connected to her spirit, and she returned to her promise (note: Ishmael) to draw it, i.e. him to her.
As Hagar did this she gained overview of her environment and saw the provision prepared by God, namely a well/spring. She was able to fill her water-skin with new water, which was not connected to the old time of servitude under Abraham (see Genesis 21:14-21).
Genesis 21:14-21:
14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.
15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes.
16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob.
17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.
18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer.
21 While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.
By giving birth to Ishmael Hagar became a mother and Ishmael became an influential archer and husband because of the courageous action of his mother.
Amen and Amen.
In His Wisdom,
Daniel Glimm