By Don Wright
One of the challenges that we face as children of God is to learn to wait on the Lord. Waiting for anything is hard. Most of us want what we want on our schedule, which usually means we want it sooner rather than later. This mentality sometimes creeps into our dealings with God. When we are anticipating a particular blessing from God, perhaps something for which we have recently prayed, it is easy to lose patience when the blessing does not arrive when we think it should. Once in a while, we forget that God operates on His own schedule. When we find this happening to us, we should remember the words of Isaiah.
Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)
31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
Waiting on the Lord is important. Learning to do so can save us from self-induced problems. Abraham and Sarah could have used this lesson while they were waiting for God to bless them with a son.
Their story begins in Genesis 12 when God called Abraham to go to a land that He was going to give to his descendants (Genesis 12:1-7). In Genesis 12:7, we have the first hint that Abraham was going to have a lot of offspring, even though, at the time, he was seventy-five years old, and his wife was barren. Ten years later, Abraham still did not have any children, and Sarai was growing very impatient. In the sixteenth chapter of Genesis, we find Abraham and Sarah, (with the help of Sarai’s Egyptian maid), failing to wait on God. Notice the plan that Sarah concocted, a plan that leaves God out of the picture.
Genesis 16:1-2 (ESV)
1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. 2 And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.
Clearly, this entire scheme was thought up by Sarai and approved by Abraham, but was not what God had in mind. It is very important that we keep God in all of our decisions. Putting God’s will and His glorification before our own is the essence of discipleship. When we forget that, we tend to put ourselves before God and, it usually ends up being a disaster.
Proverbs 3:5 (ESV)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Jeremiah 10:23 (ESV)
23 I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
Sarai simply lost patience while waiting to bear Abraham a son. Humanly speaking, we can sympathize with her. Being barren was considered a dishonor in those days, and children were considered a blessing from God (Genesis 30:1; Psalms 127:3). Still, this high-powered couple, both of whom are listed in the hall of fame of faith (Hebrews 11:8, 11), simply lost patience as they grew older and thought they could somehow help God out, or hurry Him up.
The story transpires in typical fashion. In following their humanly devised plan, it looks at first as if it was the right decision because Hagar indeed conceives a child for Abraham (16:4). In the end, however, things fall apart. Eventually, Sarai experiences humiliation, Abraham experiences misery, and Hagar experiences oppression. The ultimate consequence of Sarai and Abraham’s actions is the producing of a people, the Arabs, who became a problem for the people of God throughout history. Why did it happen? Because they forgot, God has His own clock. Let us all learn to wait on the Lord.
— Via Brown Street Beacon, May 16, 2021