Now Sarai Abram's wife bore him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.…
The history of Hagar has its two sides - that which is turned towards God and illustrates Divine grace, that which is turned towards man and illustrates human infirmity and sinfulness. Jehovah brought forth compassionate bestowments of revelation and promise out of his people's errors. Abram and Sarah both sinned. Hagar sinned. The angel of the Lord, representative of the continuous gracious revelation of Jehovah as a covenant God, appeared in the cloud of family sorrow, drawing once more upon it the rainbow of promise. Until the heir came there was a call for patience. Unbelief appeared at work - in the patriarch's weakness, in Sarah's harshness, in Hagar's pride and rebellion, for she was, as a member of the household, partaker of the covenant. In the wilderness appeared the messenger of grace.
I. THE NAME OF THE LORD WAS THE TESTIMONY. Thou God seest me; or, Thou God of vision. The idea is that the sight of God was deliverance. Hagar's seeing God was God seeing her. The vision was both objective and subjective. So the world has wearied itself in the wilderness of its own ignorance and moral helplessness (cf. Galatians 4:22 - 31). The unspiritual, carnal mind is the bond slave, which must give way to the true heir. All true religious life is a response to revelation. In his light we see light.
II. THE REVELATION TO HAGAR MAY BE CONNECTED WITH HER PERSONAL HISTORY. She turned back with a new light in her heart. Submission and obedience are commanded, but abundant reward is promised. Our life is under the eye of Jehovah and in his hand. "Thou God seest me" is the cry of a grateful memory, the note of a bright future. The nearness of God, his knowledge, may be not terror, but blessing, angels round about us, gracious sunshine of love in which we are invited to walk as children of light. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.