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sarai and hagar

God Allowed Abram’s Polygamy but Never Approved It

Starting in Genesis 13 and finally concluding in Genesis 21 with the birth of Isaac, we see an account of Abram and Sarai’s struggle of faith. Abram’s covenant with God in Genesis 13 and 15 leaves Abram and Sarai with God’s promise of descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky (15:5) and a claim to the lands of nearby nations (15:18). Abram was already in his mid-80’s at this time and Sarai was considered barren and beyond child-bearing years. As they wrestle with God’s seemingly improbable promise, Abram and Sarai eventually decide to take matters into their own hands. Sarai convinces Abram to go in unto her Egyptian handmaid, Hagar, in order to help the prophesy along. Hagar does indeed conceive a son, Ishmael, however this was not in accordance with God’s promise. The whole account is one that teaches us the importance of waiting upon the promises of the Lord. For good measure, God waits over 15 years more before fulfilling His promise, making the supernatural blessing of Isaac undeniable.

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