June 23, 2024

Assigned Scripture

Genesis 16:1-16

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not been able to bear children for him. But she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, “The Lord has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.” And Abram agreed with Sarai’s proposal. So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian servant and gave her to Abram as a wife. (This happened ten years after Abram had settled in the land of Canaan.)

So Abram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she became pregnant. But when Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress, Sarai, with contempt.Then Sarai said to Abram, “This is all your fault! I put my servant into your arms, but now that she’s pregnant she treats me with contempt. The Lord will show who’s wrong—you or me!”

Abram replied, “Look, she is your servant, so deal with her as you see fit.” Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away.

The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur. The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?”

“I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied.

The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” 10 Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.”

11 And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress. 12 This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives.”

13 Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.”[a] She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” 14 So that well was named Beer-lahai-roi (which means “well of the Living One who sees me”). It can still be found between Kadesh and Bered.

15 So Hagar gave Abram a son, and Abram named him Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Ishmael was born.

New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Group Response

Following the weekly gathering, you’re invited to respond to the service by engaging in group discussion.

All throughout Genesis, Abram and Sarai struggle to live as the people of God. In their desperation to see God’s promises fulfilled, they decide to take matters into their own hands. Yet, God’s grace is bigger than their messy relationships and poor decisions, and we will see him come alongside his people as they learn what it truly means to represent him to the world. 

Discussion Questions

1. How do you respond in times of waiting? Why do you think that is?
 
2. What is something you are waiting for? If you aren’t waiting for anything, what is something you waited for in the past, and how did God fulfill that promise?
 
3. How do you respond when someone wrongs you? Do you lean more towards retaliation (an eye for an eye, etc.), or do you find it easy to turn the other cheek? Why do you think that is?
 
4. What do you think it means to represent God to the world? What unique gifts/talents/attributes has God given you to do that?
 
5. Tell us about a time when you felt truly “seen” by someone. If you can’t think of a time, what do you think it means to be truly “seen”?
 
6. Take a moment to think of someone you interact with on a daily or weekly basis. What is one thing you can do to show them you “see” them this week?