Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not been able to have children. Since she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar, 2 Sarai said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from giving birth, so go to my servant. Maybe she will provide me with children.” Abram did just as Sarai said. 3 After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took her Egyptian servant Hagar and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she became pregnant. But when she realized that she was pregnant, she no longer respected her mistress. 5 Sarai said to Abram, “This harassment is your fault. I allowed you to embrace my servant, but when she realized she was pregnant, I lost her respect. Let the Lord decide who is right, you or me.”
6 Abram said to Sarai, “Since she’s your servant, do whatever you wish to her.” So Sarai treated her harshly, and she ran away from Sarai. 7 The Lord’s messenger found Hagar at a spring in the desert, the spring on the road to Shur, 8 and said, “Hagar! Sarai’s servant! Where did you come from and where are you going?” She said, “From Sarai my mistress. I’m running away.”
9 The Lord’s messenger said to her, “Go back to your mistress. Put up with her harsh treatment of you.” 10 The Lord’s messenger also said to her,
“I will give you many children,
so many they can’t be counted!”
11 The Lord’s messenger said to her,“You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son.
You will name him Ishmael because the Lord has heard about your harsh treatment.
12 He will be a wild mule of a man;
he will fight everyone, and they will fight him.
He will live at odds with all his relatives.”
13 Hagar named the Lord who spoke to her, “You are El Roi” because she said, “Can I still see after he saw me?” 14 Therefore, that well is called Beer-lahai-roi; it’s the well between Kadesh and Bered. 15 Hagar gave birth to a son for Abram, and Abram named him Ishmael. 16 Abram was 86 years old when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael for Abram.
Comment: Hagar deserves a deep study. Compare her conversation with other women in the Bible who sought God’s counsel and guidance. Was this an annunciation scene? Is this a rescue scene, where God rescues Hagar? El Roi means God who sees or God whom I’ve seen. Hagar becomes one of those women who visited by God.
The Gospel of John 11:1-16 (NIV)
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”
11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” 12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Comment: how painful for Martha and Mary that their Lord and friend was not present. We know that Jesus waited before going to them. In prayer we seek immediate answers, as Martha and Mary did through their letter. However they, like us, accept the Lord’s timing – even when it seems confusing at first.
8 Your hand will catch all your enemies;
your strong hand will catch all who hate you.
9 When you appear, Lord,
you will light them up like an oven on fire.
God will eat them whole in his anger;
fire will devour them.
10 You will destroy their offspring from the land;
destroy their descendants from the human race.
11 Because they sought to do you harm,
they devised a wicked plan—but they will fail!
12 Because you will make them turn and run
when you aim your bow straight at their faces!
13 Be exalted, Lord, in your strength!
We will sing and praise your power!
Prayer: When you appear, Lord, when you appear! Even so, come Lord Jesus. Amen.