Genesis 16:1-16

 |  April 9, 2018

Gen. 16:1-16

  1. Locate the passage

This passage occurs immediately after the renewal of the Abrahamic Covenant in Gen. 15

It represents the parenthesis between God’s promise and its fulfillment. It is the third in a series of episodes of doubt (cf. 12:10-20; 15:2; 17:17-18; 20:2-13; see also 18:11-15) and lack of faith from Abraham regarding God’s provision (for a child) and protection (with his wife).

  1. Genre

The passage is narrative. It includes conversations between Sarai and Abram and the Angel of the Lord and Hagar, but not between Abram and Hagar or Abram and the Lord.

  1. Determine the structure of the passage

16:1-6 – Abram’s lack of faith and Hagar’s flight

16:1-2 – Listening to the wrong voice: Abraham listens to Sarai

16:3-4 – Things didn’t turn out like we thought

16:5-6 – Making Matters Worse: compounding a bad decision

16:7-14 – The faith of an Egyptian maid

16:15-16 – The fruit of a lack of faith

  1. Exegete the passage

Key Phrases: God hears; God sees

Abram and Sarai’s attempt to manipulate the fulfillment of God’s promise juxtaposes Abram’s profession of faith in the immediately preceding chapter.

The passage begins with two significant statements:

Vs. 2 – perhaps I shall obtain children by her

Vs. 2 – Key Word in the passage (2, 11, 11, 16)

Ill. Eve listened to the serpent;

Adam listened to Eve;

Aaron listened to people;

Reuben listened to brothers about Joseph;

Israel listened to spies;

Israel did not listen to their judges (Judges 2:17);

Israel listened to other nations (need king);

Solomon listened to his wives; Rehoboam listened to advisors;

King Joash failed to listen to wise counsel after the death of Jehoiada;

Jesus warned His Disciples not to listen to the Pharisees (Matt. 16:5-12)

App. To whom are you listening?

Vs. 3 – It is significant that Hagar is Egyptian

Vs. 4 – He went into Hagar

Vs. 5-6 – Abram listened to Sarai again

Vs. 7 – The Angel of the Lord found her

Vs. 7 – “Shur” will be the site of several significant events on the Old Testament (cf. Gen. 20:1; 25:18; Ex. 15:22; 1 Sam. 15:7; 27:8)

Vs. 11 – the Lord heard your affliction

Vs. 13 – “The God who sees me”

Vs. 14 – Ishmael settled “in the presence of” his brothers

Vs. 15-16 – These verses form something of a summary of the entire passage

Vs. 16 – Ishmael means, “God will hear”

  1. Let the structure of the text drive the sermon

Impatience with God – she had borne him no children

Listening to the Wrong Voices

Acting on our Own without God

Category: Sermon Structure
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