Hagar: She Who Speaks with God
The back-and-forths between God and Noah, Abraham, and Moses are .. women who speak directly to God have a profound and unique relationship with God. Women are created in the image of God just as men are. to have considered them in terms of their relation (or lack of one) to God. Bloesch infers that “Jesus called the Jewish women 'daughters of Abraham' (Luke ). One could argue that this ritual established a covenant only between God and Abraham, and Abraham's male descendants, and that women stood outside this .
Egyptian slave girl Hagar – Bible Woman
But thank God for the final triumph of faith. I believe the turning point in their struggling faith occurred during that last encounter with the Lord. That poignant challenge pierced their faltering hearts, and faith was rekindled, strong and steadfast.
There was that brief setback in Gerar Gen. But basically things were different from that moment on. Her laugh of doubt had turned to a laugh of triumphant joy, and we can share her joy with her. There would still be problems for Abraham and Sarah. The life of faith is never free from obstacles. Hagar and Ishmael were still around to poke fun at Isaac. And Sarah got upset about that. When she saw Ishmael mocking her little Isaac she seemed to lose control of herself.
Could this be the same woman who is extolled in the New Testament for her submissiveness and obedience? Healthy submission does not prohibit the expression of opinions.
Sarah at least said what was on her mind. And furthermore, she was right! Getting upset was not right. But Ishmael was not to be heir with Isaac, and God wanted him to leave the household.
God told Abraham to listen to Sarah and to do what she said Gen. Imagine that—even though Sarah got emotional, God wanted Abraham to heed her advice. He often wants to use wives to correct their husbands, to advise them, to mature them, to help them solve their problems and give them insight.
Some husbands make their wives feel like ignoramuses, whose ideas are ridiculous and whose opinions are worthless. The husband who does that is the real ignoramus. If a wife tells her husband there is a problem in their marriage, God wants him to listen to her—listen to her evaluation of the situation, listen to the changes she thinks should be made, listen when she tries to share her feelings and her needs—then do something constructive about it.
One of the prevalent problems in Christian marriages today is that husbands are too proud to admit that there is anything wrong and too stubborn to do anything about it.
God may want to enlighten them through their wives. The bondwoman and her son were finally sent away. Ishmael was now old enough to provide for his mother, and God gave him expertise with the bow Gen. And with that irritant removed, this happy little family threesome enjoyed a time of unhindered faith and fellowship. But the most severe trial to their faith was yet to come. It was to be a very unusual test. But she certainly knew what was going on.
She probably helped them prepare for the trip. She saw the wood, the fire, and the knife; she saw her son Isaac, and she saw Abraham, a look of agony etched on his weathered brow. But she saw no animal for the sacrifice. Scripture says that Abraham believed that God could even raise Isaac from the dead Heb. Sarah must have believed that too. She watched them disappear over the horizon, and though her motherly heart was breaking, she uttered not one word of protest.
A Christian wife need not have any fear of submissiveness when her hope is in God. He will be faithful to His Word and use her obedience to accomplish what is best for her. Sarah was one of those women whom King Lemuel spoke about, who did her husband good and not evil all the days of her life Prov. It is given to him by God. So he accepts it as a sacred trust and discharges it in full submission to his Lord and unselfish consideration for his wife and what is best for her.
In the case of Hagar, Abraham is also in direct verbal communication with God during the time that Hagar and God converse. God not only directs Hagar what to do with Ishmael, but God also tells Abraham how to manage the demands of Sarah and tells him what the future holds for his sons. Unique from the other three narratives, when Hannah cries out to God, there is no mention of Elkanah having a parallel conversation with God. Fertility and Motherhood Each woman who speaks directly to God does so either during or directly before her pregnancy, and each has either a direct or an indirect struggle with fertility.
Until she eats of the forbidden fruit and speaks with God, Eve presumably has no knowledge of procreation. While she does not struggle with infertility, until her conversation with God, she does not have the ability to procreate.
Sarah - Life, Hope & Truth
Immediately following her conversation with God, Eve lays with Adam, conceives sons, and later bears Cain and Abel. Rebekah inquires of God because of the fighting children she feels inside of her womb.
Interestingly, she is also the only woman who both initiates conversation with God and receives a verbal response. She addresses God after withstanding continual ridicule from her co-wife, and lack of true empathy or sympathy from her husband.
Why are you sad? Following her prayer to God, Hannah conceives. Even the conversation between Eve and God, which is the least direct in terms of reference to the specific sons she will bear, results in God conveying to Eve that she will now be able to conceive and give birth.
In the case of Hagar, all information that God speaks to her revolves around the future of Ishmael. Birth of Important Male Children It follows, then, that one major characteristic uniting each of these women who speak to God is that each becomes the mother of men who play pivotal roles in the lineage of the Israelite people. According to the words that God speaks to Abraham, God makes Ishmael a great nation among the peoples. What was unique about each of these women to allow her to speak directly to God?
Conversing with God was non-normative for women in biblical times. The narratives in Genesis not only trace the origins of patriarchal society, but they also demonstrate the increasing power of patriarchal norms on women. Eve is the only woman to whom God articulates anything specific to her life and state of being, regarding the pain she will experience in childbirth and the power dynamics of her relationship to her husband. But even as the details are focused on her, in essence they still describe what her life as a mother and wife will be like.
To examine this further, Sarah and Leah are useful for comparison. As both women would seem to fit the criteria. Both mother important male children, both face profound personal trials—from infertility to lack of love—and would seem to merit direct communication with God. For each woman, communication with God occurs as she is going beyond the defined bounds of society, in one way or another.
Each of these women emerge as active agents who receive Divine recognition and, ultimately, a male child, by taking charge of their own future. Neither Sarah nor Leah subverts the defined social structure; in fact, both women can be seen as paradigmatic of the proper role of women. For instance, Sarah never argues with Abraham or takes the initiative to shape the destination of Isaac.
Poignantly, throughout the entire narrative of the Akedah, there is no mention of Sarah attempting to have any influence on the situation beforehand, or to challenge Abraham for his actions afterwards. There is only one moment where Sarah can be seen as deviating from the norm: God then asks Abraham why Sarah laughed, to which Sarah asserts that she did not laugh.
Similarly, Leah serves as a symbol of the role of a woman within the patriarchally defined system. Further, the names Leah chooses for her sons seem to emphasize her desire to gain acceptance by her husband through the traditional method of producing male children.
This theme is emphasized by the meanings of the names Leah chooses: In The Garden, God addresses Eve after she has eaten of the fruit, therefore disobeying the one rule that had been put in place. This action is so subversive that it causes the destruction of The Garden and propels Adam and Eve into an entirely new universe of mortal existence. From this conversation, Eve is granted the power to be like the gods in becoming capable of reproducing.
Further, as Savina J. Teubal states, by running away from Sarah and Abraham, Hagar is able to successfully extricate herself from her lowly position in a system of servitude and attain social and spiritual freedom. Indeed, a person is not complete without a partner. It has been said that man and woman together comprise a whole: Any man who does not have a wife is not altogether a man, for it is written Gen.
The parameters that are emphasized in this command are: This wholeness of the spousal relationship is both physical and emotional, and the duty of respecting and safeguarding each other is the essence of love in the Jewish view.
Examining the complex of relations between the couple, as presented in Scripture, and analyzing it in the light of this approach is likely to reveal a preferential model of family-spousal relations.
It is well known that biblical stories do not hesitate to lay bare the difficulties in relationships between people; the relations between couples in the Bible are described in realistic terms, even if not ideal ones. We have chosen to examine the relations between Abraham and Sarah, presuming that from their relationship one might be able to conclude something about a fitting relationship between spouses.
Even though the status of women in biblical society is altogether different from their status today, it appears that the fundamental values of married relations as presented in the relations between Abraham and Sarah are absolute, beyond time and place. What characteristics are required of the spouses to build a good marriage? And what of all this finds expression in Scripture? Psychological literature emphasizes that the bond between spouses is based first and foremost on satisfying the needs and longings of each individual within the relationship.
Rabin mentions ten parameters that are necessary for a mature spousal relationship: Close partners feel a desire to live together, to be near one another and to share experiences together.