The chapter begins by Sarai, Abrams wife, telling Abram to sleep with her servant as a substitute wife sense Sarai was barren and couldn’t conceive. This was normal in that time frame, if a women was barren it was a sign of disgrace and her husband would then have a mistress to create heirs with. However, God had already told Abram that he would have as many descendants as the stars in the sky, so by acting on this “normal” and “worldly” behavior, it was showing a distrust in God and what He had promised Abram. Sarai was at fault for taking matters into her own hands and making a plan out of her distrust in Gods promise, Abram was at fault for following through with that plan. God is faithful, His word stands, no matter what the world around us might say, Gods word is above all else. Its important to remember this when you are faced with a time of struggle, when the world might tell you its ok or normal to do one thing, even though it goes against what God has already commanded you or promised you.
Because Abram and Sarai took control of the situation, their marriage suffered. Sarai was angry that the servant gave Abram a child and she was incredibly jealous. Most women would be jealous and angry if their husband slept with another woman, but she chose this path for her and her husband and was now forced to deal with the uncomfortable consequences.
Sarai took her anger out on the servant, Hagar, who was just following orders. Hagar chose to run away and when she did an angel approached her and told her to go back, that she was with child, a boy to be named Ishmael. God didn't want Hagar to run from her problem, He wanted her to go back and face them. It is uncomfortable to face ur problems and easier to run away, but trusting in Gods help and guidance to fix the situation we are in helps us to grow and learn. Running away wouldn't have taught her anything good.
We learn in this chapter three main mistakes and how to not repeat them. From Sarai we learn not to take matters into our own hands, to seek Gods guidance in all that we do. From Abram we learn not to go against what God has told us to please someone else, and when problems do arrise we are to help find a solution instead of ignore the problem all together. When Sarai told Abram how angry she was with Hagar he didn't do anything to help fix the problem, he told Sarai to deal with it however she wanted. Sometimes we need our spouse to help give us knowledge when we are being too stubborn to see rationally, Abram should have prayed with Sarai about the problem and encouraged her to seek Gods grace and guidance rather than act out of anger. And from Hagar, we learn not to run away from our problems, but to seek God on how to face them.