When We Take Things into Our Own hands
Genesis 16: 2 “So Sarai said to Abram, 'the Lord has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant '"(NLT).
God had promised Abram and Sarai that they would have a son. But there was just one problem: Sarai was infertile. And instead of trusting in the power of God and the wisdom of His timing, Sarai fell into a trap that many of us do: she got tired and fed up with waiting. And her faith unraveled. Not long after she found herself justifying her sin by blaming God. "The Lord has prevented me from having children…”
Her weariness led to doubt. Her doubt festered and became bitterness towards God. And her bitterness towards God led her to justify her sin and urge her husband to break their marriage covenant (Abram found himself in the same cycle as he agreed with Sarai's proposal).
We can look at Sarai and Abram in total disgust and say, "I can't believe they did that!" But don't we often fall into the same trap? Don't we often give into discouragement while waiting for God to act? And doesn't that discouragement often morph into bitterness? And doesn't that bitterness often lead us into sin?
Sexting on dating apps... watching porn... going too far physically... having sex before marriage. All of these things can happen (and do. Often) when we grow weary of waiting on God and decide to fulfill our desires in our own way in our own timing.
The Bible is pretty clear about what Abram and Sarah did. Galatians 4:23 says "The son of the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God's promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as Gods' own fulfillment of His promise" (NLT).
God doesn't need our help. And if Sarai had trusted in her Heavenly Father’s promise and not taken things into her own hands a lot of people would’ve been spared a lot of pain and suffering. Our actions have consequences. Sarai hurt and abused people through her actions and people suffered.
Yet we see Gods' grace even in that situation as He tenderly provides for Sarai’s servant, Hagar, and her son in the wilderness. We see it with Abram and Sarai too as God makes good on His promise and still gives them a son in the end. That’s grace.
What a gracious and loving God we have who, though He often allows us to experience the consequences of our sins, He still remains faithful. He still loves us. He still offers redemption, and restoration, and blessing—His way, in His perfect time. 2 Timothy 2:13 Says "If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is" (NLT).
Through the son God gave Abram and Sarai would come Jesus. Gods' greatest promise and ultimate act of grace. Jesus would pay the ultimate price for our sins; for every time we doubt our Heavenly Father and take things into our own hands.
Jesus never doubted His Father’s ability to save mankind through Him. And even though the pain was excruciating Jesus said “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (ESV).
Because Jesus endured the pain and torment; because He walked the path God had set before Him and refused to take the easy way out, He accomplished our salvation. Because of Jesus we know we can trust God. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice we can resist the doubts that come and the temptations that knock on the doors of our hearts. We can stand firm in the power of Christ. And we can choose to hold out hope no matter what our circumstances. We can choose to trust Him.
Question: Are you struggling right now with waiting? Are your doubts making you bitter towards God? Are you tempted to justify your sin because God hasn’t come through yet? Consider pouring out all your hurt and doubt to God. He can take it. And as He did with the psalmists in the Bible again and again, He can take your doubt, and speak life and hope to your heart instead. He can comfort your heart and speak truth to your mind. He can restore your soul. Even if you’ve already messed up, He can redeem and restore. He can help you mend fences and overcome the traps of sin. You can trust Him.