Human Custom, Tradition and God’s Promises

Human Custom, Tradition and God’s Promises

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The Life Project by Don Merritt

Genesis 16

The Christmas Story would never be complete without an examination of the friction between human customs and traditions and the promises and ways of God. In our text, Sarai is getting old, yet she has never conceived a child. She knows that God has promised a son to her husband, but so far, God hasn’t come through with the heir. Custom in those days dictated that if an important person like Abram didn’t have an heir by his wife, then she could conceive a child through her slave girl, and Sarai encouraged Abram to use this option to help God get the job done, one might say. Abram took his wife’s advice, and Hagar, the slave girl, became pregnant.

From this point forward, there would be no end of grief for Abram and Sarai; there are consequences to such things as they had done.

Hagar, realizing that her stock was rising, became unpleasant with her mistress, and Sarai complained of this to her husband who seems to have tried to wash his hands of the entire matter[…]

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