“Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, ‘Have I also here seen Him who sees me?’ ” (Genesis 16:13).
There’s more than one way to bear children. Some opt for third-party reproduction. The two most common forms are through artificial insemination and by embryo transfer after in vitro fertilization. Surrogacy, in the wider sense, is when a woman carries a pregnancy for another woman. Advanced technology has now created several ways for donor-assisted reproduction to take place.
It wasn’t Hagar’s idea to be a surrogate mother, and neither was it Abraham’s. The unfortunate cultural shame associated with Sarah’s barrenness drove her to hatch a plan that was not uncommon in the Mesopotamian culture of her time. She offered her maidservant to her husband to bear her a child. But things didn’t turn out as expected. When Hagar conceived, it created division in Abraham’s home. Hagar felt she was now the favoured woman and despised Sarah.
With Abraham’s permission, Sarah drove her maidservant from their home. But God was compassionate toward the Egyptian servant. While walking a wilderness road back to Egypt, the Lord spoke to her and sent her back to her mistress. God promised that He would “multiply” her “descendants exceedingly” (Genesis 16:10).
The faithlessness of both Abraham and Sarah created a mess. Yet, despite the muddle, God reached out to Hagar, a victim caught in the middle. Though she was not to be a part of the Messiah’s direct line, the Lord still encouraged her. After Ishmael was born and she was once more cast from their home, God did not forget this foreign slave.
It is encouraging to know, in this day of blended families, that God sees and understands. Though difficulties come from our past choices, the Lord still cares for those caught in the crossfire. God has compassion toward those who are cast aside.
Thank You, the God-Who-Sees, for seeing me and caring for me when I walk down lonely roads.
For Further Study: Genesis 16; 21:8–21; Galatians 4:21–31