Click the date for a PDF: 6.22.2014
Lost (and Found) in the Wilderness
Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise.” So wrote the Apostle Peter (2 Peter 3:9). But it sure seems like God moves at an unhurried pace at times. Especially when a person has been longing for years to see God’s promises fulfilled. Such was the case with Abram and Sarai. They waited more than a decade for God to do what he said, to no avail. Then they decided to take matters into their own hands. …
Questions for Discussions & Discovery
1. How does Abram’s response (in v. 2) parallel Adam’s answer to Eve in Genesis 3:17? What does the author intend to communicate by this similarity?
2. Why do we have such a tendency to “take back the reins” of our lives and hold onto control? What areas of your life are you tempted to take matters into your own hands, thereby rejecting God’s blueprint?
3. Does waiting on the Lord imply passivity? Why or why not?
4. What is significant about Hagar’s description of God in v. 13?
5. What are some subtle ways that we show that we are relying on our performance rather than Christ’s performance?
6. How does an awareness of God’s love and grace lead to worship? Obedience?
1. And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life.” – Genesis 3:17
2. 01. Devising our own solutions, rather than waiting on the Lord’s intervention, always brings heartache and turmoil.
3. This mystery [of marriage] is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
4. “Her anger roused, Sarai again takes the initiative and blames Abram for the fairly predictable outcome of her scheme.” – Gordon Wenham
5. “Was I looking for him? Or did his gracious providence surprise me, and His gracious eye almost startle me, when he sought out one, alas! too far gone in hardness of heart ever to have thought of seeking Him?” – R.S. Candlish
6. 02. God is in the business of pursuing those who aren’t looking for Him, those whom everyone else has written off.
7. “Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. … Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman. So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.” – Galatians 4:21-23
“The New Testament likens Hagar’s son, ‘born after the flesh,’ to the products of self-effort in religion, ever incompatible with those in the spirit.” – Derek Kidner
9. 03. The gospel is not for the strong, “fertile” and self-reliant, but for the “barren,” worthless and failures of the world.