Our Daily Bread 6 April 2019 – Surviving the Unbearable
Topic: Surviving the Unbearable
Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 4–6; Luke 9:1–17
Key Verse: She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” – Genesis 16:13
Today’s Scripture: Genesis 16:7–16 (NIV)
Insight: The domestic arrangement in Genesis 16 of a barren wife offering her maidservant to her husband to bear children was not uncommon in ancient Near Eastern history. “Slave women or bondswomen were considered both property and legal extensions of their mistress.
As a result, it would be possible for Sarai to have Hagar perform a variety of household tasks as well as to use her as a surrogate for her own barren womb” (IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament). Through such an arrangement, both Rachel and Leah allowed their female servants to conceive by Jacob (Genesis 30:1–24). By: Arthur Jackson
Message: Our Daily Bread 6 April 2019
The Experience Project, one of the largest online communities of the twenty-first century, was once a site where tens of millions shared deeply painful firsthand experiences. As I read through the heartbreaking stories, I reflected on how desperately our hearts long for someone to see—to understand—our pain. Our Daily Bread 6 April 2019
In Genesis, the story of a young handmaid reveals just how life-giving this gift can be. Hagar was a slave girl likely given to Abram by a pharaoh of Egypt (see Genesis 12:16; 16:1). When Abram’s wife Sarai was unable to conceive, she urged Abram to conceive a child with Hagar—a disturbing yet familiar practice of that day. But when Hagar became pregnant, tensions flared, until Hagar fled into the wilderness to escape Sarai’s abuse (16:1–6).
Our Daily Bread 6 April 2019 Our Daily Bread 6 April 2019
But Hagar’s predicament—pregnant and alone in a harsh, unforgiving desert—didn’t escape divine eyes. After a heavenly messenger encouraged Hagar (vv. 7–12), she declared, “You are the God who sees me” (v. 13). Hagar was praising One who sees more than the bare facts. The same God was revealed in Jesus, who, “when he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless” (Matthew 9:36). Hagar encountered a God who understood. Our Daily Bread 6 April 2019
The One who saw and understood Hagar’s pain sees ours as well (Hebrews 4:15–16). Experiencing heaven’s empathy can help the unbearable become a bit more bearable. By Jeff Olson
Today’s Reflection: How does it reassure you to know God understands the challenges you face? How can you be a channel of His empathy and compassion to others?
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