Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” Genesis 16:9
Read: Genesis 16:9-16
Listen: Genesis 16
This part of the story can easily be misunderstood. God tells Hagar to go back to what is an abusive situation. It seems incomprehensible to us today that a loving God would ask anyone to do this. But we need to understand that this story is descriptive and not prescriptive. It describes what God did in a specific situation, and in a much different culture, in history. It does not prescribe what we should do when we encounter abusive situations today.
Understanding this, God often calls us to do difficult things. When we’re running away, sometimes he calls us to “go back.” Maybe he calls us to go back to a Jesus-following community after bailing on church during college. Perhaps we are running away from the commitment we made to our husband, wife or children. Or maybe we’re running from God himself.
Watch the video clip below as Pastor Aaron Buer asks, “Is it time to go back?” Time to return to community, a marriage/family or even God. Yes, it could be difficult (as it was for Hagar). But the God who blessed Hagar with innumerable descendants (Genesis 16:10) desires to bless your faithfulness.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
One of the steps in returning to God is baptism. Baptism is the outward expression of an inward change that takes place after we place our faith and trust in Jesus. If you’ve not been baptized, we’d love to speak with you. Visit our baptism page to start the conversation.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.