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Forgetting God's Promises

You'd think that some things would be unforgettable.

Genesis 21:11-21 (ESV)

And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.” So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, “Let me not look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

Hagar forgot the promises made the last time she was out in the wilderness.

The angel of the LORD also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude. He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.” – Genesis 16:10, 12 (ESV)

How could Hagar forget something this profound? We know that she understood what the angel said because she obeyed and returned and submitted to Sarah. Besides, how could anyone forget anything the angel of the LORD said?

Never underestimate the power of depression. Hagar’s encounter with the angel of the LORD should have given her bullet-proof faith. Yet here she seems totally faithless.

This is another facet of our inconsistency. When we’re dysfunctional, our faith fails too.

Depression is a curious beast. It distorts everything.

Do you know someone who is sinking into despair? Ask God to clear their broken attitude and let them see joy.

And consider giving them a call. Depressed people desperately need friends. Without anyone to talk to, their imagination has free reign. A friend showing up can have almost as much impact as an angelic visit.

Reconnecting them to the real world can deliver them.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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