Abraham (Abram) had an issue with control. Even though God promised he would be the father of a great nation, Abraham just didn’t see how it could be possible. His wife was barren after all. His wife Sarai didn’t help this tendency toward control either. “Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, bore him no children; and she had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing. I pray thee, go in unto my maid, it may be that I may obtain children by her” (Gen. 16:1, 2). In this suggestion of Sarai’s we witness a real testing of Abram. Not only was he wanting to take control of God’s promise, but his sweet wife offered her maid. How is the guy going to resist that? So Abram slept with Hagar and a new nation was born through his son Ishmael. This of course was not the nation God originally promised, but I won’t get into the repercussions of that decision. Suffice it to say, it was not a good outcome.
Abram soon realized he made a mistake as he saw his wife Sarai despise Hagar and her son. He took control of God’s original promise and it caused friction in his household. There is a lot to learn from Abram and this story. Most notably, this is a great example of what happens when we don’t wait on the Lord to provide what He promises that He will do for us. Even when we can’t imagine how God can work it out, we are wise to wait on Him to provide what He promises for our lives.