This morning I read the story of Hagar. Some things in the story bothered me. Hagar was a slave. She was being used by Abram and Sarai for their purposes. God tells her to go back into slavery and submit to her master. If I were reading this text as with the question of, "What does God say about slavery?" I would find the text appalling. However, if I ask a different question, "Who is this God that the story talks about?" I find a different answer. We see Abram and Sarai abusing Hagar. She is a pawn, being used to get an heir for Abram and Sarai. Because Sarah abuses her, Hagai runs away. However, the God who sees, sees this dark skinned Egyptian woman of no status and sends the Angel of the LORD to her. Many commentators see the Angel of the LORD as the pre-incarnate Christ. If that is true, then Jesus appeared to Haggai and told her she would have a son. God told her to go back to Abram and Sarai because it was a place of safety for her. She was a part of the community of Abram's family. In that family, she was a part of the people of God. The lesson I get from this is that God sees the outcast and the abused. God cares!
What questions are you asking as you read through the Scriptures this year?