St. Paul's Lutheran Church

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“Your servant is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her. – Genesis 16:6

Here we read about the fight between Haggar and Sarai. We see that Abram sided with his wife and allowed Sarai to deal with Haggar her servant as she pleased, in spite of the fact that Haggar was pregnant with his child. This incident shows us that, in marriage, there will be struggles and conflicts. God was testing Sarai, but He also brought her comfort through Abram. God is pleased with His institution of marriage which is why He continues to watch over marriages and bless them.

We see that in families there are struggles and quarrels between husbands and wives and children. We also see such things in government. We see it in churches where people splinter off over some disagreement or quarrel. Anyone who observes these matters might quickly conclude that no good comes from them.

But the Lord gives us the example of Abram, Sarai, and Haggar for our good, to warn us that such things will come in this world, that we must be prepared for them and patiently tolerate them. If you are married, you will not escape marital conflicts. You will not escape governmental conflicts and political disputes. And you will not escape problems and quarrels within churches. There are all sorts of people who bring great trouble and cause horrible disruptions in every church. We live in a world with stubborn, unappreciative, and egocentric people, and those people are in the churches too spreading their confusion and bitterness. In the light of this fact, remember the story of Abram and Sarai and do what you can to preserve peace and harmony, but do not compromise your good and faithful confession to do it. In a marriage, we may compromise personal things such as preferences and opinions, and do this for the sake of our spouse, but we do not compromise the vows we made to one another. Likewise, believers are free to compromise where they’d not be going against God’s Word, but believers may not compromise God’s Word even for the sake of harmony. There is no true harmony or peace without God’s Word.

Heavenly Father, give me Your Spirit that I might trust in You above all things, even if it brings suffering and death. In Jesus’ name, Amen.