Hannah cried…

“Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:

And he had two wives; the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other was Peninnah; And Peninnah had children but Hannah had no children.

And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto  the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hopni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord were there.

And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all sons and daughters, portions; But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion (double portion); for he loved Hannah: but the Lord had shut her womb. 

And her adversary provoked her sore, for to make her fret (constantly harassed her just to make her miserable), because the Lord had shut up her womb.

And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.  Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest (thou(Why are you crying?), and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?

So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the Lord. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore (wept greatly in anguish).

And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou will indeed look upon the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child (baby boy), then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head (a Nazarite vow). 

And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli marked her mouth (watched her mouth carefully).

Now Hannah, she spake in her heart: only her lips moved but her voice was not heard; therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.

And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.

And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord

Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial (wicked woman of pagan deity); for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto (so far).”1 Samuel 1:1-16

We’ll pick it back up from there in a little bit. You know, I wonder sometimes, Should I rename this Blog, something like, “Fun with Old English”, just kidding, I do fear sometimes that it gets tiresome trying to read all of my translation notes that are woven in with the scriptures, but we do need the clarification and I have shared this before so if you already knew this, just look over me, but I ADORE Old English, before I was saved it was really hard for me to grasp very much of it,  people who were trying to encourage me would share a verse with me and suggest I read it, then I’d read a passage and I’d be like, What on earth language is this?! But once I was saved it was like God just flipped a switch in my brain and now it’s like reading a newspaper and I am so thankful to him for that.

And I have actually written a post past using this story, but it was on my heart for today, so if you are not familiar with this one, please stay with me, even though it starts out with a lineage breakdown of Elkanah, it is really more about his two wives and how God in his mercy had turned the sorrow of Hannah, sorrow that was constantly mocked by Peninnah, into a beautiful blessing in the face of her enemy.

BUT for the record, God NEVER meant for men to have multiple wives, that is a completely man-made concept.

One guy did it and everyone else soon followed suit, as humans have a tendency to do, if everyone else is doing it, it must be okay…. whether it really is or not, right?

So as Hannah shared her husband with his Peninnah, who was mother to multiple children, Hannah herself was barren and even though her husband favored her over Peninnah, she still desperately longed for a child, Peninnah knowing this used it as a constant torment over Hannah. and at this time as the went to worship Peninnah had yet again lorded her fertility over Hannah, so  much so that Hannah was in such sorrow that she did not even eat, she could also have possibly been fasting, but often sorrow is so debilitating, that it even steals your appetite,  ever been there? Most have, so distraught, can’t eat, can’t sleep, can do nothing except cry.

Her husband encourages her and then she prays, to make known all her heart and soul before God and as she is crying and pouring out her heart she is doing it silently and Eli, the priest is watching her, and this is so true as people often look at us and read things into our behavior that are just right, things that are so off base, I can’t help but to think especially in ministry, because with this story Eli was the priest but yet completed wrong about Hannah. 

So as she is crying and pouring out her soul, and doing so silently, praying so quietly that he could only see her lips moving, he automatically assumes that she is drunk and berates her, asking her when is she going to stop drinking! Eli had been missing a lot when you get into the study of it, his sons that are mentioned with him were running amok and committing some seriously wicked things, his refusal to remove them from the temple, led to his own removal as priest.

And we learn from that that even though some one may be in ministry, they are not infallible, this is why so many suffer from “church hurt”, when they have been absolutely misjudged by those who do not have the right to judge in the first place.

Hannah was quick to let him know that she was not drunk, she was in sorrow, grief, despair.

She was being real, she was not there out of her duty to come worship, to be with her husband, to do as she was required, she was there to bear her heart, relinquish all her pain and to ask the Lord to give her a child, a child that she would then in turn give right back to him, for his service.

“Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. 

And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.

And  they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped the Lord, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah; and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her (she conceived).

Wherefore it came to pass, when time was come after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord. .” 1 Samuel 1:17-20

Hannah did not go back until she had weaned Samuel, as she had vowed him to the Lord’s service, we’ll pick it back up there.

“And they slew a bullock and she brought the child to Eli.

And she said, As my soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord hath given me my petition that I asked of him.

Therefore also have I lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord, And he worshipped the Lord there.

And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn (strength) is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over (smiles at) mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.

There is none holy as the Lord; for there is none beside thee; neither is there any rock like our God.” 1 Samuel 18: 25-28, 1 Samuel 19:1,2

For as much as she had been tormented by Peninnah, Hannah really did have the “last laugh” God blessed her not only with Samuel but five more children after him and that child she had prayed so earnestly for, Samuel, well he replaced Eli and went on to be a great servant to the Lord, including anointing David as King, two books of the Bible now bear his name.

In the grand scheme of things, neither of these ladies could have possibly known in their lifetime that thousands of years there would be discussions of their behaviors, we are left knowing the cruel mistreatment of Hannah by Peninnah, but given the victorious story of Hannah as hope, so reflective of the  magnificent plan of God that we can not even begin to understand.

The take away from all of this is simply this, do not give up no matter where you are in your journey or how far off course you feel taht you may be, God’s plan is always perfect and sometimes those paths and roads that led us there can feel like we have taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way when in fact you could be exactly where you need to be to fulfil the plan for your life.

Think of this, what if Hannah had not barren, what if she had many children, what if she had never asked for Samuel, what if she had never prayed, what if she had never vowed him to the Lord?

What if this a perfect account of the perfect timing of the Lord, timing to fulfill his will to send a little boy who would become Samuel the Prophet to this earth, through a mother who had through her own pain and sorrow opened her heart and surrender to him to allow for that perfect will.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“Old Scots and Provenance”

“Now the Lord had said unto Abraham, Get thee out of thy country, and from they kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be  a blessing.

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee ALL families of the earth shall be blessed.

So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot (his nephew) went with him; and Abram was seventy five years old when he departed out of Haran.

And Abram took Sarai, his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance (possessions) that they had gathered, and the souls (all their families and those that were with them) that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land (the Canaanites were still there).

And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed I will give this land: and there bulided he an altar unto the Lord who had appeared unto him.

And he removed from thence ( left from there) unto a mountain on the east side of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Haion the east; and there he bulided an altar to the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.

And Abram journeyed, GOING ON still toward the south.”  Genesis 12:1-9

Can you imagine what courage and faith that move would have taken, Abram being seventy five years old

Taking everything you own and just simply leaving, not knowing where you are going or when you will arrive there, but knowing the true God, the God who no one else in your family even believes in, has sent you on that journey. Can you imagine the questions he was bombarded with once he announced their departure?

Can you imagine the shock and disbelief other members of his family probably expressed at his new found belief in a God they did not worship?

And we’ll get into that a little be later, but the account of Abram is the beginning of Christian provenance, one of my favorite words, which simply means, “the place of origin or earliest known history of something”, “the beginning of something’s existence; something’s origin”, and the most important for our discussion here, “a record of ownership of a work of art or an antique, used as a guide to authenticity or quality”.

I LOVE history, and documentaries, and I tell you why, even those some much through out time has been atrocious and heart sickening, victims of cultures, societal rungs, and not one people but ALL people have been persecuted or victimized in some way. But what you find in all of this is that victims become victors and the spirit of perseverance will always win in the end, changes come through hard fought battles but those changes change things forever and those changes ensure a better future from the next generation.

I do simply adore antiques shows and I love hearing the stories and especially the history of those items, one reason is because I am an antique, caught you off guard with that one didn’t I? :), and the stories and family history of possessions that were handed down from family members throughout the years, often stories of triumph and dedication with all too often the person now owning that item that meant so much to another, looking stunned as the true worth is revealed to them at which they reply with horror, “We’ve been using it as an umbrella stand” or “I had been using it as a door stop.”, or in reference to a work of art that is now found to be a masterpiece, “I always found it creepy and weird so I had never hung in on the wall, I guess I will now.”

Suddenly once worth is realized it changes everything and it changes our perspective and our appreciation of what we had thought to be worthless or useless to us we now know to be of value.  My lovely niece had given me the most interesting Christmas gift, a DNA test, I had wondered, pondered, and questioned so many things and people have  away of making you question even those things that you shouldn’t.

It was a precious gift, and as I waited and waited to make the discovery, I had always wondered about some of the names and the reasons for them, and I was truly blew away by the results, all the ancestral roots I thought may be there were not and ones that I have never dreamt of, by made so much sense upon realization of family idiosyncrasies in my family that I found perfectly natural until I realized how many others did not have these same habits, such as you use coasters, you take your shoes off as soon as you enter the house and your guests take their shoes off, you say Good Night and platting hair and braiding clover bloom headbands for children, things that all came from my mother, and it is so precious, I even have photos of my daughter and her wearing those clover crowns that Mom had made as we had been on one of our many walks and suddenly it made so much sense why a woman from Kentucky had a midwestern accent and speech pattern, she came from prairie women, prairie women who had roots in countries that still hold some of these customs.

The biggest shocker that I had sorta expected with some of the names, such as a need to double “Mac” a grandfather, a source of constant curiosity for me for years, that too made sense when I learned the percentage of scot that evidently runs through our veins, as I whimsically mused to my husband and daughter that OMG I can totally see it now, skipping through the highlands of Scotland, to which I was met with near hysterical laughter, and my husband who is never at a loss for a good thought provoking statement to ruin my fantasies and bring my back to reality, calms from his obvious amusement and says. “Oh I can see you… running with a giant sword, screaming, “There can be only one!””

I really need to work on their perception of me!

I really don’t know what to make of it when your husband compares you to a fictitious  Highlander, although I do feel I could give Christopher Lambert a run for his money in the unusual accent department, The Husband and I clearly need to talk 🙂

The more I dug and the more I searched, I came across, something like fourth, fifth great grandmother, Sarah, as I pondered why on earth she moved from her location to marry Wesley, and move almost 700 miles away from her family, as further research showed that she had also named her son Larkin, which literally means, “fierce, rough”, I then could almost envision her, young, headstrong clad in her Victorian garb stamping her feet in defiance as she proclaimed, “Mother, Father, I love Wesley, I shall marry him!”

Sorta like the really bad part in “Fiddler on the Roof” when Reb Tevye’s daughter marries outside the faith, I myself thought, “Sarah, what were you thinking? Would the family had not been better off had you stayed where you were?  Was this some sort of rebellion? Had she read too many novels of the day? Had she thought to find the adventure in the North Carolinian mountains that escaped her New Hampshire day? Or did she just fall in love with Wesley? Why did she want her son to be fierce? Why not name him something like Humphrey, meaning “peaceful warrior’? Why Sarah, why?

I will never know the answer to that question, but whatever the reason, Sarah knew she had to go, go in search of her new life and at the end of the day had she not taken that chance and had the ladies from the prairies not also taken chances by moving in the name of love, to marry and start their families, their generations, in lands that in that time period may as well have been a million miles away because often they never saw their first families again.

Even though I can set here now generations down the road an playfully question their logic, in truth, I know had they not chosen those paths and made decisions that I am sure, at the time were seriously questioned by those who loved them, I simply would not exist, and how many more would not exist? And my family as with all families has it’s dark and bloody moments and bad apples and wayward seed and even one lineage that was effectively exterminated by the powers that be, or rather were.

But it is for ALL of us, the same story, all of mankind, triumph, tragedy, rinse and repeat, but we hang on and it all began with those who went when they knew in their heart of hearts that they had to go, for whatever reason, for something so much greater than them.

As God told Abram, GO. God was establishing that provenance, He was  moving them away from the paganism, the falsehood and into new land and into a blessing and not just them but all those who would come after them and server him as children and children of the children of the Most high.

And here my dear friends is some serious provenance.

“And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood (Euphrates) in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, the father of Nachor; and they served other gods.

And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and LED him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed (increased his family), and gave him Isaac.

And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau, and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.

I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and AFTERWARD I brought you out. And I brought your fathers OUT of Egypt; and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea. 

And when they cried unto the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt; and ye dwelt in the WILDERNESS a long season (time).

And I have brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you.

Then Balak, the son of Zippor, King of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam, the son of Beor to curse you.

But I would not hearken (listen to) Balaam, therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand.

And ye went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, and I delivered them unto your hand. 

And I sent the hornet before you, which drave (drove) them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword nor with thy bow.

NOW therefore, fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and PUT AWAY the gods (false idols) which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (Euphrates) and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, CHOSE you this day whom ye will serve, WHETER the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood  (in the homeland) or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:2-15

God had given the a complete lineage, a complete provenance of where they had came from and most importantly why and He let them know assuredly that He had delivered them every step of the way, even in  the face of numerous named enemies.

But then they were left with a choice to be made, if they thought it not good to serve the Lord, even after seeing and witnessing the mighty works of Him, they had that right, but those who were wise, as Joshua was, made it clear that no matter what any of the others decided to do, they would go on and they would serve the Lord.

We all have a heritage and we all have branches that we would soon break off those family trees in the earthly realm, but there is so much greater, we belong to a spiritual family also and there are only two families, we can belong to the household of God or we can be children of the devil, there are no other options, only two and not choosing makes us belong to the wrong one by default.

Hebrews 11:8-10:” By FAITH Abraham when he was called to go out to a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, NOT knowing whiter he went (where he was going).

By FAITH he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange (foreign) country, dwelling in tabernacles (living in tents) with Isaac, and Jacob, the HEIRS of the SAME promise; For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”

Now for the last bit of provenance, the Glorious Holy one for which all of His children are named:

Ephesians 3:14,15: “For this cause I bow my knees unto the FATHER of our Lord Jesus Christ, of WHOM the WHOLE family IN heaven AND earth IS named.”

So I ask you today, are you being led, led to something so much greater in God, it doesn’t matter what family of earth you are from, it doesn’t matter who came from where or who did or didn’t do what all that matters now is that you do realize you have another family a family that wants you to bring all that you are and all that will come with you and join us, all the children, all the promised seed of Abraham, all of us, from EVERY nation, EVERY kindred, and EVERY language! You belong in the kingdom of God as the Bible makes so clear that everything in heaven and earth is already named for Him.

Doesn’t matter how old you are or how young your are, Abram was seventy five years old, god wants you right where you are, and believe me, He already know right where you are, but He leaves that choice up to you, you don’t have to accept His invitation but oh what you will lose out on if you don’t, you will lose on on a relationship with the very one who created love, companionship, and community and you will never know “who” you even really are until you know who you are in in Him. He loves so don’t duly, most of us ask one question when we accept Christ, myself included, “WHY on earth did I wait so long?” Once you experience His love you wish desperately you had made that decision sooner and you  WANT everyone to feel that love too.

Have a beautiful blessed day, Thank you for taking time out of your day and reading, I gotta split now, got a sword to sharpen, just kidding! My real sword is sharpened by the one who gave it to me and I thank Him everyday for his mercy, his love and glorious grace!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

If you have never heard this, please check it out! And KNOW who Jesus created you to be and you CAN be who He created you to be!

Had been…

But if from thence (this point forward)  thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou shalt seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

When thou art in tribulation (distress),and all these things are come upon thee, EVEN in the latter days, IF thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;

(For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will NOT forsake thee, NEITHER, destroy thee, NOR forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them. 

For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it?

Did ever a people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? 

Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations (trials), by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by  a mighty hand, and by an outstretched arm, and by great terrors (calamities), according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

Unto thee it was shewed (revealed) that thou mightest (may) know that the Lord he is God; There is none beside him. 

And because he LOVED thy fathers, therefore he CHOSE their seed (descendants) after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power OUT of Egypt.

To drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou art, TO BRING THEE IN, to give thee their land for an inheritance, as it is this day.

KNOW THEREFORE THIS DAY, AND CONSIDER IT IN THINE HEART, THAT THE LORD, HE IS GOD IN HEAVEN ABOVE, AND UPON THE EARTH BENEATH: THERE IS NONE ELSE.

Thou shalt KEEP therefore his statues, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee (you may prosper), and with they children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth (live long in the land), Which the Lord thy God giveth thee, for ever.” Deuteronomy 4:29-40

Just like in marriage, “From this day forward…” and other in business arrangements as “From this point forward…, how often do we use that statement or a phrase quite like it, such as “from here on out”, “from the time, on…” words and phrases used to describe a beginning, often an ordeal, and an end goal, a hope of something so much better than what had been. and that is the promise Jesus gives us with his promise of eternal life.

As the Hebrews had been oppressed and in bondage, the Hebrews had been hurt, wounded, and many, many dead because of those who had enslaved them.

The Hebrews had been doubtful before the plagues came upon their enemies.

The Hebrews that had been hopelessly trapped when God parted the Red Sea.

The Hebrews who had been disobedient complainers until the Lord removed the instigators from among them over the period of 40 years.

The Hebrews who one had been considered outnumbered and defeated by those who oppressed them became the most fierce of armies as David lead by the Lord fought not only the giant but all that rose against Israel.

The Lord God Jehovah himself supernaturally bringing destruction upon their enemies, even in some cases, using their many combined enemies to destroy each other. While bringing Freedom, and prosperity to them as he led them to a land that he himself had chosen for them.

And they had start to start somewhere, it started with the belief that God would deliver them, it started with the belief that even when their work was made harder and Pharaohs demands more harsh and severe,it started as they watched plague after plague be sent down upon their oppressors in Egypt, and it started as they watched, even knowing the relentlessness of Pharaoh that these signs, these wonders could only be explained as the hand of a very real God interceding for their release.

And I am sure for some it started as they saw the Sea literally split in to, and for some it may have been as they walked, in absolute awe at the power of God, perfectly through a departed sea, oh can you imagine what they would have been like to even see?

Or would one dare even look to either side of it, or in our human state would we fear that it would come crashing down upon us, that little voice of doubt maybe whispering, as we often have to force our ‘human” mind out of our spirits way when we do behold miracles and workings of God that are supernatural and so inexplicable that our minds would simply shatter if we tried to comprehend it.

But still we all have to start somewhere and that is what I love about our passage, God is letting them know that the only thing of importance is from the point they are in the story is their beginning and what they do from that point forward is all that matters.

Just as Jesus does not ask you what you have done or why you did it, he only asks that you repent, ask his forgiveness, and turn away from doing those things that of which you are now ashamed, and let him heal you, love you, lead you, and guide you as your Savior, being just that, ONE WHO SAVES YOU, not you trying to save yourself.

And I especially love the reference to latter days, which at the time this was written would have applied to many many different horrors to be faced by those who have determined to follow the Lord.

From the battles and betrayals retold in the Old Testament, to the family dysfunctions of Joseph’s jealous brothers to the David and Absolom, to the sufferings of his people, to the sacrifice Jesus  and the disciples, we know that those things things have been and in the succession of time as we enter the end of days, the latter days, things will worsen because people have grown more evil, worshipping devils and pagan images, others denying God and his existence, hating all that is good.

Those who murder and condone the murder of millions of babies the world over while they themselves taking pride in the own lives..

It is sickening and lets us know that we are indeed in the end of days and the judgments of God are at the door unless repentance comes.

God has always always assured us that he is there through the storms and he will never let those storms overtake us.

So wherever you are today, whatever you life has been or whatever you have wished your life had been, please know this, that TODAY can be the day that God changes all that you have ever known, all the painful, all the bad, all things that had been to what everything should be, CAN BE and all that he has always wanted your life to be!

All you have to do is ask him, seek him and what a more wonderful gift could you ever give those you love, as he promises that those blessings and that salvation would be for your family as often when one comes in, all comes in to the household of God.

Please don’t allow that inheritance to be lost.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev.Brown Johnson

 

EL ROI….. The well in our wilderness

“And Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, PUTTING IT ON HER SHOULDER, and the child and sent her away: and she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.” Genesis 21:14
                                      
I can only imagine the torturous thoughts that played out in Hagar’s mind as she attempted to take her child and embark on what she believed would be their death march to die a slow agonizing death of dehydration and starvation, if they even survived the wild animals that they could be attacked by at even given moment.
Yet again, this was Sarah’s plan, she was quite a character and could have taught Samson a thing or two about manipulation and self righteousness.

She is probably the gene donor responsible for the cattiness, jealousy, and vanity that have plagued women’s relationships one to another since the dawn of time, much more so than anything we inherited from Eve.
How had it come to this? That question surely  flooded her mind, I am sure there were many, many times that she wanted to see both of them suffer, as they had made her suffer.

And now, as he put the bread and water on her shoulder, sending her and the child he was responsible for out into a formidable land to make their way back to Egypt, he was laying the entire burden of the enormous mess on her shoulders to be born alone.
But she WAS NOT alone, she only felt that way. 

She had been down this road before, as a servant subjected to Sarah’s insane idea to force her to bear a child to Abraham, once accomplished Sarah’s jealousy kicked in and she mistreated Hagar, Abraham refused to intervene, BUT God let Hagar know that it was THE CRIES OF HER HEART that he heard, not necessarily Sarah’s.

 Genesis 16:7-14 tells us: “And the ANGEL of the Lord FOUND her  by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.  And he said, HAGAR, SARAI’S MAID, whence cometh thou? and whither wilt thou go (why are you here and where will you go?) and she said I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.

And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply THY seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.

And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael (God hears) BECAUSE THE LORD HATH HEARD THY  AFFLICTION.  And he will be as a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of his brethren.

And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God (EL ROI) seest me: for she said, have I also looked after (saw) him that seest me? wherefore THE WELL was called Beerlahairoi (well of one who lives and sees me); behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.”

She did as she had been told, even submitting to the humiliation of giving birth to her son while sitting on Sarah’s knees to appease Sarah’s misguided  belief  that somehow this would really make the child hers.

But now they had Isaac and the very child they had forced her to bear and then taken from her, they have now given back, as if he were an unwanted pet replaced by one of a more valued breed and have sent them both on their way to an unknown fate.

But one thing Hagar was not aware of , this plan, although it had come from the mouth of Sarah, who didn’t care if they both died she just wanted them out of her face, God had given permission for this to happen and it WOULD NOW BE USED FOR HER GOOD.

God was going to use this, as He does all things, to her benefit, as when the angel told her to go back, this was a wilderness walk that she had to take, regardless of the pain and the injustice, this walk WOULD NOT LEAD TO THE DESTRUCTION OF HER AND ISHMAEL, BUT IT WOULD LEAD TO THEIR FREEDOM.
She would never again be slave to Abraham or Sarah and her maker would in fact now be her husband and a father to her son, who was now fatherless.

And just as her son was rejected by his own people and sent to Egypt, there would be another son called forth out of Egypt only to face the same rejection by his kindred.

But when all we can see is the wilderness in front of us, the hunger, the thirst and the fear of what is waiting down that road starts to set in, we forget the promises we have been given, what the angel has spoken and sometimes we need to be reminded.
Genesis 21:15-21 “And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs, And she went, and sat down over against (across) him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she had said Let me not see the death of the child. and she sat over against him and lift up her voice and wept.

AND GOD HEARD THE VOICE OF THE LAD; and the ANGEL OF THE LORD CALLED OUT TO HAGAR OUT OF HEAVEN, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? ( THIS TIME HE DID NOT CALL HER SARAI’S MAID) fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad, WHERE HE IS.

Arise, lift up the lad, hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and SHE SAW A WELL OF WATER; and she went and filled the bottle with water and gave the lad drink. And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. And he dwelt in the wilderness of  Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.”

I know the wilderness is a rough place, I don’t like it myself.
But you know had God not led Hagar on that journey and she had not agreed to trust Him on that trip she would have never realized the power and intimacy of God on her and her son’s life, remember the second time all she could do was cry, God heard Ismael’s prayers, HEAVEN ITSELF ANSWERED!  

She would have never known freedom. Just as Jesus was led by the spirit into the wilderness, and successfully resisted the devil and John the Baptist was prepared for his work and grew strong in the wilderness, it grows us.
There are required traits that we only acquire  in the wilderness, those barren, desolate places, sparse pastures that barely keep us alive, the side paths that are so lonely, we feel like tears are our only companion.
It is in those places, the wilderness, the deserts, the almost uninhabitable lands that the roses bloom and the fountains of living water burst forth out of that parched ground.
If you never had to go there, you would never know the sweetest of that water or the scent of a rose so strong and determined to live that it grew up through sand , pushing the rocks past, as the blazing sun-scorched down on it.

So don’t fight it, don’t even try to resist it, just take that trip with EL ROI, because He does live and He does see and He wants you to know you can depend solely on him, you may be like Hagar, alone in the middle of nowhere feeling like everything you love is about to die, have faith, He sees and He will show up and He will bless that which you thought was hopeless and prosper it and make it something so mighty it will beyond your wildest dreams.
Once you have been given these waters, you will never fear the wilderness quite so much again, I’m sure you won’t be excited to visit there again, but take along an empty suitcase, I promise you will return with a souvenir so rare, so priceless that you will never part with it.
Apostle Paul said “he glorified in his affliction” because he knew the sweet Holy spirit would rest on him and that was worth the brier scratches, the harder the enemy hit him, the greater the power of God would bathe him.
Go, you will be glad you did!
Original Post: 09/05/2014 & 03/28/2015 all rights reserved. Rev. Nina Brown Johnson/ baresoulphlogizo 2015/ revisited 05/02/2021 

Truly beautiful song.. As close as I could find to the thought of this post! Love and Peace!