The Congregational Pulpit
Now Sarai Abram's wife bore him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.…
I. THE FOLLY OF CARNAL EXPEDIENTS. Their danger lies in many directions.
1. Look at the method of our justification and sanctification before God. God's method is by faith, man's by works. The one is of promise, the other by natural means. The latter is illicit, and fails; only the former succeeds.
2. In providence. You may be looking for temporal prosperity; God may design it for you: but you have no right to seek it by covetousness or injustice, and making haste to be rich.
3. In gospel labours. You expect success, but it is delayed.
4. In regard to our sufferings and our hope of heaven. Some have been tempted to slay themselves, or those whom they have loved, in the midst of terrible affliction, to hasten their admission to glory, You may not have this temptation; but you may be restless, impatient, and unresigned. Say rather, "All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come."
5. In regard to the millennium, and the establishment of the gospel on earth. What hindrances and delays there are. Many seek to christianize the world by the sword, by pandering to human ignorance and superstition, or by indulging the lusts and passions of men. We must be faithful to principle, and leave results to God.
II. GOD'S MERCIFULNESS TO THE SORROWFUL SAINT. "Thou God seest me." It suggests two things;
1. God's omniscience; and —
2. His kind regard of His people. Let us think of it:(1) In times of desolation and sorrow. You may be lonely and forsaken, but God sees you.
(2) In times of wandering and waywardness. Then let it rebuke us, and bring us to repentance and contrition.
(3) In times of temptation. Then let it deter us. "How can we do this thing, and sin against God?"(4) In times of perplexity. Then let us seek His guidance — the guidance of His eye and hand.
(5) It suggests a contrast between this life and the next.
(The Congregational Pulpit.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.