Even the most stupid of us have 20/20 hindsight. We often see the mistakes we’ve made and wish we could do things over. Many of my problems in life come because I act too rashly and don’t think through the implications of my actions. And 10 god seesthen most often, I know I should have done things differently or not at all. Well, as Alexander Pope said, “To Err is human.” But to “make matters worse” is another human specialty. I can do that well. We’re usually better off and just not do anything. I had a friend once who said “God and six months will take care of every problem you have.” When we act ourselves we usually just make matters worse. Sarah and Abram learned all about making mistakes and then making matters worse. That’s the lesson we learn from Genesis 16:1 and following.

Sarah gave her maiden, Hagar, to Abram as a sort of surrogate mother for a son that she just couldn’t seem to conceive. Big mistake! Hagar, as soon as she conceived, couldn’t resist the temptation to look down on the childless Sarah with contempt. Sarah makes matters worse by treating Hagar so harshly that she runs away. Notice that neither Abram nor Sarah made any attempt to go after her. I always thought that was strange. God had to supernaturally intervene to save here and Ishmael’s life. I even wonder sometimes why He did that! Things in the world today would be a lot different if he hadn’t.

God cares about all His children; slave girls and unborn children alike. He intercedes on her behalf at a place named “Beer Lahai Roi.” That means “God sees.” He speaks to her, comforts her, promises her a son and instructs her to name him “Ishmael” which means, “God hears.” God then sends her back to Abram and her mistress Sarah with a story to tell. All three of the members of this cast got the message. God sees all our mistakes and how we often make matters worse in the way we treat others. God hears the cry of the abused and will always intercede on their behalf. All of us should remember that God sees and hears everything we do and say to others!