Getting Ahead of God Gen. 16: 1-5 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
The general outline and subject of this message were preached in Idaho by Pastor Jason Murphy, pastor of Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, WA. Evidently, the Lord would have our church hear this text, Gen 16:1-5, and consider this subject, “What happens when you get ahead of God?”
You will begin to doubt God – Gen 16:2 – “the Lord hath restrained me from bearing.” Sarai said that as if God were not going to make good on his promise of a seed that he made with Abram in Gen 12:7, 13:15-16, 15:5-6, 15:18. She doubted God, which is precisely what the devil tempted Eve to do in Gen 3:1. When you doubt God, you set yourself up to get ahead of God.
You will begin to develop your own plan – Gen 16:2 – “go in unto my maid.” Since you now believe God isn’t doing anything about your situation, you figure you can make your own plan. Ultimately, people do what they want to do. And then they hope that God will bless their plan.
You will take unwise risks with your future – Gen 16:2 – “it may be that I may obtain children by her.” Notice, “MAY BE.” With God’s promises there is certainty. There can be risks to you associated with God’s plan. But these are not risks of uncertainty; these are risks of personal suffering for the cause of Christ. There is too much at stake for you to risk your future on a hasty, uncertain decision.
You will hurt other people – Gen 16:11 – “the Lord hath heard thy affliction.” No one considered Hagar in this plan. What was bearing a child with Abram going to do to her? When you develop a plan that is ahead of God, there are people that will be hurt by your plan that you won’t even consider. Young people who rebel against God and their parents will never know the pain they cause their parents until they have their own children who do the same things to them.
You will drag others into your sin – Gen 16:4 – “he went into Hagar, and she conceived.” Hagar was dragged into Sarai’s plan. Everything you do affects someone else. I am reminded of four teens who went out joy-riding one night. One of them wanted to sneak out and drive the car. He drug the other three out with him. The car flipped and three of the teens died in the fiery crash and one survived badly burned.
You will never be fully satisfied – Gen 16:5 – “her mistress was despised in her eyes.” This is an outcome that Sarai never considered. Nor did she weigh the resulting strife between her and Abram [Gen 16:5]. When you cook up your own plan, you can usually only see the good that might come from it. You can’t even imagine how bad the thing might turn out.
You will live with the consequences from now on – Gen 16:12 – “And he will be 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 all his brethren.” The trouble that resulted from this very unwise plan has plagued the Jews for over 3,500 years and it is still going on today. The consequences of your plan and transgression will be with you from now on. Of course, once you reap your consequences, it’s too late to go back and undo your plan.
Conclusion: do not get ahead of God. Seek his will through his word and prayer. Watch as he unfolds his plan through the circumstances of your life. Seek godly counsel when considering God’s plan in your life. And then patiently follow his plan as he leads you.