When pondering upon the most important lesson that I can learn as I read Genesis 16 - although many beneficial lessons are taught, the one that has been called to my mind is the mercy of the Lord.
In Genesis 16 we witness Sarai giving Hagar to Abraham as his wife. ( In order that her concerns about not having a male son would subside this was common practice of Old Testament time. )
As Hagar becomes pregnant with Ishmael we are told that she flaunted the fact that she could become pregnant but that Sarai could not- lacking compassion. ( Genesis 16:4 )
Although Hagar made a mistake when she did not show compassion in Sarai's tender situation - the Lord was very merciful to Hagar's in her mistake.
( Sarai " delt harshly " with her, ( Genesis 16:6 ) and Hagar ran away from her home with Abraham and Sarai. )
The Lord sent an angel to comfort Hagar and give her instructions for her in her difficult situation.
As I pondered the Lord sending an angel to comfort His daughter despite her sin of hurting another- I was touched by this witness that we have of God's love for all of his children, even when they lack,and sin.
The angel told Hagar that the Lord had " heard her affliction " ( Genesis 16:11 ), and that she should name the son that she was pregnant with " Ishmael " which means that - GOD HEARS.
This account is a beautiful example to me of just how much our Heavenly Father and His Son love us. The Lord did not want Hagar to miss out on the blessings that could be hers if she had not taken her son back to Abraham where he would receive the blessings of his father Abraham.
Likewise, the Lord knows that we are all sinners but He still hears, listens to our prayers and He does send seen and unseen angels to bear us up in our afflictions.
The angel that the Lord sent to Hagar said that she should " submit " herself into Sarai's hands and that her seed ( or blessings ) would be multiplied exceedingly. ( Genesis 16:10 )
Likewise, the Lord asks us to submit ourselves to the trials of our lives, be faithful to Him, endure to the end, and we too will receive the blessings of Abraham.
I know that my God hears my prayers and that He is merciful unto me even though I - like Hagar make mistakes. I know that He wants me to subject myself to His will because as I follow His instructions the blessings of Abraham can be mine in eternity.
I can imagine it must have been very hard for Hagar to return to a place that she was mistreated. I can imagine the hardship of living in a place that she did not feel comfortable - but I have no doubt that just as the Lord sent an angel to rescue her when she fled into the wilderness- He did time and time again send His tender mercies to lift her up and give her the strength to endure.
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.