1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. 2So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3 After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife. 4 He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight. 5 And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done me be upon you. I gave my maid into your arms, but when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her sight. May the LORD judge between you and me.” 6 But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your power; do to her what is good in your sight.” So Sarai treated her harshly, and she fled from her presence.
Even after God had affirmed His promise to Abram, and had been with him through all sorts of trouble, Abram became impatient (it was taking a rather long time for them to have children). So, Sarai had an idea. Abram listened to the horrible idea, and had a child with Sarai’s maid Hagar. Now, had that been God’s plan, things would have been fine and dandy. But this was Abram and Sarai’s plan, and things would only get worse from here. Hagar berates Sarai, and Sarai (with the blessing of Abram) then kicks Hagar out of the house. As we’ll see later, this is just the beginning of bad blood between Sarai and Hagar. Lesson to learn: don’t try to make God’s plan happen. He’ll take care of it just fine. Odds are, you’ll only make matters worse when you do.