Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ten Great Women of the Bible (#5)

The Mom Series continues . . . . 
5. Hagar (Genesis 16 and 21)
Title:  'The Angel Appears to Hagar'
Painter:  Il Guercino  His original name was Giovanni Francesco Barbieri.  
Year:  1652

Forced into exile, she faced incredible hardships with her son, Ishmael. In utter despair and facing death, her concern is for her child, whom she entrusts to God’s loving care.

Moby Dick begins with the opening line, “Call me Ishmael.” I must admit that I never fully understood that statement as anything more than an expression.

After reading Denise Bossert's blog entry over at Catholic By Grace. She says, and I concur (with editions),
“I prefer the words, 'Call me Hagar.'” 

Artist: Il Guercino:  Title:  'Abraham Casting Out Hagar and Ishmael'  1657
I can relate to Hagar. Like Hagar, I have planned my own big dreams. And I have seen those plans fall apart.

Hoping Abraham’s child would be her big break, Hagar becomes a little too sure of her position. The fact that it was Sarah’s idea all along means nothing. It carries no weight that Sarah, hoping to end their infertility, practically pushed her maidservant into Abraham’s tent.

Once Abraham’s legitimate wife conceives a child of her own, Hagar and Ishmael are yesterday’s news. Sarah bears a son, Isaac, the child of the divine promise. The culmination of Abraham and Sarah’s dreams. The fulfillment of an angel’s word. The mistress doesn’t stand a chance.

The surrogate mother is told to leave. (Genesis 21)
Title: 'Hagar and the Angel'
Painter:  Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665)
Year:  1660
Hagar has no options. It is difficult to set things right when they are built on poor decisions in the first place. If only Sarah had fully trusted in God to make good on His promise. If only she had believed that God can do anything. Instead, she tries to force the Hand of God, which is never a good idea. Hagar pays the price.

There’s always a price to be paid when people play God.

Hagar didn’t deserve (in all fairness, no human DESERVES) to have God’s help. I do not deserve to have God's help. God looks beyond the series of bad decisions and has mercy.
Title: 'Hagar in the Wilderness'
Painter:  Giovanni Lanfranco (1582-1647)

Hagar's Resume by Happy Catholic
Beautiful Biblical Art depicting this story is abundant!


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