sarah leading hagar to abraham.jpg

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. (Genesis 16:1-2)

The story of Sarah leading Hagar to Abraham is even more disconcerting when it is illustrated in full colour don’t you think?

Yet I think we would be wise to meditate on this image when discussing Christian family values online. Here we have a man and woman of faith acting quite faithlessly. Trying to force the hand of God in their impatience to have children. Yet does God give up on them? No. How then might God’s response to Abraham, Sarah and Hagar inform our debates over other marrital arrangements that are difficult to reconcile with scripture?

One thought on “Was it sinful for Abraham to have more than one wife?

  1. Interesting question Matt. However, I think it misses the point. I don’t believe the story is about how God might respond to “marital arrangements that are difficult to reconcile with Scripture.” Rather it is about God’s response to people with whom he has made covenant.
    And lest we forget, 4,000 years later those same deserts still bleed from the resulting family feud.


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