Church of God, New World Ministries

Bible Q & A

Q. Why didn’t God reprove Abraham for having a child by Hagar? Wasn’t that adultery?
A. The Creator of the Universe set in motion a living, dynamic, active law! That law when violated brings on misery, heartache, and death, unless repented of.

Abraham violated that law! And, he suffered the penalty. Since creation, human nature has not changed one “iota.” Abraham (Abram then), just as Adam, listened to his wife. Sarai, the “weaker vessel,” for the moment lacked faith in God’s promise to provide them with an heir (Gen. 15:1-6). She, therefore, goaded and tempted Abraham by insisting that he have an heir through Hagar, her maid (Gen. 16:2).

Yes, they knew they had sinned. Not only did their conscience trouble them but their deeds resulted in family problems, animosity, resentment, and contempt. The rest of their physical life was not to be the same. Abraham learned an important lesson.

Many people, too many, have the idea that God is a harsh monster who fiendishly punishes human beings the moment they step out of line. No such thing. God set a law in motion (in this case, thou shalt not commit adultery) to bring us peace and happiness. When we break that law, we bring on ourselves the penalty of sin and suffering.

God designed human beings as “free moral agents” with capability of making decisions thereby developing character through experience. God gave mankind his law to help guide and direct him in living a happy, abundant life. David said, “O how I love thy law! Thy word is lamp unto my feet” (Ps. 119:97, 105).

Yes, Abraham did break God’s law. And, it was a bitter lesson, but not soon forgotten. As a result, Abraham did repent and was blessed by God. But that mistake of Sarah’s and Abraham’s is with us yet, in the animosity between Jew and Arab today!
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