1 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
...the unhappy case of Hagar -- human device and reasoning trying in its anxious weakness to augment and hasten the eternal workings of God. Was it wrong? It was limited judgment, and a deeper insight could have shown Abraham that it was out of harmony with the principles of God's purpose. Here again, Abraham, with sincere zeal and good intentions, went beyond his instructions, and the results added to his trials.
It was not Abraham's idea, but Sarah's. Abraham hearkened to her pleading, as Adam had to Eve, but soon Sarah herself saw that in her short-sighted anxiety, she had played into the hands of her maidservant, who was quick to seize the advantage and who now despised her. And Sarah in her bitterness reproached Abraham for having done what she herself had initiated and urged.
And there is a measure of justice in Sarah's reproach, for Abraham's responsibility was greater, and he should have guided her, rather than allow himself to be misguided by her. Henceforth there is constant friction. Hagar is finally removed much later, but first for nearly twenty years Abraham and Sarah must suffer this added burden and disharmony.
Bro Growcott - Shall a child be born
7 And the angel of Yahweh found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
-This is a mutilated Greek word. In its original form it is αγγελς, pronounced angelos. By dropping the last syllable os, we obtain the word angel; which is a name not of nature, but of office. In the Septuagint, it usually answers to the Hebrew...mälahk, one sent, a messenger. In Isaiah 42:19, it is applied to Messiah, the servant of Yahweh:
"My messenger whom I sent."
Angel is applied to beings a little superior to the faithful, and greater in power and might, who execute the purposes of God; and are sent forth for service on account of those hereafter to inherit salvation.-(Psalm 8:5; 2 Pet. 2:12; Psalm 103:20, 21; Heb. 1:14).
It is also applied to the winds, devouring flies, destroying frogs, the caterpillars, the locusts, hail, frost, lightning, &c. After enumerating these plagues of Egypt in detail, the Spirit in David sums them up in the words, "He cast upon them the fierceness of His anger, wrath, and indignation, and distress, by sending angels of evils-mäläkai rahim.-(Psa. 78:49). And, "He maketh winds His angels."-(Psalm. 104:4).
In Matt. 3:1, which foretold the appearing of John the Baptizer, he is styled by Yahweh "my angel, " very properly rendered in the common version, "my messenger." The two disciples John sent to Jesus, are termed "the angels of John" in the Greek; but also rightly rendered in Luke 7:24, "the messengers of John."
The disciples of Jesus are also styled angels. "When the time was come," says Luke, "that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, and sent angels before his face to make ready for him"-(9:52). In this place the word is correctly rendered "messengers" in the common version. "God in flesh seen by angels," an item of the great mystery of right-worship, is the Lord Jesus seen by his disciples whom he sent forth, after his resurrection, or justification by Spirit.-(1 Tim. 3:16).
Paul's "thorn in the flesh" is styled in the Greek, "an angel of Satan."-(2 Cor. 12:7). Abaddon and Apollyon, Hebrew and Greek synonyms for destroyer, "king of the locusts," or the Arab power capitalized in the caliph-successors of Mahommed, is styled "the angel of the abyss" in Rev. 9:11. Also, the four powers known in history as the Seljuks, Zinghis, Moguls, Tamerlane Tartars, and Othman Turks, are styled "the four angels which are confined by the great river Euphrates."-(verse 14).
The world rulers of the darkness of the fourth century, or the spirits of the wickedness that then prevailed in the heavenlies of Daniel's fourth Beast, are styled "the angels of the great Dragon, the original Serpent, surnamed Diabolos and Satan."-(Rev. 12:9) This Serpent power still exists unbound, and unbruised, only in a modified form.-(Rev. 20:2). Its agents are styled "angels" by the Lord Jesus in Matt. 25:41, where it is written,
"the diabolos and his angels."
The plagues of ancient Egypt being styled "Angels of Evils, " we see a reason for "the plagues" of the Apocalypse which afflict the Roman Habitable or "Great City," which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt" (Rev. 11:8), being termed angels.
The Seven Angel-Trumpeters, and the Seven Angel-Outpourers, and the Five Angel-Heralds, and the Son of Man, and the Angel of the Sickle, are all Angels of Evil against the Gentile apostacy in Church and State, which is to be "consumed with the Spirit of the Lord's mouth, and utterly destroyed with the brightness of his presence."-(2 Thess. 2:8.)
The Seven Angel-Stars are symbols of another sort. They pertain to the right hand of the Son of Man who walketh in the midst of the Seven Golden Lightstands. Of that right hand it is written,
tihyeh karnaim miyahdo lo: we-shahm khevyon uzzoh; that is, "There shall be to him rays of light from his hand; and there the covering of his power."-(Hab. 3:4.) This is affirmed of the Holy One. The word karnaim, is the plural of k̂r̂n, which is rendered horns in the Common Version-horns of light. "His brightness was as the light: he had horns out of his hand."
Now "a lamb" has no hands; therefore, horns cannot be said to be to him out of them. But "the Holy One" is symbolized by a lamb in Rev. 5:6. Hence, to represent Habakkuk's idea, "Seven Horns and Seven Eyes" are assigned to it, which are explained to signify "the Seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth."
Omnipotence and omniscience shine forth from the right hand of power. The Spirits are fitly represented by "Seven Stars." and as they were sent forth to the Seven Lightstands, as well as elsewhere, the seven Spirit-Stars are styled "Seven Angels." These Angel-Spirit-Stars blazed with sparkling brightness from the ecclesial Lightstands, whose burners were "first, apostles; secondarily, prophets; thirdly, teachers; after that, miracles; then, gifts of healing; helps; governments; kinds of tongues."-(1 Cor. 12:28.)
The Seven Angels, then, of the Seven Ecclesias were the Spirit-endowed or Anointed Presbyteries of the body of Christ in Ephesus, Smyrna. Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.
The Christadelphian, June 1872