Bad Advice

Posted: April 25, 2015 in devotionals, TLCC
Tags: , , , ,

Ever had a friend who gave bad advice yet you took it and then when things went wrong, that friend blames you? That’s what Abraham got.

(Read Genesis 16 before you continue)

Abram and Sarai didn’t have any children although God promised them they would. At one point, Sarai told Abram to procreate with her servant, Hagar, as to solve their child problem. Abram, as we note, had no objection to this plan. The Bible is silent on the conversation so we can’t really assume on what happened except that Abram did what Sarai told him to do. Which leads us to…

#1 Sometimes, people who are close to us can give us bad advice. (v1-4)

Abram could have disregarded Sarai’s directive. He could have encouraged his wife. But at this point, his faith wavered and logic prevailed. How can an old woman conceive? Sarai’s plan was logical, but it is taking matters into his hand, and it is without faith. Then…

#2 We, in the end, get the blame when things go wrong (v5-6)

This is interesting. When Hagar was pregnant, she began to look at Sarai with contempt. Sarai would not take it and then blamed Abram.

Isn’t this familiar? When things go wrong, people will blame us. When things are going well, it is easy to share the spotlight with the winners.

This is true with leaders as well. We cannot put the blame on anyone except ourselves because we are the ones who makes choices. We can’t wash our hands and throw the blame at anyone else. But…

#3 God can still use the bad things that happened for His glory (7-15)

God is in control. Although He did not mess up with Abram’s free will, His plan never changed. His purposes remains. Despite the bad choices that Abram took, God was in charge. He still is. He tells Hagar to return after she left because God has a plan for her son, Ishmael. God talks to Abram and reminds him of the promised heir. However…

#4 Sin has consequences. (v16-17:1)

Abram was 86 years old when Ishmael was conceived. From chapter 16 to chapter 17, that took 13 years of silence. That’s strange. God talks to Abram regularly but at this point, becomes silent. Their relationship was strained because of sin.

Here’s the implication. Sin damages our relationship with God. It is just impossible to continue our walk with Him when we are sinning. We may have the motions of serving in church, reading our Bible, spending time in prayer and going to youth group but really, God would not talk to us if we have kept sin in our lives. We have to constantly check ourselves and pursue holiness regularly.

So you see, people close to us can give us bad advice that leads to sin. We get the full blame and we can’t pass it on to someone else. Sin causes us to be separated from God but in the end, God can choose to use our failures for His glory.

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