Friday, October 14, 2005
Abraham, Hagar and Sarah
They are interesting spokespeople for the great religions of the world because they are just so, well, flawed.
In my bible study we recently read Genesis, and boy is it full of wild and weird characters! Abraham, for example, not once but twice offers up his lovely bride Sarah to various pharoahs because he wants to save his own sorry ass. And Sarah tells him to have baby with Hagar because she (Sarah) just can't believe that God's promise of a son is true. Then, when Hagar actually has the baby (Ismael... a wild ass of a man, according to the scriptures) Sarah beats her up and abuses her so badly she runs off to the desert.
And let's not even get started about Abraham's willingness to slaughter his son...
Here is the common thread: They all doubt God's promises. They all do despicable things. They all are, in other words, profoundly human. And while I sometimes find the stories to be disturbing, I also find them oddly comforting. It reminds me that God can do amazing things with the most flawed people. It makes me feel a little less judgemental about myself... and others. We don't have to be perfect in order to serve God. He'll take us just as we are.