Dr. Joel Tudman of The Potters House of Dallas, take us Through the lens of Hagar’s journey. We witness the fractures that emerge when we try to orchestrate God’s promises according to our own understanding. Hagar was thrust into an unwanted role and faced mistreatment amid a life once prosperous. Yet, God’s favor shines through her, revealing our value isn’t defined by circumstances. This parallels our experiences under those who can’t match our capabilities, urging humility and patience. We must embrace the fractures in our lives as opportunities for God’s light to shine through. As Hagar was never meant to be defined by her circumstances, neither are we.
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Pastor Joel (00:03):
Introduce to my father. I believe that we owe God a praise in Genesis 21. Reading at verse nine. But Sarah saw the son of whom Hagar, the Egyptian had born to Abraham was mocking. And she said to Abraham, get rid of the slave woman and her son, or that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac. The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. But God said to him, do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned and I will make the son of the slave into a nation also because he is your offspring.
Early in the next morning, Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on the shoulders and sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Bathsheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off, sat down a bow, shot away. She thought, I cannot watch. The boy died. And as she sat there, somebody say as she sat there, she began to sob. God heard the boy crying and the angel of God called Hagar from heaven and said to her, what is the matter? Hagar?
Do not be afraid. God has heard the boy crying as he lies there, lift the boy up, take him by the hand for I will make him into a great nation. Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water, so she went and filled the skin with the water and gave the boy a drink. Last verse, God was with the boy. As he grew up, he lived in the desert and became an er. Spirit of the living God, we thank you for your word. Bless to hear us. Help us to do it in Jesus’ name. Amen. I want to talk to you for about 30 minutes so you don’t have to worry about having an early exit.
30 minutes. God gave me a unique title for this particular paree and it’s called Fractured. And I want to talk about fractured fractures are the same as breaks. It’s another term of saying broken. And for something to fracture would simply mean that it’s been under immense tension or an immediate impact, and some of us have been under tension for some time. Tension is good when we train tension. Resistance helps you to build muscle, helps you to get stronger, but we would never intended to be under tension 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
Attention is supposed to be there for just a period of time to help you navigate through life or navigate through potential cycles. But when I look at this particular text and I see the tension that rise in this text and we see the fractures that takes place in this text, the fracture took place well before we see this particular part in scripture. The fracture started when God told them, I’m going to make you out of a Greek nation and you’re going to have a baby and you’re going to have seed that multiply that nobody can count. And because they were way over age, they did not believe that. So you know the story, Sarah laughed and the story the body said, the Bible says that his body was good as dead, but yet some kind of way God quickens his body and when God quickens his body, he’s able to have children.
But the only reason why Ishmael comes on the scene, because Ishmael was a solution for Sarah. Sarah didn’t think that she had the capacity to birth what it is that God told them they were going to have. So Sarah, instead of trusting God, Sarah helps God, which most of us try to do anyway. She took matters into her hands because this was a difficult thing to believe God for. So she takes the handmaiden and she gives her to the husband, tells her you can have her sleep with her and let’s have the promise of what God said through her, which the issue here is simple. I don’t think I can do it, but God did give me somebody who can. So it must be God because they’re connected to me so I will help God and I’ll give her to him. Problem is that it actually happens and when it does happen, she gets in distress because what she considered now to be a solution has become a situation.
The situation now causes tension for several years. This is why we can’t take matters into our own hands because the thing that we thought was the solution ends up being a situation. Paul calls this particular birth a covenant of flesh and then calls Isaac the covenant of the spirit. The problem I have with everything is that Isaac didn’t ask to be born, not Isaac, excuse me, but Ishmael, he never asked to be born and Hagar never asked Sarah if she could sleep with Abraham. So she was not in the situation by choice. She was there by force. And so when she gets there, now the tension between Sarah and God now becomes no longer interior but exterior. So now she redirects her unbelief, her unfocused life and decides to focus on what was once a solution. And so Hagar who was there doing what she was told to do now becomes a target of frustration. And so now that she’s the target of frustration, she gets upset. The Bible says that she mistreats Hagar and Hagar leaves the camp. Hagar runs off, and when Hagar runs off, she runs to the desert. And when she runs to the
Speaker 2 (08:55):
Desert, she meets God. Let’s be clear, she’s an Egyptian. There are some writings in the midrash and some rabbinical teachings that say that this possibly could be one of the daughters of Pharaoh. That would simply mean that she would’ve been wealthy before she became the handmaiden. So then for her to leave a lineage of wealth and then to end up with a man as his slave, that is already a downgrade. So then she leaves wealth if the mid rash is correct or some other rabbinical teachings are correct. And then she comes in and comes underneath Abraham, who by now is also wealthy. So now she leaves. Pharaoh comes to Abraham, but not as an equal but as an underling. So now she’s an underling and then she’s chosen to be the situation for something they don’t have the ability to do. Isn’t it something that people will get mad at you because you have the ability to do what they cannot do?
And you didn’t even ask to be here. I didn’t ask for the microphone, I didn’t ask for your position. I didn’t ask to even come in your car. But there’s so much favor on you. You can show up in places that were not earmarked for you and the favor of God still bleeds out of you because you were made to take over somebody. Tell him I was made to take over. You were never made to sit back. You were made to take dominion over everything that God had created and it’s not your fault. That’s what I heard the spirit of the Lord tell me. He told me to tell you that tell somebody it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault that you look good. It’s not your fault that you’re sexy. It’s not your fault that you make good money. It’s not your fault that you drive a nice car. It’s not your fault that you’re living wealthy. It’s not your fault that you have a degree. It’s not your fault that you got good mannerisms, not your fault that you were raised, right? It’s not your fault. Don’t try to make me beneath you because you don’t have what I have.
So she’s sitting there, she’s sitting there underneath a woman who can’t and she can, okay, underneath a woman who can’t and she can. We’ve all been there. We’ve been under people who can’t while we can. And you have to learn how to be humble when you are under somebody who can’t, when you can, there’s a season that you’re going to have to survive when you can and they can’t. Well, the problem is there was some tension between the two of them. I don’t know whats didn’t, and I don’t know what Hagar did, but the text does tell us that there was some tension between the two and Hagar upset her, flaunting around in the room and then people, they talk about her. But hey, when you’ve been an underling and then all of a sudden you come up top, have I got a witness here?
She come up top and she had been messing with her all this time and now she finally came up top and she probably got tours. So she was rubbing on his chest from time to time and while she was rubbing on his chest, Sarah caught her and the Bible says, said she put her in distress. And so she took off running and she goes into the desert of shore and while she’s in the desert of shore, she meets yah way. Now she’s an Egyptian. She does not know God as yah way. She does not know God that way. She comes from many gods. But then God reveals himself to her. God tells her, Hey, I’m telling you right now, go back to where you came from. God is unusual. God will tell you who can to go back and sit under those who can’t because there’s a lesson that I’m trying to teach you in this season, and if you come out too quick, you will remove yourself from something that I’m trying to get you to understand.
I need you to sit there and understand what you should not do when my hand is on you, which I had a witness here. I’m trying to teach you how to settle yourself in unsettling circumstances. So he says, go back, watch what he says. He says, go back and he uses a curse word, submit to her, you can. She can’t but submit to her. That’s a word for somebody in this room. I don’t know none of that’s in my notes, but I know he brought it up for a reason. There’s a season you’re going to have to submit to those that can’t. It’s not about what they can and can’t do. It’s me telling you that is the posture for the season that I need you in, that you’re going to have to learn how to sit there under those that can’t even though you can. So go back and submit somebody shot. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. 27 minutes. I’m through with it. So she goes, she goes, she goes, she goes. She goes back. Remember she gets back. The problem I got with this whole writing is now over time they’ve been together for years, is Ishmael is 13 years old.
Look at how much time she spends in that tension. And then the promise happens at 99 years old, Abraham gets the information from God that I’m going to give you a son and his name shall be called Isaac. Well, Ishmael is already here. It is said that because it took God so long to get it done, they just thought they believed that Ishmael would be what God was talking about. That’s normal. That happens that when we take matters into our own hands and God hadn’t done anything, then it looked like it’s God wish I had a witness in because God hadn’t done it yet. You think, well it’s already done, but you forgot that you became God yourself, that you initiated the move. And because God was blessing year one and year two you felt like you were in the will of God because God didn’t do anything. He didn’t break anything down. He didn’t shut anything down. But then all of a sudden the plan of God comes into play after you’ve been doing your thing for 13 years.
Fracture we’re broken because now Abraham has become father to what he and his wife initiated and God didn’t do anything. He didn’t stop it. He let it be so and so. Now I’m raising him God. And then God does what he told you 13 years ago and he’s born now the Bible says in the text that I’ve read you that he’s going to wean her in eastern culture. The weaning is a big deal and the weaning is after they’ve taken three years of life, they decide that they would wean the baby off. So now if he was 13, this would mean that Ishmael now has become 16 and Isaac is three. So we’re looking at a teenager and we’re looking at a young kid. And in the text the problem now shifts because at the weaning ceremony we’ve got a 16 year old laughing at the three year old. Now to some of us, especially black people, that’s normal. Those are brothers that are fighting the problem got with the text this when God told you, Sarah that you were going to have a son, you laughed.
You laughed when I told you, and not only did you laugh, you named your child laughter. So how is it that you are getting upset that his biological brother is laughing doing exactly what you did when you heard the command and that is his name. Laughter. So there’s an issue why that tells us that you in the wrong spirit when you don’t even recognize your own wrong, ain’t got nobody here that’s going to help me today. You know you wrong when you know received it the exact same way, but now you can’t take it because it’s outside of you. Could it be that Ishmael learned it from his step? Mama, are y’all okay with me so far? 23 minutes, I’m done with it.
I’m all Bible. So then she’s mad because he’s mocking, he’s laughing at this 13 year old. But the problem is this, Sarah is thinking in her mind sometimes that messes us up when your emotions are bad and when you’ve been in attention so long, you probably don’t need to think. Get somebody else to think for you. Let somebody else think because your mind is consumed with anger and you’re consumed with how you feel. So the best thing for you maybe is just go wash dishes or just go outside and cuss and then come back in and ask for forgiveness. Do something, but don’t make a major decision when you know you under serious tension.
So she gets upset and she says, you get yourself out of here and you take your boy with you. Get up out of here. Now that gutted me, that gutted me. This says 16 years we’ve been together and what may matters worse is God said, Hey look, do what you say. I had a problem with that. Then I had a problem with Abraham. Lemme tell you why I had a problem with Abraham, because Abraham is rich and when Abraham put her out, all Abraham gave her was a bottle of water and a piece of bread.
See, I came from a single parent home, so you ain’t got to say nothing. I know what I’m talking about. How you going to be paid? Could we not at least get a donkey? Could we not get a horse? Could we not get a servant? Could we not get an escort? You going to give us one bottle of water and one loaf of bread put out? I don’t want to talk about three things in the last 20 minutes and 49 seconds. Somebody say the wilderness. The wilderness. I want to talk about the wilderness. I want to talk about the, well somebody say the well and I want to talk about the way, the way, the way. So in the text, the text says clearly that they leave and when they leave, she has one skin of water, it’s goat skin, one loaf of bread. Now depending on what Bible you’re reading, it says that she cast the bottle on her shoulder and she cast her son on her shoulder, which simply mean that on one side there’s a skin of water. And then on the other side there’s a boy. Now we know that cannot be possibly accurate because he’s 16 years old. That would simply mean that she’s carrying a 16 year old like this. And I don’t think that she was doing that. But for those of you who still carry grown people, let’s just suppose that she did.
When you carry people beyond that season, it will break your own posture and structure because you were never designed to be this way. You were designed to be this way. But when you carry people beyond their time, I wish I had a witness here. Their weight becomes your weight and now you live your life at a slower pace because you’re trying to take care of somebody that you should have put down a long time. Okay, look at somebody and tell them, put them down, you seated be seated. Give me 18 minutes and 42 seconds. So we know that she would be carrying him like this. So we know that that’s not the correct terminology for caste or the correct expression for caste because he’s a 16 year old boy and she would be carrying him this way. But however, it does mean this come pastor that sometimes there’s a season where you are reversing how you carry people.
You automatically go from this to this. There will be a season when what you go through will force you to pull somebody’s weight. There’ll be a season where they’ll have to lean on you for you to literally drag them through what they’re going through. See some of the problems with some of you in here. You’ve never been this for anybody. You’ve never been the person that would help carry them when they didn’t have enough strength to walk on their own. You’ve never been the person that would tell them, cast your cares on me because I care for you. It’s a different type of maturity and a different type of strength. When you can move from this and step into this, this means you’ve gotten stronger. This means that you’ve gotten wiser. This means you don’t care what you look like. This means you’ve got a prayer life. This means you’ve been devoted to God. This means you know what it’s like to be by yourself. This means you understand that trouble don’t last always that whooping may endure for a night, but look at somebody and tell ’em joy is coming in the morning.
Be seated. 16 seconds, 30, 16 minutes, 39 seconds. Watch it. Watch it be seated. She’s carrying a grown man. My mama carried two grown men and I just want to help some single mothers out there that there are seasons that you go from this and you go into this, but just keep on carrying them because there’s going to be a switch after a while. God’s going to reward you for how you carried them. God’s going to answer your prayer for how you carried them. God’s going to fix you up for how you carried them. God’s hearing you when you were crying by yourself because of how you carried them. I want you to look at every woman in here and say, carry your load, baby. Carry your load. I know it may be tough for you. I know it may be rough for you, but God told me to tell you, carry it, carry it.
She carries. But why is she carrying him? She’s carrying him through the wilderness, A dry place, a dry season. She just left wealth. She walked out of distress and what was once the solution has now become the situation. But the issue with the text is that the situation has become compounded because now he’s dying. He’s not dying from health issues. He’s dying because he was put out with nowhere to go and he’s not ready yet. Have you ever been in a place where you didn’t know what next was going to be and you not ready yet?
And so they’re in the wilderness. And then I thought about the wilderness. Thank you pastor. I thought about the wilderness and God lives in the wilderness. See, that’s what the enemy don’t understand. The enemy will try to put you into place to make you feel like you’ve isolated yourself from all people. And that may be true, but behold, the eyes of the Lord are in every place. Behold the good and the bad. I wish I had a witness in him. So she and he are in a place where there is no support. But what the devil messed up and forgot is that God always does things in the wilderness. Wish I had a witness in here. I wish that somebody shout. Hallelujah. It is in the wilderness. When Israel met God, I wish I had a witness here. He told them, follow me. It was God that let them out of the wilderness.
It was God that told them how to build the ark of the covenant in the wilderness. It was God that showed them how to do the 10th of meeting in the wilderness. It is God that showed them the glory, the Chicago glory in the wilderness. It was a cloud that was with them, a purifier by day and a pier by night. It was God that met them in the wilderness, met him in the wilderness. They built God a house in the wilderness. God lives in the wilderness. Jesus goes into the wilderness after he has been seen by John the Baptist. And when he’s in the wilderness he says, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeded out of the all you need is a mouth. When you’re in the wilderness, I ain’t got no help in here right now. All you need is a mouth. If you’re in the wilderness, not a mouth to cuss, but the mouth to quote the word of God, you can speak yourself into a whole nother place. Tell somebody I’m while I’m in the wilderness. I’ve got power. While I’m in the wilderness. God lives.
He lives in the wilderness. Be seated. 12 seconds, 12 minutes, three seconds. He is in the wilderness. And while they’re there, if God is there, I must be all right. So then this wilderness is the place. What something spectacular happens. What happens? Joel, he’s dying. She lays him under a bushel tree and then she walks away. Many parents have scold her for this. How could you walk away from your baby? But she didn’t walk away from a baby. She put some space between her because she didn’t want to see him die. So she stayed there enough to hear.
And the only people talk like that are people that ain’t never been in that situation. Nobody wants to see their child die. So she says, you got to see it. It’s hot and the water is gone. And I was put out here, not by choice but by force. And I’m talking to somebody right now. You were put out by force and you made your way to church today and God told me to take you. This word is for you. She presented that and all she could hear was the sniffling. And we know that she was sobbing because the text says that she was too. And if she could hear him, I’m sure he could hear her. So we’ve got two people that are weeping in the desert. They’ve got nowhere to go. They’ve got nobody to call. And they didn’t go out here by choice.
They were put out here by force. And while he’s under the bush, we don’t know what he said. We don’t know how he said it, but we do that. There’s a break in the text And in the text, all of a sudden the angel of the Lord came to Hagar and said, I hear the cry of the boy under the bushes. I wish I had a man in here. I know it’s time where we don’t want to cry and we don’t want people to see us get emotional. But God told me, if you just break down and cry, I’ll hear you wherever you are. It was the silent cry that caused God to get up from where he was and come to Hagar did not say, Hey God, I hear you crying. It was the son’s cry that caused God to talk to the mama.
And that’s why I want to talk to them single mothers in here because some of you are upset with your son, but God told me to tell it’s your son’s cry that’s keeping him in contact with you. Wish I had a witness in here. It’s what your son’s been saying in silence. You didn’t hear him pray him. You didn’t hear him cry out to God. But he was talking in the locker room. He was talking to him at the barbershop. He was talking to him in the car. He was talking to him at the club and God told me to tell you he heard him.
Oh, I wish I had a witness in here. Look at somebody, tell him he heard it is his cry. David said this poor man cried and the Lord heard me and saved me from all of my situation. Now this is what gets me. I got to keep going. I got seven minutes, 12 seconds. It is in this wilderness that they have no water to quench their thirst and he’s dying. And the Bible says that she was a bowshot away. In ancient times when armies would fight each other, they would line up enough for the bow and arrows to reach each other just enough. So she was a bow shot away. Now that’s interesting. Leave that and park it. What’s interesting to me now is that there is no water. He’s dying. He’s under the bushes. But it is not until the boy cries, until the well becomes visible. Y’all ain’t here with me.
They were crying because there was no water. There were dying because there was no water. But when he cries, it is the cry of the boy that brings revelation to the woman. This would simply mean that Hagar was the woman at the well before. The woman at the well was the woman at the well preach. I had a witness here. There was no well that she could see prior to the cry. That would simply mean that if you would just cry, God’s going to make you. Well. Wish I had a witness in here. I got no witnesses in here. Look at somebody, tell them God’s about to make you. Well if you would just cry about it. Quit trying to be a strong woman. Quit trying to be a strong man. Park all that mess and put it in the book and just cry, crying unto the Lord and tell God I don’t know what to do.
It is after the cry that the revelation of the well is there. Some writer says that we don’t know if this was a spiritual thing or if rather this, that the well was always there, but because he was dying, her pain wouldn’t allow her to see it. Wish I had a witness in here. Some of you in this room, your blessing has been sitting right by you, but the only reason you hadn’t been able to see it is because your pain has been so excruciating that it has blocked your vision. Your unforgiveness has been so strong that you can’t see your deliverance. But God told me to tell you after this cry, I’m getting ready to let you see what eyes have never seen and ears have never heard. But you going to have to open up your mouth and cry. I wish I could get for the next 30 seconds, at least a thousand people that would cry unto the Lord. Open your mouth and cry. Open your mouth and cry. Open your mouth and cry. Open your mouth and cry. Tell God about it. Tell God what you feel. Open your mouth and cry against the revelation of the well. Then be seated. Three minutes, 33 seconds.
Wait a minute, we are in a good place because that’s right, we’re in a good place. Why are we in a good place? Because anytime you see God and water, something’s getting ready to happen. We meet the Holy Ghost hovering over the face of the water. When Israel was coming away from Egypt, we see them crossing water. We see the priest stepping in the Jordan River with water. We see the pool of Bethesda that when the water is stirred and you get in, there’s a healing. We see the water. We see the pool of Sloan. When the man that was blind and God had spit in his eyes, he told him to go wash in the pool. When we see Elijah, we see Elijah telling all of Ahab and all of those prophets of Bell that it will not rain until I say so. And then when Elijah steps back on the seed, he says, let the rain come. And he walks out and sees a cloud the size of a clever man’s hand and then water rushes like a mighty flurry. And then we also continue to see God with the waters of Marba and Murrah when he took the tree and he threw it into the water and made what was bitter sweet. Anytime you see God and anytime you see water expect a supernatural miracle, well what happens?
God, hey God, the well tells me that I don’t have to be a Christian for God to get to know me. How do I know that to be true? She wasn’t. How do we know that to be true in the New Testament? Because when he met the woman at the well, she was a Samaritan. So the well shows us that this is a turning point in our life that when he meets us at the well, he’s not worried like man is worried. There’s some people we worry about being seen with, but God is not worried. God said, I came for them. I didn’t just come for you, sanctified people and act like you ain’t never done nothing wrong. I’m coming for those that you call dogs, I’m coming for those you call hoes. I’m coming for those you call prostitutes. I’m coming for those you call dope dealers.
I’m coming for everybody. He said I would that none of you would perish, but all would have everlasting life. So he meets her at the world just like he did with the woman at the world in the New Testament. It did not matter to God if she was a Samaritan or a Christian. And here in this text, it doesn’t matter that she’s Egyptian, all he wants her to know is this, I’m here for you and no matter what has happened, I’m getting ready to change your circumstance. Last point, and I’m a few minutes over time and I’m going to give it to you the way somebody shout, the way the way blesses me because the way is still the wilderness.
Are you with me? Now the text says if you read it, and I did that when they went into the wilderness the first time they were wondering, this time the text says that she raised him in it. What does that mean? He became an archer. Well, where did we hear that from? When she separated herself from him, what looked like death became a prophetic move because she set in motion what he was going to be while she was going through pain. This is what you got to be careful who you listen to while you are in pain because you are setting in motion a prophetic climate. So she said, I’m going to go a bowshot away. Then the boy grows up. He’s no longer a wonderer, but he’s an er. That means he perfected the skill in pain. He perfected the skill when people said, you ain’t going to make it. He trained himself in what other people died in which I had ever witnessed in here. The way was the flip of the wilderness. That means God may not take you out, but God will keep you in and teach you how to master what’s been trying to master you. Somebody said, hallelujah, hallelujah.
Preach left him in the wilderness seated. I said, be seated. Ain’t there something left Him in the wilderness, teaches him the way. Where did this come from? And I’m done with it. Before they ever left, he told him, because he’s your offspring, I’m going to bless him. He says, I’m going to make him a great nation. Isn’t that something that greatness can start off like death? I didn’t think I was going to make it and out of nowhere, nations came out of me. That’s why I’m preaching this message to you today because you wanted to throw in the towel and God told me to tell you there’s nations in you. This ain’t just about you. This is your children’s children. They’re going to hear the story of how you were casted out and turned the whole situation completely around.
Started out crying, wondering, and now she says she raised the boy to become a great nation, all because of being fractured. The last thing I’m going to tell you is this. The same time that you thought you were being killed is the same time that God’s been using to heal you. That’s the only way a fracture heels to takes time to heal, rest on your feet. It takes time to heal. So you got to understand, you can choose two ways to deal with what’s fractured in your life. Either you run from it and you let that time master you or you learn every lesson and you heal. The only problem is you got to deal with people’s mouth. You got to deal with people’s expectancy and you’re going to have to learn to block all of that out because God’s given you time to get it back.
You’re going to get your sanity back. You’re going to get your strength back. You’re going to get your power back. But there’s a season where it looks like you lost it all. But if you can hang on through that season, the same wilderness that you thought killed, you will become the way and you will show people how to live in a season where people thought you weren’t going to make it. Now, I believe, and we’re getting ready to go, that there were some people that I was sent here to minister to, and I just want to take the next seven minutes. If you’re in this room and you’ve been fractured, meet me here for about three minutes. Come if you’re here, don’t walk out. Come to this alt. You’ve been fractured.