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Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, Mirror

Genesis 16:5 And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the LORD judge between you and me!”

It seems like the equation ‘sin plus consequence equals repentance’ should be as basic to our human experience as ‘two plus two equals four’, but it isn’t. Somehow, even after years of experiencing our own shortcomings, and even though we’ve seen time and time again how our selfish behaviors only increase grief, sin and consequence often leads us to rationalizations rather than repentance. Look at Sarai here. As soon as she feels the heat of Hagar’s glare (I can’t even begin to understand how violated Hagar must feel), she deludes herself into believing that she’s the victim rather than the culprit, and she audaciously invokes God in a fit of condemnation rather than in a prayer of confession.   

But friend, God didn’t give us this account so that we could judge Sarai’s self-righteousness, but so that we could have a picture of our own. And if, while reading this story, we thought of anyone other than ourselves, we need to read it again.