Sunday, June 22, 2014

Hagar and the Children of Latin America: Genesis 21:8-21: Bible Study

Children being held in overflowing US Boarder Warehouses.
Biblical Text:

Genesis 21:8-21
8 The child grew, and on the day of weaning, Sarah and Abraham held a great feast. 9 But Sarah noticed the child that Hagar the Egyptian had borne for Abraham, playing with her child Isaac. 10 She demanded of Abraham, “Send Hagar and her child away! I will not have this child of my attendant share in Isaac’s inheritance.” 11 Abraham was greatly distressed by this because of his son Ishmael.

12 But God said to Abraham, “Don’t be distressed about the child or about Hagar. Heed Sarah’s demands, for it is through Isaac that descendants will bear your name. 13 As for the child of Hagar the Egyptian, I will make a great nation of him as well, since he is also your offspring.” 14 Early the next morning Abraham brought bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar. Then, placing the child on her back, he sent her away. She wandered off into the desert of Beersheba. 15 When the skin of water was empty, she set the child under a bush, 16 and sat down opposite him, about a bow-shot away. She said to herself, “Don’t let me see the child die!” and she began to wail and weep.

17 God heard the child crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven. “What is wrong, Hagar?” the angel asked. “Do not be afraid, for God has heard the child’s cry. 18 Get up, lift up the child and hold his hand; for I will make of him a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went to it and filled the skin with water, and she gave the child a drink. 20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became a fine archer. 21 He made his home in the desert of Paran, and his mother found a wife for him in Egypt.

Connecting the Text To Today's Issues:
 Hagar is kicked out of the tribe, because the child she bore create a questionable inheritance.  Can you imagine the amount of pain it took for Hagar to set her baby down, because she couldn't watch it die of starvation?

Currently, the violence in Latin American and crime that some experience from drug cartels is so bad that some mothers have sent their children to the US.  In hopes that they will either cross the border or die without them having to watch.  

These are sad times.  

But what are the faithful do?

Must we really take care of our neighbor?  Who is our neighbor anyway?  

 Multimedia for Further Thinking About the Text:

For Further Reading:
Vox: Thousands of children are fleeing Central America to Texas — alone – “The situation has reached a crisis point, and policymakers still can’t agree on how to fix it. This Monday, President Obama asked Congress for an extra $1.4 billion to handle the rise in child migrants. He also announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would coordinate a new multi-agency response. Congress, meanwhile, is divided on the issue. Two Republican-led House Committees are promising to hold hearings on the topic.”

NPR: Riding ‘The Beast’ Across Mexico To The U.S. Border — “There’s a network of freight trains that runs the length of Mexico, from its southernmost border with Guatemala north to the United States. In addition to grain, corn or scrap metal, these trains are carrying an increasing number of undocumented immigrants whose aim is to cross into the U.S. And despite the many deadly challenges it poses, more and more children — both with adults and alone — have been making the risky journey. ”

Arizona Republic: Child migrants are America’s great shame – “In the past eight months, 47,000 children have been apprehended along the southwest border. This represents a steady increase from 2009. The numbers could reach 60,000 this year, according to AP.Most are from Central America, and increasing numbers of them are girls and children younger than 13.”

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