Whew!!! Reading the Bible is TOUGH! So, when God told Abram to count the stars and so should his descendants be, it was when Abram was very weary. He had just had to go win back Lot (his nephew) and all his goods after he was taken captive in a war. Abram and 318 of his own men - they were born his slaves - went to fight for Lot. So Abram was tired and probably cranky. The next thing you know, Sarai figures she is too old to bear a child so she gives her slave, Hagar, to Abram. Low and behold, she gets pregnant -- and what does Sarai do? Throws her out!!! I guess maybe sometimes we women can be a bit irrational... So anyway, God comes to Hagar and tells her she will have many descendants. But then, I really have to hand it to Hagar. She doesn't get mad at God. I tell you I would. God told her that her son, whom she would name Ishmael, would be at odds with the whole rest of the world -- "He will be a wild ass of a man, with his hand against everyone, and everyone's hand against him; and he shall live at odds with all his kin." Well, there now. Doesn't that just warm the cockles of your heart? Not really. God just lays it all out there. Hagar must have been quite the woman, since she doesn't really scream out at God. She must have gone back to Sarai because Ishmael and all the other slaves were circumcised along with Isaac, after he was born.
I don't know -- gives me a different sense of who God is. I think maybe we can't just put God in a box and say that God will always act in a certain way. I mean, the Bible shows that God is multi-faceted! Hmmm, now I have another thing to think about!