Abram’s wife Sarai was old and had been unable to bear him any children. She finally decided that through her slave Hagar she might have a family. So she told Abram to sleep with Hagar. He did, and she became pregnant. (Genesis 16:1-4))
Once Hagar knew she was with child, she started to look down upon her mistress. Sarai complained to Abram, who told her to do as she saw fit with her slave. Sarai began to mistreat Hagar until Hagar ran away.
An angel found Hagar near a spring in the desert and asked her why she was there. She explained that she was running away from her mistress. The angel then said, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her. I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.” (Genesis 16:9,10)
This is but one example in the bible illustrative of the relationship between masters and slaves, superiors and subordinates. God and Jesus were both clear that the weak shall give all due respect to the strong.
Problems arise when those in positions of authority become too familiar with those under them. It is easier for a subordinate to respect their superior when clear boundaries are maintained. But when those boundaries break down, as they did when Sarai put her slave in her husband’s bed, respect is lost. And when attempts are made to correct the order of things, hostilities arise.
We all need to understand our places in the hierarchy of the organizations to which we belong. And we need to do our parts to maintain order.
Remember also what Jesus said: In heaven, the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Good things come to those who wait.