God Provides For Hagar And Ishmael

August 1999 Landover, Maryland - 100 years of Christian fellowship, unity, and community outreach ended last Tuesday in an act of congregational discord. Holy Creek Baptist Church was split into multiple factions. The source of dissension is a piano bench which still sits behind … More

Discord

God provides a son to Abraham and Sarah just like he had promised (vv. 1-7). Sarah said that God gave her laughter in her old age so they called the son Isaac which means “he laughs.” It would have been easy in the excitement of all these happenings for Abraham to have forgotten his complete dependence on God. But this was not so with Abraham as he circumcised Isaac in the eighth day to show himself dependent on the grace of God for the spiritual welfare of his son.

After the birth of Isaac came the expulsion of Ishmael (vv. 8-13). At first glance the discord between Ishmael and Isaac might seem trivial but in reality it was a very serious matter. Ishmael, who was now almost 14 years of age, saw all his hopes for an inheritance shattered, due to Isaac’s presence. With this he began to mock Isaac and in his mocking revealed the state of his soul. He was mocking God’s promised seed and thus in his mocking he mocked Christ.

Sarah’s attitude might seem harsh when she told Abraham that Hagar and Ishmael would have to go but God took sides with her and declared she was right in Galatians Chapter 4. God’s miraculous provision had to be protected. Because God chose one son, Abraham and Sarah had to expel Ishmael (vv. 14-21). Ishmael was 17 years old when he and his mother were put out in the dessert. The Angel of the Lord met Hagar in the desert (vv. 17-18) as before, and provided water from a well (v. 19). God told Hagar that from Ishmael would come a great nation (v. 18). Ishmael lived in the desert and became an archer (v. 20), and married an Egyptian (v. 21).

Application

A person who is a rebel at heart remains a rebel unless he is born again. To be baptized, circumcised, confirmed and anything else religion might suggest will not change me.

Genesis 21:1-21 (English Standard Version)


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