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


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).


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)

The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, "God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me." And she said, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age." And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, laughing. So she said to Abraham, "Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac." And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. But God said to Abraham, "Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring." So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, "Let me not look on the death of the child." And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation." Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »