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Based on Genesis 16 and 21
Sarah and Abraham rushed ahead of God. At Sarah’s urging Abraham forced Hagar, Sarah’s maid. Sarah conceived this evil plan to obtain a child. In this, she followed the heathen way, not God’s way.
After Hagar became pregnant, she despised Sarah for what she had done to her. Sarah abused her handmaid. This frightened Hagar and she fled from her.
God saw this servant and spoke to her. “From whence did you come?” He said. “Where are you going?”
Hagar answered, “I flee from my mistress, Sarah.”
God spoke again. “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her.” He promised to bless her. He said, “Behold, you are with child. You will bear a son. Call his name Ishmael because the Lord has heard your affliction.” Ishmael means, “God will hear.”
Hagar said, “Thou God seest me.” She obeyed God and returned to Sarah.
When Ishmael became a teenager, Sarah birthed Isaac. Hagar’s son mocked Isaac. Sarah saw him. “Abraham,” she urged, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son. He will have no part in my son’s inheritance.”
Abraham hung his head. He loved Ishmael, his illegitimate son. He knew God had said Isaac would be his heir. Still, he did not want to send the lad away.
Then God spoke to Abraham. “Do not let it grieve you,” He said. “Listen to Sarah, your wife. In Isaac shall your seed be called. I will make a nation out of Ishmael.”
Abraham did not argue. He obeyed God and took bread and a bottle of water. When he sent her away with Ishmael, he handed the provisions to Hagar. No doubt, he prayed and asked God to take care of them.
They consumed all the water in the bottle. Hagar walked away from her son. She said, “Let me not see the death of the child.” She sat down and wept.
God heard Ishmael crying. He called to Hagar. “What ails you, Hagar?” He said. “God heard the voice of your son. Get up and hold your son. I will make of him a great nation.” The Lord opened Hagar’s eyes. She saw a well of water. She filled the water bottle and gave some to her son.
If Ishmael remained in the same household as Isaac, it meant constant contention. God said, “Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease” (Prov. 22:10). God’s command to Abraham was consistent with His character. He knew Ishmael’s heart, and that he would not hear Abraham’s rebuke.
By one defiling act, Abraham and Sarah reaped a whirlwind. The Arabs stemmed from this illicit union—a constant irritation to God’s people, Israel, and to the world. The people in Iraq belong to the Arab people.
God cared for Hagar and Ishmael. He cares for each one of us, too. When we have troubles, He wants us to cast them upon Him.
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