Genesis 16: 7-12….Pregnant and on the street.

The angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” The angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel of the LORD also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” And the angel of the LORD said to her,
“Behold, you are pregnant
and shall bear a son.
You shall call his name Ishmael,
because the LORD has listened to your affliction.
He shall be a wild donkey of a man,
his hand against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”

Comment: The name ‘Ishmael’ means ‘God hears”. And it is just as well that He does! Hagar now pregnant, disowned by her mistress and thrown out, not onto the street, but into the wilderness. Al least she is by a pool of water but is facing a very uncertain future with poverty and maybe death in the dessert or prostitution as her only horizon alternatives. I often wonder if ‘the Angel of the Lord’ is a Theophany (a pre-incarnation appearance on earth of Jesus as the Son of God) or Gabriel or one one of the other host of angelic beings.

Hagar was told a lot about her son who would be born, but interestingly she was told to return to her mistress and submit to her. I guess that submit meant to get rid of her proud and dishonouring attitude to Sarai. That wouldn’t be easy for either Hagar or Sarai, but we assume that she did, as Ishmael was circumcised, aged 13, as one of the males of Abram’s household.

Prayer: Sometimes we are especially conscious of Your care, but thank You that You also keep an eye on us.

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