Genesis 21: 11-21…..We’ve been here before!

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.

Comment: As I read the scriptures it seems to me that even though He has to deal with bad human choices God ultimately gets what He wants. Sarah governed by jealousy demanded that Hagar and Ishmael be thrown out of their compound. Abraham, wisely, goes to God with his problem and is told to let Sarah have her way (otherwise life would have been a living hell!). God told Abraham that He had good plans for Abraham and for both his sons.

So, as we saw back in chapter 16, when Sarah had her slave girl and the baby Ishmael expelled, Hagar and Ishmael are near to, and fearing death. We see here all the mixture of emotions which such situations arouse but God intervenes and sorts things out. Not that disobedience doesn’t cause problems and we see today thousands of years later the Isaac/Sarah v Ishmael/Hagar situation being still played out between Jews and Arabs. Foolish behaviour (sin) has its effects but God has His way in the end, and He is in control throughout.

Prayer: O Father who art in heaven, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done….

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