GENESIS 21:14 "And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. 15: And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. 17: And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. 19: And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink."


THE BIRTH OF ISAAC

Abraham and Sarah had waited all their married life for a son of their own. Now, at last, that son was born. God first promised this event twenty-five years earlier. As they had been instructed, they named their son Isaac. Sarah laughed (with joy this time) because she had been given a son in her old age. Abraham was 100 years old at the time.


ISHMAEL AND HAGAR BANISHED

On the day Isaac was weaned, Abraham made a great feast in celebration. Ishmael, now fourteen years old, mocked the young heir, probably out of jealousy for now he was no longer the heir of Abraham. Sarah, seeing Hagar's son mocking her son, became angry and told Abraham to send them away. Verse 11 says, "And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son." He must have sought out God about this because verse 12 says God told him to go ahead and do as Sarah asked because Isaac was his promised seed.

Abraham gave Hagar and her son bread and water and sent them away. Ishmael was now 14 years old and this must have broke Abraham's heart. I cannot imagine knowing a child of my own for that long and then just sending him out into the wilderness, not knowing what would happen to him. Hagar left Ishmael lying under a bush, probably asleep, and took herself to another shaded area when the bread and water ran out. She did not want to watch her son die. God heard the voice of the boy and sent an angel! The angel told Hagar not to fear, that God had heard her son's cry and was going to make him a great nation. God then opened her eyes and she saw a well. God was with the boy and he grew up and became an archer.

Isn't it wonderful? Just when we are at our lowest and think we're about to die from thirst, there come's God with a fresh drink of water from His well!


A TREATY WITH ABIMELECH

Remember Abimelech? In chapter 21, Abraham deceived him by telling him Sarah was his sister. He now comes to Abraham to assure himself of Abraham's favor. Abraham was a wealthy, influential resident of a land to which he laid claim and he wanted a good relationship with him. Abraham had a complaint that some of Abimelech's servants had violently taken away a well that belonged to him. Abimelech assured Abraham he knew nothing about this. Abraham then set aside seven lambs for Abimelech as a witness that he had dug the well and they made a covenent there. This is a good example for us. We should always set an example to the world by being honest and trying to get along with the people around us.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

  • Was Abraham henpecked? Was he wrong in sending Hagar and Ishmael away? Who was really the boss here? Do you think he provided adequately for them or should he have done more?
  • Do you think the well of water Hagar saw was there all the time or do you think God put it there just for her? Have there been wells such as this in your life? Things you needed that were there all the time, but you just failed to see them? Perhaps a way out of a difficult situation that God revealed to you "just in time"?

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS ON THESE QUESTIONS.
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