Bible Study Lessons; Genesis 21:8-21
Hagar and Ishmael Suffer the Wrath of Sarah
Hagar and Ishmael are sent to live in the dessert in this episode from Genesis.
This is a good lesson about how envy and jealousy can get the best of us.
It can lead to worry and tension toward those we love.
How Ishmael Became a Nation
Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking.
Therefore she said to Abraham, “Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac.”
The matter distressed Abraham greatly because of his son.
But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named.
And of the son of the maid I will make a nation also, because he is your descendant.” – Genesis 21:8-13 NASB
Sarah had become very jealous of Hagar and after her son Isaac was born, she wanted nothing else to do with Hagar or her son. So Sarah ordered Abraham to send the woman and Ishmael off into the desert.
Abraham – Father of the Nation?
Would you send off your wife (I know, we only have one) and son into the desert only providing only a little food and water for them?
It seems that Abraham went to the extreme – and maybe so. But keep in mind that later Abraham is willing to kill his other son Isaac to obey the will of God. So, on with the story ..
One of the main points of these verses is that God had a plan for both Isaac and Ishmael.
Although Hagar and Ishmael were sent off into the desert, they survived. They were destined to fulfill the promise God made. The promise that another great nation would come from the line of Ishmael.
“God was with the lad, and he grew; and he lived in the wilderness and became an archer.
He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.” – Genesis 21:20-21 NASB
This large tribe was called the Ismaelites and they became nomads. They traveled through the southern part of Israel living in the areas of the Desert of Sinai and Paran.
One of Ishmael’s daughters wound up marrying Esau (remember him?) who was one of Ishmael’s nephews.
Think First – Then Act
According to the Bible this nation of Ishmael became very hostile to Israel and became disobedient to God.
I guess one life lesson we can pull from these verses is that, when we disobey God, we don’t only affect our lives but the lives of our children / grandchildren as well.
We need to think before we act – this is almost always a good practice.
Love in Christ
If you would like to know how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16 to find out more.