what did Jesus say about prejudice?

Hagar Ishmael and Sarah – About Jealousy

Hagar and Ishmael are sent to live in the desert in this episode from Genesis. This act of banishment was because of Sarah, who felt threatened by Hagar’s relationship with Abraham.

We learn a valuable lesson from Genesis 21:8-21 about how envy and jealousy can get the best of us. It can lead to worry and tension toward those we love.

Hagar and Ishmael Suffer the Wrath of Sarah – Ishmael Becomes 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’s Jealousy

Sarah became very jealous of Hagar. So, after Isaac was born, she wanted nothing else to do with Hagar, or her son. To remedy the situation, Sarah ordered Abraham to send the woman and Ishmael into the desert. Ishmael’s life in the dessert ultimately served as a harsh reminder of the jealousy and animosity between Sarah and Hagar.

Abraham – Father of the Nation?

Would you send your wife (I know, we only have one) and son into the wilderness, providing 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 God. We can learn a lot from Abraham’s example of faith and obedience, even if it’s a difficult lesson. So, on with the story ..

God’s Plan

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 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 married Esau (remember him?) who was Ishmael’s nephew.

Think First – Then Act

According to the Bible this nation of Ishmael became very hostile toward Israel. And, they became disobedient to God. As a result of Ishmael’s disobedience to God, the nation faced numerous consequences. They experienced internal conflicts, division, and continued hostility towards Israel. Moreover, their disobedience led to a deterioration of their relationship with God, hindering their spiritual growth and blessings.

I guess one life lesson we learn 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 a good practice to master.

Love in Christ

– Bob

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.

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