Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away
14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba. 15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she[c] began to sob. 17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. 21 While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.
God is in the Wilderness
Hagar was a single mother who was homeless, jobless, had run out of food and water and most distressing was that she ran out of hope. If you re-visit the Genesis story you will be reminded that God had promised Abraham and Sarah that they would be parents of many generations, so numerous that they would outnumber the stars and the grains of sand on the beach. We are also reminded that they were very old and grew impatient with each passing year that no promised offspring had been produced. And as Ted Carlson reminded the folks at New Market on Sunday with his testimony, Satan rushes God takes His time. Sarah grew impatient and took things into her own hands, giving Abraham permission to have relations with their slave so a heir could be produced. Once the promise that was given to Sarah came to fruition and she had her own son, enmity between herself and the slave proved to be too much and she asked Abraham to send them away. This distressed Abraham greatly because this also was his son and he did a very important thing, a thing that we sometimes forget, he inquired of the Lord and the Lord assured him that his son and his mother would be taken care of by Him.
The one person who did not hear or know this promise was Hagar, since there were no homeless shelters in those days, Hagar was forced into the wilderness, where she came to a point of despair and wept the tears of an abandoned and frightened woman. And in the moment of her utmost despair God came to her not bringing a celestial glass of water for her but something much more life sustaining, God opened her eyes to the provisions that were in front of her, in Hagar’s case, a water well.
How often do things seem hopeless and desperate in our own lives, trying to raise young children, worrying about our teenagers and the dangers and temptations that they face every day, worrying as adults about job security and retirement, worrying as seniors on how we will have enough resources to survive? Take a moment and do the same as Abraham and inquire of the Lord, ask the Lord to open your eyes to the provisions that may be in front of you but you are blinded by your desperation. Rely on the promise of God, that through belief in His son, we are guaranteed a bottomless well of living water that we can draw nourishment from that will keep us going the rest of our lives.
Prayers for the missing children in Montgomery County and the UVA student.
Prayers for peace and reconciliation in our world.
Prayers for those who are grieving.
Prayers for those recovering from surgery.
Prayers for those attending the women’s retreat this weekend.