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Page Eighteen

Hagar & Ishmael

Sent Into the Wilderness

Abraham had taken some food, and water, and handed the items over to Hagar. Abraham would do this... by placing the food, and water, on her shoulders. And after doing this, he then sent her, and his son Ishmael -- forever out into the wilderness.

(Bible Study Online Article Covers : Genesis 21:8-14)

The Weaning Period?

In the last article, we'd learned that the "promise seed prophecy" that the Lord had foretold to Abraham and Sarah, had finally came to pass. We'd also briefly went over, the doubts that Abraham and Sarah had, when it came to them having a child. For I'd also pointed out, that they both had doubted God in this area, and not just Sarah.

For I mentioned, that most Bible teachers, would teach about Sarah doubting God -- but only a few, ever mention, the doubt that Abraham had as well.

Be that as it may, we've now reached the point from within this recorded account, where we find that Abraham and Sarah's promise seed -- who was named Isaac, had grown to be a bit older.

And it's at this time, that Isaac would begin to go through the process, of being weaned from the nursing of his mother.

Now I would like to point out, that the Sacred Record doesn't mention Isaac's age, at this particular stage of his life?

But know that there are some different viewpoints, when it comes to the actual age that Isaac was, when all of this had taken place. For some seem to think, that he was three years old, while others say he was five? But as for me, if the Holy Scriptures doesn't take the time to discuss it... then honestly, why should I? However what you should know, when it comes to what follows next, I personally believe to be of the upmost importance -- when it comes to the next string of events, that immediately takes place after Isaac was weaned.

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The Mocking of Isaac?

Know that it's at this point, that we're told about the great feast of joy, that Abraham had held for his son Isaac. Understand that this feast, was in honor of Isaac's weaning event. So yes, to was a big deal, from within Abraham's household. Also know, that it was during this event, that Sarah had seen Hagar's son Ishmael -- mocking his little half brother Isaac.

Now after Sarah had witness this disrespectful behavior from Ishmael, she became highly upset ,and she was quick to tell Abraham about how she felt: "Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac."

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Why So Serious Sarah?

Now personally, I find Sarah's reaction to be very interesting, when it comes to Ishmael's behavior towards his younger half brother Isaac? I mean after all, this is what kids do... right? Now, the Holy Scriptures doesn't go in great detail, on why Sarah was able to become so easily enrage? But if we went beyond the surface of the text, by revisiting the troubling history that existed between both Sarah and Hagar -- we could perhaps, come up with a reason to why Sarah had reacted the way that she did?

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Sarah's Plan Seemed to be Working?

First off, I would like to point out that Hagar was one of the many gifts, that Pharaoh had given Abraham -- after the Egyptian ruler had taken Sarah, and tried to force her to be his wife. And after that entire ordeal in Egypt was over, next we'd learned, that Sarah had become very impatient with waiting on the Lord -- when it came to being bless with a child, that she could call her own.

And it was because of her impatience, that Sarah would come up with a plan, that dealt with Abraham marrying Hagar her Egyptian maidservant. For Sarah believed, that she could build herself, a family through her maidservant. Now this obviously, wasn't God's plan, and this also showed us -- just how desperate Sarah had become, when it came to her having her very own child. And because of this desperation, and lack of trust in the Lord, she decided to take matters into her own hands?

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Sarah's Reality Check?

And a short while later, we would learn, that the plan would have some early success. For it did bring Abraham and Hagar a child, but the events that happened next, would become a "reality check" for Sarah. For we would find, that after Hagar had given birth to Abraham's first born son, she would become very prideful of the fact -- that she was able to get pregnant by Abraham, and that Sarah couldn't.

And because of this haughty and prideful attitude, that Hagar now held -- she began to look down on, and be disrespectful, towards Sarah. For Hagar teased and mocked Sarah, when it came to Sarah's condition of barrenness: "Then Sarai said to Abram, 'My wrong be upon you! I gave my maid [Hagar] into your embrace; and when she saw that she had conceived, I became despised in her eyes. The Lord judge between you and me.'" -- (Genesis 16:5)

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Sarah & Hagar's Drama?

Now in the meantime, Sarah would get permission from Abraham, when it came to her returning the same kind of treatment back towards Hagar: "So Abram said to Sarai, 'Indeed your maid is in your hand; do to her as you please.' And when Sarai dealt harshly with her, she fled from her presence." -- (Genesis 16:6)

And with Abraham's permission, Sarah began treating Hagar with great disrespect. Also know, that the treatment towards Hagar was so harsh... that the Egyptian maidservant would end up fleeing from Abraham's household, while she was still pregnant with his child. And because of this, Hagar would receive a divine visitation from the Lord, while she rested at a fresh water spring.

And after the angel had reassured Hagar, while she laid resting at that fresh water spring, near a road that lead to -- The Wilderness of Shur. Hagar would agree to return back to Abraham's house, and soon after she had done this, she ended up giving birth to Abraham's first born son Ishmael.

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So What's My Point?

Understand, that I went through that short history recap, so that you could have an idea -- of why so many (including myself), have adopted this viewpoint that I'm about to share with you? For I believe that the reason why Sarah had became so easily upset with Ishmael, dealt with her believing, that it was indeed Hagar -- who was instigating, and encouraging her son Ishmael, to mock his younger half brother Isaac.

And even though, Sarah had finally had a child to call her own, I believe that the competition between the two women (although subtle at this point), never really ceased. Which in turn, led to Sarah, once again -- pulling rank on Hagar. But this time around, Sarah wouldn't wait for Hagar to leave on her own, for she would pressure her husband Abraham -- to take immediate action, which dealt with him forcing Hagar, and her son... to immediately leave.

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Abraham Distressed?

And because of this intense pressure, that Sarah was putting on him, Abraham had become very distressed about the situation -- for you must understand, that he'd loved Ishmael very much. Now after seeing how uneasy Abraham had become, God would come down and visit Abraham, in order to give him some reassurance -- when it came to the future of his son Ishmael:

"Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring." -- Genesis 21:12,13

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Abraham Comes to a Decision?

So after Abraham had received this reassurance, and consent from the Almighty, he would come to the conclusion -- that perhaps, Sarah had a right to request the type of drastic action, that she was seeking from him. For you must keep in mind, that if Hagar and her son Ishmael, had indeed acted well -- and were being respectful, towards Sarah and Isaac, none of this would have probably happened.

Now I'm making this statement, based on the notion, that I simply can't see God allowing Hagar and Ishmael -- to be thrown out into the wilderness, if they were doing right by Sarah. I mean after all, it was God that had instructed Hagar to return back to Abraham's household, when she had first fled. But now we find the Lord giving Abraham the okay, to toss her, and her son -- out into the wilderness.

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Hagar & Ishmael -- Sent Into The Wilderness?

However that may have been, we now find Abraham acting on the instructions of his wife, and the confirmation that he'd received from the Lord -- to where we now find, that early the next morning... Abraham had taken some food, and water, and handed the items over to Hagar. Abraham would do this... by placing the food, and water, on her shoulders. And after doing this, he then sent her, and his son Ishmael -- forever out into the wilderness.

In the next Bible Study Online Article:

Now that Abraham had finally sided with his wife Sarah, when it came to throwing out Hagar and Ishmael. We begin to move forward, and it will be at this time, where we'll follow Hagar and Ishmael as they make their way into the wilderness. And we'll also learn if Hagar, and her son, are completely on their own -- or maybe, just maybe, the Lord is still... somewhat watching over them.

May God blessings be upon you, and thank you for your support

Related - Bible Study Online Articles - Links

Start Reading a Different Bible Study Online Series:

God Creates the Earth

The Sons of God - The Daughters of Men

The Introduction of Abraham


The Birth of Esau & Jacob

Jacob - The Path of Uncertainty

Jacob - Wrestles with God

Joseph the Favorite Son

Joseph the Overseer of Egypt

The Unveiling of Joseph

Continue Reading - The Current Bible Study Online Series:

16) Abimelech Angry with Abraham

17) The Birth of Isaac


19) Hagar the Mother of a Great Nation

20) Abraham & The Well of Oath

21) Abraham & The Great Sacrifice

22) The Death of Sarah

23) Eliezer of Damascus

24) The Discovery of Rebekah

25) Rebekah gets Permission to Leave

26) Isaac meets Rebekah

27) The Last Years of Abraham

28) The Twelve Rulers of Ishmael

29) The Birth of Esau & Jacob

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