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The Mother of a Great Nation

"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. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.'" -- (Genesis 21:17-18)

(Bible Study Online Article Covers : Genesis 21:18-21)

Short Recap?

In the last article, we'd learned that after Abraham had decided to throw Hagar and his son Ishmael, out into the wilderness. The Sacred Record revealed, that times had gotten tough for Hagar and her son.

For we'd learned that the food supplies that Abraham had given to Hagar and Ishmael, had begun to run low.

As a matter of fact, the two had already ran out of water: "When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes." -- Genesis 21:15

And just like the passage just revealed, Hagar had directed Ishmael to go and lie under a nearby bush.

For his health, was quickly deteriorating, for he no longer had the water, or food to sustain his strength.

And because of this, Hagar had begun to cry, for she'd feared that Ishmael would soon die: "Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bow-shot away, for she thought, 'I cannot watch the boy die.' And as she sat there nearby, she began to sob." -- Genesis 21:16

And as we would soon find out, the Lord would hear both the cries of Hagar and Ishmael. And so therefore, the Lord would send an angel down -- to help calm Hagar down, and reassure her, that everything will be okay:

"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. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.'" -- (Genesis 21:17-18)

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Why Didn't Ishmael -- Do More to Help?

However, that may have been, I would like to take this moment -- to briefly point out something, when it comes to Hagar and Ishmael's recorded account... from within the wilderness of Beersheba? For the Holy Scriptures would seem to suggest, that Ishmael was still a very young child? But in fact, Ishmael at this time in his life, had to be between the ages of 17, and 19 years old. Also keep in mind, that he was 14 years of age, when Isaac was born unto Abraham and Sarah.

And at such an age, I often wonder, why wasn't Ishmael doing more when it came to him helping his mother, while she was fighting for their survival out in the wilderness? Now you would think, that with him being at such an age, an age that's filled with vitality and strength -- he would have fared much better in the wilderness, than his mother did?

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Was Ishmael Pampered?

However this wasn't the case, and personally, I figure that Ishmael was a child that was given everything by his father? For you must know, that Abraham had loved him so much. Also keep in mind, that for a least 13 years -- not only was Ishmael, Abraham's first child, but he was also his only child. Now because of Abraham's strong feelings towards Ishmael, I can see how Ishmael could have had a pampered life.

In fact, I can see Ishmael being pampered, all the way up to the time -- that along with his mother, he was forced to leave his father's household. And remember, that all of this stemmed, from the ongoing feud -- that was constantly taking place between his mother Hagar and Sarah.

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Hagar Get A Hold of Yourself?

However that may have been, as we turn our attention back towards God and Hagar. We now find, that at this point time, God had to calm Hagar down, in order for her to quickly come to her senses. For you must know... that she was so distraught, and distracted by her concerns, and fears that she had for her son Ishmael -- that there was a good chance, that she wasn't able to see, or think straight -- when it came to her current ordeal.

So this is why, we find that the next passage reads like this: "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." -- Genesis 21:19

Understand, that this doesn't mean that Hagar was at this time blind, or that God had did a miracle by creating a water-well from out of nowhere. No, it just means -- that Hagar was too distracted, and distraught, when it came to her fears and concerns for her son Ishmael. And because of her very fragile mental state, she wasn't able to notice -- that God had already placed the needed survival provisions, around her, and her son Ishmael.

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God Stayed With Ishmael?

Next we find, that the Holy Scriptures would also confirm, that God was with the boy as he grew into a man. And we're told, that Ishmael ended up settling from within the "Desert of Paran" and that he had eventually became an archer. Also know, that Ishmael would get married to an Egyptian woman -- that his mother later on, had found for him:

"God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt." -- Genesis 21:20,21

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Hagar's Blessing in Disguise?

Now I find it very interesting, that the unfortunate treatment that Hagar and Ishmael had suffered, could perhaps -- had been a blessing in disguise? Even though the harsh treatment that Hagar, and her son had received, was brought on by themselves? But in spite of this, and like I'd expressed earlier -- I often wonder, if their ordeal was some sort of blessing in disguise? And honestly, I truly believe that it was, and here's why?

With all of the fighting that she was doing with Sarah for so many years -- Hagar now had some sort of peace, and joy, in her life. Something that she didn't have for a long time. Also keep in mind, that Hagar served as Sarah's maidservant, or slave -- while she lived in Abraham's household.

And even though, Hagar was now living out in the desert on her own -- understand that she was no longer a slave, or a servant to someone... but she was now a free, and independent woman, at this point in her life. And through her son Ishmael, she would also be blessed, by becoming the mother, of a great nation.

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Ishmael's Blessing in Disguise?

Also keep in mind, that Ishmael had to be removed from Abraham's household, in order for him to serve out his true purpose as well? For you must know, that Ishmael's purpose, dealt with him (in his own right) to becoming the great nation, that God had proclaimed him to be:

"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. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.'" -- (Genesis 21:17-18)

And know, that this had to have happened, because God had already made a promise, to both Abraham and Hagar. For we must always remember, that God always keeps His promises.

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The Lord's Promised to Abraham?

Also remember God's promise to Abraham: "Do not be so distressed about the boy [Ishmael] 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 [Abraham's] offspring." -- Genesis 21:12,13

In the next Bible Study Online Article:

So we just learned that Hagar and Ishmael was able to survive the wilderness, and that God had stayed with Ishmael, as he grew into the man that he was destine to be. And we'd also learned that Hagar would benefit greatly, from Ishmael's destiny as well. But now we begin to move forward. And it's at this time, that we find Abraham running into that king, that was known as Abimelech, once again. Hmm... I wonder, if things will turn out differently, between the two?

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

16) Abimelech Angry with Abraham

17) The Birth of Isaac

18) Hagar & Ishmael - Sent Away

19) Hagar the Fighter

Added to page 19) <-CURRENT - BIBLE STUDY ONLINE - PAGE->

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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