God comes through on his promise of granting a son to Abraham and Sarah. Abraham may be 100 years old now, but God made a promise to him. This child is named Isaac. Everything seems to be going well until Isaac starts playing with Ishmael, Abraham’s other son who he had with Hagar, Sarah’s maidservant. Sarah demands that Abraham Ickes out Hagar and Ishmael, as she doesn’t want Ishmael to share Isaac’s inheritance.
Abraham wasn’t so fond of this idea, but God told him to obey his wife:
But God said to Abraham: Do not be distressed about the boy or about your slave woman. Obey Sarah, no matter what she asks of you; for it is through Isaac that descendants will bear your name. (Genesis 21:12)
The next day Abraham packed up some water and food and sent Hagar and Ishmael away. They wandered aimlessly, and eventually ran out of water. Hagar set Ishmael under a bush. Because she could not bear to watch him die. God hears her cries and sends an angel to lead her to a well and remind her that God promised to make a great nation from Ishmael too. Ishmael grows up in the wilderness and becomes a great bowman. Hagar finds him a wife from Egypt.
There is a short scene that takes place between Abimelech and Abraham in which Abraham’s claim to a well is recognized. Abraham then lives in the land of the Philistines for a long time.
For once God has commanded Abraham to listen to his wife. This is the first time that God has really supported a woman. I wonder if God is doing this because he actually supports not splitting Isaac’s inheritance or if it’s because sending Hagar and Ishmael off helps to set up the nation he promised to make out of Ishmael’s descendants.
Lessons I Learned:
- If your first wife doesn’t want your second wife around anymore, get rid of the second wife.