Day 79: God Hears Hagar

Genesis 16:7-12

The angel of Yahweh found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s handmaid, where did you come from? Where are you going?”

She said, “I am fleeing from the face of my mistress Sarai.”

The angel of Yahweh said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hands.” The angel of Yahweh said to her, “I will greatly multiply your seed, that they will not be numbered for multitude.” The angel of Yahweh said to her, “Behold, you are with child, and will bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because Yahweh has heard your affliction. He will be like a wild donkey among men. His hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. He will live opposite all of his brothers.”

It is important to recognize that God not only blessed Israel but He blessed the Arabs as well. The problem in the middle east is sometimes framed in such a way to make Israel look like that they are against Arabs. When you do your own investigation, however, it becomes obvious that the Arabs are usually the ones who are making unrealistic demands. You even see them fighting between other Arabs.

It is clear from this context that when God calls Ishmael “a wild donkey among men,” He is describing his robust and stubborn individuality. We can know that it has nothing to do with a lack of intelligence because the Bible also says that Ishmael was very skilled. God was blessing Hagar and promised her that she would have a very big family in much the same way that He promised Abram. We know that God cared for Hagar because he said that He heard her affliction and did something about it.

Isn’t it good to know that when we make a mess of things, that God, in his great mercy, helps those that we have harmed? It is such a sorrowful thing to know that we have caused harm to others by our sins, but it’s wonderful to see how much God loves both those who have sinned and those who became victims of sin. Once again we see that God really is a lover of mankind and deals with us in a way that is far better than we actually deserve.