Day 97: When God Opens Our Eyes

Genesis 21:8-21

The child grew, and was weaned. Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking. Therefore she said to Abraham, “Cast out this handmaid and her son! For the son of this handmaid will not be heir with my son, Isaac.”

The thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight on account of his son. God said to Abraham, Don’t let it be grievous in your sight because of the boy, and because of your handmaid. In all that Sarah says to you, listen to her voice. For from Isaac will your seed be called. I will also make a nation of the son of the handmaid, because he is your seed.” Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread and a bottle of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder; and gave her the child, and sent her away. She departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. The water in the bottle was spent, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. She went and sat down opposite him, a good way off, about a bow shot away. For she said, “Don’t let me see the death of the child.” She sat over against him, and lifted up her voice, and wept. God heard the voice of the boy.

The angel of God called to Hagar out of the sky, and said to her, “What ails you, Hagar? Don’t be afraid. For God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Get up, lift up the boy, and hold him in your hand. For I will make him a great nation.”

God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went, filled the bottle with water, and gave the boy drink. God was with the boy, and he grew. He lived in the wilderness, and became, as he grew up, an archer. He lived in the wilderness of Paran. His mother took a wife for him out of the land of Egypt.

Here we read the story of the eviction of Hagar and Ishmael from the household of Abraham and Sarah. Hagar, who was a slave that was probably acquired when Abraham sinned
by giving his wife away in Egypt; and who he sinned with again by trying to have a son by her. Paul tells us in Galatians 4 that these two mothers and sons represent two systems that are antagonistic toward each other. There was no way that the two would ever get along with each other just as our flesh cannot get along with the way of the Spirit. God knew that the best thing would be for each to be blessed separately.

So, God told Abraham that it was the right thing to do to separate the two. Hagar went wandering into the desert with very little and wandered until she ran out of water. God heard the voice of the boy there, which is interesting to me since I thought that He would have heard the voice of Hagar, but that’s not what it says. Instead, he tells Hagar that He heard the boy’s voice. Perhaps, Ishmael learned from his father to call out to God too and God always hears us when we call out in humility and repentance to Him.

Hagar thought that they were going to die, but she didn’t realize that she was close to a well of water. God not only blessed her son, but He opened her eyes to the fact that He had been leading her to water. Perhaps you have noticed this same thing in your life. Often when we think that there is no hope at all, God shows us his provision by opening our eyes to the truth of the situation, revealing that He has everything under control. God had promised Hagar that her son would be great and God cannot lie. God has promised to do what is best for us too and we can be happy knowing that this is true, no matter what things seem like right now.