EP 123: The God Who Sees Me: Hagar

Diana WinklerDomestic Violence

We are continuing our series on People in the Bible who have suffered abuse. Today we are diving into Hagar’s story and her son Ishmael. Where did Hagar come from? What led up to the unfortunate events Hagar endured? Did God really tell Hagar to go back to her abuser? Find out why you should be encouraged by her story, and learn some fresh insights to a familiar tale.

Transcript below:

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Transcript: The God Who Sees Me: Hagar

[00:00:00] Hello, come on in. Welcome everybody. Did you know that you are loved by God? You are precious in his sight.

[00:00:09] So that is a reminder for you today. I’m glad you’re here. I hope that you enjoyed my interview with Eric Allen last week. He was a awesome conversationalist and had a powerful story. Now this week we’re going back to our series on prominent people in the Bible, those who have suffered some abuse.

[00:00:31] The Bible has a lot to say about abuse, contrary to popular belief. So

[00:00:37] it took me a long time to decide who I was going to do this week because we have so many stories in the Bible that we can learn from, and I decided to pick Hagar because I’m familiar with the story. and I think there is some encouragement in there that people [00:01:00] don’t always see. Now we’re going to jump around a little bit in the scripture because that’s what we do when we do a Bible study of any kind, is that we are looking at some of the surrounding passages.

[00:01:13] They get some context and clarity in maybe the backstory or some cultural information. So let’s get started here. We’re gonna start in Genesis chapter 12 and,

[00:01:27] and I’m reading from the E S V version, but you can choose any version that you are comfortable with that you enjoy reading.

[00:01:37] So who was Hagar? Hagar was a servant of Sarah in Abraham.

[00:01:43] So to get the context of where Hagar came from and what led up to what happened to her, then we are going to

[00:01:53] go over what Abraham was about.

[00:01:57] So just a quick background is [00:02:00] that Abraham was not born a Jew, he was born in a, what we would consider a pagan country, and God called him in Genesis chapter 12. verse 1. And at that time his name was Abram and God says, go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you now will make you a great nation.

[00:02:26] And I will bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and am who just honors you. I will curse and in you, all of the families of the earth shall be blessed.

[00:02:41] So Abram went as the Lord had told him and Lot with him. That was his nephew. Abram was 75 years old when he departed from Haran,

[00:02:51] and Abram took Sarai, his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered and the people that they had [00:03:00] acquired in Haran and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan,

[00:03:06] Abram passed through the land to the place at Shekum to the Oak of Maray. At that time, Canaanites were in the land. Verse seven. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said to your offspring, I will give this land. So we built there an altar to the Lord who had appeared to him. From there, he moved to the hill country on the east side of Bethel and pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and AI on the east.

[00:03:36] And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. And Abram journeyed on still going toward the So he is 75 years old and God’s promising him a nation of descendants.

[00:03:52] So here’s where Hagar comes into the picture. Now, there is a famine in the land. . So Abraham went [00:04:00] down to Egypt to sojourn there per the famine was severe in the land. When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai, his wife, I know that you are a beautiful woman in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, this is his wife and they will kill me, but they will let you live.

[00:04:18] Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you. and that my life may be spared for your sake. When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house.

[00:04:41] And for her sake, he dealt well with Abram and he had sheep oxen, male donkeys, male servants female servants, female donkeys and camels.

[00:04:52] But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh in his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife. So Pharaoh [00:05:00] called Abram and said, why is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say she is my sister? so that I took her for my wife. Now then here is your wife.

[00:05:16] Take her and go. And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.

[00:05:24] So the synopsis of the story is God promised Abram, even though he was 75 years. Descendants that were innumerable. And God told Abram to pack up and go to the land of Canaan. And they were starving. So they went to Egypt to get food.

[00:05:49] And it’s funny because later on in the Bible, Isaac does the same thing with his wife, with the [00:06:00] same Pharaoh. Kind of ironic that he says, my sister,

[00:06:05] And the same thing happens. Like father, like son.

[00:06:10] But anyway, we have this,

[00:06:13] this Pharaoh that can take anything from you whether you like it or not. So I can kind of see the fear behind it, but. It was a huge lie and it created quite a bit of a mess and embarrassment,

[00:06:28] so we’ll be meeting Hagar in Genesis 16 where she is introduced as Sarah’s Egyptian maid. First

[00:06:41] Midrashik tradition tells us that she was actually an Egyptian princess. Seeing how God had miraculously saved Sarah from his clutches, Pharoah concluded, it is better for my daughter to be a maid [00:07:00] in their home than a ruler and another, so this is Jewish tradition, so it isn’t from scripture, but it kind of makes sense.

[00:07:12] That was perhaps one of Pharoah’s daughters.

[00:07:16] So let’s flip back and forth here.

[00:07:20] We’re gonna skip a few stories about Abraham.

[00:07:24] You can read those on your own. I encourage you to.

[00:07:29] So we’re now in Genesis 16 verse one. Now, Sarai Abram’s wife had born him at no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar.

[00:07:40] and Sarah, I said to Abram, behold, now the Lord has prevented me from bearing children.

[00:07:46] So I wanted to make a note here and mention that in the Bible Times in that culture, women bearing children. That was a sign of wealth, of [00:08:00] prosperity, of God’s blessing. You were a woman that did not have children that was in that culture. It was very embarrassing, and your stature was not very high.

[00:08:13] That was your lot in life to produce children and you kind of think of in today’s terms that it seems really narrow-minded, but keep in mind, and we mentioned this before, that

[00:08:30] children are who take care of you in your old age. There were no nursing homes, senior living communities. There was no social security, nothing to take care of. You in old age like we have now, albeit still very flawed, our system. But in that day, if you didn’t have children to take care of you in your old age, you would be begging on the streets.

[00:08:57] You would be starving.

[00:08:58] [00:09:00] Children also helped out with the chores in running of the household. And though having children was a sign of wealth and prosperity, you wanted to have a large family. So anyway, she is probably very upset that she cannot have children. And keep in mind, God told Abram he was going to have descendants, a lot of descendants.

[00:09:25] So she gets hasty. Go into my servant. It may be that I shall obtain children by her. And Abram listened to the voice of Sara So after Abram had lived 10 years in the land of Canaan, Sarah Abram’s wife took Hagar, the Egyptian, her servant, and gave him to Abram, her husband as a wife. So we’ve gotta stop here too, because in our modern sensibilities, our modern culture, this isn’t something that we do.

[00:09:57] Agar is called a [00:10:00] concubine in the Bible, there are concubines all throughout the Old Testament, and we need to talk about what a concubine is. It’s kind of between a slave and a wife.

[00:10:15] So obviously being a slave, being a servant of Sarai Hagar has no say in the matter of being given to Abram to produce a child.

[00:10:28] This is Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary where I get definitions from. It’s a female slave function as a secondary wife and surrogate mother. It’s actually a non Semitic loan word borrowed to refer to a phenomenon not indigenous to Israel. So the Babylonian and the Assyrian law codes regulate primary and secondary marriages.

[00:10:54] So, it is not original to Israel.

[00:10:56] So concubines are primarily mentioned [00:11:00] during the patriarch period, the period of the judges and during the monarchy in Israel. So concubines don’t have the same status as wives. So in Exodus 21, 17 through 10, it states that concubines were not to be mistreated, nor could they be violated by other males.

[00:11:23] They seem to go higher up in status if they have children. it’s better to be a concubine than a slave or a servant. Some of the concubines were treated as co-heirs with the sons of wives.

[00:11:36] Now royal concubines, which unfortunately were in existence.

[00:11:43] A lot of the king’s enemies would attempt to take the throne away by requesting or taking their concubines. But for the most part, taking a concubine. And they used the [00:12:00] title of wife, but it wasn’t the same as, you had an arranged marriage with your future husband, and it was arranged by your parents and there was a bride price and there was a wedding feast and the whole community came out for it.

[00:12:16] That’s a different wife than the term wife they’re using here in this context as a concubine. , there was no fanfare, you just paid for the slave and you could make the slave your concubine. It was mostly used to provide a male heir for barren Wife, and there’s some other practices.

[00:12:39] Poor families could sell their daughters in dire times to provide a social safety net. In practice of taking concubines was perpetrated to meet the sexual desires of the males and or to cement political alliances between nations. Multiplying children through concubines would not normally [00:13:00] complicate the inheritance lines, but would increase the available family workforce and the family wealth.

[00:13:07] So concubine was endowed with some rights and protections by Hebrew law, but was not equal to status of a wife. Although God provided rights and protections for concubines in the law of Moses, God didn’t introduce or approve of this marital model. So as usual man finds his own way to solve his own problems and doesn’t follow God’s word or the law that’s been given.

[00:13:39] Man doesn’t seek God for the answers. He just tries to solve them himself.

[00:13:44] But it was acceptable in the Near East for a married man to have a concubine. So as long as he had the resources to support the family.

[00:13:54] and other kind of sort of interesting, disturbing things about [00:14:00] concubines is that in dire situations of poverty, women had very few options in those days. You did not wanna be a prostitute. That’s worse than a slave. Homelessness, begging on the street was horrible so she could choose to sell herself to one man as his concubine.

[00:14:20] And I mentioned a Hebrew girl could be sold by her father, but it was kind of rare. It was considered a parental right to sell one’s child as a slave, but the Hebrew slave could be free after six years of service unless they decided to stay in the household as a slave. Now, that’s in the law, Deuteronomy 15, 12 through 17.

[00:14:44] I’m not gonna read all that, but any man who bought a Hebrew girl as a concubine must commit to. For her for life or sell her to another man who would provide for her as a concubine, or return the girl [00:15:00] to her father without demanding payment for her. That is out of Exodus 21, 7 through 11. So I know this sounds really terrible in our society that we live in our, I’m talking about North America.

[00:15:14] we don’t do these things. But in that day, these provisions gave protection to the slave concubine who might otherwise have been liable to worse oppression, and worse things that would happen to her. So in a war context, . Even in war there’s always rape in war. We know that when one country takes over or invades another country, that is the reality.

[00:15:43] And that was the same in Israel. But this was forbidden in Israel. You weren’t allowed to rape a woman and just toss her aside. That was not allowed. If a soldier was attracted to a woman, he had to marry her, but he could only do [00:16:00] so after she had lived with him in a state of mourning for a month. So Deuteronomy 21, 12 describes that.

[00:16:08] So when it’s usually she is a refugee from war, she leaves her family and moved into. Conquering man’s home, but she gets a chance to mourn her, loss of her family and her life, and becomes the wife of this man, which if you are a refugee from war in some sort of a camp, you’re not fed, you’re not clothed, probably have lice.

[00:16:39] for a woman in that day being taken in by even someone of the occupying country that was better than being on the streets, being a beggar or a prostitute, or homeless or being a refugee.

[00:16:57] Now, if the soldier changed his mind after [00:17:00] they were married, she had to be granted her freedom. So her dignity had to be guarded and she could not be treated like a slave. The fact that female prisoners of war could be taken as wives by the Israelites does not sanction the practice so much as regulates and transforms an existing evil.

[00:17:20] So that, that note is from the NIV Zondervan’s study Bible.

[00:17:25] It’s not sanctioned, but it was practice. And so they wanted to give women some sort of protection, some sort of, okay, you’ve got, you got your food, your clothing, and you have a home.

[00:17:39] So a foreign woman sold as a slave. Forced slavery, and human trafficking was against the Hebrew law. That’s in Exodus 21:16. Most people don’t know about that.

[00:17:52] and any Canaanite woman that

[00:17:54] was brought into the family that was taken as a concubine and that was not [00:18:00] allowed in Deuteronomy seven, three through four. God worn the Hebrews not to intermarry with people from Canaan at all because they worshipped false gods, which often included human sacrifice and sexual religious practices. So they had temple prostitutes and

[00:18:20] human sacrifice was basically offering your children up to the idols into the fire, burning them. So they were not allowed to take tonight women or concubines, or wive.

[00:18:33] but the concubines, again, were entitled to proper food and clothing, not legally entitled to an inheritance for the kids, but sometimes the kids were included in their father’s will, which will be seen here in Ishmael’s case.

[00:18:52] Yeah, this isn’t really fun part of their culture. But the attempt was to protect the slave [00:19:00] concubine to a considerable extent, and that is from the pulpit commentary.

[00:19:07] King Solomon had 300 concubines. Nothing really known about these women. But can you imagine the being with 300 other women and sharing a husband with 299 other women? And on top of that, he had 700 wives. But this isn’t what God had designed in the Garden of Eden. That’s far from it.

[00:19:36] But we’ll come back to why. Why did God allow men to take women as concubines? We’ll come back to this

[00:19:48] In a little bit here. So we’re gonna go back to our Bible text in Genesis 16. And

[00:19:57] okay, so we’re gonna go continue [00:20:00] in verse four. And he went into Hagar and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. And Sarah, I said to Abram, may the wrong done to me be on you. I gave my servant to your embrace. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt.

[00:20:26] May the Lord judge between you and me, but Abraham said to Sarah, behold, your servant is in your power due to her as you please. And Sarah, I dealt harshly with her and she fled from her. A lot’s going on here that needs to be addressed here. So Sarah is the one that is not patient enough to wait for the Lord’s timing and gives her slave to Abra.

[00:20:57] And so when she [00:21:00] conceived,

[00:21:00] when Hagar conceived there was some women fighting womenly competition, you would say there was a bit of a cat fight. A “Neener”, I’m pregnant and you’re not.

[00:21:15] So she’s strutting around like a peacock and all haughty and everything and shoving it in her mistress’s face, which we’ll get into. That wasn’t right for Hagar to do. . But Sarah, she turned on Abram and blamed him for the whole thing, which I thought was strange. And Abram was not any big help to Hagar.

[00:21:43] He did not want to rock the boat. He wanted to please his wife, I assume, did not wanna get in the middle of this cat fight between the two women. He pretty much said, do whatever you want. And it doesn’t really say [00:22:00] what Sarah, I did or said to Hagar. I’m sure it wasn’t nice.

[00:22:05] Probably a lot of shouting and putting Hagar in her place and Hagar fled from her. A lot of things that probably shouldn’t have happened to begin with.

[00:22:18] So here is Hagar took off. She’s pregnant and verse seven, the angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness. This spring on the way to Shur. So the angel of the Lord, most scholars believe that to be the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ, that is Jesus before he came down to earth and became a man to die on the cross for us.

[00:22:47] Angel of the Lord is described with Godly attributes. That’s why we come to that conclusion. It’s not just an angel, it is God. The second [00:23:00] person of the Godhead coming and speaking with Hagar. You can do some more research on that.

[00:23:07] I just thought I’d point that out in case you weren’t aware. So verse eight, and the angel of the Lord said, Hagar, servant of Sarah. Where have you come? , and where are you going? She said, I’m fleeing from my mistress, Sarah. She left out the part where she was disrespectful to her mistress, but God knows the details.

[00:23:34] Anyway. Verse nine, the angel of the Lord said to her, return to your mistress, and submit to her. The angel of the Lord also said to her, I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude. And the angel of the Lord said to her, behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son.

[00:23:57] You shall call his name Ishmail because [00:24:00] the Lord has listened to your affliction. He shall be a wild donkey of a man. His hand against everyone. Everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all of his kinsmen. So I want to deal with verse nine when it says, return to your mistress and submit to her.

[00:24:21] I’ve heard a lot of sermons, a lot of preachers, a lot of people using this verse against victims of abuse stating God told Hagar to go back to her abuser. That’s not necessarily the whole truth. From the context of this passage

[00:24:42] we were talking about what Hagar was doing. She was. Disrespectful to her mistress, her boss, so to speak, and she fled the house. She’s stubborn. She is very strong-willed. [00:25:00] And keep in mind, back in that day, there were no women’s shelters.

[00:25:06] You couldn’t just leave and go get a job and take care of yourself, especially a pregnant one.

[00:25:15] She couldn’t do that, but the Lord saw.

[00:25:19] As we’re going to see here soon. So in the context of this passage, God knew that if she would’ve stayed out there, she would either died starved to death or some horrible thing may have happened to her. Some men would’ve probably taken her and harmed her. She didn’t have anywhere to go,

[00:25:43] did not have any options in those days. And so the best course of action was for her to go and apologize to Sarah and humble herself. I shouldn’t have been so haughty and [00:26:00] disrespectful to you and, become part. the household again, and it’s hard. It’s hard to admit that you were wrong and you made a mistake.

[00:26:10] You are acting on your emotion, your impulses,

[00:26:15] and so God’s saying return to your mistress and submit to her. That doesn’t mean that your situation right now

[00:26:23] is the same as Hagars. So don’t let somebody quote this verse as a reason for you not to leave your spouse. We have resources. We have places to go. We have ways to help you. Don’t let somebody trick you or twist scripture into making you stay in a relationship that’s dangerous or abusive.

[00:26:50] This is not the same thing.

[00:26:52] So let’s talk about the rest of this passage. God is promising to take [00:27:00] care of Hagar and her unborn son. You are going to have descendants that can’t be numbered. You’re gonna have a son that’s going to be in charge of a great nation. And so even though this whole situation has been not ideal and probably not something that God wanted, God didn’t tell Sarah to, Hey, and you’re servant over to Abram in violate her.

[00:27:30] That wasn’t God’s plan. It was Sarai and Abram, you need to wait for me to provide you Isaac. But God’s still going to bless Hagar and take care of her. And so let’s take a look at verse 13. And I love this first. So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, you are a God of seeing,[00:28:00] or she said, truly here I have seen Him who looks after me.

[00:28:05] Therefore, the well was called Beer Laja Roi. It lies between Kadesh and Bered. In Hagar or Abram’s son. And Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore Ishmael. Abram was 86 years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.

[00:28:30] So the name in my, the footnotes of my Bible, it says Ishmael means God hears.

[00:28:38] And it also says in the verse 11,

[00:28:42] it also

[00:28:43] translated, you are a God who sees me. That’s encouraging. Now remember she is not a Jew. She came from Egypt and I’m assuming that hanging around Abram and Sarai, that the [00:29:00] household was exposed to the God of Abram. And so she had a knowledge of God because she didn’t seem to be freaked out by the angel of the Lord showing up.

[00:29:13] And so I think this is a sign that she has become a believer.

[00:29:19] And so we see that she names the well that she drank out of Beer Laha Roi. It also means the well of the living one who sees me. So I find that to be encouraging and exciting that God saw her, God helped her in her distress, even though she was in the wrong there. God helps her and shows that he cares about her situation.

[00:29:50] Gonna work this out. And so we’re gonna find out some more interaction between the Angel of the [00:30:00] Lord, and Hagar coming up here.

[00:30:03] I’m not gonna go into detail about the next chapter 17. This is when Abram and Sarai get new names because God introduces the covenant of circumcision. So all of the males in his household is to be circumcised, and that is the outward sign of a covenant between God and the descendants, the household of Abraham.

[00:30:32] So Ishmael is also one of those that get circumcised.

[00:30:37] So if you are not circumcised, then you will be cut off. . It says in verse 14, any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people. He has broken my covenant,

[00:30:57] so they get new names. As for Sarai, [00:31:00] your wife, he shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her and more. I’ll give you a son by her and we will, she shall become nations. Kings of people shall come from her. And Abraham fell in his face and laughed and said to himself, shall a child be born to a man who was a hundred years old?

[00:31:22] She, Sarah, who was 90 years old, bear a. And Abraham said to God, oh, that Ishmael might live before you. So here Abraham thinks that Ishmael is going to be the one that his descendants come from, but God corrects him and says, no, that Sarah, your wife shall bear you a son and you shall call his name Isaac.

[00:31:48] I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. As for Ishmael, this is in verse 20. I have heard you. [00:32:00] Behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall Father 12 Princes and I will make him into a great nation, but I will establish my covenant with Isaac.

[00:32:15] Him, Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year,

[00:32:21] So things are getting really interesting. So he thought that he was taking the matter into his own hands by getting Ishmael and but God still said your descendants shall be from Isaac, but I’m still gonna take care of Ishmael because he is also your son. So and

[00:32:45] There’s a lot going on here.

[00:32:47] So we’re gonna skip Abraham Interceding for Sodom. You can read that on your own. We’re gonna skip Abraham and Abimilech here in [00:33:00] chapter 20. You can read that by yourself. We are going to go to chapter 21, the Birth of Isaac, where this picks up.

[00:33:11] So verse one, the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised in. Sarah conceived and bore Abraham his son. In his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him, Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him. Isaac in Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old as God and commanded him.

[00:33:47] Abraham was a hundred years old when his son, Isaac, was born to him, and Sarah said, God has made laughter for me. Everyone who hears will laugh over [00:34:00] me. And she said, who would’ve said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have born him a son in his old age. So they’re excited. They’re happy. They have the promised child, Isaac.

[00:34:18] And so verse eight, the plot thickens. And the child grew and was weaned, and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar, the Egyptian whom she had born to Abraham, laughing. So the kids laughing. Nobody knows what he was laughing about. She wasn’t very happy about this.

[00:34:46] She said to Abraham, cast out the slave woman with her son, or the son of the slave woman shall not be air with my son Isaac. And the thing was very displeasing to [00:35:00] Abraham on a can of his son. So what’s going on here is we talked about what the rights were with concubine. and the children of concubines, sometimes they would get something in the will, but they would not get the full inheritance because the rightful heirs to the inheritance would get it instead.

[00:35:26] So on this particular circumstance, it would be Isaac would be getting the inheritance and Sarah did not want Ishmael to get anything. She was threatened by Ishmael and she thought that Hagar, Ishmael would try and take over and try and get the inheritance that was due to Isaac. And so that’s what’s going on there.

[00:35:54] And Abraham was not happy that Sarah was wanting to kick [00:36:00] out. And his son Ishmael.

[00:36:03] So verse 12, when God said to Abraham, be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman, whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you for through Isaac shall your offspring be Now will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also because he is your offspring. So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread in a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder along with the child, and sent her away and she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

[00:36:39] Yeah, this isn’t very pleasant to read. I get that.

[00:36:42] God is promising to take care of the boy and take care of the slave woman is how she is labeled.

[00:36:52] The son of the slave woman is how he addresses Ishmael. But he’s promising [00:37:00] again to bless Ishmael. Don’t worry about him. I’ll take care of him. And so I guess it was good of him to give them food and water and wish them good luck, whatever. But we don’t really like Abraham right now. I certainly would not

[00:37:19] been happy with him sending me away if it was me. And so she’s wandering around the desert, and if you see pictures of Beersheba it is a wilderness. It’s desolate. There’s no food and there’s no water out there. Here in North America, when you talk about wilderness, you’re talking about trees and stuff like that.

[00:37:41] But in Israel, there’s, you talk about wilderness, it’s more talking about desert, like Arizona Desert or the Sahara. There’s nothing out there, but rock in, maybe a couple trees, bushes, so she’s wandering around aimlessly [00:38:00] and when the water in the skin was gone, this is in verse 15. , she put the child under one of the bushes.

[00:38:07] Then she went and sat down opposite him, a good way off about the distance of a bow shot where she said, let me not look on the death of the child. And she sat opposite him and she lifted up her voice and wept. So this is heartbreaking to read. She ran out of water, ran out of food, and some sources say that she was headed towards Egypt, where she came from originally.

[00:38:38] If you see a journey between Israel and Egypt it’s pretty far and it’s pretty desolate on foot with a young child.

[00:38:47] So she’s just getting ready to die and she sticks the kid under one of the few bushes out there, at least he’s under the shade and she goes and finds [00:39:00] a place far from the kid cuz she does not want to deal with watching him suffer and die.

[00:39:07] I don’t know if that’s a cultural thing or not. I don’t know any mother in our culture now that would do that. I would think that the mother would want to be with a child to comfort him when he dies, if he should die. But either way, this is a terrible situation.

[00:39:30] It’s not ideal for sure.

[00:39:32] So she sat opposite of him. She lifted up her voice and wept. So she is crying out to God. I’m assuming that the boy is crying too, because God said,

[00:39:46] I’m assuming that Ishmail is crying too. Or 17 says, and God heard the voice of the boy and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and [00:40:00] said to her, what troubles you, Hagar, fear not. For God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Verse 18 lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, or I will make him into a great nation.

[00:40:17] again, there’s that promise. Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water, and she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink and God was with the boy and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Haran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

[00:40:41] So if we look at maps, we’re gonna see that Quran is close by to Egypt. It doesn’t say why his mother took a wife for him from Egypt instead of from Israel, but it might be that, okay, [00:41:00] Egypt, that’s where my people are. He was probably upset. Abraham sent her on her way with their son, and so I don’t blame her for that.

[00:41:11] It doesn’t really give me any details though. But Ishmael became an expert with a bow

[00:41:18] The continuing saga with Isaac we all know about.

[00:41:21] The sacrifice of Isaac on the altar to God. We’ve probably all heard that story. I’m not gonna go into that now, but that’s the next event in Abraham and Isaac’s life. Sarah’s death and Burial is next. And finding Isaac a wife.

[00:41:42] So we have something to mention what happened with all of these characters. So chapter 25, we’ll talk a little bit about what happens when Sarah dies. verse one, Abraham took another wife whose name was [00:42:00] Katura. She bore him, Zimran, Joshan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.

[00:42:09] So it starts to name all of the descendants of Katura,

[00:42:14] All these were children of Katura. Abraham gave that he had to Isaac, but to the sons of his concubines. Abraham gave gifts while he was still living. He sent them away from his son Isaac eastward to the east country.

[00:42:31] So we talked about this earlier. Katura is a concubine. So he took a concubine after Sarah was gone and had more children with Katura . And

[00:42:46] so Abraham gave the inheritance to Isaac and just gave gifts to the sons of his concubines, which included Ishmael. So the saga of [00:43:00] Abraham ends in verse seven. These are the days of the years of Abraham’s life. 175 years. Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years, and was gathered to his people, Isaac and Ishmael.

[00:43:18] His sons buried him in the cave of Makpilah in the field of Efron, the son of Zohar, the Hitite east of Momram. The field that Abraham purchased from the Hittites there, Abraham was buried with Sarah, his wife, and after the death of Abraham, God blessed Isaac, his son and Isaac settled at Beer. Laja Roi.

[00:43:47] Remember that was the well, which is, that’s pretty interesting. It was the same that angel of the Lord spoke to Hagar,

[00:43:54] so it talks about in verse 12, the generations of Ishmael.

[00:43:59] He names [00:44:00] all of their descendants. And

[00:44:02] Ishmael lived to be 137 years. He breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people. , he settled from aah to Shur, which is opposite Egypt in the direction of Assyria. He settled over against all of his kingsmen. So another interesting thing is his verse nine, if you miss this, Isaac and Ishmail put aside whatever differences they had or if there were any animosity between them.

[00:44:35] They buried Abraham together and you can see the place where Abraham is buried. It’s not usually on the regular tours in Israel, but if you remember Wayne Stiles, in his videos to Israel, he has a video taking us right to that place where Abraham and [00:45:00] Sarah are buried. And what’s funny is it’s on, I think it’s on Palestinian land.

[00:45:07] I might have to check that, but it’s this building and it has two entrances and two stairs on opposite ends. And so if you are Israeli, you entered in from the left entrance and if you were Palestinian and you would enter from the right entrance and you would go into this building and they’re buried underground in it.

[00:45:33] There have been grave robbers and people trying to break in and steal the bones. And you can look down into. A hole and see the grave, but they have this big shrine to Abraham and Sarah. And, but I think, I like the fact that Isaac and Ishmail buried him where he wanted to be buried.

[00:45:58] Let’s talk about [00:46:00] Ishmael’s descendants. Now, of course, Ishmael is the Arab nations and most people talk about that Ishmael was the loser and. that Isaac was the winner. We shouldn’t think of it that way. They are both Abraham’s son. Both were given a promise and both are human beings with flaws. So we see the conflict in the Middle East between these two countries and these two cultures, and each one claiming to be Abraham’s rightful heir, because Ishmail is first of course, the descendants of Ishmael.

[00:46:46] But as we read we saw in scripture, God stated very clearly that it was Isaac, that the promise. the covenant would be established with.

[00:46:59] And [00:47:00] so we have to look at it as neither country is perfect. They have both done some not so good things to each other. Not getting political here, not going any further in that. But when you look at the conflicts over there, it is not as simple as this is Israel’s land. And the Palestinians believe it’s their land too.

[00:47:26] They should be able to live there. It’s very complicated and has been through history, fighting over this land. , anyway, we were gonna talk about,

[00:47:38] come back to you. Why did God allow concubines? Why didn’t God step in to say, Hey, the Israelites should not be doing this. This is wrong. And the Bible isn’t really specific about why God allowed people to continue in this kind of practice.

[00:47:57] We see that the Garden [00:48:00] of Eden was set up with a man and a woman to be a family, to love one another, have children. I think if God wanted polygamy. , which he didn’t want polygamy that was man’s doing that. He would’ve just created that in the beginning anyway. Why did he only create one man and one woman?

[00:48:26] Why didn’t he just create all these wives for Adam? Because that’s not God’s plan. That doesn’t create a happy home. Since human beings have chosen sin over God’s way, this is what happens.

[00:48:43] Poverty wasn’t part of God’s will or God’s initial plan, but because human life. Involved sin. Now, God had to make laws to protect the poor, from further oppression. [00:49:00] And even Jesus said this, the poor will always be with you. There’s always gonna be poor people because we have, sinful people.

[00:49:09] So you can find that in Deuteronomy 15, one through 18 or John 12, eight in the New Testament. Concubines, were not part of God’s will. But God was trying to protect vulnerable women from further oppression, broken relationships between men and women. So to say that, and we hear this a. . I especially hear it on Christian Twitter that God condone this sort of thing, but he didn’t.

[00:49:41] God is very much pro-women, and if you just change your perspective a little bit and understand the cultural ramifications of what was going on, you would see that God was trying to protect women the best way that could have been in that [00:50:00] culture, the culture that man created.

[00:50:02] So think about these things when reading this passage and others,

[00:50:08] just because God made some laws and some provisions for concubines, does that mean that God approved? , that doesn’t mean that God approved of this marital model. Okay, so back in Genesis 2:22,

[00:50:25] back to the garden, they’ve Eden in. That’s what he intended. Okay? Deuteronomy 24, 5. God made instructions for the husband to prioritize his wife’s happiness. It wasn’t all about the husband’s needs. It was the wife needed to be happy too. So even in Malachi two 13 through 16, God expressed anger at a husband’s unfaithfulness to his wife.

[00:50:54] God’s heart is to be monogamous and that’s not a very popular. [00:51:00] Thought when you look at the patriarchs that, oh, because the patriarchs had multiple wives and concubines, that means that the the cult of the the Mormons, the the ones that broke away and still practiced polygamy, that’s what they use is their proof text that, oh, the patriarchs all had wives and they had concubine, so we’re gonna do it too.

[00:51:23] But they are taking all of that outta context. It doesn’t say that the patriarchs took underage girls, some that are barely hitting puberty to be wives married to 40 year old men. That’s what. The offshoots of Mormonism were doing and the patriarchs were not taking wives from other people and taking them as their own.

[00:51:49] That was forbidden. They weren’t doing that. And comparing what happened in patriarchy it is not the same as what the Mormon cults are doing. Okay?

[00:51:59] [00:52:00] God wants monogamy. So you can also look at Psalm 1: 28 or Proverbs 5: 15, through 19. Ecclesiastes nine, nine. And here’s another point that’s really important, the purpose of the law. When we’re talking about the law that God gave to Moses, it was to expose human sin and to point to our need for Christ.

[00:52:28] So you have to keep that in mind that the law isn’t going to save anyone. Following the law doesn’t save you because it’s impossible to do the law perfectly. This is what God is trying to demonstrate.

[00:52:45] So if you’re looking at the Old Testament accounts, it’s gonna be different than when you’re reading the New Testament. So the key purpose of the law of Moses was to show the depth of sin and

[00:52:59] To [00:53:00] lead people to see the need of the promise to send them to Jesus Christ so they can be pardon and justified.

[00:53:08] And yes, these are horrifying stories. These are not pleasant, fun stories to read, but in my study, My research for this podcast, I’m pretty familiar with this story, but I’ve definitely learned some things in looking at different resources and really looking at the text to, to find some encouraging truths.

[00:53:38] It’s more than don’t do what they did, that’s wrong. It’s God didn’t lead the writers of the Bible to include these horrible stories to condone what they were doing. God’s not saying this is how you should live. You should have all these wives and concubines and no, it’s actually, [00:54:00] these stories are included in the Bible as they are to show the depth of human depravity.

[00:54:06] And that’s a hard pill to swallow, that we are depraved and sometimes in our lives, we as humans do terrible things. And so we are shown the depth of need for the Lord Jesus. Right?

[00:54:24] And these stories are heartbreaking to God too.

[00:54:28] But the Israelites kept rejecting God’s laws, God’s goodness. And he was so patient, and, human beings would rather roll around the filth of sin. God was gracious. To love them, to provide for them and give his own son as a sacrifice for sin.

[00:54:51] And all of us, we can be forever with God in heaven. So that might not be a perfect answer, but

[00:54:59] [00:55:00] let’s think of the takeaways from this lesson.

[00:55:03] The takeaways are that even when we disobey or when things are not perfect, we’ve made mistakes. Whoever it is making the mistakes, the innocent suffer.

[00:55:17] God shows up.

[00:55:18] God shows up.

[00:55:19] God will provide a way back. If you have gone off the path, God will restore your life. God will have a purpose for your life,

[00:55:29] even in the midst of some terrible things that have been done to you.

[00:55:33] Ismail was not part of God’s original plan, but he didn’t withhold blessings from him. He’s an innocent party.

[00:55:40] God values every single life, even the ones that come from unplanned and unapproved situations.

[00:55:49] And the most important part is that God sees everyone even when no one else sticks up for you, which in Hagar’s case, [00:56:00] Abraham didn’t really stick up for her as he should have. She was just some insignificant, nobody. She didn’t matter to anyone, but she mattered to God.

[00:56:11] So you might have that abusive boss, that stubborn rebellious kid. You may have a difficult husband unsaved family members. You have some really bad living situations. God sees you. God sees you when you’re not able to drag yourself out Bed. I’ve had those days. God is there.

[00:56:37] He sees you when you feel like hiding. Let me crawl into a hole somewhere. You just go back to bed. God just meets us where we’re at right now. He loves this the way we are. Isn’t that good news? It is good news.

[00:56:54] God doesn’t make empty promises and God does not lie and does not break [00:57:00] promises. So we might not understand what’s going on right now. There’s a lot of stuff that’s happened to me in the last two years. Many of you would say the same thing. I don’t understand. What did I do to deserve this? What’s going to happen to me?

[00:57:20] What do I do? When is this pain going to end? But I was very thankful that God was very real and present in my life, these last two years. Is present with me now, even though I didn’t understand, I trusted that God was going to bring something good out of all of. And provide what I needed. And he has many times throughout my life, and if you look back in your life, if you write a timeline of your life, you can look back and see where God has been there, where God [00:58:00] sees you.

[00:58:00] So

[00:58:01] even if you have only God that’s a big benefit in your favor. That is who you’d want in your corner. If you don’t have anybody else, but you have God, you are in a good place.

[00:58:14] So

[00:58:15] in the book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul talks about Hagar. And Hagar represents the scorn and rejected of society, those who have been physically or sexually abused. So that’s kind of neat that,

[00:58:32] that she’s mentioned.

[00:58:33] So I’m reading Galatians and it’s pretty long, and so I’m gonna give you the verse. You can read that, but it is, it’s basically talking about sons and one is one is born according to the flesh and the other one is born through promise.

[00:58:50] And it talks about that we have freedom through Christ. Do not submit again to yo of slavery. So that is [00:59:00] Galatians 4: 21 through 31. So you can read that. Because it’s a long passage. But I hope that this lesson has encouraged you in some way that maybe you see Hagar in a different light.

[00:59:17] Learned a few things about Abraham and Sarah that you didn’t know before. And I hope that it gets you more into your,

[00:59:28] Bible.

[00:59:29] That’s one of the reasons why we’re doing this series, is to expose you to different characters, some people in the scriptures. who we re not perfect. God still used them. God still redeemed them. So that’s all I’ve got today. We’ll see you here next week. God bless you. Have a good week.