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Hagar And Ishmael

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 7 months ago

During the time of the terrible famine in Canaan, Abram traveled to Egypt with his wife Sarai, his servants, and their animals. When they returned to Canaan from Egypt, they brought with them an Egyptian girl named Hagar. She was a maidservant for Sarai. Abram and Sarai taught Hagar to trust and believe in the one true God.


During all the years of marriage to Abraham, Sarai had no children. How she wanted a small child to love! Sarai remembered God's promise that she and Abram would one day have a son, but she did not see how it was possible. Therefore, following the custom of that time, Sarai gave her maidservant, Hagar, to Abram as a wife. Any children born to the servant woman were generally considered to be the children of the wife.


When Hagar became pregnant, she became prideful. She began to treat Sarai badly. Because of this, Sarai became upset with Hagar and punished her for her actions. This punishment caused Hagar to become angry, and she ran away from Abram's camp. For a time, Hagar walked through the hot and dusty desert. When she became thirsty, she stopped to rest by a well, and to drink the cool water. At this well, an angel of the Lord appeared to her. "Hagar, you are Sarai's servant," the angel said. "Where are you going? Why have you left Sarai?"


Hagar answered, "I am not happy with my mistress, so I am running away."


"Return to Sarai, and obey her," the angel said. "The baby you will have shall be a son. He will grow to be a strong man with many descendants too numerous to count."


The Lord loved Hagar. He had been watching over her the entire time. Hagar wondered about the angel, but she knew the angel was a messenger from God. This visit surprised her, she thought, "Have I really seen God?" However, she knew the angel was a messenger from God, and she obeyed him. She returned to Sarai. Later, the well in the wilderness where the angel had found her was called Beer-la-hai-roi, which means, "A well of the Living One who sees me."


Soon, God's promise came true and Hagar gave birth to a son. Abram named his baby boy Ishmael, which means, "God hears."


After Ishmael was born, 13 more years passed. Abram was now 99 years old. One day, the Lord appeared unto him again. Abram bowed with his face to the ground and listened as God spoke. God said, "If you always obey Me, I will make a covenant with you." Abram knew that a covenant was a promise between two people. When a covenant is made, each person agrees to do something for the other. In this covenant, God promised to give Abram a son. Abram promised to serve and obey God.


God repeated the promise to Abram that he would become the father of many nations. Then, God said, "No longer shall you be called Abram. Your name will be Abraham, which means 'the father of many.'" At this time, God also changed the name of Sarai. God said to Abraham, "I will bless your wife. She will be called Sarah, which means 'princess, mother of many nations.'"

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