Gen. 16:6-9 Hagar flees from Sarai

             Gen. 16:6 "But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face. 7 And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. 8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. 9 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands."

            When Sarai dealt hardly with Hagar because of her despite of Sarai, then Hagar fled from her face.  Under the allegory of the two wives of Abram representing the two covenants, we should understand that the law is servant to grace.  The scriptures teach us in Gal. 3:24 "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."  A schoolmaster is a servant that brings us to the desired place.  The covenant of the law is a servant, a schoolmaster and it serves under the covenant of grace to bring us to an understanding that we had need of a Savior and that by his works alone we are saved from the condemnation of the law. 

            While Hagar fled from her mistress she was still under her mistress.  God sent his angel to tell Hagar to return to her mistress.  The angel said unto Hagar, "whence camest thou? And whither wilt thou go?"  Hagar was always a servant and was still a servant.  The best place for her as a servant was to return to her mistress.  Her mistress provided for her needs.  "And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands."  Here we see the Lord providentially intervening on behalf of the servant for her and the child's well-being. 


Gen. 16:10-16 God makes covenant promises to Hagar and her son 

            Gen. 16:10 "And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. 11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. 12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. 13 And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? 14 Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. 15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. 16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram." 

            "And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude."  This promise made to Hagar is somewhat similar to the promise made to Abram.  Both were promised that their seed would be multiplied to a number that could not be numbered for multitude.  The Lord set the births of Ishmael and Isaac in proximity to show us a comparison.  Ishmael was a child born after the works of the flesh.  Isaac was a child of promise.  Every elect child of God has two natures during their lifetime.  They each have a nature that is born after the flesh and they each have a nature that is given to them by promise.  The elect are a great multitude that no man could number of every nation, kindred, people and tongue.  The promise to Hagar is that there would be a great multitude that would be after her seed.  All naturally born people have a nature after the flesh. 

            "And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction."  The name "Ishmael" means "God hears."  This should encourage us that God hears us regardless of the position we may hold in life or the state of our finances.  God hears the cries and problems of his people.  The fact that he heard this bondmaid who was under the bond service of another and blessed her both with a child and with providential watch care over her teaches me that he watches over me as well.

            "And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren."  Based on this, I have no doubt that Ishmael was indeed a wild man and that his hand was against every man and every man's hand was against him.  I also have no doubt that he dwelled in the presence of all his brethren.  This description, however, also applies to the flesh nature of every child of God.  We have a nature of flesh that is wild: Job 11:12 "For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt."  The ass in the wild has an uncontrolled nature.  So, likewise, vain man has a wild uncontrolled nature that refuses to be controlled by the moral compass of God.

            Also, we have a nature in the flesh that wars against our spiritual inner man.  Moreover our spiritual inner man wars against our nature in the flesh: Gal. 5:17 "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."  This flesh nature like Ishmael dwells in the presence of its brethren (the spiritual inner man) and wars against the spiritual inner man.  Similarly, the spiritual inner man wars against the flesh nature.  This is a constant warfare that every born-again child of God must content with every day.

            "And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? 14 Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered."  Hagar recognized that God was watching over her in her affliction.  She was recognizing his watch care and praising him for his watch care by calling his name "Thou God seest me."  The name "Beerlahairoi" means the "oath of God who seest me."  With this name she was recognizing the oath or promise that God had made unto her and praising him for his watch care. 

            "And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. 16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram."  We can assume that Hagar told Abram about her experience as he called his son's name Ishmael.  Abram had a son in his old age, but this was not the son of promise.