Gen. 21:14-21 God provides for Hagar and Ishmael

             Gen. 21:14 "And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. 15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. 16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.

            17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. 18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. 19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. 20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. 21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt."

            "And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away:"   To live by faith is to be obedient to God.  Abraham, even when the circumstances were such that he did not understand the reason why, he still was obedient to God.  He did not procrastinate in his obedience, but he rose up early in the morning.  This should be a lesson to us as well.  Once we know what God would have us to do, we should not delay in the doing.  Even though it had grieved him to see Ishmael depart, yet Abraham believed God would keep his promise and take care of the child and eventually make the child a nation.

            "And she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. 15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. 16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept."  Hagar's faith was not as strong as Abraham's.  She looked at the circumstances and though surely that the child would die and she did not want to see the death of her child.  Her sorrow and concern for the life of the child was unfounded.  She failed to trust that God would take care of the child.

            "And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. 18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. 19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink."  God was gracious to Hagar and the child even when Hagar had not trusted in the word of God.  Sometimes God is gracious unto us even though we have not trusted in the word of God as we should have.  However, Hagar had gone through anguish and sorrow that she need not have suffered, if she had trusted in the Lord. 

            God opened Hagar's eyes.  Sometimes the answers to our problems are right before us, yet we do not see them.  God opened Hagar's eyes so that she saw the well of water.  The well had been there all along, yet Hagar had not seen it.  When God opened her eyes then she saw it.  How often have we searched for answers or sought for understanding and did not see it until God opened our eyes, then we found the answers or the understanding we were searching for. 

            "And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. 21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt."  Again, we see that God is not only a maker of promises or covenants, but he also keeps his promises and covenants.  It is a wonderful lesson to know that God is with us in our lives just as he was with Ishmael.  God made provision for Ishmael, both directly and indirectly.


Gen. 21:22-34 Abimelech and Abraham make a covenant

             Gen. 21:22 "And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest: 23 Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned. 24 And Abraham said, I will swear. 25 And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away. 26 And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing: neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day.

            27 And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant. 28 And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. 29 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves? 30 And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well. 31 Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them. 32 Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines. 33 And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God. 34 And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days."

            To the above passage we make the following observations:

                        1.  When God is with someone, then others notice it.  I have known of people that it was very obvious that God was leading and directing them and blessing the labors he had given to them.  Abimelech noticed that God was with Abraham.  Abimelech had been previously visited of God and desired the blessings of God.

                        2.  What Abimelech desired from Abraham, he would have received from Abraham whether the covenant had been made or not.  However, it appears that Abimelech feared the greatness of Abraham and the blessings that God was bestowing upon him.  Abimelech apparently sought for security for himself, his family, and for his descendants after him.  On this basis Abimelech sought to make a covenant with Abraham. 

                        3.  Abimelech had been kind to Abraham and his family and he used this as a reason for Abraham to enter into covenant with him.  Obviously if he had not been kind unto Abraham, then Abraham would and should have been dubious about entering into a covenant with Abimelech.

                        4.  Both Abraham and Abimelech swore to the covenant that they made with one another.  They swore by God to the covenant.  Heb. 6:16 "For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife."

                        5.  After, the oath was taken, the servants of Abimelech violently took away a well of water that belonged to Abraham.  Abraham complained to Abimelech about this and Abimelech stated that he did not know about it.  His servants had acted without his knowledge.  This prompted Abraham to make another covenant.

                        6.  The second covenant Abraham made with Abimelech had witnesses: 27 And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant. 28 And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. 29 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves? 30 And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well.  This is similar to the covenant that God made concerning his elect family.  Instead of seven ewe lambs, the Lord set aside his churches as a witness of the fact that he alone dug the well of salvation for his people.

                        7.  "Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them. 32 Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines."  Beersheba literally means "well of the oath."  The reactions of Abimelech and Abraham was somewhat different to the making of this oath.  To Abimelech it was a business arrangement.  To Abraham, it was the blessings of God in watching over him.  Abraham reacted thusly: "And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God. 34 And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days."  Abraham took the occasion to worship and praise God for his blessings and watch care over him.