Hagar – Mother of Ishmael

hagar

Escape of some kind is usually the most tempting solution to our problems. In fact, it can become a habit. Hagar was a person who used that approach. When the going got tough, she usually got going – in the other direction.

However, it is worthwhile to note that the biggest challenges Hagar faced were brought on by other people’s choices. Sarah chose her to bear Abraham’s child, and Hagar probably had little to say in the matter

It isn’t hard to understand how Hagar’s pregnancy caused her to look down on Sarah. But that brought on hard feelings, and Sarah consequently punished Hagar. This motivated her first escape. When she returned to the family and gave birth to Ishmael, Sarah continued barrenness must have contributed to bitterness on both sides.

When Isaac was finally born, Sarah looked for any excuse to have Hagar and Ishmael sent away. She found it when she caught Ishmael teasing Isaac. In the desert, out of water and facing the death of her son. Hagar once again tried to escape. She walked away so she wouldn’t have to watch her son die. Once again, God graciously intervened.

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Have you ever noticed how patiently God operates to make our escape attempts fail? Have you begun to learn that escape is only a temporary solution? God’s continual desire is for us to face our problems with his help. We experience his help most clearly in and through conflicts and difficulties, not away from them. Are there problems in your life for which you’ve been using the “Hagar solution”? Choose one of those problems, ask for God’s help, and begin to face it today.

Strength and Accomplishment

  • Mother of Abraham’s first child, Ishmael, who became the founder of the Arab nations.

Weakness and Mistakes

  • When faced with problems, she tended to run away
  • Her pregnancy brought out strong feelings of pride and arrogance

Lessons From Her Life

  • God is faithful to his plan and promises, even when humans complicate the process
  • God shows himself as one who knows us and wants to be known by us
  • The New Testament uses Hagar as a symbol of those who would pursue favor with God by their own efforts, rather than by trusting in his mercy and forgiveness

Vital Statistics of Hagar

Key Verses for Hagar

“Then the angel of the Lord told her, ‘Go back to your mistress and submit to her’” (Genesis 16:9)

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Hagar’s story is told in Genesis 16 – 21. She is also mentioned in Galatians 4:24, 25

Recommended Bible Study Resources

ESV Study BibleStudy Bibles give you a deeper understanding of God’s Word with tools for life application like commentary, maps, charts, concordance, and study notes. Search our popular translations- NIV, ESV, NKJV, KJV and more!

Believer’s Bible Commentary: Second Edition – A Bible commentary is a written, systematic series of explanations and interpretations of Scripture. Commentaries often analyze or expound on individual books of the Bible, chapter by chapter and verse by verse. Some commentary works provide analysis of the whole of Scripture.

The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible – The best concordance for word study! This exclusive new edition of a legendary classic puts generations of biblical research at your fingertips. A valuable tool for pastors, teachers, and students of the Bible.

 



 

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words – This classic word study resource allows you to study the meaning of biblical words in the original languages without spending years learning Greek or Hebrew. A great resource for students, seasoned pastors, and anyone who enjoys biblical word studies–even if they have little to no formal training in Hebrew or Greek.

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Halley’s Bible Handbook – The beloved and classic Bible companion has been thoroughly updated, while retaining its time-honored features and Dr. Halley’s highly personal style, to offer even greater clarity, insight, and usefulness.

Click here to print or download the Bible character study “Hagar – Mother of Ishmael

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