Hagar: Egyptian Slave & Mother of Promise

Seeds of Promise Series by Shenica Graham

Hagar: Egyptian Slave & Mother of Promise

Women of The Bible

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Seeds of Promise Women of the Bible Hagar: Egyptian Slave & Mother of Promise Genesis 16:1-11, Genesis 20:1-18, Genesis 21:1-21 Audio

Memory Verse: 9 The Angel of the Lord said to her, Go back to your mistress and [humbly] submit to her control. 10 Also the Angel of the Lord said to her, I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be numbered for multitude. Genesis 16:9-10 AMP

Devotional Reading: Genesis 16:1-11

1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. 2 And Sarai said to Abram, See here, the Lord has restrained me from bearing [children]. I am asking you to have intercourse with my maid; it may be that I can obtain children by her. And Abram listened to and heeded what Sarai said. 3 So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her Egyptian maid, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his [secondary] wife. 4 And he had intercourse with Hagar, and she became pregnant; and when she saw that she was with child, she looked with contempt upon her mistress and despised her. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, May [the responsibility for] my wrong and deprivation of rights be upon you! I gave my maid into your bosom, and when she saw that she was with child, I was contemptible and despised in her eyes. May the Lord be the judge between you and me.

6 But Abram said to Sarai, See here, your maid is in your hands and power; do as you please with her. And when Sarai dealt severely with her, humbling and afflicting her, she [Hagar] fled from her. 7 But [a]the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness on the road to Shur. 8 And He said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where did you come from, and where are you intending to go? And she said, I am running away from my mistress Sarai. 9 The Angel of the Lord said to her, Go back to your mistress and [humbly] submit to her control. 10 Also the Angel of the Lord said to her, I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be numbered for multitude. 11 And the Angel of the Lord continued, See now, you are with child and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Ishmael [God hears], because the Lord has heard and paid attention to your affliction.

It became so difficult for Hagar to be in the camp of Sarai, that Hagar fled for her life. But the Angel of the Lord went and found Hagar in the wilderness. He told Hagar to go back to Sarai and humbly ask to restored to her house. And God promised that Hagar would also be a mother of many nations. Hagar’s son Ishmael was not the son that God had promised to Sarah, but God gave grace to Hagar and her son. He had compassion on a woman in a wilderness who feared for her life. He heard her cry and gave more grace for her situation. His grace was so sufficient that Hagar was able to return to the house from whence she had fled. God’s grace is mercy to live by. Maybe you are an unwed mother. The enemy wants you to despair. God has grace for every situation. Seek Him with love and let God shower His grace upon you. Hagar was not the honored wife of Abram. Sarah was still in charge of Hagar’s life when she returned to the camp. Abram was 86 years old when Hagar bare him Ishmael his son. When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him and changed his name to Abraham and changed his wife Sarai’s name to Sarah, meaning princess. The Lord said that Abraham would be a father of many nations; and Sarah would be the mother of many nations. Sarah laughed at the thought of getting pregnant [[1]], seeing herself as beyond childbearing years.

Devotional Reading: Genesis 20:1-18

1 Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the [a]South country (the Negeb) and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur; and he lived temporarily in Gerar. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister. And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah [into his harem]. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said, Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken [as your own], for she is a man’s wife. But Abimelech had not come near her, so he said, Lord, will you slay a people who are just and innocent? Did not the man tell me, She is my sister? And she herself said, He is my brother. In integrity of heart and innocency of hands I have done this. Then God said to him in the dream, Yes, I know you did this in the integrity of your heart, for it was I Who kept you back and spared you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not give you occasion to touch her. So now restore to the man his wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not restore her [to him], know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.

So Abimelech rose early in the morning and called all his servants and told them all these things; and the men were exceedingly filled with reverence and fear. Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, What have you done to us? And how have I offended you that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me what ought not to be done [to anyone]. 10 And Abimelech said to Abraham, What did you see [in us] that [justified] you in doing such a thing as this? 11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely there is no reverence or fear of God at all in this place, and they will slay me because of my wife. 12 But truly, she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father but not of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 When God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, This kindness you can show me: at every place we stop, say of me, He is my brother. 14 Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham and restored to him Sarah his wife. 15 And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before you; dwell wherever it pleases you. 16 And to Sarah he said, Behold, I have given this brother of yours a thousand pieces of silver; see, it is to compensate you [for all that has occurred] and to vindicate your honor before all who are with you; before all men you are cleared and compensated. 17 So Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his female slaves, and they bore children, 18 For the Lord had closed fast the wombs of all in Abimelech’s household because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

Before the Lord’s prophecy of a son was realized and born to Sarah, she and Abraham conspired again to enter a city (Gerar) as siblings. However, this time the Lord came to the city’s King in a dream, warning him of death to him an all his house if he did not restore Sarai to Abraham. Abimelech rose early in the morning and did what God had said; and God restored the women to childbearing, because He had brought barrenness upon all of the women including Abimelech’s wife, due to the taking of Sarai into the harem. God blessed Abraham and Sarai even though they deceived the King. Technically, Sarai is Abram’s sister – they each having the same father and a different mother. So, to claim that they were siblings was not a lie. However, God protected them and even increased their wealth each time they said nothing of being married because Abraham feared for his life. Sarai was being obedient to her husband in going along with the plan. God told Abimelech that Abraham was a prophet. This apparently granted him great leverage in every land.

Devotional Reading: Genesis 21:1-21

1The Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for her as He had promised. For Sarah became pregnant and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time God had told him. Abraham [a]named his son whom Sarah bore to him Isaac [laughter]. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when Isaac was born. And Sarah said, God has made me to laugh; all who hear will laugh with me. And she said, Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children at the breast? For I have borne him a son in his old age! And the child grew and was [b]weaned, and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking [Isaac]. 10 Therefore she said to Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son, for the son of this bondwoman shall not be an heir with my son Isaac. 11 And the thing was very grievous (serious, evil) in Abraham’s sight on account of his son [Ishmael]. 12 God said to Abraham, Do not let it seem grievous and evil to you because of the youth and your bondwoman; in all that Sarah has said to you, do what she asks, for in Isaac shall your posterity be called.

13 And I will make a nation of the son of the bondwoman also, because he is your offspring. 14 So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a bottle of water and gave them to Hagar, putting them on her shoulders, and he sent her and the [c]youth away. And she wandered on [aimlessly] and lost her way in the wilderness of Beersheba. 15 When the water in the bottle was all gone, Hagar caused the youth to lie down under one of the shrubs. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about a bowshot, for she said, Let me not see the death of the lad. And as she sat down opposite him, [d]he lifted up his voice and wept and she raised her voice and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the youth, and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven and said to her, What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the youth where he is. 18 Arise, raise up the youth and support him with your hand, for I intend to make him a great nation. 19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water; and she went and filled the [empty] bottle with water and caused the youth to drink. 20 And God was with the youth, and he developed; and he dwelt in the wilderness and became an archer. 21 He dwelt in the Wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him out of the land of Egypt.

Finally, when Hagar’s son Ishmael would have been about fourteen years of age, God visited Sarai and she and Abraham had a son, whom they named, Isaac (meaning laughter) as God had said. Now, Sarai was again insistent that Hagar be put out of Abraham’s household. God told Abraham to harken to Sarai that Ishmael was not to be heir to his posterity. However, it is quite troubling the manner in which they were exiled.

Abraham sent Hagar and Ishmael – a grown woman and a teenage boy, away with only one bottle of water and some bread. They were given no animals, no extra days’ rations, no changes of raiment, no servants, and no direction. They were simply sent, “away.” They wandered aimlessly until they were lost in the wilderness of Beersheba. When there was no more water, Hagar thought that her son would surely die. She left him in the shade of a bushel and went a ways off from him thinking that she might be spared to see his death first hand. Ishmael must have been traumatized by the whole experience. He knew who his father was and all that his father had, and he was now exiled from the family he knew, left in a wilderness to die. Ishmael lifted up his voice and wept. Hagar also wept when she heard her son weeping loudly. God came and spoke to Hagar saying He had heard the voice of the child. God shows his affinity for children once again. He told Hagar to go and help Ishmael raise himself from the ground and support him with her hand. Then God opened Hagar’s eyes and she saw a well of water. God was keeping his promise to make of Ishmael a great nation; and Hagar found a wife for her son among the Egyptians.

Lessons From Hagar

  • Trust in the LORD. God met Hagar on the run in the wilderness. She had to put total trust in Him, else she would have been too frightened of what could befall her and her son in danger. She would not have been able to obey God’s command.
  • Stay In The House. God told Hagar to return to the house of her, while she was still pregnant. Her blessing was in the house. If Hagar was cut off from the house, she would her blessing including provision and inheritance rightfully owed to her and her son – whom God gave the name, Ishmael.