After such an amazing encounter with the God Who Sees, you would think Hagar would have no doubts when the rough times hit that God would still be watching her. However, fourteen years later Hagar finds herself back in the wilderness. This time it is not because she is running away, but rather because she has been kicked out of her home.
“Early in the morning Abraham got up, took bread and a waterskin, put them on Hagar’s shoulders, and sent her and the boy away. She left and wandered in the Wilderness of Beer-sheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she left the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she said, “I can’t bear to watch the boy die!” So as she sat nearby, she wept loudly.
God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What’s wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy from the place where he is. Get up, help the boy up, and support him, for I will make him a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the waterskin and gave the boy a drink. God was with the boy, and he grew; he settled in the wilderness and became an archer. He settled in the Wilderness of Paran, and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.” Genesis 21:8-12
Ishmael has been the only heir to Abraham for the past 13-14 years. He is soon to receive the birthright. By this time, I am sure Hagar has begun to believe that the God Who Sees her is the One who is going to carry out His plan for Abraham through Ishmael. After all, Abraham is now 100 years old and Sarah 90. As Hagar has grown accustomed to bearing Abraham’s only son, I’m sure it was shocking to find out Sarah was pregnant and now Abraham would have another son.
After Isaac grew older, Ishmael must have begun to feel the threat of his own birthright being taken away and began mocking Isaac. When Sarah sees this she goes directly to Abraham and complains. This undoubtedly was hard for Abraham as Ishmael was his son. But God affirms Abraham and tells him He will make a nation through his son Ishmael, but that Abraham’s offspring would be traced through Isaac. So Abraham sends Hagar and Ishmael out of the home. (Genesis 21:8-13)
Hagar finds herself wandering in the wilderness and the only water she had is gone. With all her dreams of her son becoming Abraham’s heir having disappeared along with her home, I can almost hear her cry:
“My tears have been my food day and night, while all day long people say to me, ‘Where is your God?’” Psalm 42:3
The God who found Hagar the first time by the spring, sees her again and calls out to her. God questions Hagar as if trying to help her remember that God sees all. He tells her not to be afraid, but to get up, help her son, and God will complete what He said He was going to do through her son when God spoke to Hagar the first time.
“Yes, I have spoken; so I will also bring it about. I have planned it; I will also do it.” Isaiah 46:11b
After reassuring her He is in control, God opens her eyes to see the gift of water He is providing for her and her son.
Revelation 7:17 “For the Lamb who is at the center of the throne will shepherd them; He will guide them to springs of living waters, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Sometimes we find ourselves back in the wilderness not because of our own doing and we begin to wander aimless and frantically searching for security. When every stone has been turned over we throw our hands up and as a last ditch effort cry out to God.
God then calls out to us and says, “What’s wrong? Don’t you remember I see everything? I know what’s going on and my plan is going to be fulfilled exactly how I have planned it. He opens our eyes to see the gift of water our soul has been longing for through His Word and we are strengthened to push on with what God has planned for us.
“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28