Children’s Study – Abraham, Part 7

Abraham – Part 7, Hagar Bore Ishmael to Abram

by Victor Torres

Last time we learned the false churches of this world try to worship God in physical ways that He is not pleased with at all.

They try to outdo each other by building huge houses of worship where God doesn’t live. They boast about having so many members. Their leaders and members go to church unashamedly dressed to impress.

This outward show does not impress God who sees our hearts:

Mat 23:25 (ESV) “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

What does self-indulgence mean? It means being selfish and excessive. It means having no self control.

One church says baptism should be done by pouring water over the head, another says it should be done by dunking you into a pool or river.

And yet… and yet… our LORD baptizes with FIRE!

Luk 3:16 (ESV) John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

You have to wonder why these people don’t bring torches to baptize their members.

Of course the fire in Luke 3:16 is the word of God, which purifies our heart. It is the same symbolic fire in the lake of fire that will purify the heart of every man, woman or child who are not included in the first resurrection.

This fire, the word of God, was symbolized by the flaming torch that Abraham saw passed between the pieces of meat He sacrificed to the Lord.

Gen 15:17 (ESV) When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.

Let’s continue to read the story of Abraham:

Gen 15:18 (CEV) At that time the LORD made an agreement with Abram and told him: I will give your descendants the land east of the Shihor River on the border of Egypt as far as the Euphrates River.
Gen 15:19 They will possess the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites,
Gen 15:20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaites,
Gen 15:21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

Gen 16:1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar.

The Lord promised Abraham that his descendants will inherit the land in which these ten nations (the Kenites, the Kennizites, etc., currently live), but Sarah couldn’t get pregnant. So Sarah decided to take matters into her own hands.

Gen 16:2 And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.
Gen 16:3 So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife.
Gen 16:4 And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress.

[Q – Did God punish Abram for having a child with a slave?]

Before we answer this question, we need to understand that back then you were allowed to have many wives. Sarai, Abraham’s wife, gave her slave Hagar to Abraham as a wife.

Gen 16:3 So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife.

So back then, Abraham did not sin for having a child with Hagar, the slave, who was given to him as a wife. Jacob, Abraham’s grandson also had two wives.

But today, it is a sin for a man to have more than one wife.

1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Tit 1:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

But even if it were not a sin for Abraham to have a child with Hagar, it was a sin for him and Sarai not to trust the Lord that they will have a child on their own. It is for this impatience that the Lord punished Abraham.

Gen 16:2 And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

Does this remind you of someone? Who was it who listened to his wife and got in trouble for doing so?

Gen 3:17 (KJV) And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

In our study of Adam and Eve, we have learned that the wife is the flesh of the husband. So spiritually speaking, a husband listening to his wife and disobeying the Lord in the process, is anyone listening to the flesh.

When we listen to the pulls of our flesh, we will indeed have a lot of sorrow and pain in this life.

Gal 5:19 (ERV) The wrong things the sinful self does are clear: committing sexual sin, being morally bad, doing all kinds of shameful things,
Gal 5:20 worshiping false gods, taking part in witchcraft, hating people, causing trouble, being jealous, angry or selfish, causing people to argue and divide into separate groups,
Gal 5:21 being filled with envy, getting drunk, having wild parties, and doing other things like this. I warn you now as I warned you before: The people who do these things will not have a part in God’s kingdom.

Let’s continue the story of Abraham and see how he and Sarah now begin to suffer because they didn’t have the patience to wait on the Lord to give them their own child:

Gen 16:4 (ERV) Abram slept with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When Hagar realized this, she became very proud and began to feel that she was better than Sarai her owner.
Gen 16:5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “My slave girl now hates me, and I blame you for this. I gave her to you, and she became pregnant. Then she began to feel that she is better than I am. I want the LORD to judge which of us is right.”

First of all, it was wrong for Hagar to be proud because she got pregnant. We should not be proud of anything that we have because all of it is given by God.

1Co 4:7 (GNB) Who made you superior to others? Didn’t God give you everything you have? Well, then, how can you boast, as if what you have were not a gift?

Parents should not be proud of their children, but they should always praise them and reward them when they do something good. This is the example our heavenly Father gave us parents on how to treat a child that is doing good.

Mat 3:17 (ESV) and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Mat 17:5 (ESV) He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

And this is what God tells us parents on how to treat a child that is disobeying or disrespecting us.

Heb 12:6 (ESV) For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

Pro 3:12 (ERV) The LORD corrects the one he loves, just as a father corrects a child he cares about.

Do not be angry at your parents when they correct you and spank you. We are just following the example of our Lord who “disciplines the one he loves”. We correct you because we love you and because we don’t want you to live an ungodly life.

Like Abraham and like Adam, it would be a life full of sorrow and pain for you if you don’t listen to our Lord and to us, your parents, who follow Him. “Listen to Him”, the Father tells us in Matthew 17:5.

Look at Sarah, who is still called Sarai here, now blaming Abraham for Hagar looking down on her. But she’s the one who gave Hagar to Abraham as a wife. This is what we all tend to do; we blame other people when we start to suffer for the wrong we have done.

Gen 16:5 (ERV) Then Sarai said to Abram, “My slave girl now hates me, and I blame you for this. I gave her to you, and she became pregnant. Then she began to feel that she is better than I am. I want the LORD to judge which of us is right.”
Gen 16:6 But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.
Gen 16:7 The angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur.
Gen 16:8 And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.”
Gen 16:9 The angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.”
Gen 16:10 The angel of the LORD also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.”
Gen 16:11 And the angel of the LORD said to her, “Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the LORD has listened to your affliction.
Gen 16:12 He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”
Gen 16:13 So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”

In past studies, we learned that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself spoke to Abraham, and now we learn that He also spoke to Hagar.

Gen 16:14 Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; (Hebrew: be-ayr’ lakh-ah’ee ro-ee’, well of a living One, my seer) it lies between Kadesh and Bered.
Gen 16:15 And Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
Gen 16:16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.

Ishmael, the first son of Abraham from a slave, is a symbol of something. In the new testament, we are told what Ishmael symbolizes:

Gal 4:22 (KJV) For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid (Ishmael, the son of Hagar, the slave), the other by a freewoman (Isaac, who will later be born from Sarah).
Gal 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

So Ishmael is the son born after the flesh, but Isaac is the son born after the promise. And this is what we are told about these two sons:

Gal 4:30 (LITV) But what says the Scripture? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for in no way shall the son of the slave woman inherit with the son of the free woman.”
Gal 4:31 Then, brothers, we are not children of a slave woman but of the free woman.

“We are not children of a slave woman but of the free woman.” We cannot make this claim unless we start out as the children of the slave woman.

The slave woman is Babylon, or the false churches in this world, and her son is all its members. The reason God chose a slave from Egypt to give Abraham his first son is to show us what we all start as. We all start as slaves of our flesh.

We all start out in Babylon wanting to serve God in our own way. We want to serve Him by building extravagant churches and cathedrals. We want to serve Him by doing all these outward rituals like water baptism and eating physical bread and drinking physical wine or grape juice.

We want to serve Him by observing the traditions of men.

Col 2:8 (ERV) Be sure you are not led away by the teaching of those who have nothing worth saying and only plan to deceive you. That teaching is not from Christ. It is only human tradition and comes from the powers that influence this world.

Gal 4:9 (ERV) But now you know the true God. Really, though, it is God who knows you. So why do you turn back to the same kind of weak and useless rules you followed before? Do you want to be slaves to those things again?
Gal 4:10 (ESV) You observe days and months and seasons and years!

All these traditions – Christmas, birthdays, Halloween and many more – make us slaves to our flesh. But we will not stay as slaves of our flesh, as the Lord asked Hagar:

Gen 16:8 (ESV) And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.”

The Lord has come on this earth to free those who are slaves of their flesh. First, the elect in their lifetime, then everyone else in the lake of fire.

Isa 58:6 (ERV) “I will tell you the kind of day I want–a day to set people free. I want a day that you take the burdens off others. I want a day when you set troubled people free and you take the burdens from their shoulders.

Next time, Lord willing, we will know more about Isaac, the son of the freewoman.

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