Ishmael’s mocking of Isaac was sufficient to cast out Hagar and Ishmael, but the mocking seems natural. Older brothers mock and tease their little brothers. In what family would this not happen? There must be more to this than we are given. What was it? Let’s take a look.
ABRAHAM, THE FRIEND OF GOD
by Delbert Young
Ishmael Mocking Isaac
Ishmael Mocking Isaac
Scriptures: Genesis 21:9-10, Galatians 3:28-29, Colossians 3:11, Ephesians 2:14, Genesis 21:11-12, Genesis 21:13, Genesis 21:14, Genesis 21:15-16, Genesis 21:17-21
Genesis 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.
Genesis 21:10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.
Hagar and Sarah had their differences in chapter 16 of Genesis. Hagar ran away from Sarah. She returned at the instructions of the angel of the Lord. From that point until this no mention of a problem was given. This chapter reports the events of about 17 years later. Isaac was three to five years old. Ishmael was no less than 17 years old (14 years older than Isaac). Isaac was Ishmael’s little brother. On that occasion the much older brother mocked the younger Isaac. Sarah did not appreciate it one bit.
mocking – 6711 tsachaq
to laugh outright (in merriment or scorn); by impl. to sport
I know that for some reason this mocking was sufficient to cast out Hagar and Ishmael, but it seems natural. Older brothers mock and tease their little brothers. In what family would this not happen? There must be more to this than we are given. At any rate we can easily understand why Abraham did not become upset about this as did Sarah.
2. the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son
It is not clear exactly what Ishmael did to Isaac. The word does not help for it is the same word used to describe Abraham laughing (Gen 17:17), Sarah laughing (Gen 18:12), and Sarah speaking of how the Lord had made her to laugh at Isaac’s birth (Gen 21:6). It will be used later to describe the relationship between Isaac and Rebekah (Gen 26:8), of Potiphar’s wife speaking of Joseph (Gen 39:14), of the nation at the making of the golden calf (Exo 32:6), and of Samson by the Philistines (Jdg 16:25). Whatever happened between Isaac and Ishmael does not seem to be of major impact. In fact it seems trivial. It basically seems that Sarah desired Isaac to be the heir alone, for that is what the context speaks. “….for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.” No matter what Ishmael was doing to Isaac the reason it upset Sarah so was she wanted her child favored.
Often we find this struggle in homes where there are children from another relationship by one of the parents. A parent favors and protects their child. Any trivial event seems to trigger a major turmoil within the home. Each parent favoring their child in a dispute will eventually lead to serious complications.
It is this story that the apostle Paul refers when comparing Judaism and Christianity in Galatians 4:22-31. The church was persecuted by the older Judaism in the infancy of the church. Paul uses the events of Genesis 21 to teach an allegory. In Paul’s allegory Abraham had two sons one of a bondwoman and one of a freewoman. The bondwoman was Hagar and the freewoman was Sarah. In this allegory the components become: 1. Hagar (Agar) the bondmaid, Sinai covenant, and natural Jerusalem (Moses) 2. Sarah freewoman, New covenant, and Jerusalem which is above (Church). 3. Ishmael is after the flesh and bondage (natural Jew). 4. Isaac is after the Spirit and free (New Testament believer).
In essence natural Jerusalem (Hagar) and Judaism (Ishmael) is cast out. Traditional contemporary teachings in Christianity attempt to make both natural Jerusalem, the natural Jew, and Judaism somehow important in its teachings. According to Paul, “Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” The false doctrine teaches that the Jew has some special position in God’s economy. God does love the person from Israel, but no more than He loves the person from India, or Africa, or America. This is easily proven in scripture.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Colossians 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
For some reason Dispensationalists teach that we are the Ishmaels. They teach that we are the lesser son. In truth we are the heir according to the promise and Abraham’s and Sarah’s seed indeed. The teaching is that the natural Jew will again be exalted, the natural temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem, and animal sacrifices will again be offered and accepted by God. That is totally contradictory to New Testament teaching. Jesus told of the desolation of natural Jerusalem (Mat 23-24). Paul tells us there is no Jew nor Greek separation (Eph2:14).
Ephesians 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
What we need to do today is cast out the dispensational teaching of the bondwome proan and her son. Ishmael is a type of false religious system. It mocked Isaac the trumise. It mocked Jesus on the cross. It mocked the infant church. It continues to mock today. It doesn’t need to be Judaism to mock. Religion mocks the true promise.
Genesis 21:11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.
Genesis 21:12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
very grievous in Abraham’s sight
The home situation was very upsetting to Abraham. The word translated “grievous” in the King James Version is the Hebrew word ra’a’ (Strong’s #7489). It means “to spoil by breaking to pieces; to make good for nothing”. Abraham was a mess. He was a broken dad who was good for nothing. Abraham was heartbroken. The picture I have is he sat around and frowned and cried and hurt. Obviously Abraham loved Ishmael. The passage says that Abraham was very grievous “because of his son”.
grievous – 7489 ra`a`
prop. to spoil (lit. by breaking to pieces); fig. to make (or be) good for nothing, i.e. bad (phys., soc. or mor.)
How would a parent in a home with children from two marriages feel if the other parent rejected one of his children? It is a grievous situation. The home is a mess. No one can be happy. Everyone is waiting for the next outburst of anger. It was very previous.
The Lord comes to Abraham and says a strange thing. “Let it not be grievous in thy sight….” The Lord told Abraham not to be broken about Ishmael. Then the Lord add “and because of thy bondwoman”. It was not only Ishmael that Abraham was broken about. He was broken about Hagar also. Shouldn’t he be? It seems he should. Abraham created a person with Hagar. Was Abraham to cast Hagar out and not hurt? There was an eternal bond between Abraham and Hagar. Ishmael was of Abraham’s loins. Could he simply cast Ishmael out and not hurt? That was what the Lord said to do. Why?
We learn the difficult lesson of negative influence in our lives. People affect our lives the lives of our children. No matter what the bond they must be “cast out.” Cain expelled from the garden? Cain was a negative influence. Seth must come and not be influenced by Cain. Hagar must go for Abraham’s sake. Ishmael must go for Isaac’s sake. Both must go for Sarah’s sake. We must protect ourselves, our children, and our spouse from Hagar and Ishmael in the natural and spiritual. Religion and false teachings have a negative influence upon us and upon our children. “Cast out the bondwoman and her son.” We should be careful in the natural and even more careful in the spiritual.
The seed must be protected. The Lord said, “….for in Isaac shall thy seed be called”. It would be through Isaac that the Christ must come. The seed must be protected. Our children is our seed. The negative we allow them to suffer will only cause a lesser quality seed.
Genesis 21:13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.
will I make a nation
Nations are the Lord’s doing. He creates and terminates nations. He always has and he always will. Ishmael must become a totally separate nation. They would be allowed their own worship and temple, but they would not be allowed to defile the seed. In the spirit dimension this is true. Let them have their own nation (denomi-nation). Let them have their own worship and temple, but don’t allow them to defile the children of the kingdom.
Genesis 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.
Abraham rose up early in the morning
There is one fact about Abraham. He was quick to obey when he was secure that the Lord had spoken. We are not told how long he wrestled with the grievous (ra`a`) hurt. Obviously there was some time involved for the word lends itself to a period while Abraham was good for nothing. However, after the word of the Lord came Abraham “rose up early in the morning” and sent Hagar and the child (now at least 17) away. Though it was contradictory to Abraham’s heart and personal desire as the leader of the family, he quickly obeyed the Lord God Almighty.
He gave them bread and water. Seems such a little. However the bread and the water is the Word of the Lord. He put the Word on their shoulders and sent them away. Hagar took it, but only wondered in the wilderness.
Genesis 21:15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.
Genesis 21:16 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.
lift up her voice, and wept
It sounds here as though Ishmael was an infant. That is not the case. Ishmael was thirteen in Genesis 17:25 which was one year before Isaac was born. Isaac was by this time around the age of three. Evidently Ishmael was sick and laid under some shrubs. Hagar went far enough away so she would not witness the death of her son. Though she had been visited by the angel of the Lord and told that Ishmael would be a great man, she did not believe it. She turned and decided that Ishmael would die.
We can have a visitation from the angel of God and still not believe. We often choose to cry. Present grievous situations do not terminate the promises of God. We too often judge the promise by a present situation. Situations have nothing to do with the promises. We must experience and go through situations to experience the promises. The promises are often on the other side of lean times.
Genesis 21:17 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.
Genesis 21:18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.
Genesis 21:19 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.
Genesis 21:20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.
Genesis 21:21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.
I will make him a great nation
The promises of the Lord are not changed because of circumstances. Nor are they changed because of our geographical location. The Lord heard the lad “where he is”. Where was he? In the wilderness under a shrub sick and dying. Still the Lord heard Ishmael. The Lord hears those He has made promises. He hears them where they are.
We need to learn to stand upon the promises of God. What has He told us He would do with us? He is able to perform it. He will hear us where we are.
The Lord opened Hagar’s eyes and she saw a well of water. The lad grew, but dwelt in the wilderness. He married an Egyptian. Yet, “God was with the lad.”
What can we learn from this lesson that we can apply to our lives?
Often we will take offense with other’s children because we want our child or children favored. This can cause serious problems with those around us.
There is a false doctrine that teaches that the natural Jew has superiority in God’s economy. That is not true. Believers in Christ, no matter if Gentile or Jew, are heirs equal. The Jew cannot obtain any position by their nationality alone.
We must be cautious about who we allow in our lives. We must be very protective concerning who is around our children. We should be cautious also of those around our spouse. Negative people around our family have a terrible affect upon our family. We damage the quality of our children when we allow them to be around the wrong seed.
No matter the pain of a grievous situation we must continue to listen for the Lord to speak. Once we hear the word of the Lord we should move quickly. It is difficult to move quickly in a painful situation even when we know we have heard the Lord.
Often we must pass through a grievous time to receive the promises of God. We have a tendency to judge the promise as not of God because of difficult times. Many times the promises come immediately after a testing experience.Other Related Sermons:
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