March 28th, 2022 – Monday Late Afternoon
“God heard the lad crying; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, ‘What is the matter with you, Hagar? Do not fear, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him by the hand, for I will make a great nation of him.’ Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water; and she went and filled the skin with water and gave the lad a drink.
God was with the lad, and he grew; and he lived in the wilderness and became an archer.” ~Genesis 21:17-20
The LORD is merciful and compassionate. The LORD is good. The LORD is faithful. Over and over and over again in this passage, we see the reality of who God is in how He reveals Himself in His character, words, and actions towards Ishmael, Hagar, and Abraham.
For starters, the LORD hears Ishmael’s cries. (We discussed this reality in the last devotional.) However, the LORD doesn’t stop at hearing; rather, the angel of God calls to Hagar and makes her aware of God’s care and His plan for Ishmael. He comforted the weeping Hagar and called her to walk by faith since He was going to fulfill His promise to Abraham [regarding Ishmael]. The LORD is merciful and compassionate. The LORD is good. The LORD is faithful.
It doesn’t end there; the LORD then opened Hagar’s eyes to see His provision for Ishmael (and her). This is amazing in and of itself because God provides the impetus and power behind true faith; He called Hagar to trust Him and then He opened her eyes to see His provision. The LORD is merciful and compassionate. The LORD is good. The LORD is faithful.
Finally, the LORD fulfills His promise to Abraham and Hagar and “was with the lad”. Ishmael, oblivious or not to the LORD’s faithfulness, grew and became an archer who lived in the wilderness. He ended up having 12 princely sons and lived to be 137 years old (see Genesis 25:12-18 for more details). [Hopefully, Hagar taught Ishmael something about the God-Who-Sees and told him of the God who opened her eyes (amazing irony, huh?) and fulfilled His promises…only He knows whether she did or not.] The LORD carried Hagar and Ishmael through those years and gave Ishmael longevity, success, and a great nation. He is merciful and compassionate. He is good. He is faithful.
Beloved brethren, we ought not to skim over this passage of Scripture. Rather, stop and consider the awesome and amazing works of God. Remember His mercy and compassion; tell of His goodness and faithfulness; and, choose, like Hagar, to trust Him no matter what. The LORD is merciful and compassionate! The LORD is good! The LORD is faithful! May our hearts overflow with His praise and may our lives overflow with His Spirit!