By Mary Vee
In our last post Abraham hugged and waved goodbye to Ishmael.
Hagar didn't know which direction to go. She started walking to the southeast into the wilderness. A few hours later she and Ishmael stopped for a break.
Ishmael rubbed the sweat from his forehead. "Mom, where are we going?"
"I'm not quite sure." She handed him the water. "Don't drink too much, this is all we have until we find more."
He took a few gulps and swiped his face. "That no good half-brother of mine is going to inherit everything."
Hagar sighed. She gazed at the huge wilderness before them. It was so quiet. She only heard the screech of a vulture. "We better keep moving. Maybe there's a village over the next ridge."
They walked and walked for hours. As the sun set Ishmael gathered wood and made a fire to keep warm. Jackals, hyenas, and wolves called out in the night. Hagar held the last of the bread close to her. She tried to sleep, but couldn't.
Ishmael shouted out in his sleep, "I wish you were never born, Isaac!" He swung his arms as if punching someone. Hagar pressed her hand gently on his shoulder to calm him.
The next morning they each took a small drink before continuing their journey. For two days they suffered in the heat and found no water.
Hagar noticed a shrub up ahead. "We'll rest from the heat over there."
When they arrived, Ishmael collapsed on the ground and tried to wet his lips. "I'm so thirsty."
Hagar turned and walked several feet away. She had nothing to give him. When she cried, no tears dripped from her eyes because she was thirsty too.
Hagar fell to the ground, hid her head in the sand, and shouted, "Why won't anyone help us?"
She took a breath. Suddenly Ishmael spoke, but not to her. "Oh, God of my father Abraham, I've sinned. I hurt baby Isaac, I know I shouldn't have. I have been cruel to him. This is all my fault. Forgive me. Please, forgive me."
Hagar raised her head and gazed at her son.
The angel of God suddenly spoke from heaven. "Hagar what's wrong? Don't be afraid. God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise and take care of him, for I will make him a great nation."
Hagar rubbed her sleeve across her face and blinked. "Ishmael, oh Ishmael, look behind you--a short ways beyond that bush--can you see?" She gathered her skirt and the empty water skin then ran as fast as she could beyond the bush to a well filled with water.
God took care of Hagar and Ishmael throughout their time in the wilderness. Life wasn't easy, but God continued to care for them until Ishmael finally apologized for hurting Isaac. Do you know which story in the New Testament talks about Jesus giving special water? Click on the comment button to tell me.