ASV notes on Genesis 21:14-21

Abraham sent Hagar and Ishmael away into the wilderness of Beersheba with a skin bag of water, Ishmael was about 20 years of age, he was grown up and he and his mother could have been for days in the wilderness before the bag was empty.

They were exhausted and they both wept. Hagar wept, but God heard the voice of Ishmael. Hagar was not of Abraham, and should never have been his wife, but Ishmael was a descendant of Abraham, he was of Abraham and because of Abraham God cared for Ishmael.

An angel called Hagar from heaven and told her not to be afraid and to take Ishmael by his hand and help him up, Hagar did exactly what the angel told her, and then she saw a well with fresh running water, God saved them because of the boy, not her. God blessed them and Ishmael became an archer and Hagar coming from Egypt went there and fetched a wife for his son.

ASV notes on Genesis 21:1-13

God in his grace came to Sarah, what He did we don’t know, but God kept his promise and the laughter Isaac was born. When Isaac was about 3 years old Sarah and Abraham could stop nursing him as a helpless child and start the teaching and demanding period. Today children are being nursed far too long; the children enter school not prepared for it.   

Isaac was now at least 3 years old, probably 5 or 6, that made Ishmael about 19, 20 years old. Ishmael was grown up; he was old enough to know not to mock the 5/6 year old Isaac. The normal scenario would have been that Ishmael bothered Isaac, and Sarah talked to him and Ismael stopped doing it, but when he thought nobody saw him, he did it again.

Then Sarah talked to her maid Hagar, and she also talked to Ishmael, but in a respectful way, Ishmael was about 20 and Hagar knew that God had promised to make him a people. Ishmael also knew he was to become the father of a nation and I think that his high thoughts of himself made him treat Isaac as an inferior.

When the mocking didn’t stop Sarah went to Abraham asking him to send Hagar and her son away from them. This bothered Abraham and he didn’t know what to do, he loved his son Ishmael also. This was just a family matter, quite normal for a family to have some trouble like that, especially if you have two wives.

But God found it important enough to intervene; He spoke to Abraham and told him to listen to Sarah and do as she said. God was to look after both Isaac and Ishmael not because of them, but because of Abraham, God blessed the descendants of His prophet. Abraham was in the center, all around was a blessing for him. It is the same with you today, if you follow Jesus all people around you are blessed too, and they are a blessing to you, it is not because of them, but it is God’s relation to you through Jesus.

ASV notes on Genesis 16:3-4

God promised Abraham descendants, but years went by and Sarah didn’t get pregnant, Sarah wanted children so she thought that maybe she could help God a little bit by her maid Hagar. Abraham went into Hagar as Sarah suggested and she bears a child to Abraham. Then Hagar treated Sarah with contempt instead of being her maid.

God doesn’t need our help, God wants our obedience and faith, not our struggle, and it only messes up things. Hagar having a child with Abraham brought a lot of trouble.