God had a plan for each son

Genesis Bible Background

01.08.2018 – Old Testament: Gen 21.8–11

To read the Bible in a year, read Genesis 18–19 on January 8, In the year of our Lord 2018

By Don Ruhl

Abraham had two sons, one by Hagar and the second one by Sarah. On the day when the family celebrated Sarah’s son’s weaning, Hagar’s son did something that he should not have done,

So the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the same day that Isaac was weaned. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing. Therefore she said to Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.” And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham’s sight because of his son (Genesis 21.8–11).

Isaac was the promised seed and through him God would bless the world. However, Ishmael (Hagar’s son), was also Abraham’s son and the Lord would bless Ishmael simply for being Abraham’s son.

Abraham would have to send Hagar and Ishmael away and that broke Abraham’s heart. However, he and Sarah never should have agreed to try to have a son through Hagar.


  • Have you ever tried to “help” God?
  • How have you handled conflict between siblings in your family?

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