And 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.
All Commentaries on Genesis 21:19 Go To Genesis 21
Mindful of this, let us, I beseech you, shun the harm of this passion and with all our might exterminate it from our own souls. This, after all, is more deadly than all other passions and undermines our very salvation, being in fact the invention of the wicked demon. Hence a certain sage also said, “Through the devil’s envy death entered the world.” What is meant by “through the devil’s envy death entered the world”? You see, since this wicked beast saw that the firstformed human being was created immortal, by his characteristic wickedness he led him on to disobedience of the command and in that way caused him to bring on himself the penalty of death. So envy caused deception, deception caused disobedience, and disobedience caused death. Hence the text says, “Through the devil’s envy death entered the world.” Do you see the extent of the harm caused by this passion? It made the one given the privilege of immortality undergo death. The enemy of our salvation, however, introduced the envy characteristic of himself and caused the firstformed human being, immortal though he was, to come under sentence of death, whereas the caring and loving Lord by his own death once again bestowed upon us immortality, and so we found greater benefits than we had lost. The former took us out of paradise; the latter led us into heaven. The former caused us to be condemned to death; the latter bestowed upon us immortality. The former deprived us of the delights of paradise; the latter prepared for us the kingdom of heaven. Do you see the inventiveness of your Lord in that he directed against the devil’s head his own weapons of malice against our salvation? In fact, not only did he regale us with greater benefits, but also he made him subject to us in the words “Behold, I have given you power to walk over snakes and scorpions.” Accordingly, keeping all this in mind, let us banish envy from our own souls and win favor from God. This, after all, is our invincible weapon; this, our greatest resource. Hence Ishmael too, young though he was and in utter isolation and neediness, suddenly grew in strength and developed into a great nation since, the text says, “God was with the child.” … Let us therefore, I beseech you, despise this present life, long for the future life, esteem favor from God above all other things, and, through an excellent way of living, lay up for ourselves great confidence, so that we may be able to pass this present life without distress and attain those future blessings, thanks to the grace and loving kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory, power and honor, now and forever, for ages of ages. Amen.