And God said unto Abraham,
Let it not be displeasing in your sight because of the lad, and because of your bondwoman; in all that Sarah has said unto you, listen unto her voice; for in Isaac shall your descendants be called.
Read Chapter 21
Don’t object, he says, to what is said to you by her; instead, “whatever Sarah says to you, heed her.” Accept everything she now says to you about Ishmael and Hagar, and pay close attention. Don’t be ready to distress the woman who in all this period has given evidence of such great affection for you on more than one occasion so as to save you from death by surrendering herself for your welfare and proving the occasion of your wonderful prosperity. On the first occasion she caused you to leave Egypt with all that wealth, and later she was responsible for your being accorded remarkable esteem by Abimelech. So don’t allow yourself to follow a course of action contrary to what is advised by her; nor in fact will things turn out otherwise. You see, your descendants will be called after Isaac, the child born of her, and he will be your successor. “But this son of the maidservant I shall cause to become numerous; I shall make him grow into a mighty nation since he is your offspring.” So do what is said to you by her, and pay attention to her words. Consider now, I ask you, how great was the peace and harmony that all at once began to reign over their life together, God’s goodness strengthening their relationship. “He arose early next morning,” the text goes on, remember, “took bread and a bag of water, and gave them to Hagar; he then set the child on her shoulders and sent her off.” Notice once again, I ask you, the good man’s utterly correct attitude in giving evidence in every way of his godly purpose. I mean, when he heard Sarah’s words, “Send away the maidservant and her son,” it struck him as severe, since he was kindly disposed toward Ishmael. But when the Lord gave him orders, he immediately carried them out and gave no further thought to his natural affections. In other words, he said to himself, When it is he that commands, let all feelings take no further part; after all, the one who commands is the Lord of nature. “So the maidservant took the bread and the bag of water,” the text says, “and went off with her son.”