He is always near!
After the birth of Isaac, the Bible records division between Ishmael and Isaac. Now that God had fulfilled His promise to Abraham through Sarah, she saw no need for Hagar and Ishmael to remain with them. Abraham sent them away into the desert with nothing more than bread and water. Fearing that they were at the point of death, Hagar cried out to God and His response revealed much about how He responds to us in times of despair.
Gen. 21:15-21 “And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.”
1. God hears & answers our cries.
“And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.”
2. God always provides what we need, but often in unexpected ways.
“Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.”
3. God has already given us His best with the promise of His everlasting presence.
“And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.”
LESSON - One of the greatest challenges we have in times of desperation is to act in faith instead of sight or feelings. He promises in Jer. 33:3 “Call unto me, and I will answer thee,” so we must believe by faith that God hears our prayers. We also know according to Mt. 28:20 “I am with you alway” that He is always with us. Probably our greatest challenge as Believers is to respond in faith while we wait for His answers to our prayers. Until then, we must continue to believe that His presence is enough!