God had instructed Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael out of his house. It seemed very grievous to Abraham at first, until God explained to Abraham that He had a plan for Ishmael (Genesis 21:12-13). God revealed to Abraham that He would make Ishmael a nation; but that the Everlasting Covenant would be with Isaac, the heir of the Covenant.
However, this did not mean that Ishmael and Hagar were not God’s Children. They were not to type out the Church; even those who were recipients of the Riches of the Glory of God; called the Blessing of Abraham; even the receiving of the Holy Spirit; also called the Inheritance. (See Romans 9:6-24; Galatians 3:14-18.) But they would type out Old Testament Israel and the Law. (See Galatians 4:22-31).
As you study the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage by the blood and power of God; you see a picture of our deliverance by the Atonement of Christ on the Cross (Romans 3:24-25; Ephesians 1:7). But receiving the Inheritance – as Israel was in God’s Covenant to Abraham (Genesis 17); that is, going into the Land of Canaan and receiving it by promise – is quite different than being Justified in the Atonement by the Sacrifice of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The only ones who came out of Egypt to receive the Land of Promise were Joshua and Caleb. Why? Because they had “another spirit.” They were types of those who would receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit. (See John 3:1-8; Acts 2:33-39; 1 Peter 1:21-25; Titus 3:5; 1 Corinthians 6:9-20; etc.)
However, the death of the Children of Israel in the wilderness (as found in Numbers 13, 14, 16) did not mean they did not know God. See the Apostle Paul’s writing in 1 Corinthians 10:1-12, especially verses 4-5 and 11-12:
“And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:4)
“But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” (1 Corinthians 10:5)
“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11)
“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12)
The story related to us in Genesis 21:14-21 proves that God’s Elect in the Old Testament did come to Salvation in Christ, the Living Water. The key phrases are:
“And God heard…” (Genesis 21:17)
“…the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven…” (Genesis 21:17)
“Arise…” (Genesis 21:18)
“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.” (Genesis 21:19)
“And God was with the lad…” (Genesis 21:20)
God had already revealed Himself to Hagar in Genesis 16:9-13. She understood that “…God seest me”; and also she said, “Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?” (Genesis 16:13).
In Genesis 21:16d, she “…lift up her voice, and wept.” In verse 17a, “And God heard the voice of the lad…” Then verse 17 continues with the angel of God speaking to Hagar and telling her to, “…fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad…” In verse 18, the angel is still speaking to Hagar, “Arise”; this is what I want to you to do, “…lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand…” (verse 18). Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water.
Here we find a quickened sinner; drawn to Christ (John 6:44-45, 65). Hagar had been quickened in Genesis 16:9-13; but here she is brought to conversion. Here, we find God opened her eyes to see.
See John 3:3-8; the New Birth manifests the Life of God in you; whereby you can see (or you have perception of what you see). She saw a well of water.
See John 4:1-41, Christ’s encounter with the woman at the well proves that Christ is the Well of Living Water:
“Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” (John 4:10)
“Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:” (John 4:13)
“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14)
See John 9:25, 35-38; these verses show God first gives life (sight) and then reveals Himself as The Life:
“He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” (John 9:25)
“Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” (John 9:35)
“He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?” (John 9:36)
“And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.” (John 9:37)
“And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.” (John 9:38)
Hagar’s obedience proves she was converted, as she obeyed God’s Command, and she perceived the value of the water, and “gave the lad drink” (Genesis 21:19). The lad (Ishmael) was also saved (or preserved) by God Himself; verse 20a says, “And God was with the lad…”
You may be asking the question: How do these facts relate to me?
These only apply to you:
- If you are at the end of self, about to die;
- If you are thirsty for salvation; if you see you need help now;
- If you see that you are a wretched sinner, and that your sins are the reason Christ died on the Cross for you:
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
You see Christ as your Substitute, taking your place, being judged by the Wrath of God on your behalf; and you see Him satisfying your sin debt and setting you free:
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” (Romans 3:24)
“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” (Romans 3:25)
You see proof of this in His death, burial, and resurrection:
“And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:” (Romans 1:4) (Also see 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.)
Therefore you come to confess Him as Savior:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:10)
Knowing you have been raised from the dead to walk in the newness of life:
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)
Knowing you have been set free from the law of sin and death by the Spirit of Life:
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2)
And now you know He is your Father:
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” (Romans 8:16)
Then your call, your need, and your supply of the Living Water, means your eternal destiny with Christ forever and ever.
Yes, this story relates to you.