(2) “FEAR NOT”

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. Genesis 21:17

Throughout the whole Bible, sixty-three times, in the King James Version, the phrase“fear not” is used. This is the second time in one true story. And according to the Bible, Hagar was Sarah’s maidservant, and Sarah was undoubtedly Abraham’s wife. This is where it may become confusing, especially for those who never read the story of Abraham. For “The story of Abraham is a record of both faith and doubt. While we’re told in Genesis 15 that ‘Abraham believed the Lord and it was counted to him as righteousness,’ in the very next chapter we find him agreeing with his wife Sarah to attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promises by impregnating her maidservant Hagar. Later in the story, Abraham actually falls on his face and laughs at God as he reiterates the promise that his wife Sarah, even in her advanced age, would conceive and bear a son. . . .” (whitehorseinn.org).

Nassan Mindel states in his article on Hagar in (click on) Chabad.org, she was “One of the most interesting women in the Bible is Hagar, Abraham’s second wife, and the mother of Ishmael. The Arab and Bedouin tribes claim to be descendants of Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Hagar.”

“According to the Midrash, Hagar was the daughter of King Pharaoh of Egypt. When she saw the miracle which G‑d performed for the sake of Sarah, to save her from the hands of the Egyptian king during Abraham’s visit there, she said: ‘It is better to be a slave in Sarah’s house than a princess in my own’.”

“Her name ‘Hagar,’ according to the Midrash, stems from this beginning of her association with Abraham’s house. It comes from ‘Ha-Agar,’ meaning this is the reward.”

“Hagar became Sarah’s Maid, but when Sarah was not blessed with children, she persuaded Abraham to take Hagar as his second wife. Sarah hoped that she could bring up Hagar’s children and merit G‑d‘s blessing that way, so that she, too, perhaps might be blessed with a child.”

“Hagar was ‘one of the most interesting women in the Bible’ as she was Abraham’s second wife and the mother of Ishmael. Further, “According to the Midrash, Hagar was the daughter of King Pharaoh of Egypt. When she saw the miracle which G‑d performed for the sake of Sarah, to save her from the hands of the Egyptian king during Abraham’s visit there, she said: ‘It is better to be a slave in Sarah’s house than a princess in my own’.” One would be justified to ask, what is Midrash? The Midrash is “the classical collection of the Sages’ homiletic teachings on the Torah, on the non-literal level of derush” (Chabad.org).

Going back to Nissan Mandel’s article on Hagar, “Her name ‘Hagar,’ according to the (click on) Midrash, stems from this beginning of her association with Abraham’s house. It comes from “Ha-Agar,” meaning this is the reward.”

“Hagar became Sarah’s Maid, but when Sarah was not blessed with children, she persuaded Abraham to take Hagar as his second wife. Sarah hoped that she could bring up Hagar’s children and merit G‑d‘s blessing that way, so that she, too, perhaps might be blessed with a child.”

“Abraham took Sarah’s advice and married Hagar.”

“When Sarah’s hopes began to be fulfilled, it brought her unexpected suffering. For, as soon as Hagar realized she was to have a child, she began to look down upon her mistress who apparently could not have one.”

“Sarah reminded Hagar that she, Sarah, was the mistress, and Hagar was but her maid, and she made Hagar work harder than ever. Hagar then ran away into the wilderness. There, an angel of G‑d appeared to her and ordered her to return to Sarah and treat her with the respect due to a mistress. He told her that for this she ‘would merit giving birth to a son whose voice G‑d would hear (Yishma-El), who would be strong fierce, a man of the wilds and respected among her people.”

“Our Sages give Hagar much credit for not being frightened at having seen the divine angel . . . This, say our Sages, shows how pious Hagar was, and how she had become adjusted to the saintly life of Abraham’s house, where angels came and went as constant guests.”

“Later on, after Hagar’s return and Ishmael’s birth, things went well for all concerned. Sarah, too, was blessed with a son, Isaac. Ishmael was then already thirteen years old and he seemed to have inherited a wild nature through his mother’s ancestors, for he was a bad influence on Isaac. According to one view of our Sages, Hagar was a true believer in the G‑d of Abraham. The Torahtells us that Ishmael mocked Isaac and often tried to frighten him. Again Sarah insisted that Abraham send Hagar and Ishmael away if Isaac were to be prevented from following Ishmael’s evil ways.”

“Abraham was very reluctant to send Hagar away, and especially his son. But G‑d told him to do as Sarah wished and Ishmael would yet become the father of a great nation.”

“Hagar and Ishmael lost their way in the wilderness near Beer-Sheba and ran out of water. A terrible death from thirst threatened them, but they were saved by a Divine miracle. Hagar had put her son in the shade of a bush and moved away some distance, not bearing to watch him suffer, when an angel appeared again to her, assuring her that G‑d had seen her son’s suffering and would save him. He would live, and become the father of a mighty nation. As the angel spoke, Hagar immediately noticed a well nearby.”

“Our Sages say that Hagar showed then her faith in G‑d was not genuine. For when her son suffered she doubted G‑d’s promise.”

“Many of our ancient Sages speak favorably of Hagar who never remarried. She lived together with her son who had built his home on the edge of the wilderness and became a famous hunter. The Sages say that he possessed Adam’s coat which he had taken from King Nimrod. (This coat gave the wearer power over animals).”

“Despite living with Ishmael so far from Abraham’s influence, Hagar remained faithful to him. Therefore, after Sarah’s death, Isaac himself went to her and took her back to his father to be again his father’s wife. The (click on) Torah now calls her “Keturah,” meaning “tied” to Abraham, for she had kept her faithful bond to Abraham; and it also means an adornment,” for her good deeds. As the Torah tells us, she bore more children to Abraham. None, however, was as important as Ishmael.”

“The Midrash tells us that not only was Hagar reunited with Abraham, but her son, too, became a penitent and returned to the G‑d whom he had served in his father’s house, and whom he had forsaken during his wild life as a hunter and ruler of nations. Abraham thus lived to see Ishmael become his true son.”

“Later on in the Bible, we find Hagar indirectly mentioned once more as the mother of several tribes of Hagarites, neighbors of the tribes of Israel. They lived in Trans-Jordan (“Ever HaYarden”) and were driven away by the Israelites.”

“Interesting are also the legends which the Muslims tell about Hagar and which, in general, agree with the reports of our own tradition. To them Hagar was the ancestor of their prophet Mohammed, and naturally they attribute all kinds of miracles to her, of which neither the Torah nor the Midrashim tell us.”

“Hagar, as our Sages picture her, was a woman of humility and piety. Indeed, few others were privileged to have an angel of G‑d speak to them twice, and produce miracles for them.” (Click on: chabad.org/hagar)

This is interesting. We find out who Hagar was, and we go deeper into her life. However, the information gleaned from (click on) Chabad.org is definitely interesting, maybe factual, yet there are lies — lies about Hagar being the same as Keturah in the Torah. In fact, “the Torah now calls her ‘Keturah,’ meaning “tied” to Abraham” (chabad.org). But I looked up “Keturah” myself and her name means “incense” according to (click on) BlueLetterBible.org. So, men (including Sages) wrote this without the inspiration of the Holy Ghost or Spirit which means it could be in error. Just go back to the beginning of time to find out that satan twists the TRUTH in order to get Eve to commit sin (click on: Genesis 3:1-6 *satan tempted Eve, Eve shared with Adam). Only the Holy Bible can be trusted for unadulterated truth.

Genesis 16:5-6 gives the description of the relationship that must have existed between Sarah and Hagar after Sarah discovers if Hagar is pregnant. Once she does, immediate jealousy must have overtaken her, so much so, that she began to treat Hagar worse than ever. In fact, Sarah treated her so badly, she decided to run off. Just think about it — a newly pregnant Hagar decides it is better to run off, by herself, than face another day with Sarah. Now, I am no woman, and don’t want to be one, but to think of that sends shivers up and down my spine. Let’s go on.

In Genesis 17 starting in verse 15, God says unto Abraham that he will finally bear a son by Sarah. And although Abraham is exuberant with joy that he would get a son through Sarah, there is one question he has got to know, “What will happen to his other son, Ishmael (a social outcast according to the [click on] Merriam-Webster Dictionary), whom Hagar conceived?”

All you have to do is read the rest of Genesis 17 to find out what happens to Ishmael. Yet, this segment of the true story isn’t about Abraham, Sarah, or Ishmael. It’s about Hagar, and what she had to “fear notabout. So, let’s get right to it.

We know enough about Hagar that she is a God-fearing woman, although Sarah still had a grudge against her because Hagar got pregnant after the first time. Somewhere among those 13 – 14 years, deep resentment on both of their parts had grown between the two women. Finally, it comes to a crescendo as Hagar and Ishmael are sent packing with only a piece of bread and a canister of water provided by Abraham. Hagar and Ishmael are in a most desperate place — fear that God won’t provide — where any believer in the Lord can find themselves. As (click on) Genesis 21:13-20 points out and gets to the heart of the matter, the Angel of the LORD spoke to Hagar which the Angel instructed her to “fear not.”

And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-sheba. 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. 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. 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. And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.”
‭‭(Genesis‬ ‭21:13-20‬ ‭KJV‬‬)

This is quite interesting, that God would here the voice of Ishmael, the lad. This is even more interesting that the Angel of God would choose his mother, Hagar, to speak of the plans God has for Ishmael, and the Bible doesn’t say anything bad about Ishmael except that he was a wild donkey of a man who grew to be an archer.

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. 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. And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.” (Genesis 21:17-20)

The Bible, the only TRUE source we can take as giving the honest truth, doesn’t give anymore of a description of Ishmael than that he was a “wild donkey of a man” and that he was an archer. In fact, the Bible says that they came together, both Isaac and Ishmael, and buried their father Abraham in the same cave that Sarah was buried in some 48 years later. That is all it says. If you want, I can provide the passage: (click on) Genesis 24:8-11.

Throughout her life, Hagar would be committed to God, although times in her life she doubted. Two times, God spoke to her while she and Ishmael left Abraham’s dwelling place. I don’t know what fear you’re facing. Perhaps you just shut it out of your mind, until you are faced with the “fear” in a surprising manner. As with Hagar, the command for us is to “FEAR NOT” for God has your life all under control if you submit to His will.

~ Darren L Beattie, The Soul Blogger of TrueLifeChristianity.com ~


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