Minimalist Bible: The Covenant — Hagar & Ishmael Are Sent Away

Written by Chad -

God has given me the idea to pursue a personal design project of creating minimalist posters to share the awesome stories of the Bible. If you missed out on previous posters, don't worry, I have created a landing page where you can easily catch up. Check it out here.

This poster series comes from the book of Genesis. It is a story filled with tests of faith, promises and miracles. I'm excited today to reveal The Covenant: Hagar & Ishmael Are Sent Away , part eight of an eleven part series.

The Covenant: Hagar & Ishmael Are Sent Away begins in Genesis 21:8-21 (NLT) which says, "When Isaac grew up and was about to be weaned, Abraham prepared a huge feast to celebrate the occasion. But Sarah saw Ishmael—the son of Abraham and her Egyptian servant Hagar—making fun of her son, Isaac. So she turned to Abraham and demanded, 'Get rid of that slave woman and her son. He is not going to share the inheritance with my son, Isaac. I won’t have it!'

This upset Abraham very much because Ishmael was his son. But God told Abraham, 'Do not be upset over the boy and your servant. Do whatever Sarah tells you, for Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted. But I will also make a nation of the descendants of Hagar’s son because he is your son, too.'

So Abraham got up early the next morning, prepared food and a container of water, and strapped them on Hagar’s shoulders. Then he sent her away with their son, and she wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba. When the water was gone, she put the boy in the shade of a bush. Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yards away. 'I don’t want to watch the boy die,' she said, as she burst into tears. But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, 'Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.'

Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink. And God was with the boy as he grew up in the wilderness. He became a skillful archer, and he settled in the wilderness of Paran. His mother arranged for him to marry a woman from the land of Egypt."

Remember God is ALWAYS With Us.

There were 8 kids in my first grade class, including Pete and Jimmy who were my best friends. The three of us would sweet talk the girls, terrorize the bus driver and trade desserts at lunch. We were inseparable when it came to recess basketball, games of tag, "underdog" swing pushing, and merry-go-round contests. Half way through the school year, our Principal announced that the school would be closing at the end of our first grade year. This meant that we'd all be going to separate schools for second grade. This was devastating news to us! We knew we had a limited amount of time left to be together. The days went by and before we knew it, we were saying our final good byes. It was heart-breaking and was probably the most difficult thing I had ever experienced at that point in my life.

At some point, most of us have experienced a similar story of a friend, loved one or family member leaving. It hurts, even if the decision to leave wasn't their choice. In this time of pain, where do we turn? Sometimes we forget the One who's always there—God. Unfortunately, before we ask him for help, many times we end up blaming him, getting angry with him or falling down on our knees to beg for a different outcome. No matter which gut-reaction we may have toward God, it doesn't change the fact that he wants us to turn to him for comfort. God is always with us and he understands our emotions and wants to encourage us.

Deuteronomy 31:8 (NLT) says, "Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you."

Try not to be like Hagar who forgot that God was with her. When the food and water was gone, she gave up. She put her boy underneath a bush and walked away to die. But read the next verse and see who came to the rescue—God. He never forgot about Hagar and Ishmael. God opened Hagar's eyes to a well that was right next to them. A WELL, FOR GOODNESS SAKE! He could have easily provided some simple coconuts or another canteen of water, but instead, God showed off his ability by providing them an entire well of water. God cares for us so much that he is willing to go above and beyond so that we will recognize and remember that He is with us constantly. 

If the time comes when someone you care about ends up leaving you, remember that God will never leave you. He knows your needs, is always there, roots for you, makes your path straight, strengthens you when you feel weak, performs miracles and—my personal favorite—always loves you no matter how messed up you are. He is God, the ultimate provider and most loyal friend.