And the Angel of the Lord said to her: “Behold, you are with child, and you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has heard your affliction.”
As we have covered previously, Sarah mistakenly tried to fulfill God’s promises through her handmaiden Hagar. But God did not intend to fulfill His promises to Abraham through Sarah’s solution. God’s purpose was to provide Abraham and Sarah a child through a miracle.
After Hagar conceived, Sarah “dealt harshly” with her (Genesis 16:6). The Bible shows that the marriage covenant is intended to be between one husband and one wife, and anything else brings negative results.
Because of Sarah’s mistreatment, Hagar fled to the wilderness. The “Angel of the LORD” found her there and commanded her to return to Sarah. He then encouraged her by telling her that her child would live and would beget a “multitude” of descendants (verse 10)—forming a “great nation” (Genesis 17:20).
Ishmael would be “a wild man” and would often be involved in conflict (Genesis 16:12). The descendants of Ishmael can be identified as many of the Arab peoples today, and they have experienced a long history of conflict.
Today, many of the descendants of Ishmael are united through the religion of Islam. Psalm 83 describes an Arab confederacy united against Israel. Ishmael’s descendants will likely be a part of the final “king of the South” prophesied in Daniel 11:40.
To learn more about Ishmael’s descendants in prophecy, read our informative article on “The King of the South.”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “The God Who Sees.”