Who was Hagar in the Bible?
The story of Hagar is an example of God’s heart towards our struggles. She was an Egyptian slave living in the household of Abraham and Sarah. Sarah was unable to have children, so she decided to take matters into her own hands.
She gave Hagar to Abraham so that through her he might be able to continue his line and have a child. Hagar became pregnant, but soon after she grew to resent Sarah. As a result, Sarah treated her harshly and she ran away into the desert.
An angel of the Lord came to Hagar and told her that she should go back to her mistress. He stated that her descendants would be numerous. The angel told her to name the child Ishmael, which means “whom God hears”.
She realized that God was with her, and stated, “You are the God who sees me” and returned home. Soon afterward, she gave birth to a son. However, after Sarah had a son, Isaac, the tension between the two sons of Abraham grew.
After witnessing Ishmael mock her child, Sarah asked Abraham to cast out Hagar and her son, which he did. Hagar wandered in the wilderness with only a little food and water. Once the water ran out, she put her son in the shade of a bush and turned away, for she could not bear to look at him as he died.
However, God spoke to her and told her not to be afraid, for He heard the boy’s cries. God stated that He would make a great nation from Ishmael’s descendants. He opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water to help save her and her son from their plight.