Monday, October 17, 2016

Genesis 21:14-21 comments: God opened her eyes

14 ¶  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 Beersheba. 15  And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. 16  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. 17  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. 18  Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. 19  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. 20  And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. 21  And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.

Hagar and her son are put away. It seems strange that a man possessed of such wealth as Abraham would provide her with such meager provisions. It seems rather heartless, wouldn’t you say? When all seems lost, though, God does not let things go too far. To say God heard the voice of the lad is much like the earlier statements about God remembering. It doesn’t suggest that He was reading a book and happened to hear Ishmael’s cry by chance. It means that He responded to the plaintive pleas of Hagar and Ishmael as He often does not make things better for us until we acknowledge our need and weakness.

God opened her eyes so that she could see something that was hidden from her before as He often does to us although we do not acknowledge that he has done so. There is something in front of us which should be obvious but we just cannot see it until He reveals its presence to us. This opening of our eyes is also apparent in understanding.

Psalm 119:18 ¶  Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

Ephesians 1:18  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

The skilled workman, even the unbelieving, suddenly sees a solution to a problem, the cunning inventor suddenly has a flash of insight, the student quickly sees the answer to a dilemma that he could not previously see. Of course, we all think that this surprising inspiration, this understanding, comes from something deep inside of us, as if an idea, the problem, or a solution was a living thing just hanging around waiting for us to pick it. We attribute it to our superior reasoning ability. But, if we acknowledge that God opens our eyes things become clearer.

Satan, as well, can blind men from seeing something that is true.

2Corinthians 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

But, typically, in the Bible, it is God that blinds men whose hearts are opposed to Him so that they shall not see the truth because they will not see the truth. Think about the shall as being a consequence of the will.

Isaiah 44:18  They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.

2Thessalonians 2:11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The skilled craftsman, the student, the inventor has prepared himself by training, interest, and vocation to receive something from God, perhaps whom He does not know, because of God’s purposes, not that person’s own. So, it is that the person who seeks God prepares his own heart by his or her yearning to know the truth and then, at some point, God opens that person’s eyes and they believe that Jesus is and was God in the flesh and that He rose from the dead and our salvation lies only with Him.

Here, in this passage, God reveals something to Hagar regarding her and her son’s deliverance that was not visible to her in her despair.

Ishmael grows up to be an archer and an Egyptian wife, like his own mother, is provided for him. The bow, representing the archer, plays a part in the latter days in that part of the world as the beast arises who conquers bringing death, famine, pestilence, and much sorrow with him.

Revelation 6:2  And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

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