Daily Word

God who hears | Genesis 16:7-12

7 The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” 9 The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” 11 And the angel of the Lord said to her,

“Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son.

You shall call his name Ishmael,

because the Lord has listened to your affliction.

12 He shall be a wild donkey of a man,

his hand against everyone

and everyone’s hand against him,

and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”

Genesis 16:7-12 (ESV) 

God seeks

As a result of Sarai’s abuse (yesterday), Hagar ran away. The angel of the Lord seeks her and finds her. Why would God care about an Egyptian slave woman? Well, for one, He cares about everyone and even knows the hair on our heads (Luke 12:7). But even more, this was a son of Abram, to whom God had promised to have sons beyond count. The promise extended to all his descendents. But still Isaac will be the chosen line.

God listens

The name, Ishmael ( יִשְׁמְעֵאל, yišmə‘ē’l) means God listens. He listened to the cry of Hagar. Of course her pride and mocking didn’t help the situation that led to her situation – just as we are all culpable to some degree for our situation. But God still lovingly goes after us. 

God blesses

Even though Ishmael wasn’t the chosen son, God still blesses him. What did he do to deserve it? Nothing. What did Abram do? Nothing. What do we do (other than sin and rebel)? Nothing. But God still blesses us. Not always and maybe not as we want, but He does.

Prophecy fulfilled

As we mentioned yesterday, there was trouble brewing with Ismael and it’s spoken of by the Lord here in v 12. As we look at the Arabs today, at least the radical ones, they are fulfilling this prophecy – and have been for many centuries.


  • How has God blessed you? Take time to count your blessings and return thanks. It would be great if you used those blessings to bless others. 
  • If the Lord seems distant to you, know that He is near. It’s probably you that has moved away from Him. Yet He seeks and listens. “Seek the LORD while He may be found.” (Isaiah 55:6)
Searching with binoculars. Image from Pxfuel.com

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