Ishmael’s bio

When Abraham was a hundred years old, Sarah bore him a son they named “Isaac,” He Laughs, remembering God’s promise.

“God made me laugh,” Sarah exclaimed with joy, “and everyone who hears our story will laugh too.”

Abraham circumcised Isaac at eight days old, and on the day he was weaned, Abraham hosted an elaborate feast. Sarah saw Ishmael poking fun at little Isaac at the celebration, so she told her husband, “Get this slave woman and her son out of our lives. That child will never share in Isaac’s blessing.”

This made Abraham sad, because he loved his son Ishmael.

God said, “Don’t worry, Abraham. Do whatever Sarah says, because it will be through Isaac that your name will be carried. But because Ishmael is your son, I’ll make a nation through him, too.”

Abraham got up early the next morning, packed bread and water, and sent Hagar and Ishmael away. They wandered in the wild deserts of Beersheba, but they soon ran out of water. Hagar placed a dehydrated Ishmael under a shade tree to die of thirst. She walked about a hundred yards away so she didn’t have to watch him suffer, and she wept in grief.

God heard Ishmael wailing for his life, and an angel spoke to Hagar from the spiritual realm. “What’s wrong, Hagar?” the angel asked. “Don’t worry about your son, because God heard his cry. Go to your son and lift him from the ground. I’ll make him a great nation.”

God led her to a well of water. She ran over, filled the water skin, and brought it to her son to drink.

God remained near as the boy grew into a man. He was an expert bowman and lived in the wilderness of Paran. Hagar found him a wife from Egypt, and Ishmael had twelve sons, who became twelve tribal kings. Ishmael lived a hundred and thirty-seven years.

Inspiration: Genesis 21, 25

Promise confirmed

Abraham was kicking back one afternoon at the entrance of his tent at Mamre Oaks when he saw three men approaching. Running to them, he knelt humbly at their feet.

“Master,” Abraham said, addressing the man in the middle, adorned in bright robes. “Let me bring water for your feet and bread to snack on. Relax under my shade tree before moving on. I’m at your service.”

The men nodded. “Sounds good.”

Abraham called to Sarah and said, “Quick, make some cakes with the good flour.” Then he ran over to his stockyard, brought out a nice tender calf, and gave it to a servant to slaughter and roast on the spit.

He served his guests succulent meats and cakes with butter and milk, and he stood near, refilling their wine goblets as they feasted under the shade tree.

“Where’s Sarah?” one of the men asked, out of the blue.

Abraham motioned to the tent. “Inside,” he said, realizing his guests knew him and his family intimately.

“I’ll be back when the time is right,” the man answered, “and Sarah will have a son.”

Hearing her name, Sarah put her ear closer to the entrance of the tent, and she laughed under her breath. Imagine an old bag having a child at my age, she thought.

The Master said to Abraham, “Why’d your wife laugh? Is anything too difficult for the Master?”

Abraham’s face went ashen. They were reading his wife’s doubting mind, which could only mean one thing. He was in the presence of heavenly beings on a mission to confirm the way of God’s reverberating promise.

“When the time is right, I’ll return. Your wife will have a child,” he said. Then with a glint in his eye, he added, “and I’ll have the last laugh.”

Sarah came out of the tent and blurted, “I didn’t laugh.” She was noticeably shaking with fear.

The Master simply said with a friendly smile, “Yes, you did.” And the case was closed.

Inspiration: Genesis 18