- 16:1-6. In what ways did Abram act wrongly in having a son by Hagar?
How was he misled? Was Sarah right to blame Abram for the wrong done to her?
What ought Abram to have thought, said and done in the face of such a situation?
- 17. Note the characteristics of covenant-making mentioned here.
What were the blessings of which Abraham was thereby assured?
What did Abraham have to do to embrace the assurance that the covenant offered?
- 16:7-15; 17:18-21. What do we learn here of God’s character and purposes from his dealings with Hagar and Ishmael? What Christian truths are prefigured here?
- 16:13. Hagar not only realized that God is one by whose all-seeing eye none are unseen or overlooked, but also that he had personally manifested himself to her, and that she had seen God without dying. Mention of ‘the angel of the Lord’ (verse 7) occurs here for the first time in the Bible. In verse 13 he is described as ‘the Lord who spoke to her’. This suggests an anticipation of the incarnation, an appearance in person of God the Son.
- Chapter 17. The covenant was pledged by God in his name. In witness of the benefits that they were to receive under it, Abram and Sarai were both given significant new names. Abraham and every male of his house were circumcised as ‘a sign of the covenant’ between God and him.
- 17:18-21. Abraham’s suggestion that Ishmael might be accepted by God, as the son concerning whom God’s special covenant promises were made, was not accepted by God.