Hagar in the Bible is an interesting woman in the Bible with a unique story of hope and purpose with the God who sees. She’s a wonderful reminder when we feel alone, broken, and insignificant that God truly sees us. He has a purpose for us and He cares. Hagar’s story is filled with so much hope when we feel like we’ve been abandoned.
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The Story Of Hagar In The Bible
The story of Hagar in the Bible is a powerful picture of God seeking out a lost lamb, and a wonderful reminder that when we feel absolutely forsaken that God truly sees us, knows us, and time and again seeks us out. Through this Bible story, we get another glimpse of who God is and are introduced to a new name for HimEl Roi, the God Who Sees.
Who Is Hagar In The Bible?
Hagar in the Bible is one of the woman in the Bible that shines through history to impact our lives today. She was an Egyptian slave in the Old Testament to Sarah the wife of Abraham. The Bible doesn’t go into much detail about the back story of Hagar but it does tell us that Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham after she couldn’t have children. Scripture goes on to tell us that she became pregnant and bore a son.
Hagar In The Bible Pronunciation
Hagar in the Bible’s name is pronounced hei-gaar.
Meaning Of The Name Hagar In The Bible
Hagar in the Bible’s name means “forsaken”, “flight”, “A stranger”, or “one that fears”. I love how names have so much meaning and Hagar’s story is no exception. Hagar’s name tells so much of her story, she’s a stranger in this land, with struggles and fears, she’s forced to take flight and leave what she’s known as home so she feels forsaken and abandoned.
Hagar In The Bible Verses
We find the story of Hagar in the Bible in the Old Testament book of Genesis:
When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.” “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her. Genesis 16:5-6 NIV
The story of Hagar’s past is complicated, as a slave she had no rights and her mistress was free to do whatever she wished with her. We can’t help but sympathize with her, she had a right to be angry. She was powerless to stop the abuse until she felt she had no choice but run away.
The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered. Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.” Genesis 16: 7-10
This is the first time where the term “Angel of the Lord” is mentioned in scripture, many Bible scholars believe that this Angel may be a theophany, which is a physical manifestation of God (YHWH). She was lost, scared, alone, and the Lord met her right where she was seeking refuge near a spring in a barren wilderness. God found her when she felt alone. God had a plan for her life when she felt abandoned. God loved her, knew her needs, and cared about her when she felt like everyone had turned their backs on her. God saw her.
She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered. Genesis 16:13-14
The one who sees the forsaken ones, the one who knows the strangers, the one who gives courage to the frightened, the one who formed this woman in her mother’s womb. The one who knew her name before the beginning of time saw her. How powerful is that? The God who spoke planets into existence, and set the cornerstones of the earth in place sees us.
Hagar Bible Study
Want to go deeper into the life of Hagar in the Bible? Check out our Hagar Bible Study and take a better look at this woman of the Bible and her encounter with God.
What Happened To Hagar In The Bible?
Hagar in the Bible went through so much in her life, and yet we get such an amazing picture of God in her story. Hagar was treated wrongly, she was used, and yet in all of this God sees her, and loves her.
Sarah And Hagar In The Bible
Sarah and Hagar’s relationship in the Bible is rocky at best. These two women are placed in an awkward situation because of Sarah’s impatience and running ahead of God’s plan, instead of surrendering to God and trusting in His timing.
Hagar And Ishmael In The Bible
The struggle between Sarah and Hagar in the Bible really comes to the final showdown in Genesis 21 after the birth of Isaac. Hagar once again finds herself abandoned with her son, sent away from what she has known as home and the only family her son has ever known. Used and then cast aside when she was no longer needed, and yet the God who sees has never left her side:
Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob. Genesis 21:14-15
Hot dry sand sifts between my toes dusty and dirty are my feet as it pours into my sandals. A cool replenishing bath- cold water over my parched lips and tongue an oasis in this place of death and dying. I feel like every part of me that was alive and vibrant is shriveling up like everything around me. Nothing can survive this barren arid place. And still, my feet plod on and on. I won’t turn back. The more I choose to walk on the more my heart turns to stone and bitterness fills my mouth. My soul peels and cracks making me a little less the person I was.
God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. Genesis 21:17-19
Alone, abandoned, lost, and broken and yet even here El Roi sees me. He knows me, knows my needs. Hears my heartache, my anguished tears. He is the God who sees me and provides for me.
Facts About Hagar In The Bible
Not much of Hagar’s story in the Bible is known but let’s take a look at some interesting facts we can glean from the Bible about this woman:
- Hagar is in two chapters in Genesis, 16 and 21.
- Hagar in the Bible is single, poor, a slave, young, and potentially fertile. In totally human terms, she has what Sarah lacks.
- Hagar in the Bible was an Egyptian girl.
- Hagar was a slave to Abram’s (Abraham’s) wife, Sarah.
- Sarah gives Hagar in The Bible to Abraham because she hasn’t been able to have a child.
- Hagar becomes pregnant which causes tension between her and Sarah.
- Hagar was abused by Sarah and used until she fled.
- God meets Hagar at the spring and tells her He has a plan for her life and to return to her home.
- After Isaac is born and weaned, Sarah tells Abraham to send Hagar in the Bible and her son away.
- Hagar once again finds herself alone, but this time without food and water. She places her son under a bush because she can’t stand to watch him die and wanders away off to cry.
- God once again cares for Hagar in the Bible and provides for them.
What We Can Learn From Hagar In The Bible
There are so many things from Hagar in the Bible, and her encounter with the God who sees:
- Through Hagar in the Bible, we learn that God sees us, He knows us and He cares about us.
- Through this woman in the Bible, we learn that God is faithful when the rest of the world abandons us.
- Hagar’s story reminds us that God hears and answers us.
- Through Hagar in the Bible, it is once again clear that God’s grace is sufficient.
- Hagar’s story also tells us that God has a plan, and His timing is perfect.
- Hagar in the Bible reminds us that God provides for us.
…Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland. The parched ground will become a pool and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish where desert jackals once lived. Isaiah 35:6-7 (NLT)
Only He can turn your arid wastelands into lush plains again. Return to Him, fall into His arms and soak in His presence, let Him fill the cracked and peeling places. Let Him restore what has been lost, and fill your heart like a deep well. Come to Him and let the living water refresh you, drink it in, and be immersed- let it wash away the desert sand, the sweat and tears, the heat and be made whole again- maybe not who you were but something new and beautiful. Come to Him.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™New Living, NLT, and the New Living Translation logo are registered trademarks of Tyndale House Publishers. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.New Living, NLT, and the New Living Translation logo are registered trademarks of Tyndale House Publishers.
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