Ishmael – the name and nature


Genesis 16:11-12 records what the angel of the Lord foretells Hagar about the birth of her son – his name and his nature.

First, Hagar was commanded to name her son, Ishmael, which means “the Lord hears” for the Lord has heard her affliction. Despite Hagar’s insubordination, the Lord was gracious to her and heard her cry. Second, the nature of Hagar’s son, Ishmael, was foretold. Ishmael would be a wild (or wandering) man with a warring disposition (with his hand against every man and every man’s hand against him), while living amongst his own relatives.

Points to ponder:
God hears the cries of those who cry out seeking his justice. God not only knows our name but our nature as well. We have a tendency to wander away from God and be warring in our disposition. What are you called by? What is your nature?

Genesis 16:11-12 (KJV)
11 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction.
12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.

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