are helpful and things that are detrimental to our walk with God. Although there might not be a commandment against something or against associating with a particular person, ask yourself, will this thing or this person lead me off track.


B. Hagar represents that which we are trusting in and holding onto instead of God.

When the plan of God becomes difficult to follow we often insert our own directions and ideas to "help God out." We feel that we must understand before we can obey and yet our minds are only on the natural. Therefore, we look for the tangible in the intangible, the visible from the invisible and the temporal in the eternal. Weíll do anything to understand, but wait and obey.

 Oswald Chambers writes, "All Godís revelations are sealed until they are opened to us by obedience.... The tiniest fragment of obedience, and heaven opens and the profoundest truths of God are yours right away. God will never reveal more about himself until you have obeyed what you know already." (Chambers, 210)




II. HE HAD TO KISS HAGAR GOOD-BYE BECAUSE OF WHAT THE RELATIONSHIP HAD PRODUCED.


A. Ishmael was a product of unbelief.

Sarah may have initiated the relationship between the two, but it was Abraham who cultivated the relationship. This was not the way God had planned to fulfill His promise. Yet, the decision was made to go ahead with the plan "before it was too late."

 T. D. Jakes comments on Abrahamís choice, "But those are the kind of decisions we make when we think Godís not going to bless us. When we start making arrangements for God because He didnít do what you thought He was going to do, when you thought He was going to do it." (Jakes, audio)


B. Ishmael represents the work of man to fulfill the promise of God.

Why couldnít God have fulfilled His promise to Abraham through Ishmael? Because Ishmael was not the son of promiseóthe son of faith. Ishmael was Abrahamís attempt to do what only God could do.  Romans 14:23 tells us that "Whatever is not from faith is sin." We cannot altar the plan of God for our lives and still end up at the same destination.


C. Ishmael represents what Abraham loved as well as a reflection of himself.


It was easy for Sarah to tell Abraham to "cast out" Hagar. There was no emotional conflict. There was no attachment. There was no longing in her heart with which to struggle.

 Stewart Briscoe offers this bit of insight, "Ishmael was Abrahamís son, but he was not Sarahís son and even though she had made the arrangement by which he was born there would never beat in Sarahís heart the same love that throbbed in Abrahamís veins." (Briscoe, 185)


III. HE HAD TO KISS HAGAR GOOD-BYE BECAUSE GOD WAS CALLING HIM ONWARD.



A. Abraham could not find the blessings of God in the failures of yesterday.

Abraham would have liked for God to have blessed what he had done. He wanted things to stay the way they
Great!