Summary: Although Abraham couldn’t see it now, later he would understand the reasons why he had to kiss Hagar good-bye.
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. We’ll do anything to understand, but wait and obey.
Oswald Chambers writes, "All God’s 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 Abraham’s choice, "But those are the kind of decisions we make when we think God’s not going to bless us. When we start making arrangements for God because He didn’t 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 couldn’t God have fulfilled His promise to Abraham through Ishmael? Because Ishmael was not the son of promise—the son of faith. Ishmael was Abraham’s 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 Abraham’s son, but he was not Sarah’s son and even though she had made the arrangement by which he was born there would never beat in Sarah’s heart the same love that throbbed in Abraham’s 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 were. After all, what harm could there be in the son of promise and the son of the bondwoman growing up together? Abraham could have kept things the way they were. But there comes a point in our lives when we must deal with the failures of yesterday. We cannot continue as if nothing has happened, as if no wrong has been done, as if we have not erred from God’s plan.