Summary: What to do when you fuss


1. Sarah was protective of “my son” (v. 10) Isaac.

2. Abraham struck up for the son causing the problem calling him “his son” (v. 11).

3. The older brother Ishmael (age 17) was “scoffing” (v. 9, NKJV). The word means taunting which carries physical abuse.

4. Isaac was probably 3 years old, i.e., a toddler.

5. Hagar the Egyptian mother of Ishmael seems innocent, but God accuses her. “Let it not be grievous . . . because of thy bondwoman” (v. 12).

6. For 17 years Abraham had raised Ishmael “wild horse” i.e., playing with the fruit of the flesh.

“Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to Isaac just as God promised. Abraham was 100 years old when he circumcised Isaac who was 8 days old. Sarah said God has brought me laughter, so I named him Isaac which means laughter. Abraham gave a big party to celebrate Isaac being weaned. When Sarah saw Ishmael taunting Isaac, she turned to Abraham and demanded, ‘Get rid of that bondwoman and her son. I will not have him sharing our inheritance with my son Isaac.’ Abraham was upset because Ishmael was his son. But God told Abraham, ‘Do exactly what your wife said because your descendants will come through Isaac. But Ishmael will be a great nation someplace else’” (Gen. 21:1-13, Amplified).


1. Note the faithfulness of God. “The Lord visited Sarah as He said . . . and did for her, as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived . . . at the set time of which God had spoken” (21:1-2).

a. What a 50th anniversary present. It confirmed of God’s call.

b. The miracle on Sarah, “The Lord visited Sarah” (v. 1).

c. Normal pregnancy.

2. Abraham obeyed God’s instruction. “Call his name Isaac” (17:19).

3. Abraham completed the sign of the covenant. “Abraham circumcised his son Isaac . . . as God had commanded him” (21:4).

4. Sarah understood God’s symbols. “God has made me laugh with a son named laughter, and everyone who knows what God has done will laugh with me because of a son that causes them to laugh” (21:6, ELT).

5. A husband and wife can obey God and be blessed by Him, yet still have trouble. “Sarah saw . . . taunting” (21:9).

6. A good obedient parent can have a rebellious child.

7. What we see upsets us more than what people tell us. “Sarah saw” (v. 9).

8. Children can make husbands and wives fuss. “Sarah said, ‘my son’” (v. 10). Abraham said, “his son” (v. 11).

What To Do When You Fuss:

• Remember your wedding vows

• Remember what brought you together

• Listen to God, “God said . . .”

• Husbands do the right thing to solve

• Think of why God brought you together

• Think of your future together

9. The solution wasn’t based on who was right or what was done. God had a long range plan for Isaac. Jesus Christ would come through Isaac.

10. Abraham had to get his attitude right. “Do not let it be displeasing in your sight” (v. 12).

11. Don’t put off doing a difficult task. “Abraham got up early the next morning” (v. 19).

12. It is hard to cut off the fruit of your flesh. “Abraham got up early the next morning, prepared food for the journey” (v. 14).

13. Every tub has to sit on its own bottom. Hagar means “flighty” and she couldn’t stay on the road to Egypt. “She wandered in the wilderness” (v. 14).

14. She hadn’t learned to pray or anything about God’s care. “When the water was gone, she left the boy . . . went and sat down . . . and she burst into tears” (v. 15-16, NLT).

15. God knew her name and asked a question, “What aileth thee Hagar?” (v. 17).

16. Apparently the boy could pray. “God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.”

17. Frustrated people don’t seek help when it’s nearby. “God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water” (v. 19).

If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:

Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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