17God heard the lad crying; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What is the matter with you, Hagar? Do not fear, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is.
18"Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him by the hand, for I will make a great nation of him."
19Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water; and she went and filled the skin with water and gave the lad a drink.
20God was with the lad, and he grew; and he lived in the wilderness and became an archer.
21He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
God took care of Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Sarah's mistaken intervention. They tried to fulfill God's promise through their own desperate plan. It was wrong and produced a son that Abraham loved, but was not part of God's plan for Abraham's family. God let Abraham send this boy and his mother out into the wilderness with a promise that God would take care of him and even make a great nation of this young boy. Then, as the child and the mother were at the end of their resources and dying in the wilderness, God showed up and did for this little family what He said He would.
There are not too many instances in the Old Testament where God spoke directly (through an angel or otherwise) to a woman. And this is the second time He spoke to Hagar, this lowly and rejected servant who had mocked her mistress and whose son was also a mocker. He cared for them with tender words and care.
As you look at the verses above, you can see God's character revealed in His care:
He promised a future
He opened her eyes
He provided a well
He was with the lad
We praise You God for Your tender care for those who were not destined to be part of Your great plan to bring a Savior through Abraham's son Isaac. And for the truth that because of Jesus, even Ishmael's children can be grafted into Your family and become reunited with the chosen family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We praise You for Your continued tender care for us and for making us a part of Your awesome family that You began through Abraham and Sarah so long ago!