So Abraham got up early the next morning, prepared food and a container of water, and strapped them on Hagar’s shoulders. Then he sent her away with their son, and she wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba. —Genesis 21:14 NLT
The last thing we want to do when short on supplies is wander aimlessly. The direct route is not an option, it’s the option.
So it is with Hagar. Or, specifically, so it should be with Hagar. But it isn’t. She wanders. Disenfranchised foreigners such as this Egyptian in the land of Israel don’t have the luxury of being nonchalant explorers. With little, nothing can be wasted.
The old joke is true. Men don’t stop for directions. Did she get lost—or stay lost—on purpose?
She might have heard what God had said to Abraham prior to her parting. After all, the father of her child is wrought with guilt and remorse. To offer her hope (or relieve his guilty conscious), Abraham may have shared in their goodbye that God had given him the go ahead to send her away.
Hagar may have felt both God and Abraham kicked her to the curb if this did happen. And she could get mad at this. Really mad. In her anger, she may have thrown whatever caution she could have used away out there in the wilderness of Beersheba. In other words, she tested God’s love for her.
We all take dangerous steps away from God—wanderings. Nevertheless, God does what God does. He rescues her. He rescues us, too, even if we’re so angry that we can’t hear Him.
PRAYER: Lord, we pray we hear You sooner than later, that our stubbornness, anger or pride takes a backseat to the messages You give us. Amen.