Teaching Kids Key Life Learnings from 100 Biblical Characters: No. 7 – Ishmael

What practical key life learnings can we glean from the life of Ishmael?

Context (Genesis 16, 17):  Sarai (Sarah) was old and had not given Abram (Abraham) any children.  So instead of trusting God, she gave her servant Hagar to her husband and Hagar became pregnant.  Sarai treated Hagar so badley that Hagar ran away into the wilderness to die.  God intervened and sent Hagar back because God had a plan for her son, Ishmael.  God told Hagar He would raise up a great nation from her son and they would be warriors who would fight against many nations.

Key Life Learnings:

  • Disobedience brings strife (Genesis 16:1-6).    Sarai’s lack of trust in God to provide her a son, caused her to disobey God and give her maidservant to her husband.  When her maidservant conceived, Sarai got jealous and treated Hagar harshly.  So the result is Sarai is angry, Hagar is abused and Ishmael becomes the object of controversy even before he is born.  How sad!
  • God’s plan can incorporate other people’s mistakes (Genesis 16:9-16).  Even though God had a better plan for Sarai and Abram to have a son, God still used this birth of Ishmael to create another nation.  A nation that would test God’s people as an enemy but also a nation that God intended His people to bless, to let them know that God’s love extended to them as well.


If you like what you read, check out our children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website.  It is great for parents because it provides the Big Story of God’s miraculous plan for His children in all 66 books in the Bible including colorful illustrations, rhymes and a surprise on every page.  

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About Liz Hagler

Liz Hagler is the illustrator and co-author of Hooked On The Book. Liz loves to draw silly drawings, write crazy poems, walk her dog down the block, talk to her kids on Skype, and eat taco salad.
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