THE BOY WHO BECAME AN ARCHER
Genesis xxi: 1, to 21.
FTER Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, Abraham moved his
tent and his camp away from that part of the land, and
went to live near a place called Gerar, in the
southwest, not far from the Great Sea. And there at
last, the child whom God had promised to Abraham and
Sarah was born, when Abraham his father was a hundred
They named this child Isaac, as the angel had told them
 should be named. And Abraham and Sarah were so happy to
have a little boy, that after a time they gave a great
feast to all the people, in honor of the little Isaac.
You remember the story about Sarah's maid Hagar, the
Egyptian woman, and how she ran away from her mistress,
and saw an angel by a well, and afterward came back to
Sarah, and had a child whose name was Ishmael (Story
Seven). So now there were two boys in Abraham's tent,
the older boy, Ishmael, the son of Hagar, and the
younger boy, Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah.
Ishmael did not like the little Isaac, and did not
treat him kindly. This made his mother Sarah very
angry, and she said to her husband:
"I do not wish to have this boy Ishmael growing up with
my son Isaac. Send away Hagar and her boy, for they are
a trouble to me."
And Abraham felt very sorry to have trouble come
between Sarah and Hagar, and between Isaac and Ishmael;
for Abraham was a kind and good man, and he was
friendly to them all.
But the Lord said to Abraham, "Do not be troubled about
Ishmael and his mother. Do as Sarah has asked you to
do, and send them away. It is best that Isaac should be
left alone in your tent, for he is to receive
everything that is yours. I the Lord will take care of
Ishmael, and will make a great people of his
descendants, those who shall come from him."
So the next morning, Abraham sent Hagar and her boy
 expecting them to go back to the land of Egypt, from
which Hagar had come. He gave them some food for the
journey, and a bottle of water to drink by the way. The
bottles in that country were not like ours, made of
glass. They were made from the skin of a goat, sewed
tightly together. One of these skin bottles Abraham
filled with water, and gave to Hagar.
HAGAR GOES INTO THE WILDERNESS
And Hagar went away from Abraham's tent, leading her
little boy. But in some way she lost the road, and
wandered over the desert, not knowing where she was,
until all the water in the bottle was used up; and her
poor boy, in the hot sun and the burning sand, had
nothing to drink. She thought that he would die of his
terrible thirst, and she laid him down under a little
bush; and then she went away, for she said to herself:
"I cannot bear to look at my poor boy suffering and
dying for want of water."
HAGAR AND HER LITTLE BOY IN THE DESERT
And just at that moment, while Hagar was crying, and
her boy was moaning with thirst, she heard a voice
saying to her:
"Hagar, what is your trouble? Do not be afraid. God has
 heard your cry, and the cry of your child. God will
take care of you both, and will make of your boy a
great nation of people."
It was the voice of an angel from heaven; and then
Hagar looked, and there close at hand was a spring of
water in the desert. How glad Hagar was, as she filled
the bottle with water, and took it to her suffering boy
under the bush!
After this, Hagar did not go down to Egypt. She found a
place near this spring, where she lived and brought up
her son in the wilderness, far from other people. And
God was with Ishmael, and cared for him. And Ishmael
grew up in the desert, and learned to shoot with the
bow and arrow. He became a wild man, and his children
after him grew up to be wild men also. They were the
Arabians of the desert, who even to this day have never
been ruled by any other people, but wander through the
desert and live as they please. So Ishmael came to be
the father of many people, and his descendants, the
wild Arabians of the desert, are living unto this day
in that land, just as the Jews, who are the descendants
of Isaac, are living all over the world.