The Birth of Ishmael Through Hagar (Genesis 16)

Scripture Text (click to open in a new window):

Genesis 16


1. How long did you (or would you) wait before having children? Why?

2. Of the three (Abram, Sarai and Hagar), whom do you like the most? The least? Why?

3. What in your life have you had to wait a long time for? Are you still waiting? How do you handle the wait?

4. In this family’s case, what (if anything) might justify the strategy of surrogate motherhood and “helping God”?

5. Describe a time when you took matters into your own hands. What will prevent you from doing that in the future?

6. It is quite possible Sarai and Hagar already had a good relationship. When have you lost a close friend?  Did your friendship blow up like this one, or did you gradually fade apart?

7. What are you feeling tempted to run from?

8. If God is “the God who sees” (v 13), how do you live your life knowing that God is aware of everything about you? (consider Psalm 139:1 – 12)

9. How does God comfort Hagar? Why does He insist that she submit to Sarai’s authority?

10.  In what ways does this story remind you of your marriage relationship? How often do you get into impulsive situations that cause conflict? How can you avoid the damage caused by acting on impulse?

It is noteworthy that in the centuries that follow, there will be conflict in the Middle East between the Arabs (descendants of Ishmael) and the Jews (descendants of Isaac).


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