For some reason, I’m picking up on things this time through Genesis that I have glossed over before. It’s interesting how familiar text can sometimes gain new life. Anyway, in Genesis 21, Isaac is born, and we see his weaning feast eight verses later. Then comes verse nine:
And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing.
The idea here is that Ishmael is laughing hatefully at Isaac. Perhaps he sees this child replacing him as heir to the household as ridiculous. Perhaps he is jealous and acting out defensively. Perhaps he is merely being a bully. Whatever the reasons, there is only on place he could have learned such animosity in Abraham’s household – his own mother.
It’s easy to see where such hard feelings would arise in Hagar with a cursory glance over the preceding chapters. However, during her life as a mother, she passed her hatred for Sarah on to her own child, liewise demonstrating it toward Sarah’s child.
As examples to our children and others around us, we have to be careful what values we’re passing on. Hatred should not be a family value, but for Hagar it was. What misplaced values are we passing on to our own children?