Genesis 21:15 & 16

"When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, 'I cannot watch the boy die.' And as she sat there, she began to sob." NIV translation

They were in the desert and their water had ran out. Hagar put Ishmael under a bush and went and sat down and cried. She was waiting for them to die and did not want to watch him go. It is interesting to note that they were at the end of their efforts with nothing else that any man could do for them. 

Genesis 21:17 & 18

"God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, 'What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.'" NIV translation

At the end of their efforts, Hagar hears the voice of God's messenger. He assures her that God has heard the cries and that God has a plan for them. That must have been a comfort for two people that had been put away and were feeling rejected. It reminds us that God cares for all people.

Genesis 21:19

Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink." NIV translation

Then, she saw God's provision for their physical need and they had water again. This is a reminder to us that God has a plan for each and every one of our lives. We do not have to be discouraged or jealous because His plan for us is different than someone else's.

Genesis 21:20 & 21

"God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt." NIV translation

The hand of God was upon Ishmael and he lived in the desert of what is known as Saudi Arabia today. He married a woman from Egypt and started his family and is considered to be the father of the Arab peoples. This is good for us to remember that God has opened the door for Arabs to come to Him. As with Isaac's descendants, the door is Jesus Christ and they, too, can accept Him as their Lord and Savior. The problem is that the feelings of rejection got in the way and so the descendants looked for another way to favor with God. The struggle between man's efforts and acceptance of God's provision continues today and is the root of the problem between Islam & Judaism & Christianity.