Special Kids, Special Needs (Part 5 of 6) – Children of Divorce

Bible Lesson About Children of Divorce.

The first 5 lessons (case studies) in this series is very straightforward – a Scripture text and application questions.

  • Carefully consider these children and their families.
  • Reflect on your own situation.
  • Answer the given questions.

Part 6 will be a 10 point checklist of tips for teachers.

Children of Divorce (Genesis 21:1 – 21)

Take note that Ishmael was 14 years old when Isaac was born. Ishmael was not an infant or toddler – as many envision him (when reading this story).

Then the Lord took note of Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had promised. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.

Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.” And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”The child grew and was weaned, and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.

Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking. Therefore she said to Abraham, “Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac.” The matter distressed Abraham greatly because of his son.

But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named. And of the son of the maid I will make a nation also, because he is your descendant.” So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar, putting them on her shoulder, and gave her the boy, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba.

When the water in the skin was used up, she left the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him, about a bowshot away, for she said, “Do not let me see the boy die.” And she sat opposite him, and lifted up her voice and wept.

God heard the lad crying; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter with you, Hagar? Do not fear, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him by the hand, for I will make a great nation of him.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water; and she went and filled the skin with water and gave the lad a drink.

God was with the lad, and he grew; and he lived in the wilderness and became an archer. He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

– New American Standard Bible

1. How do you think Ishmael felt about Isaac’s arrival?


2. If you were Hagar, how would you have felt when you heard what Sarah had planned for you? (multiple choice)

  • Where will my son and I find food and shelter?
  • Who will become our family and friends now?
  • What will happen to my child?
  • What have I done to be treated like this?
  • Should I plead with Abraham to be fair?
  • I’ll be glad to get away from here.


3. God intervened by providing for Hagar and Ishmael’s immediate need. What lesson could Hagar learn from this? (multiple choice)

  • There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
  • God knows what we need before we ask.
  • The Lord is faithful to keep His promises.
  • With God all things are possible.


4. How much conflict do you suppose Abraham and Sarah’s marriage experienced because of Hagar and Ishmael?


5. How does (could) God and your faith help you deal with conflict in your marriage?


6. When forced to do what you do not want to do – like saying good-bye or breaking up with someone – what motivates you to do it anyway?


7. As a parent, in what way can you identify with Sarah? With Abraham? With Hagar? What would you like God to say or do for you in your parenting role?


8. What effect has your divorce had on your child(ren)? What can you do to help them not feel like Ishmael – rejected and dejected?


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