Over the next few weeks, she felt less and less joyous.
“Here I am pregnant with my master Abram’s first and only child and I am still scrubbing and cleaning like a slave. Am I not his wife as much as my mistress Sarai? No, I am still a slave!” Hagar thinks to herself as she sees Sarai sitting with Abram on a bench in the shade of a tree one hot afternoon.
“Why am I still working while she is sitting under a tree? No, I am still a slave!”
“Am I not carrying his child?”
“I am better than her; I can produce a child while she cannot!”
“She is old and I am young.”
“She may have been some legendary beauty, but I am far prettier.”
“Why, Kenan once told me that my dark skin, lovely hair and flashing eyes outshone any woman he had ever seen! Hmmph!”
From that moment on, Hagar began to refuse to do all of her work.
She spoke ill of her mistress to the other slaves.
She laughed and called Sarai ‘childless one’ to her face one day when she was feeling particularly nasty.
Then Sarai, who had tried to be understanding about the whole issue, went to Abram with an ultimatum.
Sarai said to Abram, “This is all your fault! I put my servant into your arms, but now that she is pregnant she treats me with contempt. The LORD will show who’s wrong—you or me!”
Abram replied, “Look, she is your servant, so deal with her as you see fit.”
Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away.
Hagar, carrying a light bag, was trudging along through the territory to the south-west of the camp. Seeing a spring of water, she stopped to refresh herself. Sitting on the ground and laying back against her bag, she began to wonder if she was going to be able to make it all the way back to Egypt. Suddenly someone else was there with her. She stood up quickly and turned to face the stranger.
The angel of the LORD found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur.
The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied.
The angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.”
Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.”
And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the LORD has heard your cry of distress.
This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives.”
After that, Hagar used another name to refer to the LORD, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God, who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?”
So that well was named Beer-lahai-roi (which means “well of the Living One who sees me”). It can still be found between Kadesh and Bered.