Youth Ministry Lesson on Genesis 21:8-2: Growing Your Faith with the Story of Hagar and Ishmael

Hey everyone! Today, we’re going to dive into a fascinating story from the book of Genesis that will help you grow your faith. The story of Hagar and Ishmael (Genesis 21:8-21) is an important topic for us as teenagers because it teaches us about God’s faithfulness, provision, and love even in the midst of difficult circumstances. As we explore this story together, we’ll see how God works in our lives and how we can trust Him no matter what challenges we face.

Bible Reading: Genesis 21:8-14

Let’s start by reading Genesis 21:8-14:

8 The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. 9 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”

11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”

14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.
  • This passage tells us the story of Hagar and her son Ishmael, who were sent away by Abraham and Sarah.
  • God reassures Abraham that He will take care of Ishmael and make him into a great nation.
  • Abraham obeys God, providing Hagar and Ishmael with food and water before sending them away.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you think Hagar and Ishmael might have felt when they were sent away?
  2. Can you think of a time when you felt abandoned or alone? How did you handle it?
  3. What does this passage teach us about trusting God in difficult situations?

Bible Reading: Genesis 21:15-21

Now let’s continue with Genesis 21:15-21:

15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 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.

17 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. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”

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.

20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. 21 While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.
  • In this passage, we see God’s love and care for Hagar and Ishmael in their time of need.
  • God hears Ishmael’s cries and provides life-saving water for them in the desert.
  • Ishmael grows up and becomes an archer, fulfilling God’s promise to make him into a great nation.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How did God provide for Hagar and Ishmael in their time of need?
  2. What does this passage teach us about God’s love and care for His people?
  3. How can we apply the lessons from this story to our own lives as teenagers?

Youth Group Game: Trust Walk

To help illustrate the lesson from Hagar and Ishmael’s story, let’s play a trust walk game!


  1. Split into pairs, with one person being the “leader” and the other being the “follower.”
  2. The follower will close their eyes or wear a blindfold, and the leader will guide them through a predetermined course using only verbal instructions.
  3. The goal is for the leader to help the follower successfully navigate the course without bumping into any obstacles.
  4. After completing the course, switch roles and try again.

This game will help us understand the importance of trusting God even when we can’t see the path ahead of us, just as Hagar and Ishmael trusted God in their difficult situation.

Closing Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the story of Hagar and Ishmael and the lessons we can learn from their experiences. Help us to trust You in every situation, knowing that You are always with us and will provide for our needs. Strengthen our faith and help us to grow closer to You each day. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

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