Grieved by the bad conduct of his eldest son, and at the urging of his wife Sarah, Abraham sent the boy and his mother Hagar away. We do not know that he would have done so if God had not told him that He would take care of them, and also make this son the forefather of numerous tribes of people.
It was early in the morning when Ishmael and his mother were sent away from the tent of Abraham. A leathern bottle of water and some bread were given to them. They must have felt very sorry when they left such a good home as they had long enjoyed. The grief of Ishmael must have been the greater, as he knew it was his bad conduct which had led to their being sent away.
Genesis 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.
Mocking comes from tsachaq (H6711), to laugh outright (in merriment or scorn).
13 And when Isaac was five years old he was sitting with Ishmael at the door of the tent.
14 And Ishmael came to Isaac and seated himself opposite to him, and he took the bow and drew it and put the arrow in it, and intended to slay Isaac.
15 And Sarah saw the act which Ishmael desired to do to her son Isaac, and it grieved her exceedingly on account of her son, and she sent for Abraham, and said to him, Cast out this bondwoman and her son, for her son shall not be heir with my son, for thus did he seek to do unto him this day.
21:10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.
Yahweh blessed Abraham with many children. And those children were blessed. But, Yahweh had a special plan for Isaac. Isaac's children were chosen by Yahweh to carry on The Word.
The outcast mother and her boy went toward the desert. As she was a native of Egypt she may have thought she could reach that country, and live among her own people. She had not traveled many miles before she came to a wild part of the country. What could she now do? She had lost her way, and went up and down the desert, and could find no one to guide her. In that part of the world there were no roads or paths, and the way was rough and painful, and the heat great.
At last they had drunk all the water from the bottle, and they could see no well or river from which they could again fill it. Ishmael was now weary with walking, and faint from thirst and the heat of the sun. He could not go on any farther. In her distress, she cried, "Let me not see the death of the child." So she laid him under a shrub, and "sat down over against him, a good way off." She could not help him, but would not leave him to perish alone. Ishmael must now have known how foolish and wicked his conduct had been. He knew that he had brought himself and his mother into all this affliction, and he must have wished that they were once again in Abraham's tent. Sin will always bring us into trouble.
As the lad lay weeping and moaning, a voice was heard by Hagar. Where could it have come from? Could she be mistaken in the sound? No; in the stillness of the solitude a divine messenger spoke to Hagar. He had been sent by Yahweh to comfort her in her distress.
"Fear not," said he; "for Yahweh hath heard the voice of the lad where he is."
And "Yahweh opened her eyes," so that she saw a well not far off from where she sat. With new strength she rose from the ground, and with joy took her bottle to the well. When they were revived, they again filled their bottle for their journey, and went on their way. From that time "Yahweh was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer."
Ishmael went on to have twelve sons who became Arabian princes. Sadly, over time, the children of Ishmael strayed from The Way of Yahweh and they started worshiping other gods and mixing with the other races. Today the Middle East is inhabited by the descendants of Ishmael. They were once a white people but now are dark brown. They are now called Arabs or Muslims.