And Presents by the Tree


We all have our own unique Christmas traditions. Maybe you open gifts on Christmas Eve or wait until Three Kings Day in January. Maybe you create a special family recipe or play a game each year. Do you decorate a tree or buy gifts for someone in need? One of my favorite traditions is helping my kids make their Christmas lists.

This year I asked my fellow team members to make their own Christmas lists and include which Bible they wish would be waiting under their Christmas tree. One of the things I love most about working on the Tyndale Bible team is that we are all so different. Each of us brings our individual gifts and abilities so that together we can bring God glory. But though we are all different, yet we are united in the Word that became human. What a reason to celebrate!

Here is what the Bible Team hopes is under their Christmas trees this year. You can click on the Bible title if you want to learn more.

Callie is excited for the new NLT Daily Reader’s Bible.

“I am asking for the Daily Reader’s Bible. I am really curious about the unique layout, and I love the fact that the readings are numbered, not dated. My plan is to start in January, but because the readings are numbered, I don’t have to fear getting behind. I can just pick right back up when I can!”

Blaine is hoping to unwrap a beautiful new classic Bible.

“For Christmas this year, I have selected the NLT Filament-enabled Personal Size Giant Print Black Genuine Leather Indexed edition. Its uninterrupted readable text will allow me to focus on the Scripture without the distraction of study notes or other features. Knowing that a full suite of carefully curated study notes, devotionals, videos, and even worship songs is available to me by simply opening the Filament Bible app and pointing my phone at any page makes this a Bible unlike any other I’ve had the privilege of using over the years. I’m really looking forward to 2021 with this new Bible.”

Kim loves Bibles and surprises so she is sharing her top three so she will be surprised at what shows up under her tree.

“The new Art of Life Bible because this Bible is so gorgeous and artsy—and there’s nothing else like it out there that I know of! I absolutely love that this Bible is slightly oversized with wider margins, comes in a slipcase, and has the most beautiful teal hardcover cloth design with gold foil accents. It looks more like a coffee table book than a Bible, but that’s what I love about it! The inside has amazing hand-drawn illustrations of Bible things like people, animals, and plants scattered throughout along with descriptions. It will be a really fascinating way to read through the Bible and reflect on this artist’s rendition of things mentioned in the Bible. It’s a spacious setting, so I could embellish, color, paint, or add to the illustrations if I wanted to do some Bible journaling in it, but I think I might reserve this one for reading since it’s already so amazing.

The new THRIVE Creative Journaling Devotional Bible for Women just released in two new bindings, and I absolutely love the teal cover with “Thrive” displayed in rose gold foil across the front. Probably my favorite thing about this design is the rose gold page edges. It is stunning, and it pairs so beautifully with the teal. I will be able to spend the whole year reading through the daily devotionals and journaling my reflections and prayers in the wide margins.


The new Inspire PRAYER Bible is another Bible I cannot wait to read and Bible journal in! I would love to use the extra-wide margins in this Bible to write out personal prayers focused on my marriage and also listing out ways (bullet journaling style!) that I can challenge myself to become more like Christ. I would love either of the cover designs—so surprise me! I adore the metallic champagne gold Hardcover LeatherLike binding because it is so special and unique (like me!), but I also love the colorful one because it is so cheerful—and floppy! This Bible has thirty-two of the most beautiful, colorful vellum sheets with prayers on them, prayer prompts in the margins, and hundreds of line-art illustrations I could watercolor, paint, or color in!”

Jim J. is wishing for the genuine leather brown NLT Filament-enabled Edition Personal Size Giant Print Bible. He even wrote this poem:

Under the tree this Christmas morning
I’ll search for the gift I find myself yearning

The Word became flesh we remember this day
Come to teach and to save us, his life to pay

And the Word we are given to keep and to cherish
Comes in beautiful books without being garish

I look for a Bible that is handy in size
With the magic of light, the Filament prize.

With print that is giant, truth without explanation
Expressed in the language of a living translation

For me I want brown with the rich touch of leather
That gift would bring joy as our family’s together.

As I think of that day of holy observance,
I wish for a Bible to illumine remembrance.

Linda is wishing for a stalwart favorite: The One Year Chronological Bible in the NLT.

“It’s not flashy or new, but I would like The One Year Chronological Bible, NLT, Large Print. This year, more than ever, I’d like to start 2021 on a fresh foot, with renewed commitment to good habits that are healthy for my body, mind, and soul. I like the idea of reading the Bible chronologically as it happened, and I think the reading schedule and the way The One Year Bible breaks the Bible into manageable portions for each day is helpful and sets me up to successfully complete reading the whole Bible in a year. The large print edition is also easy on the eyes and would be nice to have.”

Dave is excited to partner with Joni and Friends to intercede on behalf of the most vulnerable by using The One Year Pray for Life Bible.

“The Bible on my wish list this Christmas and the one I plan to use daily in 2021 is The One Year Pray for Life Bible. With sanctity of life issues continuing to dominate the news cycle every day, I look forward to listening to God in his Word daily. I also look forward to joining my voice with thousands of other Christians around the world to pray not only for those who are threatened and impacted adversely by laws and policies but also for those who hold the power to write and support laws that defend the weak and powerless among us.”

Evie is all about relationships, so her wish list Bible is about time with family.

“I am hoping the purple and pink swirl Hands-On Bible is waiting under our Christmas tree. The interactive activities and lessons help me to engage with my girls in God’s Word in a way that keeps them entertained and excited to learn more. I love that we can play together while learning about God and his plan for our lives. It’s so wonderful to come together as a family to have fun and grow in our understanding of God’s Word.”

Jim G. has had a life-long love for the Life Application Study Bible. Here is the one he’d like under his tree.

“The Life Application Study Bible has been such a blessing in my life. Not only did I have the privilege of providing this life-changing Bible to thousands of people when I served in retail stores, but I also recently had the honor of working on the team that published the new ‘Third Edition.’ I just love how I can go anywhere in the Bible, begin reading, and understand how God’s Word really relates to me today. I learn something new every time I pick it up! The notes and features were updated through an amazing collaborative effort between the founding editors and a group of editors across generations which resulted in trustworthy biblical teaching that is incredibly relevant today—regardless of who you are. Also, my eyes appreciate a larger print font size, so the new Large Print Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition, in the handsome brown genuine leather is the forever Bible that I hope to have under my tree this Christmas.”

We are so thankful that the most precious gift given to the world wasn’t wrapped in beautiful gift wrap and placed under a tree. It was a baby placed in a lowly manger who was himself the Word become human.

“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” John 1:14, NLT

What the Lord Sees

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” 1 Samuel 16:7, NLT

Note from the Life Application Study Bible

Saul was tall and handsome—an impressive-looking man. Samuel may have been trying to find someone who looked like Saul to be Israel’s next king, but God warned him against judging by appearance. When people judge by outward appearance, they may overlook quality individuals who lack the particular physical qualities society currently admires. But appearance doesn’t reveal what people are really like or what their true value is.

Fortunately, God judges by faith and character, not appearance. And because only God can see what’s on the inside, only he can accurately judge people. Most people spend hours each week maintaining their outward appearance; they should do even more to develop their inner character. While everyone can see your face, only you and God know what your heart really looks like. What steps are you taking to improve the attractiveness of your heart in God’s eyes?

Learn more about the Life Application Study Bible

Finding and Living a New Life

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT

Raised in a home of drug addicts, Tim Nickels saw getting high as just part of the daily routine. He remembers the first time he realized his homelife was different from that of other families.

“When I was in first grade, my dad got high with my teacher. When I told my friends, my teacher was fired. My dad told me that I couldn’t talk about it and that our lifestyle was a secret. Even at that young age, I started to realize that something was wrong.”

But Tim didn’t heed that warning in his heart. He followed in his dad’s footsteps and started living in addiction. But although he was chained to drugs and alcohol, he had the desire to break free, and he tried numerous times on his own to get clean and start over.

During one fitful night, he had a dream about hell that shook him to his core. He woke up sweating and crying. A new craving started to overtake him—a craving for a relationship with Christ. He desperately wanted to know about him, so he turned to a King James Version Bible that was sitting on a shelf in his house.

“I got so frustrated that I couldn’t understand it,” remembers Tim. “But then a woman gave me a Life Application Study Bible, and it blew me away. It was like a whole new world had been opened up to me. A Bible translation I could understand, and then notes, books introductions, commentary—I just devoured it! I couldn’t get enough.”

After pouring over the Bible, he knew that he needed to get involved in a church. He found a local congregation and attended a service where an evangelist was preaching.

Tim’s son was dedicated by the pastor who helped him find new life in Christ

“I surrendered right there to Jesus, and he took away my desire for drugs and alcohol. I had tried over and over again on my own, but it was only in Jesus that I found true freedom. Twenty-five years later, I’m still free.”

Tim continued to read his Life Application Study Bible and was drawn to 1 Samuel 16:7: “People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

“This spoke to me,” Tim recalls. “God can use anyone if they are willing.”

God was about to make his plan very clear to Tim.

“My pastor told me that he thought God was calling me to be a pastor. Me? I was so scared. I thought, I can’t do this! But I followed his will for my life, and I am so thankful!” Now Tim has been a pastor for over twenty years, and he currently leads a church in Kentucky.

Tim’s love of the Bible has continued to grow. He even has a YouTube channel where he reviews Bibles. Though he reads lots of translations, he has a special place in his heart for the New Living Translation.

“It is definitely one of my top recommendations for anyone who is struggling to understand the Bible,” says Tim. “And yes, I recommend the Life Application Study Bible to many who are trying to understand how to live out what the Bible says. I am an example of how God can use any of us if we submit to him and keep our eyes focused on him.”

Learn more about the Life Application Study Bible

Anger and Vengeance in the Psalms

Arise, O Lord! Punish the wicked, O God! Do not ignore the helpless! Why do the wicked get away with despising God? They think, ‘God will never call us to account.’ But you see the trouble and grief they cause. You take note of it and punish them. The helpless put their trust in you. You defend the orphans.” Psalm 10:12-14, NLT

Article from the Life Application Study Bible

Several psalms shock those familiar with New Testament teachings. The psalmists didn’t hesitate to demand God’s justice and make vivid suggestions on how he might carry it out. Apparently, no subject was unsuitable for discussion with God, but our tendency is to avoid the subjects of anger and vengeance in the book of Psalms.

To understand the psalm writers’ words of anger and vengeance, we need to understand several things:

(1) The judgments asked for were to be carried out by God and were written out of intense personal and national suffering. The people were unable or unwilling to take revenge themselves and were asking God to intervene. Because few of us have suffered intense cruelty on a personal or national level, we find it difficult to grasp these outbursts.

(2) These writers were intimately aware of God’s justice. Some of their words were efforts to vividly imagine what God might allow to happen to those who had harmed his people.

(3) If we dared to write down our thoughts while being unjustly attacked or suffering cruelty, we might be shocked at our own bold desire for vengeance. We would be surprised at how much we have in common with these writers of old. The psalmists did not have Jesus’ command to pray for one’s enemies, but they did point to the right place to start. We are challenged to pay back good for evil, but until we respond to this challenge, we will not know how much we need God’s help in order to forgive others.

(4) There is a helpful parallel between the psalms of anger and the psalms of vengeance. The “angry” psalms are intense and graphic, but they are directed at God. He is boldly told how disappointing it is when he turns his back on his people or acts too slowly. But while these thoughts and feelings were sincerely expressed, we know from the psalms themselves that these passing feelings were followed by renewed confidence in God’s faithfulness. It is reasonable to expect the same of the “vengeance” psalms. We read, for example, David’s angry outburst against Saul’s pursuit in Psalm 59, yet we know that David never took personal revenge on Saul. The psalmists freely spoke their minds to God, having confidence that he could sort out what was meant and what was felt. Pray with that same confidence—God can be trusted with your heart.

Selected psalms that emphasize these themes are 10, 28, 35, 59, 69, 109, 137, 139, and 140.

Learn more about the Life Application Study Bible

God Uses Unexpected People Reading Plan Day 1

“Then Abraham bowed down to the ground, but he laughed to himself in disbelief. ‘How could I become a father at the age of 100’ he thought. ‘And how can Sarah have a baby when she is ninety years old?’ So Abraham said to God, ‘May Ishmael live under your special blessing!’

But God replied, ‘No—Sarah, your wife, will give birth to a son for you. You will name him Isaac, and I will confirm my covenant with him and his descendants as an everlasting covenant.'” Genesis 17:17-19, NLT

Sarah Personality Profile from the Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition

There probably isn’t anything harder to do than wait, whether we are expecting something good, something bad, or an unknown.

One way we often cope with a long wait (or even a short one) is to try to help God get his plan into action. Sarah tried this approach. She was too old to expect to have a child of her own, so she thought God must have something else in mind. From Sarah’s limited point of view, this could only be to give Abraham a son through another woman—a common practice in her day. The plan seemed harmless enough. Abraham would sleep with Sarah’s servant, who would then give birth to a child. Sarah would take the child as her own. The plan worked beautifully—at first. But as you read about the events that followed, you will be struck by how often Sarah must have regretted the day she decided to push God’s timetable ahead.

Another way we cope with a long wait is to gradually conclude that what we’re waiting for is never going to happen. Sarah waited until she was 90 for a baby! When God told her she would finally have one of her own, she laughed in disbelief, not so much from a lack of faith in what God could do, but from doubt about what he could do through her. And when she was confronted about her laughter, she lied—as she had seen her husband do from time to time. She probably didn’t want her true feelings to be known.

What parts of your life seem to be on hold right now? Do you understand that this may be part of God’s plan for you? God may give us something else to do while we wait. But sometimes what we need to do is trust God, pray for patience, and wait for his perfect timing.

Learn more about the Life Application Study Bible

God Loves You Reading Plan Day 7

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.” Ephesians 3:3-8, NLT

Notes from the Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition

Paul emphasizes that God chose us to make the point that salvation depends totally on God. We are saved not because we deserve it but because God graciously and freely gives us salvation. Our wisdom or good behavior does not influence God’s decision to save us; in his mercy, he has saved us according to his plan. Thus, we cannot take credit for our salvation or take pride in making the right decision. The mystery of salvation originated in the timeless mind of God long before we existed. It baffles us why God would accept us. But Christ, by his sacrifice, makes us holy and blameless in his sight. If we are in Christ, God looks at us as if we have never sinned. All we can do is express our thanks for his wonderful love.

That God “decided in advance to adopt us” is another way of saying that salvation is God’s work and not our own doing. In his infinite love, God has adopted us as his own children. Through Jesus’ sacrifice, he has brought us into his family and made us heirs along with Jesus (Romans 8:17). He did this on purpose for his own pleasure (Luke 12:32).

In Roman law, adopted children had the same rights and privileges as biological children, even if they had been slaves. (For more on the meaning of adoption, see Galatians 4:5-7.) Paul uses this language to show how strongly we are related to God through Christ and how strongly God desires a relationship with us. Have you entered into this loving bond with him

God has showered his kindness—his grace—on us. This is his voluntary and loving favor given to those he saves. We can’t earn salvation, nor do we deserve it. No religious, intellectual, or moral effort can gain it, because it comes only from God’s mercy and love. Without God’s grace, no person can be saved. To receive God’s salvation, we must acknowledge that we cannot save ourselves; only God can save us. We can receive this loving favor by believing in and uniting with Christ. Imagine that you are trying to go on an ocean voyage but have no passport, money, or credit cards—and then Jesus comes along to pay your way so you can travel in first class. This is a small illustration of how lavishly and freely he gives his grace to each of us.

Look inside the Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition

Where is God in Suffering? Day 7

“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.

In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.” 1 Peter 5:6-10, NLT

Notes from the Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition

We often worry about position and status, hoping to get proper recognition for what we do. But Peter advises us to remember that God’s recognition counts more than human praise. God is able and willing to bless us according to his timing. Humbly obey God regardless of your present circumstances, and in his good time—either in this life or in the next—he will honor you.

Carrying our worries, stresses, and daily struggles by ourselves shows that we have not trusted God fully with our lives. Humility is needed, however, to recognize that God cares, to admit our needs, and to let others in God’s family help us. Sometimes we think that struggles caused by our own sin and foolishness are not God’s concern. But when we turn to God in repentance, he will bear the weight even of those struggles. Letting God carry our anxieties calls for action, not passivity. Don’t submit to circumstances; submit to the Lord, who controls circumstances.

Lions attack sick, young, or straggling animals; they choose victims who are alone or not alert. Peter warns us to watch out for Satan when we are suffering or being persecuted. When you are feeling alone, weak, helpless, and cut off from other believers, or when you are so focused on your troubles that you forget to watch for danger, you are especially vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. During times of suffering, seek other Christians for support. Keep your eyes on Christ, and resist the devil. Then, says James, “he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

When we are suffering, we often feel as though our pain will never end. Peter gave these faithful Christians a broader perspective. In comparison with eternity, their suffering would last only “a little while.” Some of Peter’s readers would be strengthened and delivered in their own lifetimes. Others would be released from their suffering through death. All of God’s faithful followers are assured of an eternal life with Christ, where there will be no suffering (Revelation 21:4).

Look inside the Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition. Now, available in Large Print and Personal Size.

Be an Example

“Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:11-12, NLT

Notes from the Life Application Study Bible

Timothy was a young pastor. It would have been easy for older Christians to look down on him because of his youth. He had to earn the respect of his elders by setting an example in his speech, life, love, faith, and purity. Regardless of your age, God can use you. Whether you are young or old, don’t think of your age as a handicap. Live so others can see Christ in you.

Apparently Timothy needed some encouragement. Most likely, so do you and others around you. Each day we have opportunities to support and inspire family members, fellow workers, friends, neighbors, pastors, and even total strangers. People need help and affirmation in their daily lives. Paul modeled five important principles to help us encourage others:

  1. Begin with positive statements. People who know we will speak kindly to them will be happy to work with us.
  2. Develop expectations of others with consideration for their skills, maturity, and experience. People will reject or fail to meet expectations that do not fit them. Be patient with distracted or slow learners.
  3. Monitor your expectations of others. Changing circumstances sometimes require revised or reduced expectations.
  4. Clarify your expectations with others. People are not likely to hit a target that no one has identified.
  5. End with a statement of gratitude. People love to be thanked for a job well done.

See the Personality Profile of Timothy from the Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition

The Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition, is available in Personal Size, Full Size, and Large Print. Learn more

The Unlikely Beginnings of the #1–Selling Life Application Study Bible

by Molly Jo Nyman, freelance writer

It started with dissatisfaction.

Notes written by Bible scholars in Ron Beers’s study Bible were full of facts but left 25-year-old Ron uninspired.

“All the notes were information,” Ron recalls. “In Genesis 41, I learned that ‘all the Egyptians were clean shaven, so it was important that Joseph appear that way in the presence of Pharaoh.’ Well, that’s interesting but . . . so what?”

With gifted storyteller and author V. Gilbert Beers as his father, Ron was used to being inspired. Family meals were served with Bible stories so engaging that no one zoned out. His young life was rich with experiences that helped him lean in and expect the Bible to connect to everyday life.

Ron had an unusual response to his dissatisfaction: He studied his study Bible.

And his discovery was startling.

After a thorough review of the study Bible he owned, along with a few others, Ron found zero help in connecting daily struggles and needs with the wisdom of Scripture. No notes on how to deal with worry, priorities, doubts, or relational conflict. Not one connection to personal application.

He began to wonder if there could be a study Bible that was more helpful. He thought about what it might look like. Then he became convinced that a completely new and different kind of study Bible was needed.

This new kind of study Bible would continue to provide accurate information, but it would also connect to inspiration. It would help people not just to know but also to do so that they could experience the transformative power of God’s Word. It would connect the dots.

As luck—or rather God—would have it, Ron was working at the national headquarters of Youth for Christ in Illinois on new product development (primarily books). It was a front row seat not only to see the need for an application-oriented study Bible but also to observe the approaches—what worked and what didn’t in helping people connect God’s Word to everyday life.

Youth for Christ was passionate about reaching young people with the gospel and helping them become “lifelong followers of Jesus who lead by their Godliness in lifestyle . . .” (as quoted in their mission statement). And in the mid-1980s, youth ministry was thriving with hundreds of high school kids showing up for club meetings.

With crazy crowd breakers and hilarious games, meetings were fun but also focused on felt needs and common youth issues. Topics like loneliness or fear were opportunities to show kids that Jesus cared about them personally and how his Word could actually help them.

When the Bible was taught, the focus wasn’t on Bible literacy, cultural context, and historical facts. It was focused on the exact thing Ron wanted this newfangled study Bible to do.

“All around us people were asking, ‘If God really cares about me and my daily life, my community, my nation, my world, then shouldn’t the Bible put forth a clearer blueprint for how to navigate daily challenges? Shouldn’t its transformative power be more obvious?’ That’s what we wanted to get at,” recalls Ron.

“Because when people see how amazingly relevant the Bible is to any issue they’re facing, they’ll hunger and thirst to devour the Scriptures, deepening their relationship with God and transforming their relationships with others.”

Ron brought the idea of an application-oriented study Bible for high school students to his boss, Bruce Barton, vice president of the ministry service division and the force behind Youth for Christ’s new publishing emphasis at the time, and he also shared it with others.

According to Jim Galvin, Youth for Christ’s national training director at the time, the idea germinated and grew as most new ideas do—with a little bit of conflict and bashing.

“We would meet to brainstorm products for Youth for Christ, and Ron kept bringing [the idea for a youth application study Bible] up. I was the most vocal against it,” Galvin said. “High school students didn’t use study Bibles. We worked with high school students; we knew them. And they never, ever open a study Bible.”

But that didn’t stop Ron from continuing to bring it up. So to squash the idea, Galvin wrote a detailed memo.

“It basically said, if we’re going to do a study Bible for high school kids, it has to be done right, and it has to include profiles of Bible people, charts, a Bible outline, study notes, and a whole bunch of features,” Galvin recalled. “I was hoping Ron and others would say, ‘This is way too much work. High school kids wouldn’t use this product, anyway.’

“Talk about backfiring. When Ron got the memo, his reaction was, ‘Now that’s what I’m talking about!’”

Fun fact: Notes and feature in your Life Application Study Bible were written, revised, and reviewed by writers, editors, and scholars at least 17 times. As the story of its creation is told, you can trust its guidance even more.

The Life Application Study Bible is now available in Personal Size, Full Size, and Large Print. Learn more

God’s Hand of Healing: Day 1

“When Isaac grew up and was about to be weaned, Abraham prepared a huge feast to celebrate the occasion. But Sarah saw Ishmael—the son of Abraham and her Egyptian servant Hagar—making fun of her son, Isaac. So she turned to Abraham and demanded, ‘Get rid of that slave woman and her son. He is not going to share the inheritance with my son, Isaac. I won’t have it!’

This upset Abraham very much because Ishmael was his son. But God told Abraham, ‘Do not be upset over the boy and your servant. Do whatever Sarah tells you, for Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted. But I will also make a nation of the descendants of Hagar’s son because he is your son, too.’

So Abraham got up early the next morning, prepared food and a container of water, and strapped them on Hagar’s shoulders. Then he sent her away with their son, and she wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba.

When the water was gone, she put the boy in the shade of a bush. Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yards away. ‘I don’t want to watch the boy die,’ she said, as she burst into tears.

But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, ‘Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.’

Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink.

And God was with the boy as he grew up in the wilderness. He became a skillful archer, and he settled in the wilderness of Paran. His mother arranged for him to marry a woman from the land of Egypt.” Genesis 21:8-21, NLT

Hagar Personality Profile from the Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition

Escape of some kind is often the most tempting solution to our problems. Hagar was a person who used that approach. When the going got tough, she got going—in the other direction.

However, it is worthwhile to note that the biggest challenges Hagar faced were brought on by other people’s choices. Sarah chose her to bear Abraham’s child, and Hagar probably had little say in the matter.

It isn’t hard to understand how Hagar’s pregnancy caused her to look down on Sarah. But that brought on hard feelings, and Sarah consequently punished Hagar. This motivated her first escape. When she returned to the family and gave birth to Ishmael, Sarah’s continued infertility must have contributed to bitterness on both sides.

When Isaac was finally born, Sarah looked for any excuse to have Hagar and Ishmael sent away. She found it when she caught Ishmael teasing Isaac. In the wilderness, out of water and facing the death of her son, Hagar once again tried to escape. She walked away so she wouldn’t have to watch her son die. Once again, God graciously intervened.

Have you noticed how patiently God operates to make our escape attempts fail? Have you begun to learn that escape is only a temporary solution? God’s continual desire is for us to face our problems with his help. We experience his help most clearly in and through conflicts and difficulties, not away from them. Are there problems in your life for which you’ve been using the “Hagar solution”? Choose one of those problems, ask for God’s help, and begin to face it today.

Take a look inside the Life Application Study Bible