Reading 6

Ch.16

So God promised Abram that he and Sarai would have a son, and that Abram would be the father of Many nations, and that his descendants would inherit all the land that God had showed him.  

Now some time had passed since God’s promise to Abram, and they still had no son, And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

This is clearly a bad idea, but take note, it was Sarai’s bad idea.  So, Abram goes ahead and marries Sarai’s Egyptian servant, Hagar, and she conceives a child.  

And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the Lord judge between you and me!”

But Abram, not being a very strong spiritual leader in the home, … said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her. 

So, while Hagar was heading back to Egypt, 

The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.”

So, why would God want her to go back into a situation where she was being mistreated?  Well, notice that God had a blessing planned for Hagar and her son.  

 10 The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” 11 And the angel of the Lord said to her, “Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has listened to your affliction.

Hagar replied, “You —God of seeing… Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”

So, Hagar returns, Ishmael is born and Abram is now 86 years old.  

Ch.17

Thirteen more years go by, and when Abram is ninety-nine years old, God appears again to Abram, and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.”

God reiterates His promise to Abram, He establishes circumcision as the keeping of God’s covenant, and God changes Abram’s name to Abraham.

The word Abram means, “Exalted Father.”  His very name would have been a painful reminder that he had no children.  It may have even felt like a mockery.  And now, having only one child, at the age of ninety-nine, God changed his name to Abraham, meaning “Father of a multitude.”  

God also changed Sarai’s name to Sarah.  Sarai = “Princess.”  Sarah = “Nobel-woman.”  And regarding Sarah, God said, 16 I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”

17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” 19 God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.”

Ch.18

A short time later, Abraham is at his tent door, and he notices three men approaching his compound.  Somehow, he knows that one of these men is really the Lord.  So, he invited them to stay for a meal, and they agree.

10 The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him

12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord?At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 

And as they were leaving, the Lord said to Abraham, 20 … “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.

The Lord does not tell Abraham that He plans to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, but Abraham, aware of their sinfulness, knows that judgement is due.  So, Abraham intercedes for Sodom, asking the Lord,  23 …“Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?  So, after Abraham’s intercession, the Lord agrees, that if there are even ten righteous people in the entire city, He will not destroy it.  

Notice God’s willingness to be merciful to the wicked, based both on the intercession of the righteous, as well as the presence of the righteous.  Have you ever thought that America was due for God’s judgement?  Perhaps it’s being delayed due to the intercession of the righteous. And the presence of His Church.  Continue to pray for America.

John Ch.11

Lazarus dies, and Jesus raises him from the dead

Many of Jews who had seen Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead  45 … believed in him, 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. 50 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death. 

But not Jesus only, in Ch.12 we see that they also want to kill Lazarus as well.  

And in v.12, Jesus enters Jerusalem, to the praise of a multitude, 

13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”

Later, indicating that He would be put to death by crucifixion, Jesus said, 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

And in v.44,  44  Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”

God made promises to Abram and Sarai, and kept His word.

He made promises to Hagar, and kept His word.

He promised to send the Messiah, the Savior of the world, and He kept His word.

He promised that if He be lifted up, He would draw all people to Himself, that all who trust in Him as God and Savior will be saved, and He will keep His word.

Do you want truth, do you want promises that will be kept, read and believe God’s word.  

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~ by James M. Winslow on 2022/03/09.

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