Month: January 2011

Abraham is tested by God (Genesis 22:1 – 22:19)

God called out to Abraham commanding he take his son Isaac to the region of Moriah and sacrifice him as a burnt offering. Following God’s instructions, Abraham cut wood for the offering and the following morning, loaded his donkey and took two servants and Isaac with him to the location of the sacrifice. After three days, they reached their destination. Pointing to the mountain in Moriah that God had led them to, Abraham told his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while Isaac and I worship over there. We will then come back to you.” While carrying the wood up the mountain, Isaac asked his father, “The fire and wood are here but where is the lamb for the burnt offering? Abraham answered, “God will provide the lamb

Abraham signs a treaty with Abimelech (Genesis 21:22 – 21:34)

Abimelek (also spelled Abimelech) and his military commander Phicol (who acted as a witness to the events that unfolded) approached Abraham and asked that he swear to an oath, or truce of sorts, promising that they will deal faithfully with each other. Abraham agreed with Abimelek but mentioned his dissatisfaction that a well had been closed off to him by Abimelek’s servants. Abimelek responded that he had known nothing about the incident. Talking points out of the way, the two men formed a treaty. Abraham gave Abimelek gifts of cattle and sheep and Abraham was given access to the well. Afterward, Abraham planted a tamarisk tree (or grove of trees) in the area signifying his intent to stay in the land of the Philistines for an

The Birth of Isaac and Hagar sent away (Genesis 21:1 – 21:21)

  Abraham’s wife, Sarah, felt that at her advanced age, she could have no children so as was tradition for the time, she gave her handmaid, Hagar, to Abraham to conceive a son. Ultimately, Abraham and Hagar had a son that they named Ishmael. Unexpectedly, but as promised, God gave Abraham, who was 100 years old at the time, and Sarah a child. An elated Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” Abraham and Sarah named their child Isaac, which means “to laugh”. On the day that Isaac was to be weaned, they held a great party to celebrate the event. During the party, Sarah saw Ishmael, who was about 16 years old, mocking Isaac. This concerned Sarah so

Abraham tells king Abimelech that Sarah is his sister (Genesis 20:1 – 20:18)

Abraham moved his family, likely in search of better pastures for his herds, to Negev (located between Kadesh and Shur). From Negev he moved to Gerar where he lived for quite some time. Once again, Abraham and Sarah (his wife) told everyone that Sarah was his sister (see here for the first time he told this lie). Abimelech (uh-BIM-uh-lek), given his role as the king of Gerar (geh-RAHR), had the privilege to select whichever woman he wished to add to his collection of wives. Abimelech, thinking that Sarah was not married (because Abraham had told everyone she was his sister), sent for her to add to his concubine. After some time, God spoke to Abimelech in a dream. God told Abimelech that he was sentenced to

Lot’s incestuous relationship with his daughters (Genesis 19:30 – 19:38)

Lot’s daughters conspire to sleep with him Before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot was allowed to take his two daughters to the nearby city of Zoar (ZOH-uhr). The Bible does not specify why Lot was afraid to live in Zoar but rather than live in the city, Lot fled to the mountains instead where he and his two daughters lived in a cave. Lot’s oldest daughter came up with an idea that she presented to her younger sister. She reminded her younger sister that they were still childless and there were no other men around for the sisters to have sex with. She noted that their father was getting old and suggested to the younger sister, that they give Lot wine to make him drunk

The Destruction of Sodom of Gomorrah (Gen 18:16 – 19:29)

The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah Abraham had just finished visiting with God and two angels. God knew Abraham was becoming a great nation with his people doing what was just and right but God knew that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were very evil. God decided to send the two angels into the cities too gauge how wicked the city’s inhabitants had become. Abraham’s brother, Lot, lived in the city and this must have concerned Abraham. As they waited, Abraham asked God if he would destroy the good people with the bad people and asked God if he would spare the city if there were 50 good people there. God agreed that he would spare the city if 50 decent people could be found. Then

God tells Sarah she will have a son (Genesis 18:1 – 18:15)

God tells Sarah she will have a son Abraham was sitting outside at the entrance to his tent when he saw three men standing nearby.  He recognized the three men as God and two of his angels.  Abraham rushed to meet them and asked them if they would like to stay and eat.  He asked Sarah to make some bread while he gathered some of the best meat from the herd to serve to his guests. God asked Abraham where Sarah was.  Abraham told him that Sarah was inside the tent.  God reiterated that he would return within a year and Sarah would have a son. Sarah, who was listening at the entrance to the tent, heard God tell Abraham that she would have a son within a

Abraham gets a new name (Genesis 17:1 – 17:27)

Abraham's new name Still childless, Abram and Sarai were getting old when God reiterated his promise to Abram that he would be the father of many nations.  God cemented the deal when he told Abram that he would no longer be called Abram but henceforth, would be called Abraham, a new name that was fitting.  Abraham means “father of a multitude”.  God also told Abraham that Sarai’s name would be changed to Sarah and foretold that he would bless Sarah and she would have a son. Abraham laughed because he was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old.  Feeling that he was too old to have children and that his servant, Ishmael, would therefore inherit everything he owned, Abraham told God, “why not just settle

Hagar and the birth of Ishmael – Hagar flees Abraham’s home and is instructed to return (Genesis 16:1 – 16:16)

Hagar and Ishmael Sarai (Suhr-eye), Abraham’s wife, had not yet had a son as God had promised.  Sarai was getting old and feeling anxious that she may never have a child.  Sarai had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar (Hay-gar).  Abraham and Sarai obtained Hagar during their travels to Egypt.  Sarai suggested to Abraham that he take Hagar as his wife so she could give Abraham a child.  Abraham agreed.  Saria’s idea worked.   Hagar became pregnant. Hagar knew, as the customs of the day dictated, that any child born to her would be adopted by Sarai as her own son.  Hagar became jealous and began to act badly towards Sarai.    Sarai complained to Abraham about Hagar’s disrespectful behavior.  Abraham pointed out that Sarai was Hagar’s boss and that

God’s makes a covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15:1 – 15:21)

The story of God's covenant with Abram After Abraham returned from Egypt a rich man, God spoke to Abraham in a vision.  God told Abraham, “Do not be afraid, I am your shield and your very great reward” meaning, “don’t fret, I will bless you and protect you.” Referring to God’s earlier promise to give Abraham all the land as far as the eye could see, Abraham asked God, “How can you promise to give this land to all of my children when I have no children to give all of my possessions to?  Without any children, everything I own will go to my servant.” God countered, “Your servant will not gain your inheritance.  You will have a son that will inherit everything that you own.”  God further