Skip to main content

Genesis 20-21:8 #eebc2018

Abraham's on the road again in this chapter, which has to fit tightly between the promise given in Genesis 18 and the closing events here with the birth of Isaac. After all, along with the promise, Abraham was circumcised, and the promise was that the promised son would come within about a year. So you've got just a few months that this could happen during.

Abraham travels to the Negev, which is the wilderness just outside of the more fertile areas of the Promised Land. And there, he replays his behavior from Egypt earlier in the story (see Genesis 12:10-20). God again protects both Abraham and Sarah, though Abraham again puts them at risk with his choices.

God, however, protects them despite the repeat offense. He defends Sarah and her honor, and through this His promise is protected. What do we do with this story?

First, we take note that Abraham's new name does not make him perfect. His covenant with God still relies on God's grace, because he still struggles with the same fear-motivated sins from earlier in his life. That's good news for any of us repeaters, is not? Not that we should take this as an excuse not to change our behaviors, but that we can take it as evidence of grace.

And, honestly, if you get into sin every time you travel, maybe you should rethink your decision-making paradigm about travel?

Second, we can see the faithfulness of God. God made a promise. It will be held by the power of God, not the faithfulness (or lack thereof) of a man. God's promises are delivered by Him.

Third, we can see one other thing that should alarm us: all of Abimelech's household fell under judgment because of one sin.

The section wraps up with the birth of Isaac and his subsequent circumcision. We are reminded that Abraham was 100 years old at the time, and that Sarah and Abraham knew just how impossible this was without God's intervention. The reading pauses here, with the feast for the weaning of Isaac.

Trouble, though, waits around the corner.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Abraham Lincoln Quoted by Jesus! Mark 3

Mark records a curious event in his third chapter (link). If you look at Mark 3:25, you'll see that Jesus quotes the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After all, one of the highlights of the Lincoln years is his famous speech regarding slavery in the United States where he used the phrase that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech was given in 1858 when he accepted the nomination to run against Stephen A. Douglas for Senate, but is still remembered as the defining speech regarding slaveholding in the United States. I recall being taught in school how brilliant and groundbreaking the speech was, how Lincoln had used such wise words to convey his thought. Yet the idea was not original to Lincoln. Rather, it was embedded in Lincoln from his time reading the Bible. Now, I have read varying reports about Lincoln's personal religious beliefs: some place him as a nearly completely committed Christian while others have him somewh…

Independence Day 2017

I don’t know if Thomas Paine will be aggrieved that I paste his thoughts from Common Sense here, from the electronic edition. It’s a Public Domain work at this point, so hopefully none will be bothered that I am not paying for it...I think there is value in seeing the underlying reasons of Independence. I find a couple of things noteworthy in his introduction:First, he speaks of those who disagree and, while calling those out, holds the strength of his affirmative argument will be enough to straighten them out. We could do well to think more like that.Second, his final sentence should be a required view: the influence of reason and principle. Not self-interest masquerading as principle. Not party propaganda disguised as reason.That being said, not everything Paine said is right. If he and I lived at the same time, we’d argue religion over a great deal. However, the idea of “natural rights of man” follows from the idea of humanity as a special creation—that all are created equal and en…