Skip to main content

Genesis 25:1-18 #eebc2018

Today's reading is short, and it mostly deals with some events that we don't spend much time on in churches. I grew up in church and I know I read these verses, but I was in college before I really grasped that Abraham married someone after Sarah's death.

He did, though, and her name was Keturah. That's all we really know about her. She had six sons, and one of her descendants is the ancestor of the Midianites. Those folks come back into the story in the Exodus, specifically with Moses.

We also get the wrap-up of Ishmael's story as we find out about his descendants and his lifespan. He lives 137 years. His children and grandchildren settle across the Arabian peninsula, staying close to his family.

What do we learn from this? First, a quick note of the fact that Isaac and Ishmael stayed in close enough contact that they came together to bury Abraham. That's something--there's a time to set aside differences and be family.

Second, we see that God was faithful to His promise to Hagar in the earlier passages. His faithfulness is based on His own character, and there is no casting aside of those who are not the "main" people of the story.

That's probably the best takeaway for most of us: what do we do with those who are not the "big deal" in the world? Realizing also that, honestly, we're probably not the "big deal" either.

How do we treat those folks? Are we willing to honor our commitments even if there is no value for us?

We should be the kind of people who honor our word and care for our neighbor, even if it provides no benefit to us. Let us be that kind of person. Let that inform your politics and social views—like how you approach immigration or safety net programs.

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…

Book: Vindicating the Vixens

Well, if Vindicating the Vixens doesn’t catch your attention as a book title, I’m not sure what would. This volume, edited by Sandra L. Glahn (PhD), provides a look at some of the women of the Bible who are “Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized.” As is frequently the case, I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my review.Let’s take this a stage at a time. First stage: book setup. This is primarily an academic Biblical Studies book. Be prepared to see discussions of Greek and Hebrew words, as appropriate. You’ll also need a handle on the general flow of Biblical narrative, a willingness to look around at history, and the other tools of someone who is truly studying the text. This is no one-day read. It’s a serious study of women in the Bible, specifically those who either faced sexual violence or who have been considered sexually ‘wrong’ across years of study.A quick note: this book is timely, not opportunistic. The length of time to plan, assign, develop, and publish a multi…