Ever been on a walk or hike and realized that you were going the wrong way and had to face the decision of turning around and getting back on track or going forward in hopes of getting back on track? The devil tries to trick us into thinking that if we keep going the wrong way and dealing with the pain and consequences that if we keep going, we will eventually get back on track! No family is perfect, even Jesus’ earthly family when you read through His family tree and all that they had gone through weren’t perfect. So today as we prepare for this day, let’s choose to be humble enough to admit it when we make a mistake and ask for forgiveness! Let’s choose to trust God and humbly turn back to Him and get back on track! Let’s decide that we will live Christ-centered lives today!
- Genesis 20
- Genesis 21
- Genesis 22
Ever deceived or been deceived by someone you thought had a good character? Was it out of fear rather than just trusting God?
- The story of Abraham and Abimelech and how Abraham Deceives Abimelech
- ‘Abraham moved south to the Negev and lived for a while between Kadesh and Shur, and then he moved on to Gerar. While living there as a foreigner, Abraham introduced his wife, Sarah, by saying, “She is my sister.” So King Abimelech of Gerar sent for Sarah and had her brought to him at his palace. But that night God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him, “You are a dead man, for that woman you have taken is already married!” But Abimelech had not slept with her yet, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? Didn’t Abraham tell me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘Yes, he is my brother.’ I acted in complete innocence! My hands are clean.” In the dream God responded, “Yes, I know you are innocent. That’s why I kept you from sinning against me, and why I did not let you touch her. Now return the woman to her husband, and he will pray for you, for he is a prophet. Then you will live. But if you don’t return her to him, you can be sure that you and all your people will die.” Abimelech got up early the next morning and quickly called all his servants together. When he told them what had happened, his men were terrified. Then Abimelech called for Abraham. “What have you done to us?” he demanded. “What crime have I committed that deserves treatment like this, making me and my kingdom guilty of this great sin? No one should ever do what you have done! Whatever possessed you to do such a thing?” Abraham replied, “I thought, ‘This is a godless place. They will want my wife and will kill me to get her.’ And she really is my sister, for we both have the same father, but different mothers. And I married her. When God called me to leave my father’s home and to travel from place to place, I told her, ‘Do me a favor. Wherever we go, tell the people that I am your brother.’” Then Abimelech took some of his sheep and goats, cattle, and male and female servants, and he presented them to Abraham. He also returned his wife, Sarah, to him. Then Abimelech said, “Look over my land and choose any place where you would like to live.” And he said to Sarah, “Look, I am giving your ‘brother’ 1,000 pieces of silver in the presence of all these witnesses. This is to compensate you for any wrong I may have done to you. This will settle any claim against me, and your reputation is cleared.” Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants, so they could have children. For the Lord had caused all the women to be infertile because of what happened with Abraham’s wife, Sarah.’ Genesis 20:1-18
Ever received a promise from God? Ever shared that promise story with others? Do you remember the day it came to be?
- The Birth of Isaac
- ‘The Lord kept his word and did for Sarah exactly what he had promised. She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at just the time God had said it would. And Abraham named their son Isaac. Eight days after Isaac was born, Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. And Sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me. Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age!” ‘ Genesis 21:1-7
- Ever seen a promise confirmed and yet a challenge come from it? How did you respond? How would you respond?
- Consider Sarah’s experience and how it impacted thing to the point that Hagar and Ishmael Are Sent Away
- ‘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
- We can trust God, even in the midst of the pain and crying. Trust and lean in on God!
- Will you ask God before making promises? Will you answer requests when others approach you in fear without checking with God first? Do you realize the repercussions?
- Abraham’s Covenant with Abimelech
- ‘About this time, Abimelech came with Phicol, his army commander, to visit Abraham. “God is obviously with you, helping you in everything you do,” Abimelech said. “Swear to me in God’s name that you will never deceive me, my children, or any of my descendants. I have been loyal to you, so now swear that you will be loyal to me and to this country where you are living as a foreigner.” Abraham replied, “Yes, I swear to it!” Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well that Abimelech’s servants had taken by force from Abraham’s servants. “This is the first I’ve heard of it,” Abimelech answered. “I have no idea who is responsible. You have never complained about this before.” Abraham then gave some of his sheep, goats, and cattle to Abimelech, and they made a treaty. But Abraham also took seven additional female lambs and set them off by themselves. Abimelech asked, “Why have you set these seven apart from the others?” Abraham replied, “Please accept these seven lambs to show your agreement that I dug this well.” Then he named the place Beersheba (which means “well of the oath”), because that was where they had sworn the oath. After making their covenant at Beersheba, Abimelech left with Phicol, the commander of his army, and they returned home to the land of the Philistines. Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he worshiped the Lord, the Eternal God. And Abraham lived as a foreigner in Philistine country for a long time.’ Genesis 21:22-34
Do you believe? Do you trust? Have you ever had your belief and trust in God challenged? How did you do? Do you trust God enough to do what He says He can do? Do you trust God will provide?
- Abraham’s Faith Tested
- ‘Some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith. “Abraham!” God called. “Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.” “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.” The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. “Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.” So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them walked on together, Isaac turned to Abraham and said, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?” “God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together. When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!” “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.” Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” Then the angel of the Lord called again to Abraham from heaven. “This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.” Then they returned to the servants and traveled back to Beersheba, where Abraham continued to live. Soon after this, Abraham heard that Milcah, his brother Nahor’s wife, had borne Nahor eight sons. The oldest was named Uz, the next oldest was Buz, followed by Kemuel (the ancestor of the Arameans), Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel. (Bethuel became the father of Rebekah.) In addition to these eight sons from Milcah, Nahor had four other children from his concubine Reumah. Their names were Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.’ Genesis 22:1-24
For 2023 I am returning to the pattern of reading through the Bible in a Year and as such will use it as my source for the upcoming year of BeTheDads.com devotionals.
Did you read something today that felt like a new revelation? Would you be willing to leave a comment or question? Are you walking your life with God? Have you made the decision to invite Jesus into your life so that you can have the divide covered? Have you invited Jesus to be Your Lord and Savior, paying the ultimate price to cover the original sin for we have all missed the mark, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and we all need Jesus, our Lord and Savior to help us be forgiven and reconciled back to God! Could today be your day? Let’s pray: