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The Schemes of Hagar

The Bible doesn’t mention anything about what Hagar may have done to hurt Abraham or Sarah, except to say that Sarah was despised in her eyes once Hagar became pregnant. If one were to be satisfied with a simple reading of the text, it could lead to the understanding that Hagar was grossly mistreated by her masters. After all, what did she really do but bear Abraham’s child, which is what Sarah wanted in the first place. If there developed a little rivalry between the women, is Hagar to blame for it all, or might some of the rivalry be due to Sarah’s jealousy over Hagar bearing Abraham’s child rather than her? With the understanding that I am deriving something out of the text that offers only meager hints of what may have been, let’s consider what could have occurred. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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The Blessing of Endurance

Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4 – KJV).” I like the way the Message puts it:

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.” (Matthew 5:4 MSG)

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Posted by on July 13, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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Rivalry in Abraham’s Household

I find it interesting that there seems to be parallels between Genesis 21 and the nascent New Testament church. I see the weaning of Isaac (Genesis 21:8) foreshadowing the coming of age of the Grecian believers in Acts 6 & 7. There had been a rivalry between the Jewish authorities and the Apostolic Church, whereby the Jewish authorities exalted their position over that of the disciples. Through prayer the nascent Church (Sarah) was able to discipline the Jewish authorities (Hagar – cp. Galatians 4:25), first by causing the death of Jewish spies (false brethren) who had infiltrated the Church (Acts 5:1-13), and secondly by making the authorities fearful of reprisals from the people (Acts 5:26, 38-39). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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The Laughter of God’s People

Have you ever considered what a blessing laughter is? We laugh at many things, and some folks have even made their living by making us laugh. In my day it was people like Abott and Costello, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope. Sometimes we laugh at things that would ordinarily be sad, but, because of how they occur and to whom they occur, we laugh. We are reminded of such things in movies like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Later humor was directed toward political antics and even matters concerning human sexuality. But, no matter where we look for a laugh, the most wonderful of all occasions for our laughter occurs when we are surprised by and delighted in an event or thing for which we didn’t dare to hope. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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Deception and Truth

Some people believe Abraham was at fault concerning his confrontation with Abimelech in Genesis 20. I’ve even read in commentaries that faithful Abraham wasn’t faithful here, and it is a real tragedy when an unbeliever must chastise a believer for doing wrong (cp. Genesis 20:2, 9-10).[1] Yet, if Abraham is being chastised by the Lord through Abimelech, why did the Lord bless him over what was done (Genesis 20:14-16)? Moreover, why did Isaac do the same thing concerning Rebecca (Genesis 26:7), and God did claim that Abraham would command and teach his children to keep the way of the Lord (Genesis 18:17-19)? What can be said of these things? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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Dwelling Among the gods

Abraham journeyed from the planes or oaks of Mamre, where he had lived 15-20 years, into the more southern parts of the land of Canaan and dwelt at Gerar. The reason for this move is uncertain, but it may have been that his alliance with Mamre had come under stress. It could be that his friend Mamre had died and his sons were not as cordial to Abraham as their father had been. In any case Abraham moved south into the land of Abimelech, king of the Philistines. Abimelech’s name is taken from abi meaning ‘father’ and melech meaning ‘king’. Abimelech may be a title meaning chief king of the Philistines, and since Abraham had lived over 15 years just north of his land, he would have known his reputation, and it was with some apprehension that Abraham chose to dwell there (Genesis 20:11), leading us to believe that Abraham’s move from the planes or oaks of Mamre had more to do with necessity than it did mere choice. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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Worldly Believers and Salvation

Both Abraham and Lot worshiped the same God, but their testimonies are very different. Abraham had the reputation of walking with God, in so far as God called him friend. But Lot’s position was not so exalted. He may have had high hopes of changing Sodom’s wicked direction to one that was more moral, but in the end he had to be “rescued… a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard” – see 2Peter 2:7-8 NIV). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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