Alumni Bible Study

A Bible study initially set up for alumni of the Senior Sunday School Class at the First United Methodist Church of Lufkin, Texas. It is our hope and our prayer that this study touches the hearts of those who participate and helps spread the love and grace of Our Lord and God. All who want to learn more about God are welcome

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Location: lufkin, Texas, United States

I am a Christian family man, Lay Pastor and writer from Deep East Texas. I love life, and I enjoy working with young people. I have published two books; "A Small Mind Among Tall Trees" and "God If You Are Not Too Busy, Can You Give Me a Hand". If you want to obtain a copy drop me an e-mail or go to or barnesand . I have been a salesman, cowman and athlete in my past. I still have a strong sense of humor and am not afraid to use it.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Genesis 24:59-67

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham's servant and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, "Our sister, may you increase to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess the gates of their enemies."
61 Then Rebekah and her maids got ready and mounted their camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
62 Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. 63 He went out to the field one evening to meditate, [
a] and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. 64 Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel 65 and asked the servant, "Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?" "He is my master," the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself.
66 Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. 67 Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
Rebekah showed respect to Isaac when she learned the man coming towards them was her betrothed. She dismounted to show respect and covered her face witha vail to show humility. She then became Isaac’s bride.
When we are called to do God’s work and come in the presence of God, do we show respect? Do we show humility? If we want to show God’s love as God’s-not ours, we need to start. That is our challenge.
Prayer- Lord, let all I do or say be for your glory, not mine. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do today-Read Genesis 25:1-18

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Genesis 24:42-58

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
42 "When I came to the spring today, I said, 'O LORD, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come. 43 See, I am standing beside this spring; if a maiden comes out to draw water and I say to her, "Please let me drink a little water from your jar," 44 and if she says to me, "Drink, and I'll draw water for your camels too," let her be the one the LORD has chosen for my master's son.'
45 "Before I finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came out, with her jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water, and I said to her, 'Please give me a drink.'
46 "She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and said, 'Drink, and I'll water your camels too.' So I drank, and she watered the camels also.
47 "I asked her, 'Whose daughter are you?' "She said, 'The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him.' "Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms, 48 and I bowed down and worshiped the LORD. I praised the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right road to get the granddaughter of my master's brother for his son. 49 Now if you will show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so I may know which way to turn."
50 Laban and Bethuel answered, "This is from the LORD; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. 51 Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master's son, as the LORD has directed."
52 When Abraham's servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the LORD. 53 Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother. 54 Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there. When they got up the next morning, he said, "Send me on my way to my master."
55 But her brother and her mother replied, "Let the girl remain with us ten days or so; then you [
a] may go."
56 But he said to them, "Do not detain me, now that the LORD has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master."
57 Then they said, "Let's call the girl and ask her about it." 58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, "Will you go with this man?" "I will go," she said.
This is a little longer passage than I normally use, but it all flows. There are several things in today’s reading a need to point out.
Abraham’s servant speaks openly about how he prayed to God, and how he worshiped God after he met Rebekah. Many times we are in a similar situation, but instead of telling the world how we ask for God’s assistance, we try to distance ourselves from God. I do not know if it is because we are scared or embarrassed, but either way we do not do God justice. Do not feel ashamed to admit that you are religious, but admit openly that God does great things in our lives.
Rebekah is betrothed to Isaac. Her mother wants her to stay at home for a while to have a smoother transition. Abraham’s servant knows she needs to come with him now. God is calling her, and her response is the one we need to make. When God calls, say "I will go."
Prayer- Lord-Give me the strength to follow you no matter where I am or whom I am with. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do-Read Genesis 24:59-67

Monday, May 29, 2006

Genesis 24:28-41

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
28 The girl ran and told her mother's household about these things. 29 Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he hurried out to the man at the spring. 30 As soon as he had seen the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister's arms, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her, he went out to the man and found him standing by the camels near the spring. 31 "Come, you who are blessed by the LORD," he said. "Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels."
32 So the man went to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and fodder were brought for the camels, and water for him and his men to wash their feet. 33 Then food was set before him, but he said, "I will not eat until I have told you what I have to say." "Then tell us," Laban said.
34 So he said, "I am Abraham's servant. 35 The LORD has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, menservants and maidservants, and camels and donkeys. 36 My master's wife Sarah has borne him a son in her [
a] old age, and he has given him everything he owns. 37 And my master made me swear an oath, and said, 'You must not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live, 38 but go to my father's family and to my own clan, and get a wife for my son.'
39 "Then I asked my master, 'What if the woman will not come back with me?'
40 "He replied, 'The LORD, before whom I have walked, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, so that you can get a wife for my son from my own clan and from my father's family. 41 Then, when you go to my clan, you will be released from my oath even if they refuse to give her to you—you will be released from my oath.'
Laban wanted to protect his sister. When foreign men hanging around wells with donkeys start to "talk" to his sister, he wants to know what’s going on. That is only human. Laban extends hospitality to the traveler, but the servant will not eat until he talks "business" with Laban.
These were the customs of that time and place. God had already prepared Rebekah and her family for this event. The servant of Abraham had faith in his masters God, and did what Abraham asked of him. Sometimes we also know what God wants us to do, but we do not always do it. Instead of following what God instructs us to do, we try to do what we think we should do. That is when we fail. We fail ourselves, our families and we fail God. Sometimes life looks too simple, so we spice it up. When that happens is when life gets bitter, and that is not good.
Prayer-Lord, Help us follow you and do the things we know you would have us do. Give us courage and wisdom. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Genesis 24:10-27

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
10 Then the servant took ten of his master's camels and left, taking with him all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim [

] and made his way to the town of Nahor. 11 He had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water.
12 Then he prayed, "O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. 14 May it be that when I say to a girl, 'Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,' and she says, 'Drink, and I'll water your camels too'-let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master."
15 Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, who was the wife of Abraham's brother Nahor. 16 The girl was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever lain with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again.
17 The servant hurried to meet her and said, "Please give me a little water from your jar."
18 "Drink, my lord," she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink.
19 After she had given him a drink, she said, "I'll draw water for your camels too, until they have finished drinking." 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. 21 Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the LORD had made his journey successful.
22 When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka [
b] and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels. [c] 23 Then he asked, "Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father's house for us to spend the night?"
24 She answered him, "I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milcah bore to Nahor." 25 And she added, "We have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for you to spend the night."
26 Then the man bowed down and worshiped the LORD, 27 saying, "Praise be to the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the LORD has led me on the journey to the house of my master's relatives."
Abraham’s servant prayed for guidance in this important task. He did more than pray for guidance, he specifically prayed for a definite sign. He wanted a wife for Isaac that had a servant’s heart,(inside her body-not in a basket in her room.) He was lucky and God answered quickly, the first girl answered his prayer.
Rebekah was very beautiful, but she also had inner beauty. She was willing to work hard and spend lots of time showing hospitality to a stranger. This was the quality the servant was searching for.
The servant prayed to God, although he was not one of God’s people. Obviously, he acquired this from watching his master Abraham. What do people learn about God from watching you?
Prayer- Lord, Gives us a servants heart. Give us the strength to give more than the minimum, and help us show your love and glory in the things we do. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Things to do - Read Genesis 24:28-38

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Genesis 24:1-9

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Isaac and Rebekah
1 Abraham was now old and well advanced in years, and the LORD had blessed him in every way. 2 He said to the chief [
a] servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, "Put your hand under my thigh. 3 I want you to swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, 4 but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac."
5 The servant asked him, "What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?"
6 "Make sure that you do not take my son back there," Abraham said. 7 "The LORD, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father's household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, 'To your offspring [
b] I will give this land'-he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. 8 If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there." 9 So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.
Abraham wanted Isaac to marry into his own people. This confuses me a little, Abraham was the patriarch of the Hebrew people, so why did it matter if Isaac married a girl from Abrahams home land?
I have two reasons. The first is that Abraham did not want his son to blend in totally with the locals. He was to be different, and eventually their descendants would conquer the land of Canaan. Also, I believe that God was involved. There was a particular girl for Isaac, one that God had already selected. Even if Abraham was too feeble to go get her himself, God must have told Abraham,(and possibly his servant,) where to find her.
Does this mean God has selected a mate for us? I would not doubt it, but I do not know for sure. I do know that God puts us where we are, and once we are there nature can take it’s course. One other note; Placing a hand under a thigh was the custom in Abraham’s time to swear an oath. Today we would shake hands, or use a notary.
Prayer- God, we know that you want the best for us and you have already done marvelous things in our live to make us happy. Help us follow your plan for us. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do today- Read Genesis 24:10-27

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Genesis 23

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my mind and open my heart and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
1 Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old. 2 She died at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.
3 Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites. [
a] He said, 4 "I am an alien and a stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead."
5 The Hittites replied to Abraham, 6 "Sir, listen to us. You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead."
7 Then Abraham rose and bowed down before the people of the land, the Hittites. 8 He said to them, "If you are willing to let me bury my dead, then listen to me and intercede with Ephron son of Zohar on my behalf 9 so he will sell me the cave of Machpelah, which belongs to him and is at the end of his field. Ask him to sell it to me for the full price as a burial site among you."
10 Ephron the Hittite was sitting among his people and he replied to Abraham in the hearing of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of his city. 11 "No, my lord," he said. "Listen to me; I give [
b] you the field, and I give [c] you the cave that is in it. I give [d] it to you in the presence of my people. Bury your dead."
12 Again Abraham bowed down before the people of the land 13 and he said to Ephron in their hearing, "Listen to me, if you will. I will pay the price of the field. Accept it from me so I can bury my dead there."
14 Ephron answered Abraham, 15 "Listen to me, my lord; the land is worth four hundred shekels [
e] of silver, but what is that between me and you? Bury your dead."
16 Abraham agreed to Ephron's terms and weighed out for him the price he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weight current among the merchants.
17 So Ephron's field in Machpelah near Mamre—both the field and the cave in it, and all the trees within the borders of the field—was deeded 18 to Abraham as his property in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of the city. 19 Afterward Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre (which is at Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20 So the field and the cave in it were deeded to Abraham by the Hittites as a burial site.
Abraham was caught in a foreign land looking for a place to lay his wife to rest. His reputation was strong, even in the foreign land. The locals offered to give him a place to bury Sarah, but he insisted on paying for it. This was a way of negotiating.
He ended up paying a high price. In most cultures, the way we bury dead says a lot about who we are. No price was too great for Abraham. When I worked at the funeral home a few years ago, I saw over and over how people paid a high price to give a loved one a great funeral.
God had promised that land to Abraham,(it was part of the promised land.) He could have taken it, but he did not want the tomb of his wife to be cursed. He was truly a wise man.
Prayer- Lord, help us to use wisdom when dealing with others. Even though we know that things would be given to us, we need to pay something to show value. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Tings to do today-Pray for Jeremy Lester and his family. Jeremy is a soldier in Iraq and was stabbed in the chest yesterday. Pray for healing.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Genesis 22:15-24

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-fight-Win. Amen.
15 The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring [

] all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."
19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.
Nahor's Sons
20 Some time later Abraham was told, "Milcah is also a mother; she has borne sons to your brother Nahor: 21 Uz the firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel (the father of Aram), 22 Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel." 23 Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. Milcah bore these eight sons to Abraham's brother Nahor. 24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also had sons: Tebah, Gaham, Tahash and Maacah.
Abraham did well. Because he did well he was blessed. Since he did not hold back in giving, he received in abundance. That is the way God works. When he blesses us, the blessings overflow and touch many people. People may give us gifts that we enjoy, but no one can give blessings like God, just look at Abraham. He is the father of the Hebrews, the Moslems, and even the Christians. His faith has indeed shaped the world.
I am troubled a bit by the passage. The Angel says that Abraham was willing to give of his only son. Hello! Poor Ishmael is still alive! Yes, but not to the hHebrew writers of the old testament. Another interesting bit are the names of Nohors sons. If you want to name your son Buz, tell your wife that it is biblical. Ben and Grider were lucky that I did not read this passage twelve years ago.
Prayer-Lord, Thank you for all the blessings that yopu heap upon us, even though we do not deserve them. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do-Read Genesis chapter 23.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Genesis 22:9-14

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied.
12 "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram [
a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."
God tested Abraham. We will hopefully never be put to the test that Abraham faced. But he had faith. It is very difficult for us to let go of things and surrender them to God. Surrendering a child is impossible. A son, especially after you sent away your other son, would be unheard of. Abraham had faith, and he understood that God had provided. Again, God provided, with the ram to take Isaac’s place.
As a parent, I have a difficult time turning my sons over to God. I want to control and protect them. I know that God can protect them far better than I, but it is so difficult to make that leap on faith. God sacrificed his Son. Jesus died for all of us, and God did not substitute a ram for him. I understand that this was not easy, I can empathize. God is far greater than any of us. We should never forget what he did for us!
Prayer- Lord, take all I have and use it for your glory, but shower me with gifts so that I may give them to the world, just as you gave your son. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do today Read Genesis 22:15-24

Friday, May 19, 2006

Genesis 22:1-8

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Abraham Tested
1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied.
2 Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."
3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you."
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?" "Yes, my son?" Abraham replied. "The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"
8 Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together.
Again, we need to pay attention to titles. Abraham is indeed tested. He is told by God to get his son, travel fifty miles or so, and then sacrifice Isaac to Him. This is about as big of test as you can get. Why does God do this? Does he need human sacrifices? Did he just want Abraham to fail?
Abraham had already shown his faith and willingness to obey God. He had also shown that he was human, and could not always put all his faith in God. God tests Abraham here, not to punish him- but to give him an opportunity to really grow. God does not want human sacrifices like the pagans would offer to their gods. God wants us to sacrifice ourselves. We wants us to sacrifice our tendency to retreat into comfortable lives.
Often, when we decide to obey God, we must give up things WE want. Obedience and Godly living is not always the easy life, but it is the best life. We are also tested. We may not be asked to sacrifice our children as burnt offerings, but we are asked to show our commitment to God and to always obey Him. Maybe we need to sacrifice our old lives, our old ways, and move forward in our relationship with God.
Prayer-Dear Lord, I know there will tests in my life. Strengthen me, give me patience and surround me with your love. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Things to do- Read Genesis 22:9-14

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Genesis 21:22-34

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
The Treaty at Beersheba
22 At that time Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his forces said to Abraham, "God is with you in everything you do. 23 Now swear to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me or my children or my descendants. Show to me and the country where you are living as an alien the same kindness I have shown to you."
24 Abraham said, "I swear it."
25 Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well of water that Abimelech's servants had seized. 26 But Abimelech said, "I don't know who has done this. You did not tell me, and I heard about it only today."
27 So Abraham brought sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech, and the two men made a treaty. 28 Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs from the flock, 29 and Abimelech asked Abraham, "What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs you have set apart by themselves?"
30 He replied, "Accept these seven lambs from my hand as a witness that I dug this well."
31 So that place was called Beersheba, [
a] because the two men swore an oath there.
32 After the treaty had been made at Beersheba, Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his forces returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the LORD, the Eternal God. 34 And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time.
Ablimelech was a great King that we read about in the last chapter, right before the birth of Isaac. He was impressed with Abraham and could tell he had a connection with God, so he was ready to make a treaty with him. Abraham was just as eager, but had a beef with some of the king’s men. It seemed they and Abrahams shepards had a fight over a well. In the desert, a well was very important. The two men made a treaty, and Beersheba became the southern boundary of the promised land.
What does this mean to us? People can tell when you walk with God, and it makes them either want to be your friend or your enemy. If they want to be your friend, show them friendship and God’s love. Help them see what God has done for you and tell them He can do the same for them. If they are scared of God, and fear what you might do to their lifestyle, people may be mean to you. Remember, they are scared of God and do not understand what God has for them. Do not let people scare you off course. As long as you are with God, you are on the right track.
Prayer- Lord, help others see how great you are through me. Guide me and comfort me, that I might help in your works. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do today- Read Genesis 22:1-8

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Genesis 21:8-21

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen
Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away
8 The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. 9 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10 and she said to Abraham, "Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac."
11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, "Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring [
a] will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring."
14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.
15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she thought, "I cannot watch the boy die." And as she sat there nearby, she [
b] began to sob.
17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation."
19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. 21 While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt

That must have been some serious mocking! Make fun of your half-brother and you are sent to the desert to die. One of the main reasons that God made covenant with Abraham was because he trusted in God. He must have had feelings for Ishmael, verse 11 says he was distressed. He talked to God, and God told him to listen to Sarah.
Talk about not hearing what you want. When would God tell a man to listen to his wife, especially in those times. Remember, it was only yesterday that Sarah was mocking God by laughing! Sarah did understand that God’s promise was in Isaac, and she also knew that things had to be handled immediately. One of Abrahams main problems was that he did not always act quickly. Sarah was not bothered by the same weakness.
God did not allow Hagar and Ishmael to die however. God had told Abraham that Ishmael would father a nation, and he did. That nation would be bitter enemies with Israel. Sometimes I wonder what God was thinking, what is his plan? Did he intentionally do this to cause trouble? We may not understand everything that God does, but we don’t have to. Like Abraham, all we need to understand is that God is great, and we need to obey. It may not be easy, but that was never part of the deal.
Prayer-Lord, Help me accept the things and desires you have of me. I may not always understand, but I do have faith. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do -Reflect on this lesson

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Genesis 21:1-7

Relax, Read and Reflect (3R’s)
Prayer- Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
The Birth of Isaac
1 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac [
a] to the son Sarah bore him. 4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
6 Sarah said, "God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me." 7 And she added, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age."
Abraham was one hundred years old when Isaac was born, and yet he even lived to see his son grow to manhood. Again, it is easy to get hung up on ages. To me, the big miracle and difficult thing to accept is Sarah conceiving and giving birth at her age, with rulers chasing after her the whole time. Sarah could not believe it either, she thought it was unbelievable, and it made her laugh. This disbelief got between her and God.
When you first read this section, one can think that Sarah’s surprise was a joyous thing. Read it again. She is mocking and doubting the power of God, and that created trouble. Instead of being joyful in the promise God gave to her, she let her doubts and fears get in the way. Do we do the same thing?
After God promised her a son, and then sent two angels to reinforce the promises, she still laughed at Isaac. How many times does God promise to be with us, and yet we let our worry get to us? We may have problems, but most are those that we refuse to turn over to God, and the longer we wrestle with them, the bigger they get.
Prayer- Lord, Help us remember that nothing is impossible for you. When miracles come, help us understand them and accept them. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do today-Read Genesis 21:8-21

Monday, May 15, 2006

Genesis 20:8-18

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Early the next morning Abimelech summoned all his officials, and when he told them all that had happened, they were very much afraid. 9 Then Abimelech called Abraham in and said, "What have you done to us? How have I wronged you that you have brought such great guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should not be done." 10 And Abimelech asked Abraham, "What was your reason for doing this?"
11 Abraham replied, "I said to myself, 'There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.' 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 And when God had me wander from my father's household, I said to her, 'This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, "He is my brother." ' "
14 Then Abimelech brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him. 15 And Abimelech said, "My land is before you; live wherever you like."
16 To Sarah he said, "I am giving your brother a thousand shekels [
a] of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated."
17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again, 18 for the LORD had closed up every womb in Abimelech's household because of Abraham's wife Sarah.
Abraham was a man of great faith. He had a solid relationship with God. Why would he tell a half truth to Abimelech? He was scared. He did not know the King, but he figured that since he did not know these people, they must have been evil. We all fear things we do not know. Sometimes fear makes even the best of us lie. We can hold people accountable, but the final judgement is God’s. Abraham sinned, but God still backed him. Abraham had a great relationship, and even though Abimelech did nothing wrong, we was still punished as long as he was in position to sin. Again, Abraham was paid off when the ruler saw he was God’s favorite. God works in great ways.
Prayer-Lord, Help us follow you even when we are scared. It is natural to be frightened, but help us remember that you are always with us. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do-Read Genesis 21:1-7

Friday, May 12, 2006

Genesis 20:1-7

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
1 Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar, 2 and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, "She is my sister." Then Abimelech king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.
3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, "You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman."
4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he said, "Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5 Did he not say to me, 'She is my sister,' and didn't she also say, 'He is my brother'? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands."
6 Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. 7 Now return the man's wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all yours will die."
Same song, second verse. Abraham had said Sarah was his sister before in Egypt, and the Pharaoh paid dearly for taking her. Sometimes, even great men of faith are slow to learn. Abraham moves and again passes Sarah off as a sister, and again she is picked up by a king. Even though Abraham knew God was with him, again he feared for his life and became weak. God was watching out for Abraham and stepped in to rescue his wife.
God went to Abimelech and threatened him. Abimelech pleaded ignorance, Abraham told him Sarah was a sister. God held him back from committing adultery, prevented him from sinning even though he the king did not know he was about to sin. I wonder how many times God has done the same for us? Sarah must have been really beautiful, she was pushing 100 and still had kings wanting her. She must have been something.
Prayer- Lord, Thank you for protecting us even when we do not know we are in danger. Please have patience with us, because we do not always learn from our mistakes. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do today- Read Genesis 20:8-17

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
27 Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.
29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.
Lot and His Daughters
30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let's get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father."
33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and lay with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, "Last night I lay with my father. Let's get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and lie with him so we can preserve our family line through our father." 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went and lay with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
36 So both of Lot's daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab [
a] ; he is the father of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi [b] ; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.
Yes, you read it correctly. There was some father/daughter love action going on. This is a really perverse ending to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Bible does not condemn incest here, that will happen later, it just reports the facts.
Lot’s daughters were not acting purely out of lust here, they heard there world be destroyed and then were taken to hide in a cave. They were desperate to preserve their family line. By committing incest, we see how they had accepted the morals of their old country,(Sodom,) not God’s morals.
Lot could have and should have gone immediately back to Abraham, there he could have found mates for his girls. He did not act quickly, he had gone though some serious stuff, and instead turned to wine. That must have been some serious wine to cloud his judgement -twice. The daughters' sons from their father,(therefore their half brothers,) became leaders of large tribes that would be enemies of Israel. It is also important to recognize that Ruth, the great grandmother of David, was a Moabite. She was also an ancestor of Christ.
What do we learn from this? When we act out of desperation instead of direction from God, we are more likely to sin. Even when things look bad, God is in control. He will always help us do the right thing, if we seek His direction and guidance.
Prayer-Lord, Help us remember that things work out when we work for you. Give us wisdom and remove all desperation from our lives. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do Read Genesis 20:1-18. It’s dejavu all over again.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Genesis 19:14-26

Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry [

] his daughters. He said, "Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!" But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.

15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished."
16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, "Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!"
18 But Lot said to them, "No, my lords, [
b] please! 19 Your [c] servant has found favor in your [d] eyes, and you [e] have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can't flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I'll die. 20 Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn't it? Then my life will be spared."
21 He said to him, "Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. 22 But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it." (That is why the town was called Zoar. [
f] )
23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24 Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
Lot wanted to save others, primarily his daughters fiances, but for some reason he could not convince them that Sodom was about to be torched. Lot was a godly man, his uncle Abraham’s favorite nephew, but he had lived with un-godly people for so long he was no longer a good witness to God.
The Angels brought him and his family to safety, but Lot’s wife could not let go. She looked back and was turned to a pillar of salt. It is easy to condemn her, but isn’t she like us? Shouldn’t we blame her husband, he knew what the deal was, and if he really loved her they would have gone far enough to remove her from temptation. We can’t do that. Like Lot, we are always close enough to sin to look back at it. We never get far enough from our lives to not be able to see where we came from. God tells us to leave our wicked ways behind us and never look back. When, or if, we do, we are drawn back away from God. Maybe becoming a pillar of salt is not a bad deal. (It is.)
Prayer- Dear Lord, help us leave the things that keep us from your love behind, and give us strength to never look back. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do- Read genesis 19:27-38. Get ready for Springer time.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Genesis 19:1-13

Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
1 The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2 "My lords," he said, "please turn aside to your servant's house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning." "No," they answered, "we will spend the night in the square."
3 But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. 4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."
6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof."
9 "Get out of our way," they replied. And they said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.
10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.
12 The two men said to Lot, "Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13 because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it."
Lot met the Angels at the city gates, this meant that he had lot’s of power at Sodom, because this is where officials hung out to greet visitors. Did he recognize them as messengers from God? Evidently he did. He convinced them to stay at his house that night. That night was a scene from some crazy horror flick. The people of Sodom knew Lot had guests, and they wanted to have sex with them, and they would not take "no" for an answer.
Lot tried everything to protect his guests, even to the point of offering the mob his virgin daughters,(I wondered if he discussed this with them?) The Mob was not interested in virgin girls, they wanted men. This shows how perverse Sodom had become.
The angels told Lot to gather his family and flee, immediately. The Angels could not find ten men worthy to save the city, so they were going to destroy it. There is archeological evidence to support the Sodom and Gomorrah story. The diggings show great cities that were destroyed suddenly about the time of Abraham.
Obviously, Sodom was a very wicked place. So why would Lot want to stay there? It was probably an exciting town and a fun place to live, like Vegas on steroids. The people had turned about as far away from God as possible. This is not a place for Godly people to live. Why do we want to hang out in places that are distant from God? Same reasons. We, as God’s children should not inhabit these places, because, like Lot, these places start to rub off on us. Sooner or later we compromise our integrity. And when we do, we turn from God. God destroys those that turn from him, don’t let acquaintances let you get destroyed. You are way to valuable for that.
Prayer- Lord, protect us from the evil that surrounds us. Let us be wise enough to see how sin keeps us from you, and you from us. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do-Read Genesis 19:14-29

Monday, May 08, 2006

Genesis 18:26-33

Relax, Read and Reflect (3R’s)
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
26 The LORD said, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake."
27 Then Abraham spoke up again: "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city because of five people?" "If I find forty-five there," he said, "I will not destroy it."
29 Once again he spoke to him, "What if only forty are found there?" He said, "For the sake of forty, I will not do it."
30 Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?" He answered, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."
31 Abraham said, "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?" He said, "For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it."
32 Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?" He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it."
33 When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.
Abraham is still bargaining with God, and he thinks he is a good negotiator. We takes the "poor boy" approach, trying to butter God up as he gets God to lower the amount of righteous people necessary to spare Sodom.
It is important to realize one thing here, it is OK to ask the Lord for anything. We can pray and ask God for anything, nothing is to weird to ask God’s help. The answers will come from God and his judgement and wisdom. We may not be ready for his answers. He knows the whole story and we don’t. Sometimes we miss God’s answers because we haven’t looked at all possible answers, just the ones we want to hear.
Abraham negotiated God down to ten people, but God knew that even that few could not be found. All of Abrahams prayers were to be in vain, and God knew that before they even started.
Prayer- Lord, thanks for listening to all of our wishes, even those that are not what you have for us. Give us the wisdom to understand. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do-Read Genesis 19:1-13

Friday, May 05, 2006

Genesis 18:16-25

Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
16 When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17 Then the LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him."
20 Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know."
22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD. [
a] 23 Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare [b] the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge [c] of all the earth do right?"
It’s let’s make a deal, and today’s contestant is Abraham. This passage is very "Genesis." It is more a narrative than cold journalism. Do you think God would really wonder if he should tell Abraham what he was about to do?
Did Abraham change God’s mind? Was he that good of a negotiator? No, God knew that Abraham would beg for mercy for the people of Sodom, Abraham was a compassionate man. Abraham knew God needed to punish sin, and he knew God could be merciful. Abraham did not know how merciful God can be, so he was asking questions.
God agreed to show mercy, and even agreed to give the people of Sodom one last chance,( verse 21,) but he knew what the outcome would be.
Don’t we do the same thing. We question God’s justice and mercy, but why? God is far more merciful than any of us, yet we second guess his justice to us. Instead of trying to negotiate with God, shouldn’t we simply look for the compassion in God’s punishment?
Prayer- God, We are all sinners. We do not deserve your love and mercy, but we will take it. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do- Read the rest of Genesis 18. Try to understand why Abraham does what he does, and think of times we do the same things.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Genesis 18:1-15

Relax, Read and Reflect (3 R’s)
Prayer- Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. O-Fight-Win. Amen.
The Three Visitors
1 The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3 He said, "If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, [
a] do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant." "Very well," they answered, "do as you say."
6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. "Quick," he said, "get three seahs [
b] of fine flour and knead it and bake some bread."
7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
9 "Where is your wife Sarah?" they asked him. "There, in the tent," he said.
10 Then the LORD [
c] said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son." Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my master [d] is old, will I now have this pleasure?"
13 Then the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' 14 Is anything too hard for the LORD ? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son."
15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, "I did not laugh." But he said, "Yes, you did laugh."
Abraham was eager to offer hospitality to the three angels. In his day that was how you maintained a good reputation, by being hospitable to strangers. This time, the strangers happened to be angels from God, on a mission. We all have thought from time to time that following God would be easier if we could see him, if we could see his angels. Maybe we have. This thought should be in our minds the next time we have an opportunity to meet a stranger’s needs.
Again, God reminds Abraham that he will have a son with Sarah, and this time it was Sarah who laughed. Then he lied about it, of course she was scared. Verse 14 is the most important of the reading, "Is there anything too hard for the Lord?" The answer is "No, there is nothing too hard for the Lord." Remember that when it seems like life is overwhelming you. You may not be able to stay ahead by yourself, but with God’s help, anything is possible.
Prayer- Lord- Help me to remember that you are God, and that anything is possible through you. Go- Fight- Win. Amen.
Things to do today- Read Genesis 18:16-25

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Genesis 17:15-27

Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. G-F-W. Amen.
15 God also said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her."
17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, "Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?" 18 And Abraham said to God, "If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!"
19 Then God said, "Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. [
a] I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year." 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.
23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, 25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen; 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that same day. 27 And every male in Abraham's household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.
The name changes continue, Sarai was changed to Sarah. Why did God change their names? They were no longer the people they had been, they were "born again" and were different from their old self. Should we change our name after we enter into covenant with God? Only if you plan to have kids into your nineties, if not, keep your name.
After God told Abraham that Sarah would be the mother of the great nation, what did he do? He fell over laughing, literally. One would think that if any man could believe God could do miracles, it would be Abraham. Even though he had doubts, he followed God’s commands and had the males of his house circumcised, just as God ordered.
What about Ishmael? Even though he was not to be Abraham's heir, God promised that he would be the father of a great nation. God did not forget him, and he has not forgotten about you. You may not see what God has in store for you, but obey him and trust that he has plans for you.
Prayer-Lord, I am here. I will wait patiently for whatever you have planned for me. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do today-Read Genesis 18:1-19. Prepare to learn about Sodom and Gomorrah.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Genesis 17:1-14

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
The Covenant of Circumcision
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty [
a] ; walk before me and be blameless. 2 I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers."
3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 "As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram [
b] ; your name will be Abraham, [c] for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God."
9 Then God said to Abraham, "As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."
Once again, God reminds Abram about their covenant. He changes his name to Abraham, which means "father of nations." From now on, the Bible will call him Abraham. Once again, God promises the Land of Canaan to Abraham.
Why would God require the covenant of circumcision? There are several reasons. The first is a sign of obedience to God, in all matters. God required blood in the covenant, and a symbol that would separate "his people from the other peoples. Circumcision is final and distinctive. It also was a symbol of "cutting off the old life of sin.
This would separate the Jewish from the rest of the world more than anything else. He commanded that all males from Abraham on down be circumcised, or the covenant would be broken.
How do we show the world that we are in covenant with God? It doesn’t have to be a physical mark, but God requires us to show the rest of the world that we are marked by Him. People should be able to look at you and say "there is one of God’s followers. How will you show that mark?
Prayer-Lord, help me show the world that I am in covenant with you. Mark me and be with me always. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do- Read Genesis 17:15-27, think about what today’s lesson mean to you.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Genesis 16:11-16

Relax, Read and Reflect (3 R’s)
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and let me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
11 The angel of the LORD also said to her: "You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael, [

] for the LORD has heard of your misery.
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward [
b] all his brothers."
13 She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen [
c] the One who sees me." 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi [d] ; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.
15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.
Hagar gave birth to Ishmael, but things would not get calm. He would be a wild ass of a man, and also the enemy of the Hebrew people. When we try to handle things by ourselves, we can things all messed up. Sarai gave her servant to her husband to try and give him an heir, Abram went along with the plan, and when things went wrong-did nothing. Hagar ran away from the problem, and as usual, that did not solve things. God, however can work good in all things.
When we try to make things work without God, they usually go bad-fast. When we turn to God for help and direction, things are done in God’s plan, and that is good.
Prayer-Lord, Help me remember that through you all things happen for good, and without you I am nothing. Go-Fight-Win. Amen
Things to do- Read Genesis 17:1-14.Remember to turn things over to God.