Through the Bible – Gen 16-20

Dear friend,

The story of Abram and Sarai unfolds further this week.  It is now 10 years from the time God told Abram to leave Haran (Gen 12:4, 16:16) and still Sarai has not borne any children.  In chapter 16 Sarai and Abram second guessed God and decided to “help” Him.

Gen 16:2
So Sarai said to Abram, “See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai.

The effect of this is the birth of the Moslem nation through the seed of Abram with Hagar, Sarai’s maid.

Gen 16:10-12
10 Then the Angel of the Lord said to her, “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.” 11 And the Angel of the Lord said to her:

“Behold, you are with child,
And you shall bear a son.
You shall call his name Ishmael,
Because the Lord has heard your affliction.
12 He shall be a wild man;
His hand shall be against every man,
And every man’s hand against him.
And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”

There are far reaching consequences when we try to help God, we need to be patient to wait for God’s timing.

In chapter 17, another 13 years has past, Ismael is now 13 years old when God spoke again.  God revealed more of His promise, He told Abram that Abram will be father of many nations and kings will come from him and God also changed his name to Abraham.

Gen 17:3-5
 Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.

In Gen 17:21 God told Abraham that his son Issac will be born next year through Sarah.

God is a God of progressive revelation.  He only tells us enough to bring us to the next step, He does not tell us the beginning to the end immediately but He does give us glimpses into the future.

In chapter 18 – 19, we read about the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah.  God did not hide what He was about to do from Abraham because God knows him.

Gen 18:17-19
17 And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing18 since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” 

Do we have the same relationship with God that Abraham had; that God will speak to us of things to come or of things that He intend to do?

Because of the relationship that Abraham had with God, Abraham was not afraid to petition or bargain with God for the lives of those living in that city.  We can see from verses 22-32 of chapter 18 that Abraham bargained with God to not destroy Sodom if there were 50 righteous within the city.  When God agreed to spare the city for the sake of the 50 righteous, Abraham bargain with God to spare the city if there were 45 righteous, if there were 40 righteous, if there were 30 righteous, if there were 20 righteous and finally if there were 10 righteous.   What confidence Abraham had in God that he knows God will not be angry or impatient with him when he persists.  My prayer is that we will have that same confidence and not lose hope as we go before God to seek Him for our loved ones, for our situation and for our challenges.

Sadly Sodom was still destroyed.  Why is that?  It was because God was not able to find 10 righteous people in that city!  But God saved Lot because of Abraham.

Gen 19:29
And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt.

We can save our families through our relationship with God – God will save them for our sake.

Psalms 40:1
I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry.

1 Chro 16:11
Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!

Psalm 116:2
Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.

1 Thess 5:17
Pray without ceasing.

Persists in prayer, do not give up hope!

Till next week!