January 5th, Genesis 16-18

Abram’s family is chosen by God to save the world- Jesus is a direct descendant of Abram. But Abram is human, and makes mistakes. God makes a covenant with him anyway, and that’s the great thing about this story: God didn’t chose a perfect man and perfect family, he chose a broken man and a dysfunctional family. There’s hope for us all!

  • 16:2 – Note that God did not tell Abram to make a child with Hagar. Abram listens to Sarai, his wife, about how to fulfill God’s plan instead of trusting God to take care of it.
  • 16:11 – Like we find our Jewish and Christian roots in Isaac, Abraham’s son, Muslims find their roots in Ishmael.
  • 17:5 – There are many cases of biblical characters’ names being changed when something significant happens to them. Names defined identity in this culture so a name change was a big deal.
  • 17:17-20; Note Abraham’s disbelief in God’s promises, and God’s mercy in blessing Ishmael.
  • 18:1-14 – God defines the terms of his covenant with Abraham. He promises to make Abraham’s offspring countless. In return, he asks that all males in Abraham’s family be circumcised as an outward sign of their commitment.
  • 18:14 – Each of us should memorize the first half of this verse.
  • 18:23-33 – Here we see prayer working. Abraham humbly pleads with God for the sake of the righteous and God’s decision is changed.

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