Reading through the Bible: day 17

Genesis 16 – 18

We continue with the story of Abraham.

Children for Abraham

Obviously Hagar and Abraham lacked faith regarding the promise of a son, so they took matters into there own hands.

The giving of Hagar to Abraham by Sarah (Sarai) was in no way endorsed by God, it is a decision made by the couple. The custom of a wife giving her maid to her husband seems to have existed and is endorsed in the Hammurabi Code. Although a revised young earth timeline would put the writing of this document much later, it doesn’t speak of the custom having been originated by Hammurabi. This was clearly a human idea.

An issue that could be raised here is slavery, but I will get to that later, when slavery is more the focus of the text.

The Abrahamic covenant

The covenant between God and Abraham which is a central tenant of all Abrahamic traditions is laid out in chapter 17. Circumcision is obviously not held as a sign of allegiance to God in Christianity, although Judaism and Islam still hold to it. This seems to be problematic, but the New Testament reveals a huge controversy over circumcision, and I will address the issues when we get there.

Obviously the covenant includes God granting Abraham numerous decendants, and a serious place in History. These decendants were from a child of Sarah, which the couple found very amusing.

All nations blessed through Abraham

Here we see Abraham interceding for Sodom. God probably knew what Abraham’s response would be, yet shared the information with Abraham so that the text could show us what kind of a person he was. Abraham, for all his faults interceded for people who, it seems from yesterdays reading, he wasn’t a big fan of.

What is interesting is God revealing that he would reveal his plans to Abraham because all nations would be blessed through him (Genesis 18:18). From a Christain perspective, this is significant since it shows that the plan wasn’t to have one chosen people, but to share His salvation with all those who would accept it, regardless of ancestry. The good news is thus revealed in Genesis, which I thought was pretty cool.

Abraham was obviously questioning God, which didn’t go down well for Job, but the key difference was the lack of self centredness in Abraham’s intercession for Sodom, yet Job was speaking on his own behalf and trying to justify himself.

What are your thoughts on today’s scriptures?

If you wish to use this program for reading through the Bible, or if you wish to share it with friends, then go to the reading through the Bible page and you will find the relevant links.

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