January 06

Read Genesis 16 -- 18

In Today's Reading:

What a dynamic segment of Scripture! Read where Abram has the wrong baby, and at the age of 99 God promises: Sarah your wife shall have a son (17:16,19; 18:10). Sarah laughed and got in trouble! God institutes the Covenant of Circumcision; then changes both their names: Abram, from exalted father, to Abraham, father of a multitude. As you read, consider why God would feel it necessary to inform Abraham that he was going to destroy Sodom?

Verses for Today:

Abraham drew near, and said, Will You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? . . . Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? (Genesis 18:23).

Highlights:

Birth of Ishmael; Abram's name changed to Abraham; covenant of circumcision; Sarai's name changed to Sarah; a son promised to Abraham and Sarah; Abraham's intercession for Sodom.

The angels had told Abraham of God's coming judgment upon the wicked city of Sodom, where his nephew Lot lived. When the angels left Abraham's tent on their way to destroy Sodom, Abraham prayed earnestly to God (Genesis 18:22-33).

The prayer of Abraham, the first long prayer recorded in Scripture, is also the first example of intercessory prayer -- praying for others.

It would have been an example of forgiving love had Abraham prayed for Lot to be spared, but he prayed for a wicked city where he had no personal interest at stake and for lost souls in whom he had nothing personal to gain. This brings to light the compassion and mercy of this man of faith.

Six times Abraham offered his intercessory prayer to God, and each time His gracious answer gave Abraham encouragement to continue asking.

Sodom was not spared in answer to Abraham's prayer. But God answered the desire of his heart and delivered Lot and his family, which doubtless consisted of all the righteous who were in the city.

This is an example which teaches us that God answers our prayers for others.

There is a great need for prayer intercessors. Are you praying for the lost by name today? You probably know of someone who prayed for you. Remember, the Lord Jesus said: Whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive (Matthew 21:22).

A Thought from Proverbs: My son, forget not My Law; but let your heart keep My Commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to you (3:1-2).

Christ Revealed:

As the Seed of Isaac (Genesis 17:19). Christ was a descendant of Isaac (Luke 3:34; Hebrews 11:18).

Word Studies:

16:6 dealt hardly = treated harshly; 17:1 perfect = blameless; 18:7 dress it = prepare it; 18:12 waxed = grown; 18:28 Peradventure = Suppose.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Frank Lucas (OK) and Gov. Bob Wise (WV) · BPM Volunteer: Crystal Godfrey · Pray for your Church · Country: Mozambique (19 million) on the eastern coast of Africa · Major language: Portuguese · Religious freedom · 40% worship of false gods, ancestral spirits, and some witchcraft; 23% Roman Catholic; 14% Protestant; 13% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Let your prayers express gratitude to God for His wonderful works (Psalms 9:1).

Optional Reading: Matthew 6

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:3