Highlights In Today's Reading:
Fire and brimstone destroy the sinners of Sodom and Gomorrah (19:24) as well as consume Lot's wealth. But it is encouraging to know that the sinfulness of Sodom vexed his (Lot's) righteous soul (II Peter 2:6-8). Your faith in the sovereign protection of God will be strengthened as you read the beautiful, touching narrative of how He not only blessed Sarah after the promised son was born, but also Hagar and Ishmael following a family conflict, and how God protects and provides for all our needs.
Abraham and Sarah, his wife, had advanced to an age in life when there could be no human possibility of having a child (Luke 18:27; Hebrews 11:11). Abraham was 100 and Sarah 90 years old (Genesis 17:17; 21:5). For twenty-five years the childless Abraham faithfully obeyed the voice of God before His promise of a son was fulfilled. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac (21:2-3).
The birth of Isaac was a loving and gracious expression of the sovereign power of God but, more important, it was the fulfillment of His Word — a proof of the faithfulness of the Covenant-keeping God.
Jesus said: According to your faith be it unto you (Matthew 9:29). Abraham's great faith was the result of much time spent listening to, then obeying, the Lord. If we want our faith to grow, the Scripture is clear, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). My friend, become thoroughly familiar with His Word and how God interprets the meaning of every promise.
All who are blessed with faithful Abraham desire to be obedient to the Word of God. As many as received Him (Christ), to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name (John 1:12). Jesus removed all doubt who true believers were when He said: Whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock . . . and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock (Matthew 7:24-25).
Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness (everything that may be sinful), and receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves (James 1:21-22).
Thought for Today:
Faithful obedience to God's Word will develop your spiritual stability and usefulness (see Proverbs 3:5).
By Isaac, the promised son of God's Covenant (Genesis 21:12). Faith in Christ sets us free from the bondage of the Law (Salvation by works) because God made a new and better Covenant through Christ who dwells within the true believer (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; I Cor. 11:25; also Heb. 8:6; 12:24).
19:1 at even =n the evening; 19:2 tarry =tay; 19:3 pressed upon =rged, unleavened bread =read without yeast; 19:4 compassed =urrounded; 19:5 know =ave homosexual relations with; 19:8 as is good in your eyes =s you wish, shadow =rotection; 19:9 will needs be =eeps acting as, sojourn =ive temporarily; 19:11 smote =efeated; 19:13 is waxen =as grown; 19:14 mocked =oked; 19:15 consumed =estroyed; 19:16 without =utside; 19:21 accepted thee =hown favor to you; 19:22 be come thither =rrive there; 19:25 overthrew =evastated; 20:6 suffered =ermitted; 20:8 sore =xceedingly; 20:16 covering of the eyes =ompensation for what I did; 21:3 Isaac =aughter; 21:9 mocking =idiculing; 21:11 grievous =istressing; 21:12 hearken unto her voice =gree to all that she asks; 21:15 spent =sed up; 21:16 over against =n front of; 21:25 reproved =omplained; 21:26 wot =now; 21:27 covenant =greement.
Pray for The Arabic, English, and Spanish International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Thelma M. Gryskiewicz and the English International Broadcasts in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa sponsored by Bob & Dorothy Franklin • Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Officials: Rep. Loretta Sanchez (CA) and Sen. John Thune (SD) • Country: Zaire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (63 million) in south-central Africa • Major languages: French and Lingala • Limited religious freedom • 42% Roman Catholic; 28% Protestant; 12% magical practices, ancestor worship, and witchcraft; 1% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving (Psalm 147:7).
Optional Reading: Matthew 7
Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 1:8