Read Genesis 16
What dynamic chapters of Scripture! Birth of Ishmael. Abram's name changed to Abraham. Circumcision seals the Covenant betweeen God, Abraham, and his descendants (Gen. 17:9-14,23-27). God promises Abraham who is 99, a son: Sarah thy wife shall have a son (18:10). Who laughed? Why (18:1-15)? A crisis meeting with the Creator. Abraham takes his heavy heart straight to God (18:16-33).
Abram and Sarai were childless. God had promised Abram a son (Gen. 15:2-4), but 10 years had passed and now he was 85 years old. At that time, Sarai said unto Abram . . . the Lord hath restrained me from bearing . . . go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children (have a family) by her (16:2). At age 86, Abram fathered a son, Ishmael, by Hagar.
Thirteen years passed after the birth of Ishmael (16:16; 17:1). Then God again spoke to Abram: I am the Almighty God. . . . thy name shall be Abraham. . . . I will establish My Covenant (Agreement) between Me and thee and thy seed (descendants). . . . My Covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time . . . next year (17:1-21).
Abraham was now 99 years old and Sarah was 90. At her age, it was humanly impossible for Sarah to have a child. But God revealed to Abraham: I am the Almighty God, meaning the One who is All-Sufficient and said: I know him . . . he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him (18:19).
One of the great tests of our faith is patiently waiting upon the Lord. It may take two weeks, two years, or, as in Abraham's situation, 25 years for our prayers to be answered or for the promises of God to be fulfilled. The Holy Spirit led the Apostle Paul to write concerning Abraham's faith that he was fully persuaded that, what He (God) had promised, He was able also to perform. . . . Therefore it was imputed (credited) to him (Abraham) for righteousness (Rom. 4:21-22).
God had said to Abraham: Walk before Me, and be . . . perfect (remain faithful) (Gen. 17:1). We too have a responsibility in our covenant relationship with God. Jesus said: Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Matt. 5:48). Perfect means, among other things, "carry through," "develop." In biblical language it means: It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful (I Cor. 4:2).
Thought for Today:
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith (Gal. 5:22).
As the Seed of Isaac, Jesus. . . . the Son of . . . Jacob, which was the Son of Isaac (Gen. 17:19; Luke 3:23-34; Heb. 11:18).
16:6 hardly harshly; 16:7 fountain spring; 16:14 Beerlahairoi tell of the Living One who sees me; 16:16 fourscore 4 x 20 80; 17:1 be thou perfect live to please the Lord; 17:10 be circumcised a physical sign of accepting the Covenant of God; 17:20 beget the father of; 18:7 dress prepare; 18:12 am waxed have become; 18:20 very grievous severe; 18:24 Peradventure of by chance; 18:33 left communing finished speaking.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Iva Jo Swinsburg • Government Official: Rep. Frank Lucas (OK) • Country: Pakistan (146.5 million) in southern Asia • Major languages: Urdu and English • There is no freedom to convert Muslims to Christ. Pakistan is an Islamic republic • 72% Sunni Muslim; 20% Shi'a Muslim; 3% Ahmadiya; 2% Christian; 2% Hindu; .1% Other (Baha'i, Animist, Farsi, Buddhist) • Prayer Suggestion: Call upon the Lord, for He promises to answer you (Zech. 13:9).
Optional Reading: Matthew 6
Memory Verse for the Week: Genesis 1