Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways 1/07/2004

January 7

Read Genesis 19 -- 21

In Today's Reading:

Sodom destroyed; Lot and his daughters; birth of Isaac; Hagar and Ishmael; agreement between Abraham and Abimelech

Lot soon had a prominent position since he sat in the gate of Sodom where business and legal matters were conducted (Genesis 19:1). He associated with the people of Sodom even though he was vexed (troubled) with the filthy conversation (conduct) of the wicked (II Peter 2:7). The Scriptures denounce homosexuality for which Sodom was known. Homosexuality is detestable in the eyes of God, Who said: You shall not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shall you lie with any beast . . . it is confusion (perversion). Defile not yourselves in any of these things . . . (If you do) You shall surely be put to death (Leviticus 18:22-30; 20:13; Romans 1:24-27). Since God groups homosexuality with incest and bestiality, we should pray that the sinner will repent and forsake sin — his sin (I Corinthians 9:11).

Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him (Genesis 21:2).

Isaac, the miracle child of promise, entered the family life of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar the bondwoman. Hagar's son Ishmael soon revealed his ungodly character through his contempt for Isaac. In the New Testament we read that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a free-woman. . . . these are the two Covenants (agreements); the one from the Mount Sinai, which genders (leads) to bondage, which is Agar (Hagar). . . . Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now (Galatians 4:22,24,28-29).

These two sons, Ishmael and Isaac, illustrate the dual nature of mankind. We are first born of the flesh (human parents) (John 3:6), symbolized by Ishmael. But the moment a sinner believes in his heart, he then becomes the possessor of the nature of God and the new life in Christ which is symbolized by Isaac, the child of faith. He will, like the people on the Day of Pentecost, ask: What do we do? Peter answered them by saying: Repent, and be baptized . . . and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Spirit) (Acts 2:38; also Romans 10:9-10; I John 3:1-2; 4:15).

Ishmael's hatred for Isaac is symbolic of the world and its hatred of Christ and His followers. In contrast, they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections (passions) and lusts (Galatians 5:24).

Word Studies:

19:3 pressed upon = urged them; 19:5 know = rape and abuse; 19:8 shadow = protection; 19:13 is waxen = has become; 20:6 suffered = allowed; 20:16 a covering of the eyes = compensation; 21:18 hold him in thine hand = take care of him.

Christ Portrayed:

By Isaac, the promised son of God's Covenant (Genesis 21:12) — in contrast to Ishmael, son of a bondwoman (Galatians 4:22-31). Life in Christ sets us free from bondage of the Law because God made a new Covenant through Christ's blood (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; I Corinthians 11:25; also Hebrews 12:24).

Pray For:

Government Official: Rep. Loretta Sanchez (CA) · Country: Jordan (5 million) in southwestern Asia · Major languages: Arabic and English · Religious tolerance · 93% Muslim; 5% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).

Optional Reading: Matthew 7

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:3

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