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Bible Pathways - Jan. 6, 2008



Genesis 16

Highlights In Today's Reading:

What a dynamic segment of Scripture! Read how God promises Abram, at the age of 99, that Sarah thy wife shall have a son (17:16,19; 18:10). Sarah laughed and got into trouble! God's Covenant with Abram embraced circumcision. God changes his name: Abram, meaning exalted father, to Abraham, meaning father of a multitude (17:1-3).

The revelation of Jehovah the Creator God,as the Almighty God (El Shaddai) was given to Abram after he left his country in obedience to the divine command (Chapter 12). It wasn't long before he gave up the best land to make peace with Lot (Chapter 13), and after Ishmael was born of Hagar. It appeared that God had kept His promise (16:4). This further development of Abram's faith was necessary before the long-awaited promise of a son could be fulfilled.

Abraham had waited twenty-four years for God to answer his prayer. Since he was so old and the child still had not been born, he may have thought: "How can the Lord fill the earth with those who are to call me Father Abraham, seeing the promised son is still not born?" Thirteen years had passed since Abraham was called "Father of a Multitude." But what could be impossible with an Almighty God? This is the key to faith — to accept His Word with unconditional confidence. When we are seeking to please God and leave the results to Him, He can and will in His sovereignty bring it to pass (Hebrews 11:1). He is the Almighty God. Our Creator shows no haste in answering our prayers. It may have seemed to Abram that God delayed the fulfillment of His promise, but God is never late (II Peter 3:8). He always rewards faith if we faint not (don't give up) (Galatians 6:9).

The revelation of the Almighty God demands that we leave all with Him who is perfectly able to sustain us in all difficulties (which does not imply we do nothing), to protect us in all dangers, to comfort us in all troubles, to supply all our needs, to answer every prayer (it may not be in the way we expected, but always in our best interest). However, with every promise there is a responsibility on our part. Abraham was also commanded walk before Me, and be thou perfect (consistently faithful) (Genesis 17:1).

Thought for Today:

Those whom God intends to use will go through trials to test the genuineness of their faith. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting (lacking in) nothing (James 1:4).

Christ Revealed:

Christ was a descendant of Isaac. Jesus. . . . Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac (Genesis 17:19; Luke 3:23-34; Hebrews 11:18).

Word Studies:

16:6 hardly =arshly; 16:7 fountain =pring; 16:14 Beerlahairoi =ell of the Living One who seeth me; 16:16 fourscore = x 20 =0; 17:1 be thou perfect =ive to please the Lord; 17:10 be circumcised = physical sign of accepting God's Covenant; 17:20 beget =e father of; 18:7 dress =repare; 18:12 am waxed =ave become; 18:20 very grievous =evere; 18:24 Peradventure =f by chance; 18:33 left communing =inished speaking.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in honor of Bonnie Wilhite • Government Official: Rep. Frank Lucas (OK) • Country: Yemen (17 million) in southwestern Arabia • Major language: Arabic • Attempts to convert Muslims to Christ are fiercely opposed • 98% Muslim; .03% Christian (all secret believers) • Prayer Suggestion: Trust the Lord and ask Him to direct your steps (Psalm 143:8).

Optional Reading: Matthew 6

Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 1:8

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