January - Reading 8

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Brother Adam, Jan 8, 2002.

  1. Brother Adam

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  2. John Wells

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    Psalm 8 begins and ends with praising God’s majesty. Amen!

    Verse two contrasts the dependent and the foolishly self-sufficient person. The remaining verses consistently emphasize the significance of man, who was created in the image and likeness of God to exercise dominion over the rest of creation, although in portion, mankind is insignificant when compared to the magnitude of the universe (God’s creation).

    Genesis 22:2 (ESV)
    2 He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

    Abraham is given clear instructions to go and “sacrifice” his son on an alter.

    Genesis 22:5,8 (ESV)
    5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” 8 Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.

    Yet here Abraham clearly shows faith that God will (somehow) keep Isaac safe because Abraham trusts the covenant God has made with him. Abraham carries through to the point of raising his knife to kill Isaac before “the Lord” halts him. This lands Abraham in the “faith hall of fame!”

    Hebrews 11:17-19 (ESV)
    17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the , from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
     
  3. Helen

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    as we go speeding through the foundational book of the Bible.....sigh....

    OK,
    Genesis 21:

    Notice: Sarah did not seem to have any trouble giving birth to Isaac. Thought: God knows what He is doing.

    Notice: Hagar and Ishmael are sent away and suffer hardship in the desert, although they are rescued by God. Thought: when we try to do things to "help" God along (as Sarah and Abraham did in Abraham taking Hagar as a concubine), the damage continues and hurts people who had nothing to do with causing the damage.

    At the end of chapter 21, Abraham is accepted into the land as a permanent resident of sorts. The ownership of a well was of primary importance.

    Chapter 22
    The 'almost' sacrifice is a famous story. Again, I do think that Abraham thought maybe Isaac was, being the child of promise, the Redeemer. However Isaac was only a picture of the Redeemer at that point in time, and a picture used to drive some lessons home to all of us:
    1. God Himself would provide the Lamb.
    2. Obedience in the face of seeming disaster is still required.
    3. God would love His Son even more than Abraham loved Isaac.

    It is in verses 17-18 here that we see the actual promise to Abraham of numerous descendents. The wording is vastly different from the promise of a coming Messiah from his line in Genesis 15:5.

    There is the promise that all nations of the earth would be blessed by the cumulative offspring of Abraham here, and God says this is because Abraham obeyed God. So, in the same way that people not associated with the original wrong have been hurt by it through history (Hagar and Ishmael, yielding much of the Middle East conflict today), so, also will obedience have a far-reaching effect, blessing many people (whether or not we are around to see it). The Jewish people saved the trade and banking industry in the Middle Ages, they have contributed inordinately to science and medicine. And I, personally, love the dry humor associated with that culture.

    This humor I find shown in Genesis 23, although I think most people miss it. First of all, Abraham loses Sarah to death. This is cause for incredible mourning for him, alhtough the Bible only says that Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.
    At this point, however a scene starts which should be, at some time, done in a movie the way it actually shows up here.

    Abraham approaches the owners of the land where he currently is and asks to buy some of the land as a burial site. Abraham is rich and relatively powerful by this time, so the following conversation takes on some very humorous aspects:

    Hittites: "Sir, listen to us! You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead."

    Translation: You think we are nuts, Abraham? We're not going to take you on! So take a tomb. Any tomb. We'll adjust!

    Abraham rises and bows to them.
    "If you are willing to let me bury my dead, then listen to me and intercede with Ephron son of Zohar on my behalf, so he will sell me the cave of Machpelah, which belongs to him and is at the end of his field. Ask him to sell it to me for the full price as a burial site among you."

    Translation: I already know what I want. Please get the wheels rolling here. But I'll pay you for it, no bargains asked. I don't want to make any enemies over this deal, either.

    Ephron is there. He heard it all. He gets up and says, "No my lord. Listen to me; I GIVE you the field, and I GIVE you the cave that is in it. I give it to you in the presence of my people. Bury your dead."

    Translation: To himself: Criminy, he chose mine! OK, I'll but this sucker in my debt. I'll give him the works. To Abraham: Heyyyyy, no problemo! Take the field, too. It's a gift. Go, bury your dead there! We're friends, right?

    Abraham bows down and says to Ephron in the presence of the witnesses:
    "Listen to me, if you will. I will pay the price of the field. Accept it from me so I can bury my dead there."

    Translation: To himself: Right on! Got the field, too! To Ephron: You got it. Field, too. So what's the price? Sarah's body is not going to last forever in this heat!

    NOW, watch what Ephron says. Imagine him shrugging his shoulders, palms up, turning his head to one side a little and looking at Abraham out of the corner of his eye as he says,
    "Listen to me, my lord: the land is worth [pause here for effect] four hundred shekels of silver, but what is that between me and you? Bury your dead!"

    Translation: To himself: So what's a little inflation here, the man's in a hurry! Four hundred shekels will set me up nicely! To Abraham: This is a very expensive piece of land. You have a good eye! It is worth a lot! But that doesn't matter. I can suffer. You can have it.

    And then, instead of bargaining, which Ephron probably expected, Abraham "agtreed to Ephron's terms and weighted out for him the price he had named..."

    In a culture known for bargaining, this was unheard of! Abraham also would never have allowed a reason for anyone to claim he had cheated the man out of the right price for the land!

    This is a scene I always enjoy reading.


    In Psalm 8, between the wonderful opening and closing, David shows he is actually stunned at something God did:

    "What is man, that you are mindful of him?"

    Here we are, rebels and world-destroyers, and yet God loves us.

    David goes on "For you made him a little lower than [elohim. That is sometimes translated as 'angels' or 'heavenly beings,' but the word is 'elohim.' In 1 Corinthians 6:3, Paul says we shall judge the angels. Thus, the meaning in Psalm 8 seems to be that we were created a little lower than God Himself! -- That we have been, being made in the image of God, thus crowned with glory and honor! We were given dominion, and still have it, over the works of God's hands -- here in the world.

    It needs to be stated, though, that the writer to the Hebrews DOES translate the word as "angels" in Hebrews 2:7.

    Have fun thinking about that one!
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

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    Good evening all:

    I find today's passages from Genesis very emotional. First of all 21: 6 - 7 sounds so joyous! Sarah is obviously overjoyed at the birth of her son, Isaac. These two verses really brought a smile to my face. It, however, quickly turns. I see Ishmael's "mocking" or "playing" a sign of his youth. Then Sarah's lingering disdain toward Hagar and the surrogate son that Sarah herself had wanted for Abraham. From this springs Abraham's obvious dismay at having to send the servant-girl (I guess "servant-WOMAN" by this time) and his first-born son away to satiate his wife's jealousy. This leads to Hagar's fear and sorrow as she laments in the desert of Beersheba, sure that her son will die. We then can feel total relief when Hagar discovers water for the boy. I find this whole chapter an emotional roller coaster.

    As a modern believer, I appreciate how God Himself steps in at each turn to comfort (v. 17), smooth over (v. 12), or create a great paradigm shift (v. 13 & 18) for the characters in this story. I think it’s for this relationship that so many of us are drawn to God. Even weaker, worldly Christians will turn to God in times of trouble or grief. Again, I think it's in our instinct to do so.

    Then chapter 22. As I stated last night, I honestly don't know that I would have passed this test. I admire Abraham for his immediate obedience to God. In every turn of this story of Abraham, he never questions or hesitates. Of course the similarities of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his only son and the willingness of God to do the same in the New Testament are blazingly clear. The difference of course is that God's Hand was not stayed as Christ hung upon the cross. God did indeed "provide the lamb (v. 8)."

    Finally the emotional maelstrom of these chapters ends with Abraham burying his wife. Abraham did indeed end up making Canaan his homeland as God said he would in chapter 12, verse 7. As a piece of literature, this story holds together so well. The circular motion of promises made and promises kept are very beautiful to me.

    I also wanted to comment on our reading in Acts today. The death of Ananias and Sapphira were certainly not because they did not give all, rather it was the deceitful attitude they took in making it SEEM as though they were giving all. I shudder to think how a false teacher with a little charisma could misconstrue this story and the one from last night to obtain all of a person's possessions in the name of God. God doesn't NEED our money! It is the attitude of giving that pleases the Lord. We learned that from Cain and Abel. 'Nuff said, I reckon.

    May God bless all of you

    - Clint

    As an aside I found this map that shows Abraham's route through the Middle East with no whistles, bells, or beeps:http://www.enmu.edu/users/rollinsh/geog05.html

    Also, from yeterday Helen, Jen is nine. Go to my profile and there's a picture of all three of us there.
     
  5. Bible Believing Bill

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Psalms 8:1 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
    Plslms 8:9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    As John said above AMEN.
    These two verses are a wonderful reminder of Heavenly Father.

    Bill
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

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  7. Aaron

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    Has God asked you to offer up your only begotten son, whom you love, so to speak? I believe every believer will be called to do so. Isaac was the "child of promise." He was given by God. God was going to fulfill His promise to Abraham through him, and now Abraham is asked to give him up.

    What is it that you have, that was given to you by God, that He has asked you to surrender? Will you do the works of your father, Abraham?

    [ January 08, 2003, 11:24 PM: Message edited by: Aaron ]
     
  8. Clint Kritzer

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    Good evening -

    Coincidentally, I received an email from my former pastor today from "The Daily Lift," a devotional newsletter from James Watson. Here are two of the items in the newsletter:

    http://www.daylift.com/

    [ January 08, 2003, 11:48 PM: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  9. Aaron

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    Dad burn it, Clint! You gave away the punchline! ;) [​IMG]

    When we die to our own will, even if what we will was something God promised us, then God can supernaturally fulfill His promises to us.

    Abraham reckoned that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead.
     
  10. Clint Kritzer

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    Amen, Aaron!

    One other quick note on our reading from Acts yeterday before I bump up the topic for today:

    Though we see what could be classified as a communal type living situation in the early primitive Christian community, the Epistles attest that this order did not remain in effect. In Romans 15:25-26; Acts 24:17; 1Corinthians 16:1-4; 2Co 9:1-2; and Galatians 2:10, alludes to collections of various sorts. Also remember that Philemon was a slave owner thus pointing to property being owned.
     
  11. Clint Kritzer

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