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Friday, January 13, 2012

Abram Circumcises His Household

    Today’s Reading:
  • Genesis 16:1-18:15
  • Proverbs 2:1-5
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Genesis 16:1-18:15
I guess it’s a good thing that Abram didn’t divorce Sarai for being barren throughout their marriage. That aside, I can’t imagine handing a woman over to my husband to sleep with and bear a child. I would be afraid I’d hate the child because I’d be reminded of it every time I saw him. But that’s just what Sarai does. She hands her servant, Hagar, over to her own husband. Hagar becomes pregnant and begins to treat Sarai with contempt. My question is, how did Sarai treat Hagar? The bible tells so little of the story, but there had to be anger and resentment there when Hagar became pregnant, don’t you think? I feel sorry for everyone in that situation.

After Ishmel is born to Abram and Hagar, the Lord visited Abram again, this time to form a covenant. For this covenant to be fulfilled, Abram must take every male of his household, himself included, and circumcise them. That could hardly have been well received! I wonder how hard of a time Abram had when he rounded up everyone, explained to them what had to happen, and then physically had to do it. I can’t imagine!

Abram (100 years old) and Sarai (90 years old) are from this point forward known as Abraham and Sarah, and God tells them that they will have a son together. I know that people lived a lot longer back then, but 90 years old must have been far past their prime. I would imagine it’s like a 65 – 70 year old woman trying to bear a child. So I can see how they might both have been skeptical of the promise from the Lord. Regardless, they were told – twice – that it would happen. The reading ends with Sarah’s skeptical laughter.

Proverbs 2:1-5
These verses focus on seeking out wisdom. We’re told to find insight and understanding, to seek them as you would a hidden treasure. This will teach you to both fear the Lord and gain knowledge of him. I feel like that’s happening to me right now as I am undergoing this study – learning all these things has already given me new fear and appreciation for the Lord. At the same time, I am literally gaining knowledge of God. While it is a bit scary to truly examine my life against God’s standards, I am becoming better prepared to steer out a new path to follow.

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