Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

The importance of patience in prayer and in life cannot be overemphasized! Abraham lived most of his life patiently believing that God would fulfill His promise to give him a son. In his old age, however, he succumbed to pressure from his wife to have a child by her maid, Hagar (Genesis 16:2). Abraham hearkened to the voice of his wife instead of giving her godly direction-a choice that proved to be a historic mistake.

Ishmael has come to symbolize the fruit of impatience. When you do not believe that God has heard your cry in prayer, you take matters into your own hands and create situations that you cannot successfully bring to a close. If you truly believe that your Father has seen you and heard your prayer, why struggle to come up with your own solution? Boldly assert as did Hagar, "I have seen the One who sees me!" (Genesis 16:13).

Isaac means "laughter," so you may as well keep laughing until your "Isaac" shows up. Ishmaels come quickly, but they never go away.

Genesis 16:1-18:15

Hagar and Ishmael

16 Now Sarai,S Ge 11:29 Abram’s wife, had borne him no children.S Ge 11:30; Lk 1:7, 36; Gal 4:24-25 But she had an Egyptian slaveGe 21:9; 24:61; 29:24, 29; 31:33; 46:18 named Hagar;ver 3-4, 8, 15; Ge 21:14; 25:12so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children.Ge 29:31; 30:2 Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”Ge 19:32; 30:3-4, 9-10

Abram agreed to what Sarai said.So after Abram had been living in CanaanS Ge 12:5 ten years,S Ge 12:4 Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife.He slept with Hagar,S ver 1 and she conceived.

When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.Ge 30:1; 1Sa 1:6Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”Ge 31:53; Ex 5:21; Jdg 11:27; 1Sa 24:12, 15; 26:10, 23; Ps 50:6; 75:7

“Your slave is in your hands,Jos 9:25” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreatedGe 31:50 Hagar; so she fled from her.

The angel of the Lordver 11; Ge 21:17; 22:11, 15; 24:7, 40; 31:11; 48:16; Ex 3:2; 14:19; 23:20, 23; 32:34; 33:2; Nu 22:22; Jdg 2:1; 6:11; 13:3; 2Sa 24:16; 1Ki 19:5; 2Ki 1:3; 19:35; Ps 34:7; Zec 1:11; S Ac 5:19 found Hagar near a springver 14; Ge 21:19 in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur.Ge 20:1; 25:18; Ex 15:22; 1Sa 15:7; 27:8And he said, “Hagar,S ver 1 slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”S Ge 3:9

“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.

Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.”10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”S Ge 13:16

11 The angel of the LordS ver 7; S Ac 5:19 also said to her:

“You are now pregnant

and you will give birth to a son.S Ge 3:15

You shall name himGe 12:2-3; 18:19; Ne 9:7; Isa 44:1; Am 3:2; Mt 1:21; Lk 1:13, 31 Ishmael,Ishmael means God hears.Ge 17:19; 21:3; 37:25, 28; 39:1; Jdg 8:24

for the Lord has heard of your misery.Ge 29:32; 31:42; Ex 2:24; 3:7, 9; 4:31; Nu 20:16; Dt 26:7; 1Sa 9:16

12 He will be a wild donkeyJob 6:5; 11:12; 24:5; 39:5; Ps 104:11; Jer 2:24; Hos 8:9 of a man;

his hand will be against everyone

and everyone’s hand against him,

and he will live in hostility

towardOr live to the east / of all his brothers.Ge 25:18

13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,Ps 139:1-12” for she said, “I have now seenOr seen the back of the One who sees me.”Ge 32:30; 33:10; Ex 24:10; 33:20, 23; Nu 12:8; Jdg 6:22; 13:22; Isa 6:514 That is why the wellS ver 7 was called Beer Lahai RoiBeer Lahai Roi means well of the Living One who sees me.;Ge 24:62; 25:11 it is still there, between KadeshS Ge 14:7 and Bered.

15 So HagarS ver 1 bore Abram a son,Ge 21:9; Gal 4:22 and Abram gave the name IshmaelGe 17:18; 25:12; 28:9 to the son she had borne.16 Abram was eighty-six years oldS Ge 12:4 when Hagar bore him Ishmael.

The Covenant of Circumcision

17 When Abram was ninety-nine years old,S Ge 12:4 the Lord appeared to himS Ge 12:7 and said, “I am God AlmightyHebrew El-Shaddai;Ge 28:3; 35:11; 43:14; 48:3; 49:25; Ex 6:3; Ru 1:20; Job 5:17; 6:4, 14; 22:21; 33:19; 36:16; Isa 13:6; Joel 1:15; Mic 6:9 walk before me faithfully and be blameless.S Ge 5:22; 20:5; Dt 18:13; 1Ki 3:6; 9:4; Job 1:1; Ps 15:2; 18:23; 78:72; 101:2Then I will make my covenant between me and youS Ge 15:18; S 22:16-18 and will greatly increase your numbers.”S Ge 12:2

Abram fell facedown,ver 17; Ge 18:2; 19:1; 33:3; Ex 18:7; Nu 14:5; Jos 5:14; 7:6; Jdg 13:20; Eze 1:28; 3:23 and God said to him,“As for me, this is my covenant with you:S Ge 15:18 You will be the father of many nations.ver 16; S Ge 12:2; 25:23No longer will you be called AbramAbram means exalted father.; your name will be Abraham,Abraham probably means father of many.ver 15; Ge 32:28; 35:10; 37:3, 13; 43:6; 46:2; 1Ki 18:31; 2Ki 17:34; 1Ch 1:34; Ne 9:7; Isa 48:1; S Jn 1:42 for I have made you a father of many nations.Ro 4:17*I will make you very fruitful;Ge 1:28; 22:17; 26:22; 28:3; 35:11; 41:52; 47:27; 48:4; 49:22; Lev 26:9; Dt 7:13 I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.ver 16, 19; Ge 18:10; 21:1; 36:31; Isa 51:2; Mt 1:6I will establish my covenantS Ge 6:18; S Ge 15:18; Lev 26:9, 15 as an everlasting covenantS Ge 9:16; S Heb 13:20 between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your GodEx 6:7; 20:2; 29:45, 46; Lev 11:44-45; 18:2; 22:33; 25:38; 26:12, 45; Nu 15:41; Dt 4:20; 7:6, 21; 29:13; 2Sa 7:24; Jer 14:9; Rev 21:7 and the God of your descendants after you.Ro 9:8; Gal 3:16The whole land of Canaan,S Ge 10:19 where you now reside as a foreigner,Ge 23:4; 28:4; 35:27; 37:1; Ex 6:4; 1Ch 29:15 I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you;S Ge 12:7; S 15:7 and I will be their God.S ver 7; Jer 31:1

Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant,Ge 22:18; Ex 19:5; Dt 5:2 you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.Ge 18:1910 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.ver 23; Ge 21:4; Lev 12:3; Jos 5:2, 5, 7; Jn 7:22; Ac 7:8; Ro 4:1111 You are to undergo circumcision,Ex 12:48; Dt 10:16 and it will be the sign of the covenantS Ge 9:12; Ro 4:11 between me and you.12 For the generations to comeS Ge 9:12 every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised,Ge 21:4; Lev 12:3; Jos 5:2; S Lk 1:59 including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring.13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised.Ex 12:44, 48 My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant.S Ge 9:1614 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcisedver 23 in the flesh, will be cut off from his people;Ex 4:24-26; 12:15, 19; 30:33; Lev 7:20, 25; 17:4; 18:29; 19:8; 20:17; Nu 9:13; 15:30; 19:13; Dt 17:12; Jos 5:2-8; Job 38:15; Ps 37:28 he has broken my covenant.Eze 44:7

15 God also said to Abraham, “As for SaraiS Ge 11:29 your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah.S ver 516 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her.S ver 6; S Isa 29:22 I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations;S ver 4; Ge 24:60; Gal 4:31 kings of peoples will come from her.”

17 Abraham fell facedown;S ver 3 he laughedGe 18:12; 21:6 and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old?S Ge 12:4 Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”Ge 18:11, 13; 21:7; 24:1, 36; Jer 20:15; Lk 1:18; Ro 4:19; Gal 4:23; Heb 11:1118 And Abraham said to God, “If only IshmaelS Ge 16:15 might live under your blessing!”Ge 21:11

19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son,S ver 6, 21; Ge 18:14; 21:2; 1Sa 1:20 and you will call him Isaac.Isaac means he laughs.S Ge 16:11; Mt 1:21; Lk 1:13, 31 I will establish my covenant with himGe 26:3; 50:24; Ex 13:11; Dt 1:8 as an everlasting covenantS Ge 9:16; S Gal 3:16 for his descendants after him.20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers.S Ge 13:16 He will be the father of twelve rulers,Ge 25:12-16 and I will make him into a great nation.Ge 25:18; 48:1921 But my covenantEx 34:10 I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to youS ver 19 by this time next year.”Ge 18:10, 1422 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.Ge 18:33; 35:13; Nu 12:9

23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his householdS Ge 12:5 or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him.S ver 10,S 1424 Abraham was ninety-nine years oldS Ge 12:4 when he was circumcised,Ro 4:1125 and his son IshmaelGe 16:16 was thirteen;26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day.27 And every male in Abraham’s householdGe 14:14, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.

The Three Visitors

18 The Lord appeared to AbrahamS Ge 12:7; Ac 7:2 near the great trees of MamreS Ge 13:18 while he was sitting at the entrance to his tentGe 19:1; 23:10, 18; 34:20, 24; Ru 4:1; Ps 69:12; Heb 11:9 in the heat of the day.Abraham looked upGe 24:63 and saw three menver 16, 22; Ge 19:1, 10; 32:24; Jos 5:13; Jdg 13:6-11; Hos 12:3-4; Heb 13:2 standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.S Ge 17:3; S 43:28

He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes,Ge 19:19; 39:4; Ru 2:2, 10, 13; 1Sa 1:18; Est 2:15 my lord,Or eyes, Lord do not pass your servantGe 32:4, 18, 20; 33:5 by.Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feetGe 19:2; 24:32; 43:24; Jdg 19:21; 2Sa 11:8; S Lk 7:44 and rest under this tree.Let me get you something to eat,Jdg 13:15; 19:5 so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”

“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”

So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahsThat is, probably about 36 pounds or about 16 kilograms of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”Ge 19:3; 2Sa 13:8

Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf1Sa 28:24; Lk 15:23 and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it.He then brought some curdsIsa 7:15, 22 and milkJdg 4:19; 5:25 and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them.Jdg 6:19 While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.

“Where is your wife Sarah?”S Ge 3:9 they asked him.

“There, in the tent,Ge 24:67; Heb 11:9” he said.

10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year,S Ge 17:21; 21:2; 2Ki 4:16 and Sarah your wife will have a son.”S Ge 17:6; Ro 9:9*

Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old,S Ge 17:17; Lk 1:18 and Sarah was past the age of childbearing.S Ge 11:30; Ro 4:19; Heb 11:11-1212 So Sarah laughedS Ge 17:17 to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord1Pe 3:6 is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’S Ge 17:1714 Is anything too hard for the Lord?Job 42:2; Isa 40:29; 50:2; 51:9; Jer 32:17, 27; S Mt 19:26; Ro 4:21 I will return to you at the appointed time next year,S ver 10 and Sarah will have a son.”S Ge 17:19; Ro 9:9*; Gal 4:23

15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”

But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”

The Birth of Ishmael

16 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not been able to bear children for him. But she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar.So Sarai said to Abram, “The Lord has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.” And Abram agreed with Sarai’s proposal.So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian servant and gave her to Abram as a wife. (This happened ten years after Abram had settled in the land of Canaan.)

So Abram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she became pregnant. But when Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress, Sarai, with contempt.Then Sarai said to Abram, “This is all your fault! I put my servant into your arms, but now that she’s pregnant she treats me with contempt. The Lord will show who’s wrong—you or me!”

Abram replied, “Look, she is your servant, so deal with her as you see fit.” Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away.

The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur.The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?”

“I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied.

The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.”10 Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.”

11 And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress.12 This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives.”

13 Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.”Hebrew El-roi. She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?”14 So that well was named Beer-lahai-roi (which means “well of the Living One who sees me”). It can still be found between Kadesh and Bered.

15 So Hagar gave Abram a son, and Abram named him Ishmael.16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Ishmael was born.

Abram Is Named Abraham

17 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.”

At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him,“This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations!What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham,Abram means “exalted father”; Abraham sounds like a Hebrew term that means “father of many.” for you will be the father of many nations.I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them!

“I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendantsHebrew seed; also in 17:7b, 8, 9, 10, 19. after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you.And I will give the entire land of Canaan, where you now live as a foreigner, to you and your descendants. It will be their possession forever, and I will be their God.”

The Mark of the Covenant

Then God said to Abraham, “Your responsibility is to obey the terms of the covenant. You and all your descendants have this continual responsibility.10 This is the covenant that you and your descendants must keep: Each male among you must be circumcised.11 You must cut off the flesh of your foreskin as a sign of the covenant between me and you.12 From generation to generation, every male child must be circumcised on the eighth day after his birth. This applies not only to members of your family but also to the servants born in your household and the foreign-born servants whom you have purchased.13 All must be circumcised. Your bodies will bear the mark of my everlasting covenant.14 Any male who fails to be circumcised will be cut off from the covenant family for breaking the covenant.”

Sarai Is Named Sarah

15 Then God said to Abraham, “Regarding Sarai, your wife—her name will no longer be Sarai. From now on her name will be Sarah.Sarai and Sarah both mean “princess”; the change in spelling may reflect the difference in dialect between Ur and Canaan.16 And I will bless her and give you a son from her! Yes, I will bless her richly, and she will become the mother of many nations. Kings of nations will be among her descendants.”

17 Then Abraham bowed down to the ground, but he laughed to himself in disbelief. “How could I become a father at the age of 100?” he thought. “And how can Sarah have a baby when she is ninety years old?”18 So Abraham said to God, “May Ishmael live under your special blessing!”

19 But God replied, “No—Sarah, your wife, will give birth to a son for you. You will name him Isaac,Isaac means “he laughs.” and I will confirm my covenant with him and his descendants as an everlasting covenant.20 As for Ishmael, I will bless him also, just as you have asked. I will make him extremely fruitful and multiply his descendants. He will become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.21 But my covenant will be confirmed with Isaac, who will be born to you and Sarah about this time next year.”22 When God had finished speaking, he left Abraham.

23 On that very day Abraham took his son, Ishmael, and every male in his household, including those born there and those he had bought. Then he circumcised them, cutting off their foreskins, just as God had told him.24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised,25 and Ishmael, his son, was thirteen.26 Both Abraham and his son, Ishmael, were circumcised on that same day,27 along with all the other men and boys of the household, whether they were born there or bought as servants. All were circumcised with him.

A Son Is Promised to Sarah

18 The Lord appeared again to Abraham near the oak grove belonging to Mamre. One day Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest part of the day.He looked up and noticed three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran to meet them and welcomed them, bowing low to the ground.

“My lord,” he said, “if it pleases you, stop here for a while.Rest in the shade of this tree while water is brought to wash your feet.And since you’ve honored your servant with this visit, let me prepare some food to refresh you before you continue on your journey.”

“All right,” they said. “Do as you have said.”

So Abraham ran back to the tent and said to Sarah, “Hurry! Get three large measuresHebrew 3 seahs, about half a bushel or 22 liters. of your best flour, knead it into dough, and bake some bread.”Then Abraham ran out to the herd and chose a tender calf and gave it to his servant, who quickly prepared it.When the food was ready, Abraham took some yogurt and milk and the roasted meat, and he served it to the men. As they ate, Abraham waited on them in the shade of the trees.

“Where is Sarah, your wife?” the visitors asked.

“She’s inside the tent,” Abraham replied.

10 Then one of them said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!”

Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent.11 Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children.12 So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?”

13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

15 Sarah was afraid, so she denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh.”

But the Lord said, “No, you did laugh.”

16 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.

And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.

And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the Lord judge between me and thee.

But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thine hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.

And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.

And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.

And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.

10 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.

11 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction.

12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.

13 And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?

14 Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.

16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.

17 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.

And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,

As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.

Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.

And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.

10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.

11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.

12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.

13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.

14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.

15 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.

16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.

17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?

18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!

19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.

21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.

22 And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.

23 And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him.

24 And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.

25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.

26 In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son.

27 And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.

18 And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;

And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,

And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:

Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:

And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.

And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.

And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.

And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.

10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.

11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

13 And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?

14 Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.

Matthew 6:1-24

Giving to the Needy

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them.Mt 5:16; 23:5 If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.ver 6, 18; Col 3:23, 24

Prayer6:9-13pp — Lk 11:2-4

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standingMk 11:25; Lk 18:10-14 in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father,2Ki 4:33 who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.And when you pray, do not keep on babblingEcc 5:2 like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.1Ki 18:26-29Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you needver 32 before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our FatherJer 3:19; Mal 2:10; 1Pe 1:17 in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

10 your kingdomS Mt 3:2 come,

your will be done,S Mt 26:39

on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us today our daily bread.Pr 30:8

12 And forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.Mt 18:21-35

13 And lead us not into temptation,The Greek for temptation can also mean testing.Jas 1:13

but deliver us from the evil one.Or from evil; some late manuscripts one, / for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.S Mt 5:37

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.Mt 18:21-35; Mk 11:25, 26; Eph 4:32; Col 3:1315 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.Mt 18:35

Fasting

16 “When you fast,Lev 16:29, 31; 23:27-32; Nu 29:7 do not look somberIsa 58:5; Zec 7:5; 8:19 as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.ver 4, 6

Treasures in Heaven6:22, 23pp — Lk 11:34-36

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,Pr 23:4; Lk 12:16-21; Heb 13:5 where moths and vermin destroy,S Jas 5:2, 3 and where thieves break in and steal.20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,Mt 19:21; Lk 12:33; 16:9; 18:22; 1Ti 6:19 where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.Lk 12:3321 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.Lk 12:34

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,The Greek for healthy here implies generous. your whole body will be full of light.23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,The Greek for unhealthy here implies stingy. your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.Lk 16:13

Teaching about Giving to the Needy

“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get.But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Teaching about Prayer and Fasting

“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,

may your name be kept holy.

10 May your Kingdom come soon.

May your will be done on earth,

as it is in heaven.

11 Give us today the food we need,Or Give us today our food for the day; or Give us today our food for tomorrow.

12 and forgive us our sins,

as we have forgiven those who sin against us.

13 And don’t let us yield to temptation,Or And keep us from being tested.

but rescue us from the evil one.Or from evil. Some manuscripts add For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

16 “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get.17 But when you fast, comb your hairGreek anoint your head. and wash your face.18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Teaching about Money and Possessions

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

22 “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light.23 But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Psalm 7:1-17

Psalm 7In Hebrew texts 7:1-17 is numbered 7:2-18.

A shiggaionTitle: Probably a literary or musical termHab 3:1 of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush, a Benjamite.

Lord my God, I take refugePs 2:12; 11:1; 31:1 in you;

save and deliver meS Ps 3:7 from all who pursue me,Ps 31:15; 119:86, 157, 161

or they will tear me apart like a lionS Ge 49:9; Rev 4:7

and rip me to pieces with no one to rescuePs 3:2; 71:11 me.

Lord my God, if I have done this

and there is guilt on my handsIsa 59:3

if I have repaid my ally with evil

or without causePs 35:7, 19; Pr 24:28 have robbed my foe—

then let my enemy pursue and overtakeS Ex 15:9 me;

let him trample my life to the groundS 2Sa 22:43; 2Ki 9:33; Isa 10:6; La 3:16

and make me sleep in the dust.The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.S Job 7:21

Arise,S 2Ch 6:41 Lord, in your anger;

rise up against the rage of my enemies.Ps 138:7

Awake,Ps 35:23; 44:23 my God; decree justice.

Let the assembled peoples gather around you,

while you sit enthroned over them on high.Ps 68:18

Let the Lord judgeS 1Ch 16:33 the peoples.

Vindicate me, Lord, according to my righteousness,S 1Sa 26:23; Ps 18:20

according to my integrity,S Ge 20:5 O Most High.S Ge 3:5; S Nu 24:16; S Mk 5:7

Bring to an end the violence of the wicked

and make the righteous secure—Ps 37:23; 40:2

you, the righteous GodJer 11:20

who probes minds and hearts.S 1Ch 28:9; Ps 26:2; Rev 2:23

10 My shieldOr sovereignPs 3:3 is God Most High,

who saves the upright in heart.S Job 33:3

11 God is a righteous judge,S Ge 18:25; Ps 9:8; 67:4; 75:2; 96:13; 98:9; Isa 11:4; Jer 11:20

a God who displays his wrathS Dt 9:8 every day.

12 If he does not relent,Eze 3:19; 33:9

heOr If anyone does not repent, / God will sharpen his sword;S Dt 32:41

he will bend and string his bow.S 2Sa 22:35; Ps 21:12; Isa 5:28; 13:18

13 He has prepared his deadly weapons;

he makes ready his flaming arrows.Ps 11:2; 18:14; 64:3

14 Whoever is pregnant with evil

conceives trouble and gives birthIsa 59:4; Jas 1:15 to disillusionment.

15 Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out

falls into the pitPs 35:7, 8; 40:2; 94:13; Pr 26:27 they have made.S Job 4:8

16 The trouble they cause recoils on them;

their violence comes down on their own heads.

17 I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;Ps 5:8

I will sing the praisesS 2Ch 31:2; Ro 15:11; Heb 2:12 of the name of the Lord Most High.S Ge 14:18

Psalm 7

A psalmHebrew A shiggaion, probably indicating a musical setting for the psalm. of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush of the tribe of Benjamin.

I come to you for protection, O Lord my God.

Save me from my persecutors—rescue me!

If you don’t, they will maul me like a lion,

tearing me to pieces with no one to rescue me.

O Lord my God, if I have done wrong

or am guilty of injustice,

if I have betrayed a friend

or plundered my enemy without cause,

then let my enemies capture me.

Let them trample me into the ground

and drag my honor in the dust. Interlude

Arise, O Lord, in anger!

Stand up against the fury of my enemies!

Wake up, my God, and bring justice!

Gather the nations before you.

Rule over them from on high.

The Lord judges the nations.

Declare me righteous, O Lord,

for I am innocent, O Most High!

End the evil of those who are wicked,

and defend the righteous.

For you look deep within the mind and heart,

O righteous God.

10 God is my shield,

saving those whose hearts are true and right.

11 God is an honest judge.

He is angry with the wicked every day.

12 If a person does not repent,

GodHebrew he. will sharpen his sword;

he will bend and string his bow.

13 He will prepare his deadly weapons

and shoot his flaming arrows.

14 The wicked conceive evil;

they are pregnant with trouble

and give birth to lies.

15 They dig a deep pit to trap others,

then fall into it themselves.

16 The trouble they make for others backfires on them.

The violence they plan falls on their own heads.

17 I will thank the Lord because he is just;

I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.

O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:

Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.

O Lord my God, If I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands;

If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)

Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.

Arise, O Lord, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.

So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high.

The Lord shall judge the people: judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.

Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.

10 My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.

11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.

12 If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.

13 He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.

14 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.

15 He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.

16 His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.

17 I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.

Proverbs 2:1-5

Moral Benefits of Wisdom

My son,S Pr 1:8 if you accept my words

and store up my commands within you,

turning your ear to wisdom

and applying your heart to understandingPr 22:17; 23:12

indeed, if you call out for insightJas 1:5

and cry aloud for understanding,

and if you look for it as for silver

and search for it as for hidden treasure,S Job 3:21; Mt 13:44

then you will understand the fear of the Lord

and find the knowledge of God.S Dt 4:6

The Benefits of Wisdom

My child,Hebrew My son. listen to what I say,

and treasure my commands.

Tune your ears to wisdom,

and concentrate on understanding.

Cry out for insight,

and ask for understanding.

Search for them as you would for silver;

seek them like hidden treasures.

Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord,

and you will gain knowledge of God.

My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.

Jan 6 Jan 8
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