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God Starts The Hebrew Nation
( with Abraham ) - part 3
( Audio Version read by Kathy Bird )
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Isaac grew and on the day he was weaned, Abraham held a great feast. Sarah saw Ishmael, son of Hagar the Egyptian, acting in a mocking way and said to Abraham, "Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac."
The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. But God said to him,
"Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring."
Early next morning, Abraham gave Hagar some food and a skin of water and sent her off with the boy. Hagar wandered the desert of Beersheba and soon the water in the skin was gone. She put her son under a bush and sat down near by, but out of the sight of him.
She thought, "I cannot watch the boy die" and she started to sob. God heard the boy crying and
the Angel Of God called to Hagar,
"What is the matter Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation."
Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.
Some time later God tests Abraham saying,
"Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."
Abraham took Isaac and two servants, along with wood that had been cut for the burnt offering and set out for the place God has told him about. On the third day, he saw the place at a distance and told his servants to stay with the donkey while he and the boy went to worship. Abraham put the wood on his son Isaac and he carried the fire and the knife.
On the way Isaac asked, "Father?"
"Yes, my son?" Abraham replied
"The fire and the wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"
Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
But the Angel Of The LORD called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied.
"Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."
Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught by its horns, in a thicket. He took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided."
The Angel Of The LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and re-affirmed the promise he made to Abraham and told him that he would bless him and make his descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.
Because Abraham did not withhold his only son, God said,
"Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."
Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old. Abraham buried her in a cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre at Hebron in the land of Canaan. Abraham asked the Hittites to sell him some property for a burial site. They respected him as a mighty prince and were willing to give him anything he wanted, but Abraham insisted on buying a field with a cave worth four hundred shekels of silver.
A Bride For Isaac and
The Lord had blessed Abraham in every way, and now when he was old and well advanced in
years, he wanted to get a bride for his son Isaac.
Abraham told the chief servant in his household to go to his relatives in his own country and get a wife for his son, Isaac. The servant was concerned that the woman he picked may not want to return with him and he asked if he should take Isaac. Abraham told him not to take Isaac with him because of God's promise: 'To your offspring I will give this land.'
Abraham told his servant that God would send an angel before him so that he could get a wife for his son. The servant took all kinds of gifts from Abraham along with ten of his camels and made his way to the town of Nahor and had the camels kneel down near the well outside of town.
Then he prayed: "O Lord, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a girl, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I'll water your camels too’-- let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master."
Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. The servant asked the girl for a drink and it happened as he had prayed. Then he asked her who's daughter she was and she told him that she was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, who was the wife of Nahor. (Abraham's brother) The girl was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever lain with her. When the camels had finished drinking, the servant gave her two gold bracelets and a gold nose ring and asked if there was room in her father's house for them to spend the night. Rebekah told him that they had plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for him to spend the night. The servant praised the Lord while Rebekah ran to her family and told her mother about what had happened. The camels were unloaded and water was brought for the servant and his men to wash their feet. Then dinner was set before them. But the servant did not eat before he told them about Abraham and how the Lord, God of Abraham, guided him to Rebekah.
Laban and Bethuel answered, "This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. Here is Rebekah; take her and go and let her become the wife of your master's son, as the Lord has directed."
Abraham's servant bowed down before the Lord when he heard what Laban (Rebekah's brother) and Bethuel (Rebekah's father) had said and he gave Rebekah gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing. He also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother. Then they ate, drank and spent the night there.
The next morning Rebekah and her servants returned with the servant to Isaac, who was living in a place called Negev. Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
Abraham took another wife and she bore him several children who became the descendants of
Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's slave girl, was the father of twelve tribes who were scattered across the country from the northeast of the Egyptian border in the direction of Assyria and they were constantly at war with one another. Ishmael was one hundred and thirty seven years old when he died.
Abraham was one hundred and seventy-five years old when he died. His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Mach-pelah near Mamre, where Sarah was buried. After Abraham's death, God blessed his son Isaac, who then lived near Beer Lahai Roi.
Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac. But while he was still living, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east.
Abraham died without ever seeing his offspring inherit the land the Lord had promised him. But Abraham saw the birth of a son promised to him and knew that someday all that the Lord had told him would come to be.
Believing without seeing is the essence of faith!
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[ Page 5 ]
January---------Lazarus And The Rich Man
February-------The Greatest Commandment ("about love")
March-----------The Lost Sheep / The Lost Son
April-------------Meaning Of Easter / 3 Examples From Jesus
May--------------The Worry Of Daily Life
June-------------The Ten Lepers
July--------------The Good Samaritan
August----------How To Give and How To Pray
September-----The Un-believing Towns
October---------Signs Revealing Christ's Return To Earth
November------The Last Supper
December------Why We Should Celebrate Christmas
January--------The Things That Make A Person Unclean
February-------Marriage, Adultery, and Divorce
March-----------Jesus Chooses The Apostles
April-------------The Coming Persecutions For The Believers
May--------------Jesus Feeds 5000 Men ( part 1 )
June-------------Jesus Walks On The Water ( part 2 )
July--------------The Bread Of Life ( part 3 )
August----------The Meaning Of The Cross
September-----Jonah And The Whale
October---------Jesus And The Devil ( Satan )
November------Jesus And The Sabbath ( The Day Of Rest )
December------The Christmas Story ( The Birth Of Jesus )
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