Whatever class it is
14 October, 2013
Abraham, the exalted father, was from Ur in southern Babylonia. His father was Terah and he was one of the great patriarchs in the Messianic line. Upon Terah’s death Abraham was divinely called from Ur to become progenitor of the chosen people. This is the first great call recorded in the Bible. In the covenant with Abraham three things were promised; “the land, a posterity and the great blessing to all peoples of the earth in that the Messiah would be brought forth from the nation of which Abraham was the founder” (Gen. 12:1-4). Abraham and Sarah lived illustrated that the lack of faith in God can lead to dire consequences. Famine began driving the Israelites into Egypt. Abraham, at the age of seventy five, took Sarah, his wife, and Lot, his dead brother’s son, and all of their belongings to Canaan. In Egypt, Abraham, being afraid that men would slay him in order to marry Sarah, introduced Sarah as his sister. He repeated this again years later in Gerar and in both instances it brought trouble. Sarah was Abraham’s half sister. In one instance, Sarah became embroiled with the king and they were ordered to leave. Abraham returned to Bethel and divided the land with his nephew, Lot. Several years later, Abraham moved again to Hebron. His nephew, Lot, was captured in a war and was soon rescued by Abraham. They were both was blessed by Melchizedek as they were returning home. Abraham was divinely promised an heir. Sarah, a princess, was ten years younger than Abraham at the age of seventy five.
She was still childless and thought that she was in the way of the fulfillment of the covenant promise. In her overwhelming lack of faith, she urged Abraham to make Hagar, their Egyptian maid, his secondary wife. Abraham did has she pleased and Ishmael was born. When Abraham and Hagar conceived, Hagar began to treat Sarah badly. She made fun of her bareness and age. Jealously began developing between Sarah and Hagar. Sarah went to Abraham and told him that she had made a mistake. Abraham reminded Sarah that Hagar was her maid and to do with her as she pleased. Sarah treated Hagar so badly that see fled. An angel came to Hagar during her flight and told her that she was with son and should return to her mistress. Hagar was told he would be a wild man and his hand would be against every man and every man’s hand would be against him. He was to be named Ishmael. When Abraham was ninety nine years old the Lord renewed his covenant with him. This time, Abraham was asked to keep the covenant by having every man child born for the generations after when he was eight days old to be circumcised. Also every man living was to be circumcised. Abraham was ninety nine years of age when he was circumcised; Ishmael was thirteen. The Lord at this time changed their names from Abram to Abraham meaning father of many nations and from Sarai to Sarah mother of nations. Abraham laughed and thought it was impossible that a man who is a hundred years old would be able to conceive a child and that a woman who is ninety years old could bear a child.
Once again, because of Abraham’s lack of faith, Abraham thought the Lord was referring to his son, Ishmael, so Abraham praised his name before the Lord. God told Abraham that his covenant was with him and his wife and Sarah would bear him a son that they should call him Isaac. After renewing the covenant the Lord left. Soon after this three angels disguised as men walked into Abraham’s camp. Abraham called for Sarah to prepare food and drink for their company. As the men talked to Abraham outside the tent they asked Abraham where was Sarah, his wife? The Lord said next year I will return and Sarah will have a son. Sarah heard this and laughed with disbelief for she thought I am too old. The Lord chastised Sarah for laughing, which she denied laughing but...