BSF Genesis: Week 17, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

12.
a.
They saw the blessings, Peace, God’s presence, Abraham’s prayer life

b.
prayer leads to God’s continuous presence leads to peace leads to blessings

13.
a.
Swore not to deal falsely, show kindness, swore oath together, gave 7 ewe lambs in settlement of disagreement

b.
show fairness, honesty, let my word be true, show honor to God in all

My Daily Journal:

I’m reading a book called God Forsaken by Dinesh D’Souza.  I’m not very far into it, yet, but one of the things that struck me in the first chapter was the argument by athiest and non-believers that we’ve all heard before:  “How could I possibly believe in a god who would __________?”

This stuck with me throughout our study this week.  God’s position should be the head.  He should be in the lead, in the forefront.  But how often in my life do I act like Abraham and Sarah and ask God to perform janitorial duties and clean up my messes?  Then when those messes get so large and convoluted, people blame God that He isn’t cleaning them up fast enough to suit their thinking.

It is good that he was able to settle in this region for a while and concentrate on raising his son.  It is hard on a family to be traveling and relocating all the time.  But, by relying on his own wit and wisdom, Abraham not only put that at risk but he put the ability to father a child at risk.  It is hard to have a child with your wife if she is living in another man’s palace as his wife.

It was just convicting to me of looking at those areas where I run ahead of God and then pray for Him to bail me out of a mess I made.  Not only because of the pain that causes me and those I love but also because of the message others see in those messes and how that reflects on their heart for God.

Side Note:  What’s with the 7 lambs?  In order to have a lasting relationship with Abimilech, Abraham had to reach the understanding that it could not just be about me, me, me.  It also had to be about “ewe”.  (sorry, couldn’t resist!) (I published this earlier on the wrong day, but it belongs with this day’s lesson.

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BSF Genesis: Week 17, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

Questions

9.
a.
mocking

b.
Hagar represents man’s attempt to be self-justified through works. Impossible to become part of God’s family, only by grace

c.
He did not abandon them, opened their eyes, provided for them, stayed with, saved, became a great nation

d.
The word of God last forever – while we face certain death God has the ability to bring us through it

10.
It is the difference between self sufficiency, self strength and complete submission to God’s strength. The second is stronger, but weaker and subject to mocking by the first in human view

b.
In the desert with a single skin of water, left for dead, but God saves. Mocking and despising/jealousy leads to being set apart

11.
a.
Struggle between patiently submitting and being led by the spirit and impatiently wanting to run forward

b.
The spirit controls my heart and the Lord fills me to overflowing with his Love, but I become impatient, allow human nature

My Daily Journal:

I was reminded of how God uses the desert.  The desert is a barren, stripped down place.  When Abraham followed Sarah’s wishes he abandoned this side of his family (something clearly not meant as an example of how to behave as a man) and sent them out into the desert with minimal provisions.

We find ourselves in the desert sometimes as well.  We go through periods of time where things are plentiful and, at least on the surface, all may be seeming to go well.  Then, one day we find ourselves in the desert, relying on the things we brought from our old life until those run out.  In the deserts of life we have a hard time focusing on anything except the troubles all around us and the life we used to have.

But, God provides.  To go from one mountaintop to the next you must go through the valley.  God brings us into desert times in our lives so that we may learn to rely on him.  In doing homiletics on this passage it struck me that every verse I summarized from 17-21 started with God.  God heard, God called, God promised, God opened, God provided…

BSF Genesis: Week 17, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

3.
Same: Abraham lied about Sarah being his sister, taken by King, not gone to, God intervenes – people get ill, “what have you done to me/us?”, Abraham gained monetarily.
Difference: Run out of Egypt not Negev, Explanation of why they lied (habit and prior agreement), no mention of Sarah’s beauty, Abimelek knew God although Abraham didn’t recognize it, ended in prayer

4.
a.
He is an idiot and horrible role-model for being a husband. He was afraid and rather than rely on God relied on his own wit and intellect. Twisted truth to attempt to satisfy his own needs/desires.  This lie must have been a deep rut he fell back in to.

b.
When afraid but feeling they can “weasel” their way out. They know it is wrong but justify it because it is “partially true.”

5.
a.
Missed opportunity. Rather than being a witness to Abimilek and the nation he was a source of disease and problems

b.
We can only be a blessing if people see God in us. If we deny God the opportunity to be at the forefront and relegate him to cleaning up our messes how can we be a blessing?
(text) vs 10: he was not treated as his sins deserved or repayed according to his iniquities

6.
a.
vs 10: he was not treated as his sins deserved or repayed according to his iniquities

b.
He formed a treaty with him, swore not to deal falsely, stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time

c.
He has treated me with compassion and not once given me what I truly deserve. He has blessed me and my family and encouraged me to be an honest husband.

My Daily Journal:

In the children’s lecture, one of the principles talks about restoration in this section.  This brought to mind the illustration of restoring a piece of furniture.  To truly restore furniture requires stripping it down to the bare wood and carving out any weak or decayed pieces of wood, joints or fabric.

We saw Abram and Sarai (names back then) pull this same stunt in Egypt.  While God protected them at that point, it does not appear they really dealt with the lie.  I equate this with putting another coat of paint on the furniture instead of refinishing it correctly.

That doesn’t work here because (1) Abimilech is a believer and (2) God’s plan is for Abraham to spend some time in this land raising his son.  For this to work Abraham needed to be able to form a bond with Abimilech, to reach a covenant with him.  But you cannot form a strong bond in furniture without stripping off the old varnish.  Abraham and Sarah show their old varnish in their lie, but God’s response to Abimilech leads to Abraham’s prayer and ultimately to Abraham’s promise to Abimilech that he will not lie to him ever again.

Side Note:  What’s with the 7 lambs?  In order to have a lasting relationship with Abimilech, Abraham had to reach the understanding that it could not just be about me, me, me.  It also had to be about “ewe”.  (sorry, couldn’t resist!)

BSF Genesis: Week 17, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

Questions

7.
a.
Lord was gracious, Lord did what he had promised, at the very time God had promised

b.
Faith – although “good as dead” did not waver through disbelief, stengthened in his faith

c.
I struggle with the same “me do” attitude that many do, trying to rely on myself first, then God when in trouble. God has given me challenges bigger than I can handle to help awaken and strengthen me to trust and rely on Him alone.

8.

  • No one can see the kingdom unless they are born again
  • body good as dead, through faith strengthened and made the father of many nations, credited as righteousness, we inherit
  • Birth through the word of truth that we might be a firstfruits of all created
  • born again of imperishable seed

My Daily Journal

The grass withers and the flowers fall but the word of our God lasts forever.  I know this and I believe it but I don’t understand it.  The idea that we are born again not only into new life but from a imperishable seed.

We accept the gift of eternal life but struggle to trust that God could deliver a promise to give a chile to a 90 year old woman and 100 year old man.  We trust the promise of heaven but try to supplement God’s wisdom and power in our daily actions on earth.