September 6, 2015
Ch 19: When two angels go to remove Lot from Sodom, they are threatened with rape by the men of that city. Lot, unbelievably, nearly gives his own daughters to the men instead, but the angels intervene. Leaving Sodom, the city is destroyed by God, but Lot’s wife by turning back dies. Lot then lives in a cave with his daughters. They get their father drunk and commit incest with him in order to become pregnant. Their sons become the fathers of two great biblical nations that would plague Israel for the rest of time, Moab and Ammon (the present day Amman, Jordan still carries the name).
Ch 20: Abraham again lies about Sarah being his sister rather than his wife in order to protect himself from Abimelech, although his excuse is that she actually is his half sister. Abimelech has a dream from God that he will die if he doesn’t return Sarah to Abraham. He does so, giving Abraham a bunch of livestock in the process. Abraham is called a prophet by God, and upon praying for Abimelech, he is healed (and his wives) of infertility.
Ch 21: Isaac is born when Abraham is 100. Hagar is sent away because Ishmael, Abraham’s first son through the slave woman, is seen mocking (presumably Isaac). In the wilderness, when Hagar and Ishmael are dying of thirst, the angel of God shows them a well at Beersheba. Abimelech’s men and Abraham fight over presumably the same well in Beersheba and a covenant is made that the well belongs to Abraham, but the land beyond is Abimelech’s.
August 10, 2015
Ch 12: Abram called from Iraq to Canaan. He brings a lot of people, animals and possessions with him. Abram trusts God by following his call to move to Canaan. He sets up an altar near Jerusalem before heading down to Egypt because of a famine. He lies to Egyptians about his wife (calls her his sister; he’s afraid he’ll be killed and she stolen from him if he tells the truth) who is very beautiful. Judgment comes down on Egypt because Pharaoh is about to make her a concubine/wife. They get expelled back to Canaan.
Ch 13: Lot, Abram’s nephew, and Abram return to Canaan. The land can’t support both, so Abram gives Lot first choice of land. Lot chooses the Jordan river valley since its well-watered. YHWH has Abram look in all directions and is promised everything he can see and told that his descendants will be more than the dust of the earth. Abram trusts God by putting others before himself; he trusts that God will take care of him.
Ch 14: There’s a war, nephew Lot is captured. Abram assembles his men, goes after him and rescues him and takes much booty. Melchizedek, the king of Salem (Peace)and a priest of YHWH (Jesus is our high priest) comes and brings out bread and wine (body and blood of Christ); Abram gives him a tenth (a tithe). This is a Christophany, an appearance of Christ in the OT. King of Sodom says “keep everything, just give me back my people”. Abram says “no, you can have everything back; I will trust God to provide for me.”
Ch 15: Abram is worried that he doesn’t have an heir. YHWH tells him he will have an heir that comes from his own body. Abram believed/had faith in God and it was counted as righteousness.