Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January 13, 2014 Devotional - Genesis 21 & 22, and Matthew 11

Genesis 21 - Birth of Isaac, Sending away of Ishmael, Abraham's Covenant to live in the land of the Philistines 
The Lord did for Sarah as he promised, she became pregnant at God's appointed time - Isaac. Abraham was 100. Sarah saw Isaac mocking Ishmael (son of Hagar the Egyptian), and asked Abraham to drive them out, because Ishmael will not be a coheir with Isaac. This was hard for Abraham, but God told him to not be concerned for them, for He will make Ishmael into a nation as well. Abraham gave them provisions and sent them away. They ran out of provisions, and the Lord heard Ishmael's cry, and the angel of God called her, and promised to make Ishmael a great nation and she saw a well. God was with Ishmael, and he grew; he settled in the wilderness, became an archer, and married an Egyptian. Abimelech and Phicol (the army commander) came to Abraham from the land of the Philistines and they made a covenant swearing an oath not to come against each other, and that Abraham dug a certain well at Beer-sheba. Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba and called on the name of Yahweh, the Everlasting God, and he lived in the land of the Philistines for many days.

Genesis 22 - Abraham Willing to Sacrifice Isaac 
God tested Abraham commanding him to go to the land of Moriah to offer Issac as a burnt offering. He obeyed, and took two young men and Isaac. On the 3rd day he arrived at the place. He told his young men to stay with the donkey while he and Isaac go and worship, then they will come back. He laid wood for the burnt offering on Isaac, and he took fire and a sacrificial knife, and they walked together. Isaac asked where the lamb was for the offering, and Abraham responded that the Lord will provide the lamb. Abraham built the altar, arranged the wood, bound Isaac and put him on the altar. He reached out to slaughter Isaac, but the Angel of the Lord called out, "Abraham, Abraham!" He said not to kill him, because he fears God. Then he saw a ram caught in the thicket, and they offered it as a burnt offering. The Angel of the Lord said, "Because you have done this thing and have not withheld your only son, I will indeed bless you and make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your offspring will possess the gates of their enemies. And all the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring because you have obeyed my command." Abraham went back to his young men, and they went back to Beer-sheba, and that's where they settled. The chapter ends with Rebekah's family.

Matthew 11 - Jesus is the One John the Baptist Pointed to 
After Jesus gave orders to the 12 disciples he went to preach and teach in their towns. John the Baptist heard from prison about what Jesus was doing, so he sent a message and asked if He is the one that was to come. Jesus said, "the blind see, the lame walk, and those with skin diseases are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news. If anyone is not offended because of Me, he is blessed." Jesus spoke to the crowds that He is far more than a prophet, and the one whom John taught about. John is the Elijah who is to come, none born among women are greater than John. This generation has said John (in not eating or drinking) has a demon, and that the Son of Man is a drunkard and friend of tax collectors and sinners. Jesus then denounced the towns where most of the miracles were done, because they didn't repent, that the day of judgment will be more tolerable for Tyre, Sidon, and even Sodom than them. Jesus praised God for hiding these things from the wise and revealing them to infants. All things have been entrusted to Jesus by His Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal Him. Jesus then commands all who are weary and burdened to come to him, and He will give them rest, He's gentle and humble of heart, and we will find rest.

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