Saturday, January 11, 2014

January 9, 2014 Devotional - Genesis 15 & 16, and Matthew 8

Genesis 15 - Abrahamic Covenant, Prophecy About Offspring's Enslavement in Egypt 
The LORD said, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield; your reward will be very great." Abram asked how this could be since a slave in his house was the heir (Eliezar of Damascus). God told him he would have a son for an heir, and that his offspring will number the same as stars in the sky. Abram believed the LORD and it was credited to him as righteousness. Then he asked God how he would know he would posses it. God told him to bring animals, and he did, and split them down the middle and laid the pieces opposite to each other. The sun was setting and Abram fell into a deep sleep, terror and great darkness descended on him. The LORD said Abram's offspring would be strangers in a land and enslaved oppressed there for 400 years, but that He would judge that nation and they will go out with many possessions. They will return because the iniquity of the Amorites has not reached its full measure. When the sun set it was dark and a smoking fire pot and flaming torch passed between the divided animals. The LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, "I give this land to your offspring."

Genesis 16 - Hagar & Ishmael 
Sarai didn't have children yet so she told Abram to lay with her slave, Hagar, to have children. Abram slept with Hagar, and she became pregnant. Because of this, Sarai began to look down on Hagar, and blamed her for her suffering. Abram told Sarai to do whatever she wanted with Hagar. Sarai mistreated her so much that she ran away. The Angel of the Lord found Hagar by a spring of water, and told her she must go back to Sarai and submit to her mistreatment. The Angel of the Lord also told her that he will multiply her offspring so that they will be too many to count. He told her that she will have a son, Ishmael, that he will be wild, and against everyone, and everyone will be against him, he will live at odds with all his brothers. She named the Lord who spoke to her "The God Who Sees", "I have seen here the One who sees me." So she gave birth to Ishmael. At this time Abram was 86 years old. 

Matthew 8 - Healings, Following Jesus, Sovereignty over the Wind and Sea, Sending Demons in Pigs 
Large crowds followed Jesus. He healed a man with a serious skin disease who asked if He was willing. In Capernaum he healed a centurion's servant, and the centurion had more faith than all Jesus had seen in Israel. Jesus said that many will come from east and west to recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, but the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law of her fever. They brought many who were demon-possessed, and He drove out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick to fulfill Scripture in Isaiah, "He took our weaknesses, and carried our diseases." Seeing the large crowds Jesus ordered to go to the other side of the sea. In response to the expressed allegiance of a scribe Jesus said Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head. Another disciple said, "First let me bury my father." Jesus said, "Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead." Jesus got into a boat and the disciples followed. A sudden violent storm arose on the sea. The boat was swamped but Jesus was sleeping. They woke him saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to die!" He said, "Why are you fearful, you of little faith?" He got up, rebuked the wind and the sea, and there was a great calm. The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? - even the winds and the sea obey Him!" Jesus came to the Gadarenes, and two violent demon-possessed men met him as they came out of the tombs. They shouted, "What do You have to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?" The demons begged to sent into a herd of pigs not far away. Jesus did, and the pigs rushed down the steep bank and perished in the water. The city heard all of this, and the whole town went out to meet Jesus and begged Him to leave their region.

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