~~~~~Lesson: Genesis 11-20 (reading below lesson)
The first section of the reading was about Abraham's journey. Reading it in the cold, factual terms of the bible doesn't really do justice to what occurred. Imagine, then, there are no cars. Travelling means walking slowly, making sure all of the cattle and sheep are keeping up and none wander. Stopping for the night means having to find a well where water can be obtained and sleeping on the ground. There are no baths, no nice hotels, and certainly no restaurants.
Imagine traveling that way....now, click on the following link and see how far they had to travel:
The second part of the reading is about Abram's first born son, whom is born by the maid of his wife. Her name is Hagar, the son becomes known as Ishmael. Eventually, Sarai will force Hagar and Ishmael out of her house and into the desert.
As God promised, Ishmael became the father of a nation. In the year 700 A.D., a prophet called Mohammad would bring all of the descendants of Ishmael together, and re-instate the worship of one God, called the God of Abraham, also called Allah.
Okay, deep breath, everyone.....yes, the above statement is true and even mentioned once in awhile in the media. Despite the "your God, my God" arguments, Jews, Christians, and Muslims are all worshipping "the God of Abraham”.
Questions to answer: What would you miss most if you had to travel as they did in the “old days”?
Do you think it is important that the Jews, Christians, and Muslims all worship the God of Abraham? Why or why not?
~Reading: Genesis 11-20: The Story of Abraham (I am only going to cover the “big” points, otherwise we’ll be working on Genesis for the next month!)
(11:31-12:9) Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot, son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and brought them out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to go to the land of Canaan. But when they reached Haran, they settled there. The lifetime of Terah was two hundred and five years; then Terah died in Haran.
The Lord said to Abram: "Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father's house to a land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the communities of the Earth shall find blessing in you."
Abram went as the Lord directed him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. Abram took his wife Sarai, his brother's son Lot, all the possessions that they had accumulated, and the persons they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land as far as the sacred place at Shechem, by the terebinth of Mareh (The Canaanites were then in the land).
The Lord appeared to Abram and said, "To your descendants I will give this land." So Abram built an alter there to the Lord who had appeared to him. From there he moved on to the hill country east of Bethel, pitching his tent will Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. He built an alter there to the Lord and invoked the Lord by his name then Abram Journeyed on by stages to the Negeb.
There was famine in the land; so Abram went down to Egypt to Sojourn there, since the famine in the land was severe.
(16:1-2) Abram's wife Sarai had borne him no children. She had, however, an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar. Sarai said to Abram: "The Lord has kept me from bearing children. Have intercourse, then, with my maid; perhaps I shall have sons through her." Abram heeded Sarai's request.
(16:8-11) …and he [messenger of God] asked, "Hagar, maid of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?" She answered, "I am running away from my mistress, Sarai." But the Lord's messenger told her: "Go back to your mistress and submit to her abusive treatment. I will make your descendants so numerous," added the Lord's messenger "that they will be too many to count. Besides," the Lord's messenger said to her: "You are now pregnant and shall bear a son; you shall name him Ishmael, For the Lord has heard you, God has answered you."
(Before chapter 21, Abram attempted to intercede for Sodom and Gomorrah, but could not find even ten righteous men, so the Lord destroyed the cities.)
Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
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~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
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Sites I Recommend
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong