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Patriarchal Era – Genesis 19

Genesis 19

God Rescues Lot

19:1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. 10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.

12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. 13 For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the LORD is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

15 As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” 18 And Lot said to them, “Oh, no, my lords. 19 Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. 20 Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!” 21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22 Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.1

God Destroys Sodom

23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven. 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the LORD. 28 And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.

29 So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.

Lot and His Daughters

30 Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 And the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father. He did not know when she lay down or when she arose.

34 The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight also. Then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 35 So they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 36 Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab.2 He is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi.3 He is the father of the Ammonites to this day.

Footnotes

[1] 19:22 Zoar means little

[2] 19:37 Moab sounds like the Hebrew for from father

[3] 19:38 Ben-ammi means son of my people

(ESV)

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Scripture

Patriarchal Era – Genesis 18

Genesis 18

18:1 And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks1 of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, “O Lord,2 if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs3 of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” 10 The LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard4 for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied it,5 saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17 The LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have chosen6 him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” 20 Then the LORD said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether7 according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”

Abraham Intercedes for Sodom

22 So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD. 23 Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26 And the LORD said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

27 Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28 Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29 Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31 He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” 33 And the LORD went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.

Footnotes

[1] 18:1 Or terebinths

[2] 18:3 Or My lord

[3] 18:6 A seah was about 7 quarts or 7.3 liters

[4] 18:14 Or wonderful

[5] 18:15 Or acted falsely

[6] 18:19 Hebrew known

[7] 18:21 Or they deserve destruction; Hebrew they have made a complete end

(ESV)

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Patriarchal Era – Genesis 17

Genesis 17

Abraham and the Covenant of Circumcision

17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty;1 walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram,2 but your name shall be Abraham,3 for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”

And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, 13 both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

Isaac’s Birth Promised

15 And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah4 shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover, I will give5 you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” 19 God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac.6 I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. 20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.”

22 When he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham. 23 Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all those born in his house or bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very day, as God had said to him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 That very day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised. 27 And all the men of his house, those born in the house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.

Footnotes

[1] 17:1 Hebrew El Shaddai

[2] 17:5 Abram means exalted father

[3] 17:5 Abraham means father of a multitude

[4] 17:15 Sarai and Sarah mean princess

[5] 17:16 Hebrew have given

[6] 17:19 Isaac means he laughs

(ESV)

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Patriarchal Era – Genesis 16

Genesis 16

Sarai and Hagar

16:1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children1 by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife. And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress.2 And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the LORD judge between you and me!” But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.

The angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” The angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel of the LORD also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” 11 And the angel of the LORD said to her,


  “Behold, you are pregnant
    and shall bear a son.
  You shall call his name Ishmael,3
    because the LORD has listened to your affliction.
12   He shall be a wild donkey of a man,
    his hand against everyone
    and everyone’s hand against him,
  and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”

13 So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,”4 for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”5 14 Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi;6 it lies between Kadesh and Bered.

15 And Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.

Footnotes

[1] 16:2 Hebrew be built up, which sounds like the Hebrew for children

[2] 16:4 Hebrew her mistress was dishonorable in her eyes; similarly in verse 5

[3] 16:11 Ishmael means God hears

[4] 16:13 Or You are a God who sees me

[5] 16:13 Hebrew Have I really seen him here who sees me? or Would I have looked here for the one who sees me?

[6] 16:14 Beer-lahai-roi means the well of the Living One who sees me

(ESV)

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Saturday Study

Genesis 11-15 (1-22-22)

In Genesis 11-15, we move out of the Creation Era and into the Patriarch Era. Here we are introduced to one of the true fathers of our faith: Abraham! Abraham takes up a good portion of the Genesis narrative from his first mention in Genesis 11:26 all the way to his death in Genesis 25:8. But in Genesis 11-15, we are introduced to God’s covenant with Abraham that is truly so critical to us and the work of God in redemption through Jesus Christ.

Abraham’s story picks up in Genesis 12.

In the first three verses, we see the call of Abraham by God and one of the greatest and most critical promises of God in all of scripture.

The Abrahamic Covenant

Genesis 12:1-3 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

In this passage, we see the foundations for God’s covenant with Abraham (then named Abram).

The two primary promises to Abraham are:

1) The Promised Land (of Canaan) and temporal blessings for those in the covenant.

2) The spiritual promise of the seed/offspring to come–being the Redeemer, the Messiah, and Jesus        Christ.

These promises lay the foundation for what will later be called the Abrahamic Covenant (established in Genesis 15 and ratified in Genesis 17).

What really makes Abraham special is that he obeyed God.

Genesis 12:4 records that after God called Abraham, and he went “as the LORD had told him.”

For his faith, the author of Hebrews “enshrines” Abraham in the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11.

Hebrews 11:8 (NIV) By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.

Surely, we have all had moments in our lives when we have had to trust in God despite not knowing what was ahead of us. This was life-changing and big for Abraham, and yet he knew and recognized the call of Yahweh, the LORD, and obeyed willingly, not hesitantly.

Now, Abraham was a fallen man and didn’t always do what was right.

Read again Genesis 12:10-20.

It is easy for us to look out only for ourselves–to ask others to lie or cheat or steal for our good.

In this moment, Abraham was not walking in accordance with his faith. Instead, he feared the hand of man and manipulated his situation for his own benefit. By the grace of God, this did not ultimately cause him or his wife harm, for God had bigger plans for them.

Abraham and Sarah were without a child of their own. This was a real source of shame in that culture and time, and yet God promised that Abraham would have a son.

Read again Genesis 15:1-6.

Abraham believed the promise of God, and it was credited to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6).


It is important to see the work of imputation here again. We’ve seen that Adam’s sin was credited to the human race as our federal head, and, for the elect, Jesus was later credited with our sin and we were credited with His righteousness. Paul speaks of this in Romans 4.

Read Romans 4:1-8.

It is so important to see that we are not saved or credited with righteousness by God for anything we do on our own. The righteousness laid upon Abraham and us is God’s righteousness. It is not something Abraham produced. The Bible says that even the faith we have in God is a gift from God (cf. Philippians 1:29; Ephesians 2:8-9).

Therefore, Paul says we have nothing to boast about, for God’s righteousness and renewal is a gift of grace.

Romans 4:7-8 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”

Abraham, who is considered the “father of the faithful,” surely had his moments of doubt and disbelief, yet he still is exalted among men as an example of the faithful life. There are a few significant things we can learn from Abraham.

1. Faithful

Abraham’s faith wasn’t an ignorant faith; his faith was a settled assurance and trust in the One who had proven Himself faithful and true: God Himself.

If we were to look back on our own lives, we would see the hand of God’s providence all over it. God doesn’t have to speak from burning bushes or part the sea waters to be active in our lives. God is orchestrating the events of our lives. Sometimes it may not seem that way, but Abraham’s life is evidence of this. Even Abraham’s failures demonstrate that God, while not removing us from the earthly consequences of our sin, graciously works His will in us and through us; nothing we do will thwart His plan.

2. Obedient

Abraham’s life also shows us the blessing of simple obedience. When asked to leave his family, Abraham left. When asked to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham “rose up early the next morning” to do so. From what we can discern from the Biblical narrative, there was no hesitation in Abraham’s obedience. Abraham, like most of us, may have agonized over these decisions, but when it was time to act, he acted. When we discern a true call from God, or we read His instructions in His Word, we must act. Obedience is not optional when God commands something.

Romans 3:28 says, “For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.”

Theologically speaking, Abraham’s life is a living example of the doctrine of sola fide, “justification by faith alone.”Abraham’s faith in the promises of God was sufficient for God to declare him righteous in His sight. Abraham did nothing to earn justification. God’s grace is enough. The faith God gives His people is enough to set us free because of the perfect work of the redeemer, Jesus.

We see the workings in this of God’s grace very early in the Old Testament. The gospel didn’t start with the life and death of Jesus, but rather it was promised all the way back to Genesis. In Genesis 3:15, God made a promise that the “seed of the woman” would crush the head of the serpent.

The rest of the Old Testament chronicles the outworking of the gospel of God’s grace through the line of promise beginning with Seth (Genesis 4:26). The calling of Abraham and the familiar promise of seed was just another piece in the story of redemption (cf. Galatians 3:16).

3. Faith is not hereditary.

Another big take away we must see in Abraham is that faith is not hereditary. All through the Gospels (cf. Matthew 3:9; Luke 3:8; John 8:39), we learn that it is not sufficient to be physically descended from Abraham to be saved. The application for us is that it is not sufficient to be raised in a Christian home; we cannot ride into heaven on the coattails of someone else’s faith.

God is not obligated to save us simply because we have been raised in a godly family. Paul uses Abraham to illustrate this in Romans 9, where he says not all who descended from Abraham were elected unto salvation (Romans 9:7). God sovereignly chooses those who will receive salvation, but that salvation comes by grace through the same faith that Abraham exercised in his life. Each of us must have our own saving faith in Jesus and not lean on someone else’s.

4. Faith that does not show fruit in righteous works is not real saving faith.

Finally, we see that James uses the life of Abraham as an illustration that faith without works is dead (James 2:21). The example he uses is the story of Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah. Mere assent to the truths of the gospel is not enough to save. True saving faith will result in good works of obedience that show a living faith. This is not perfection; rather, it is a growing in obedience to the revealed will of God. The faith that was enough to justify Abraham and count him as righteous in God’s eyes (Genesis 15) was the very same faith that moved him into action as he obeyed God’s command to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Abraham was justified by his faith, and his faith was proved by his works.

5. God fulfills His promises.

Finally, God called Abraham out of the millions of people on the earth to be the object of His blessings. God used Abraham to play a pivotal role in the outworking of the story of redemption, culminating in the birth of Jesus. In Matthew 1, we read about Jesus’ genealogy and in its opening, we read the critical understanding that Christ was a son of Abraham:

Matthew 1:1-2 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

The redeemed in all generations are called the “children of Abraham” (Galatians 3:7). The work that God set out to do for us all in Christ came through Abraham. Aside from Moses, no Old Testament character is mentioned more in the New Testament than Abraham. Abraham is a living example of faith and hope in the promises of God. Our lives should be so lived that when we reach the end of our days, our faith, like Abraham’s, will remain as an enduring legacy to others.

By grace, through faith in Jesus, may we, too, be a part of the legacy of blessing that comes through God’s covenant with Abraham and is fulfilled in Jesus Christ–that we, too, would not only be blessed but be a blessing to others.

Genesis 12:1-3 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Joshua Kirstine

Disciples Church