Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac represents a faith that acts, not one that just talks. Anyone can say, "I trust the Lord," but raising a knife to one's most precious possession is proof of real faith.

It is not enough to only hear the commandments of God-we must do them. James said, "Fool! When will you ever learn that faith that does not result in good deeds is useless?" (James 2:20). There comes a moment in our lives when we must translate talk into an action that demonstrates the reality of our faith.

As Abraham climbed the mountain of Moriah, his faith gave energy to his actions. In his mind he had reckoned that God was able to raise up Isaac, even if he died (Hebrews 11:19). Abraham's faith risked all and lost nothing.

Let's step out in obedience. When we do, God will have the ram waiting in the thicket!

Genesis 20:1-22:24

Abraham and Abimelek20:1-18Ref — Ge 12:10-20; 26:1-11

20 Now Abraham moved on from thereGe 18:1 into the region of the NegevS Ge 12:9 and lived between KadeshS Ge 14:7 and Shur.S Ge 16:7 For a whileGe 26:3 he stayed in Gerar,Ge 26:1, 6, 17and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.ver 12; S Ge 12:13” Then Abimelekver 14; Ge 21:22; 26:1 king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.S Ge 12:15

But God came to AbimelekNu 22:9, 20 in a dreamGe 28:12; 31:10, 24; 37:5, 9; 40:5; 41:1; Nu 12:6; Dt 13:1; Job 33:15; Da 2:1; 4:5 one night and said to him, “You are as good as deadEx 10:7; 12:33; Ps 105:38 because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.”ver 7; Ge 26:11; 1Ch 16:21; Ps 105:14

Now Abimelek had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation?S Ge 18:25Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,S Ge 12:19’ and didn’t she also say, ‘He is my brother’? I have done this with a clear conscienceS Ge 17:1 and clean hands.Ps 7:8; 25:21; 26:6; 41:12

Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept1Sa 25:26, 34 you from sinning against me.S Ge 13:13; Ps 41:4; 51:4 That is why I did not let you touch her.Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet,Dt 18:18; 34:10; 2Ki 3:11; 5:3; 1Ch 16:22; Ps 105:15 and he will pray for youver 17; Ex 8:8; Nu 11:2; 12:13; 1Sa 7:5; 1Ki 13:6; Job 42:8; Jer 18:20; 37:3; 42:2 and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all who belong to you will die.”S ver 3; S Ps 9:5

Early the next morning Abimelek summoned all his officials, and when he told them all that had happened, they were very much afraid.Then Abimelek called Abraham in and said, “What have you done to us? How have I wronged you that you have brought such great guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should never be done.S Ge 12:18; 34:710 And Abimelek asked Abraham, “What was your reason for doing this?”

11 Abraham replied, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of GodGe 42:18; Ne 5:15; Job 31:23; Ps 36:1; Pr 16:6 in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’S Ge 12:12; 31:3112 Besides, she really is my sister,S Ge 12:13 the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife.13 And when God had me wanderDt 26:5; 1Ch 16:20; Isa 30:28; 63:17 from my father’s household,S Ge 12:1 I said to her, ‘This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”’”

14 Then AbimelekS ver 2 brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham,Ge 12:16 and he returned Sarah his wife to him.15 And Abimelek said, “My land is before you; live wherever you like.”Ge 13:9; S 45:18

16 To Sarah he said, “I am giving your brother a thousand shekelsThat is, about 25 pounds or about 12 kilograms of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated.”

17 Then Abraham prayed to God,S ver 7; Job 42:9 and God healed Abimelek, his wife and his female slaves so they could have children again,18 for the Lord had kept all the women in Abimelek’s household from conceiving because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.Ge 12:17

The Birth of Isaac

21 Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah1Sa 2:21 as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised.S Ge 8:1; S 17:16, 21; 18:14; Gal 4:23; Heb 11:11Sarah became pregnant and bore a sonS Ge 17:19; S 30:6 to Abraham in his old age,Gal 4:22; Heb 11:11 at the very time God had promised him.S Ge 18:10Abraham gave the name IsaacIsaac means he laughs.S Ge 16:11; S 17:19; Jos 24:3 to the son Sarah bore him.When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him,Ge 17:10, 12; Ac 7:8 as God commanded him.Abraham was a hundred years oldS Ge 12:4; Heb 6:15 when his son Isaac was born to him.

Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter,Ge 17:17; Job 8:21; Ps 126:2; Isa 12:6; 35:2; 44:23; 52:9; 54:1 and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”S Ge 17:17

Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away

The child grew and was weaned,1Sa 1:23 and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast.But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to AbrahamS Ge 16:15 was mocking,Ge 39:14; Gal 4:2910 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave womanGe 39:17 and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”Ge 25:6; Gal 4:30*

11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son.Ge 17:1812 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspringOr seed will be reckoned.Mt 1:2; Ro 9:7*; Heb 11:18*13 I will make the son of the slave into a nationver 18; S Ge 13:16 also, because he is your offspring.”

14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar.S Ge 16:1 He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.ver 31, 32; Ge 22:19; 26:33; 28:10; 46:1, 5; Jos 15:28; 19:2; Jdg 20:1; 1Sa 3:20; 1Ch 4:28; Ne 11:27

15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes.16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, sheHebrew; Septuagint the child began to sob.Jer 6:26; Am 8:10; Zec 12:10

17 God heard the boy crying,Ex 3:7; Nu 20:16; Dt 26:7; Ps 6:8 and the angel of GodS Ge 16:7 called to Hagar from heavenGe 22:11, 15 and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid;S Ge 15:1 God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.ver 13; S Ge 17:20

19 Then God opened her eyesNu 22:31 and she saw a well of water.S Ge 16:7 So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.

20 God was with the boyGe 26:3, 24; 28:15; 39:2, 21, 23; Lk 1:66 as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer.21 While he was living in the Desert of Paran,S Ge 14:6 his mother got a wife for himGe 24:4, 38; 28:2; 34:4, 8; Jdg 14:2 from Egypt.

The Treaty at Beersheba

22 At that time AbimelekS Ge 20:2 and Phicol the commander of his forcesver 32; Ge 26:26 said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do.ver 23; Ge 26:28; 28:15; 31:3, 5, 42; 39:2, 3; 1Sa 3:19; 16:18; 2Ch 1:1; Ps 46:7; Isa 7:14; 8:8, 10; 41:10; 43:523 Now swearver 31; Ge 25:33; 26:31; 31:53; Jos 2:12; 1Ki 2:8 to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me or my children or my descendants.1Sa 24:21 Show to me and the country where you now reside as a foreigner the same kindness I have shown to you.”S ver 22; Jos 2:12

24 Abraham said, “I swear it.”

25 Then Abraham complained to Abimelek about a well of water that Abimelek’s servants had seized.Ge 26:15, 18, 20-2226 But Abimelek said, “I don’t know who has done this. You did not tell me, and I heard about it only today.”

27 So Abraham brought sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelek, and the two men made a treaty.ver 31, 32; Ge 26:28, 31; 31:44, 5328 Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs from the flock,29 and Abimelek asked Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs you have set apart by themselves?”

30 He replied, “Accept these seven lambs from my hand as a witnessGe 31:44, 47, 48, 50, 52; Jos 22:27, 28, 34; 24:27; Isa 19:20; Mal 2:14 that I dug this well.ver 25; Ge 26:25, 32

31 So that place was called Beersheba,Beersheba can mean well of seven and well of the oath.S ver 14 because the two men swore an oathS ver 23,S 27 there.

32 After the treatyS ver 27 had been made at Beersheba,S ver 14 Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forcesS ver 22 returned to the land of the Philistines.S Ge 10:1433 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree1Sa 22:6; 31:13 in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord,S Ge 4:26 the Eternal God.Ex 15:18; Dt 32:40; 33:27; Job 36:26; Ps 10:16; 45:6; 90:2; 93:2; 102:24; 103:19; 146:10; Isa 40:28; Jer 10:10; Hab 1:12; 3:6; Heb 13:834 And Abraham stayed in the land of the PhilistinesS Ge 10:14 for a long time.

Abraham Tested

22 Some time later God testedEx 15:25; 16:4; 20:20; Dt 8:2, 16; 13:3; Jdg 2:22; 3:1; 2Ch 32:31; Ps 66:10; Heb 11:17; Jas 1:12-13 Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,”ver 11; Ge 31:11; 46:2; 1Sa 3:4, 6, 8; Isa 6:8 he replied.

Then God said, “Take your sonver 12, 16; Jn 3:16; Heb 11:17; 1Jn 4:9, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah.2Ch 3:1 Sacrifice him there as a burnt offeringS Ge 8:20 on a mountain I will show you.ver 9

Early the next morningJos 8:10 Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.Ex 24:14

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac,Jn 19:17 and he himself carried the fire and the knife.ver 10; Jdg 19:29 As the two of them went on together,Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lambEx 29:38-42; Lev 1:10; Rev 13:8 for the burnt offering?”

Abraham answered, “God himself will providever 14 the lambver 13; S Jn 1:29 for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

When they reached the place God had told him about,ver 2 Abraham built an altarS Ge 4:26; S 8:20 there and arranged the woodLev 1:7; 1Ki 18:33 on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar,Heb 11:17-19; Jas 2:21 on top of the wood.10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knifeS ver 6 to slay his son.ver 3; S Ge 18:1911 But the angel of the LordS Ge 16:7 called out to him from heaven,S Ge 21:17 “Abraham! Abraham!”Ge 46:2

“Here I am,”S ver 1 he replied.

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God,S Ge 18:19; 42:18; Ex 18:21; 1Sa 15:22; Job 1:1; 37:24; Pr 8:13; Jas 2:21-22 because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.S ver 2; Jn 3:16; 1Jn 4:9

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ramMany manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint and Syriac; most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text a ram behind him caught by its horns.S ver 8 He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.S Ge 8:20; Ro 8:3214 So Abraham calledEx 17:15; Jdg 6:24 that place The LordIsa 30:29 Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.ver 8

15 The angel of the LordS Ge 16:7 called to Abraham from heavenS Ge 21:17 a second time16 and said, “I swear by myself,Ex 13:11; 32:13; 33:1; Isa 45:23; 62:8; Jer 22:5; 44:26; 49:13; 51:14; Am 6:8; Lk 1:73; Heb 6:13 declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son,S ver 217 I will surely bless youS Ge 12:2 and make your descendantsHeb 6:14* as numerous as the stars in the skyS Ge 15:5; Ex 32:13; Dt 7:7; 28:62 and as the sand on the seashore.S Ge 12:2; S 26:24; Hos 1:10; Ro 9:27; Heb 11:12 Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies,Ge 24:60; Est 9:218 and through your offspringOr seed all nations on earth will be blessed,Or and all nations on earth will use the name of your offspring in blessings (see 48:20)S Ge 12:2, 3; Ac 3:25*; Gal 3:8* because you have obeyed me.”S ver 10; Ge 17:2, 9; Ps 105:9

19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba.Ge 21:14; 26:23; 28:10 And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.

Nahor’s Sons

20 Some time later Abraham was told, “Milkah is also a mother; she has borne sons to your brother Nahor:S Ge 11:2921 UzS Ge 10:23 the firstborn, BuzJob 32:2; Jer 25:23 his brother, Kemuel (the father of Aram),22 Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel.Ge 24:15, 47; 25:2023 Bethuel became the father of Rebekah.Ge 24:15 Milkah bore these eight sons to Abraham’s brother Nahor.S Ge 11:2924 His concubine,Ge 25:6; 35:22; 36:12; Jdg 8:31; 2Sa 3:7; 1Ki 2:22; 11:3; 1Ch 1:32; SS 6:8 whose name was Reumah, also had sons: Tebah, Gaham, Tahash and Maakah.

Abraham Deceives Abimelech

20 Abraham moved south to the Negev and lived for a while between Kadesh and Shur, and then he moved on to Gerar. While living there as a foreigner,Abraham introduced his wife, Sarah, by saying, “She is my sister.” So King Abimelech of Gerar sent for Sarah and had her brought to him at his palace.

But that night God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him, “You are a dead man, for that woman you have taken is already married!”

But Abimelech had not slept with her yet, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation?Didn’t Abraham tell me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘Yes, he is my brother.’ I acted in complete innocence! My hands are clean.”

In the dream God responded, “Yes, I know you are innocent. That’s why I kept you from sinning against me, and why I did not let you touch her.Now return the woman to her husband, and he will pray for you, for he is a prophet. Then you will live. But if you don’t return her to him, you can be sure that you and all your people will die.”

Abimelech got up early the next morning and quickly called all his servants together. When he told them what had happened, his men were terrified.Then Abimelech called for Abraham. “What have you done to us?” he demanded. “What crime have I committed that deserves treatment like this, making me and my kingdom guilty of this great sin? No one should ever do what you have done!10 Whatever possessed you to do such a thing?”

11 Abraham replied, “I thought, ‘This is a godless place. They will want my wife and will kill me to get her.’12 And she really is my sister, for we both have the same father, but different mothers. And I married her.13 When God called me to leave my father’s home and to travel from place to place, I told her, ‘Do me a favor. Wherever we go, tell the people that I am your brother.’”

14 Then Abimelech took some of his sheep and goats, cattle, and male and female servants, and he presented them to Abraham. He also returned his wife, Sarah, to him.15 Then Abimelech said, “Look over my land and choose any place where you would like to live.”16 And he said to Sarah, “Look, I am giving your ‘brother’ 1,000 pieces of silverHebrew 1,000 [shekels] of silver, about 25 pounds or 11.4 kilograms in weight. in the presence of all these witnesses. This is to compensate you for any wrong I may have done to you. This will settle any claim against me, and your reputation is cleared.”

17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants, so they could have children.18 For the Lord had caused all the women to be infertile because of what happened with Abraham’s wife, Sarah.

The Birth of Isaac

21 The Lord kept his word and did for Sarah exactly what he had promised.She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at just the time God had said it would.And Abraham named their son Isaac.Eight days after Isaac was born, Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded.Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born.

And Sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter.The name Isaac means “he laughs.” All who hear about this will laugh with me.Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age!”

Hagar and Ishmael Are Sent Away

When Isaac grew up and was about to be weaned, Abraham prepared a huge feast to celebrate the occasion.But Sarah saw Ishmael—the son of Abraham and her Egyptian servant Hagar—making fun of her son, Isaac.As in Greek version and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew lacks of her son, Isaac.10 So she turned to Abraham and demanded, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son. He is not going to share the inheritance with my son, Isaac. I won’t have it!”

11 This upset Abraham very much because Ishmael was his son.12 But God told Abraham, “Do not be upset over the boy and your servant. Do whatever Sarah tells you, for Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.13 But I will also make a nation of the descendants of Hagar’s son because he is your son, too.”

14 So Abraham got up early the next morning, prepared food and a container of water, and strapped them on Hagar’s shoulders. Then he sent her away with their son, and she wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba.

15 When the water was gone, she put the boy in the shade of a bush.16 Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yardsHebrew a bowshot. away. “I don’t want to watch the boy die,” she said, as she burst into tears.

17 But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, “Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.18 Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.”

19 Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink.

20 And God was with the boy as he grew up in the wilderness. He became a skillful archer,21 and he settled in the wilderness of Paran. His mother arranged for him to marry a woman from the land of Egypt.

Abraham’s Covenant with Abimelech

22 About this time, Abimelech came with Phicol, his army commander, to visit Abraham. “God is obviously with you, helping you in everything you do,” Abimelech said.23 “Swear to me in God’s name that you will never deceive me, my children, or any of my descendants. I have been loyal to you, so now swear that you will be loyal to me and to this country where you are living as a foreigner.”

24 Abraham replied, “Yes, I swear to it!”25 Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well that Abimelech’s servants had taken by force from Abraham’s servants.

26 “This is the first I’ve heard of it,” Abimelech answered. “I have no idea who is responsible. You have never complained about this before.”

27 Abraham then gave some of his sheep, goats, and cattle to Abimelech, and they made a treaty.28 But Abraham also took seven additional female lambs and set them off by themselves.29 Abimelech asked, “Why have you set these seven apart from the others?”

30 Abraham replied, “Please accept these seven lambs to show your agreement that I dug this well.”31 Then he named the place Beersheba (which means “well of the oath”), because that was where they had sworn the oath.

32 After making their covenant at Beersheba, Abimelech left with Phicol, the commander of his army, and they returned home to the land of the Philistines.33 Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he worshiped the Lord, the Eternal God.Hebrew El-Olam.34 And Abraham lived as a foreigner in Philistine country for a long time.

Abraham’s Faith Tested

22 Some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith. “Abraham!” God called.

“Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.”

“Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”

The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about.On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.“Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.”

So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them walked on together,Isaac turned to Abraham and said, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

“We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?”

“God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together.

When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood.10 And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice.11 At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!”

12 “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.”

13 Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son.14 Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

15 Then the angel of the Lord called again to Abraham from heaven.16 “This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that17 I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendantsHebrew seed; also in 22:17b, 18. beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies.18 And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.”

19 Then they returned to the servants and traveled back to Beersheba, where Abraham continued to live.

20 Soon after this, Abraham heard that Milcah, his brother Nahor’s wife, had borne Nahor eight sons.21 The oldest was named Uz, the next oldest was Buz, followed by Kemuel (the ancestor of the Arameans),22 Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.23 (Bethuel became the father of Rebekah.) In addition to these eight sons from Milcah,24 Nahor had four other children from his concubine Reumah. Their names were Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.

20 And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.

And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.

But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife.

But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?

Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.

And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.

Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.

Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid.

Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done.

10 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?

11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake.

12 And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.

13 And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother.

14 And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife.

15 And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee.

16 And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved.

17 So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children.

18 For the Lord had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife.

21 And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken.

For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.

And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.

And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.

And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.

And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.

And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.

And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.

10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.

11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.

12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.

14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.

16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.

17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.

18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.

19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.

20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.

21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.

22 And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest:

23 Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.

24 And Abraham said, I will swear.

25 And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away.

26 And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing; neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day.

27 And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant.

28 And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.

29 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves?

30 And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well.

31 Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them.

32 Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.

33 And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God.

34 And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days.

22 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?

And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.

10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.

12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.

15 And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,

16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:

17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.

20 And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor;

21 Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram,

22 And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel.

23 And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother.

24 And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she bare also Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah.

Matthew 7:15-29

True and False Prophets

15 “Watch out for false prophets.Jer 23:16; Mt 24:24; Lk 6:26; 2Pe 2:1; 1Jn 4:1; Rev 16:13 They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.Eze 22:27; Ac 20:2916 By their fruit you will recognize them.Mt 12:33; Lk 6:44 Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?Jas 3:1217 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.Lk 6:4319 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.S Mt 3:1020 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’Hos 8:2; Mt 25:11; S Jn 13:13; 1Co 12:3 will enter the kingdom of heaven,S Mt 3:2 but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.Mt 12:50; Ro 2:13; Jas 1:22; 1Jn 3:1822 Many will say to me on that day,S Mt 10:15 ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’Lk 10:20; Ac 19:13; 1Co 13:1-323 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’Ps 6:8; Mt 25:12, 41; Lk 13:25-27

The Wise and Foolish Builders7:24-27pp — Lk 6:47-49

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practicever 21; Jas 1:22-25 is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things,Mt 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1 the crowds were amazed at his teaching,Mt 13:54; 22:33; Mk 1:22; 6:2; 11:18; Lk 4:32; Jn 7:4629 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

The Tree and Its Fruit

15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire.20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.

True Disciples

21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

Building on a Solid Foundation

24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching,29 for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:

29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Psalm 9:1-12

Psalm 9Psalms 9 and 10 may originally have been a single acrostic poem in which alternating lines began with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In the Septuagint they constitute one psalm.In Hebrew texts 9:1-20 is numbered 9:2-21.

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Death of the Son.” A psalm of David.

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;Ps 86:12; 111:1; 119:2, 10, 145; 138:1

I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.S Dt 4:34

I will be glad and rejoiceS Job 22:19; Ps 14:7; 31:7; 70:4; 97:8; 126:3; Pr 23:15; Isa 25:9; Jer 30:19; Joel 2:21; Zep 3:14; S Mt 5:12; Rev 19:7 in you;

I will sing the praisesS 2Ch 31:2 of your name,Ps 92:1 O Most High.

My enemies turn back;

they stumble and perish before you.

For you have upheld my rightS 1Ki 8:45 and my cause,S Job 16:21

sitting enthronedPs 11:4; 47:8; Isa 6:1 as the righteous judge.Ps 7:11; 67:4; 98:9; 1Pe 2:23

You have rebuked the nationsGe 20:7; S 37:10; S 1Ch 16:21; Ps 59:5; 105:14; Isa 26:14; 66:15 and destroyed the wicked;

you have blotted out their nameS Job 18:17 for ever and ever.

Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies,

you have uprooted their cities;S Dt 29:28; Jer 2:3; 46:1-51:58; Zep 2:8-10

even the memory of themPs 34:16; 109:15; Ecc 9:5; Isa 14:22; 26:14 has perished.

The Lord reigns forever;S 1Ch 16:31; Rev 19:6

he has established his thronePs 11:4; 47:8; 93:2; Isa 6:1; 66:1 for judgment.

He rules the world in righteousnessS ver 4; Ps 7:11

and judges the peoples with equity.Ps 11:7; 45:6; 72:2

The Lord is a refugeS Dt 33:27; S 2Sa 22:3 for the oppressed,Ps 10:18; 74:21

a stronghold in times of trouble.Ps 32:7; 121:7

10 Those who know your namePs 91:14 trust in you,

for you, Lord, have never forsakenS Ge 28:15; S Dt 4:31; Ps 22:1; 37:25; 71:11; Isa 49:14; Jer 15:18; Heb 13:5 those who seek you.Ps 70:4

11 Sing the praisesPs 7:17 of the Lord, enthroned in Zion;S Ps 2:6

proclaim among the nationsPs 18:49; 44:11; 57:9; 106:27; Isa 24:13; Eze 20:23; 1Ti 3:16 what he has done.Ps 105:1

12 For he who avenges bloodS 2Sa 4:11 remembers;

he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted.ver 18; Ps 10:17; 22:24; 72:4; Isa 49:13

Psalm 9

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune “Death of the Son.”

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;

I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.

I will be filled with joy because of you.

I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

My enemies retreated;

they staggered and died when you appeared.

For you have judged in my favor;

from your throne you have judged with fairness.

You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;

you have erased their names forever.

The enemy is finished, in endless ruins;

the cities you uprooted are now forgotten.

But the Lord reigns forever,

executing judgment from his throne.

He will judge the world with justice

and rule the nations with fairness.

The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed,

a refuge in times of trouble.

10 Those who know your name trust in you,

for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.

11 Sing praises to the Lord who reigns in Jerusalem.Hebrew Zion; also in 9:14.

Tell the world about his unforgettable deeds.

12 For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless.

He does not ignore the cries of those who suffer.

I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.

I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.

When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.

For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right.

Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.

O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.

But the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.

And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.

The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

11 Sing praises to the Lord, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.

12 When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.

Proverbs 2:16-22

16 Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman,Pr 5:1-6; 6:20-29; 7:5-27

from the wayward woman with her seductive words,

17 who has left the partner of her youth

and ignored the covenant she made before God.Or covenant of her GodMal 2:14

18 Surely her house leads down to death

and her paths to the spirits of the dead.Pr 5:5; 7:27; 9:18

19 None who go to her return

or attain the paths of life.Pr 3:16-18; 5:8; Ecc 7:26

20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good

and keep to the paths of the righteous.

21 For the upright will live in the land,S Ps 37:29

and the blameless will remain in it;

22 but the wickedS Ps 5:4 will be cut off from the land,S Job 18:17

and the unfaithful will be torn from it.Dt 28:63; S 29:28; Ps 37:9, 28-29; Pr 10:30

16 Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman,

from the seductive words of the promiscuous woman.

17 She has abandoned her husband

and ignores the covenant she made before God.

18 Entering her house leads to death;

it is the road to the grave.Hebrew to the spirits of the dead.

19 The man who visits her is doomed.

He will never reach the paths of life.

20 So follow the steps of the good,

and stay on the paths of the righteous.

21 For only the godly will live in the land,

and those with integrity will remain in it.

22 But the wicked will be removed from the land,

and the treacherous will be uprooted.

16 To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;

17 Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.

18 For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.

19 None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.

20 That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.

21 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.

22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

Jan 8 Jan 10
Bible Gateway