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First Reading: Genesis Chapter 15 and 16
15:1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
"Do not be afraid, Abram.I am your shield, your very great reward."
2 But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3 And Abram said, "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir."
4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir." 5 He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."
6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
7 He also said to him, "I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it."
8 But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?"
9 So the LORD said to him, "Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon."
10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the LORD said to him, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure."
17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites."
16:1 Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian
maidservant named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, "The LORD has kept me
from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family
Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.
When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, "You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my servant in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the LORD judge between you and me."
6 "Your servant is in your hands," Abram said. "Do with her whatever you think best." Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.
7 The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, "Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?"
"I'm running away from my mistress Sarai," she answered.
9 Then the angel of the LORD told her, "Go back to your mistress and submit to her." 10 The angel added, "I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count."
11 The angel of the LORD also said to her:
"You are now with child and you will have a son.You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery. 12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him,and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers."
13 She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me." 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.
15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.
Second Reading: Psalms Chapter 1 and 2
1:1Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand
in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in
the law of the LORD,and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like
a tree planted by streams of water,which yields its fruit in season and whose
leaf does not wither.Whatever he does prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,but the way of the wicked will perish.
2:1Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of
the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and
against his Anointed One. 3 "Let us break their chains," they say,"and
throw off their fetters."
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;the Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, 6 "I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill."
7 I will proclaim the decree of the LORD:
He said to me, "You are my Son;today I have become your Father. 8 Ask of me,and I will make the nations your inheritance,the ends of the earth your possession. 9 You will rule them with an iron scepter;you will dash them to pieces like pottery."
10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;be warned, you rulers of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way,for his wrath can flare up in a moment.Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Adam and Eve
The Bible as God's word is truthful. We are told the stories of the Superstars of the Bible because of their interaction with God. Although we are amazed at the faith and obedience of many, we are also told of their weaknesses and failures. The first Superstars are only Superstars because they came first: Adam and Eve.
We meet Adam and Eve at their creation in Genesis 2 and their story ends by chapter 5. What is amazing is how much of their humanity is made know to us in these few chapters:
- Created by God, made in his image. Genesis 1 & 2
- Man is formed of the dust of the ground and the breath of life comes from God. Genesis 2
- It is not good for Man to be alone and so Woman is formed. Genesis 2
- The first marriage is instituted. Genesis 2
- The first command is given. Genesis 2
- Eve by being deceived and Adam through disobedience break the first and only command. Genesis 3
- They receive the punishments for their disobedience which brings pain and death. Genesis 3
- They receive the first promise from God. Genesis 3
- They are banished from the close communion with God in the Garden of Eden and from the Tree of Life. Genesis 3
- They become parents and see the sin and death of their children. Genesis 4
- They become grandparents. Genesis 5
- They die. Genesis 5.
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