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First Reading: Genesis Chapter 15 and 16
15:1 God's Covenant with Abram
After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying,"Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward."
2 But Abram said, "Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3 Then Abram said, "Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!"
4 And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir." 5 Then He brought him outside and said, "Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them." And He said to him,"So shall your descendants be."
6 And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
7 Then He said to him, "I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it."
8 And he said, "Lord GOD, how shall I know that I will inherit it?"
9 So He said to him, "Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon." 10 Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. 11 And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then He said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. 14 And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."
17 And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. 18 On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying:
"To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates 19 the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."
16:1 Hagar and Ishmael
Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian
maidservant whose name was Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, "See now, the
LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps
I shall obtain children by her." And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai. 3
Then Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to
her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land
of Canaan. 4 So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that
she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes.
5 Then Sarai said to Abram, "My wrong be upon you! I gave my maid into your embrace; and when she saw that she had conceived, I became despised in her eyes. The LORD judge between you and me."
6 So Abram said to Sarai, "Indeed your maid is in your hand; do to her as you please." And when Sarai dealt harshly with her, she fled from her presence.
7 Now the Angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. 8 And He said, "Hagar, Sarai's maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?"
She said, "I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai."
9 The Angel of the LORD said to her, "Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand." 10 Then the Angel of the LORD said to her,"I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude." 11 And the Angel of the LORD said to her:
"Behold, you are with child,And you shall bear a son.You shall call his name Ishmael,Because the LORD has heard your affliction. 12 He shall be a wild man;His hand shall be against every man,And every man's hand against him.And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren."
13 Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, "Have I also here seen Him who sees me?" 14 Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; observe, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
15 So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.
1:1 The Way of the Righteous and the End of the Ungodly
Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,Nor stands in
the path of sinners,Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight
is in the law of the LORD,And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall
be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water,That brings forth its fruit in
its season,Whose leaf also shall not wither;And whatever he does shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so,But are like the chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
2:1 The Messiah's Triumph and Kingdom
Why do the nations rage,And the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves,And the rulers take counsel together,Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us."
4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;The LORD shall hold them in derision. 5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,And distress them in His deep displeasure: 6 "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion."
7 "I will declare the decree:The LORD has said to Me,'You are My Son,Today I have begotten You. 8 Ask of Me, and I will give YouThe nations for Your inheritance,And the ends of the earth for Your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron;You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.'"
10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings;Be instructed, you judges of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear,And rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,And you perish in the way,When His wrath is kindled but a little.Blessed are all those who put their trust 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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