Genesis 15: 4Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” 5And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
Abram questions the Lord’s promised reward to him, because he has no children. For parents, and for fathers in particular, the question is: How do you view your children? As a “gift from God”, like Psalm 127 says? As a responsibility? As a blessing? Perhaps all those. But, what if we also view our children as Abram did; the main way in which we will be rewarded, and, the legacy we will leave behind? The second half of the “gift from God” verse, does, indeed, say that “the fruit of the womb is a reward.” What would the impact be like if we took, if we MADE the time to actively disciple our children, one-on-one?
The word generational comes to mind.
The answer to yesterday’s verse question: 1 John 1:9 [KJV]
Abram Promised a Son
1After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying,
“Do not fear, Abram,
I am a shield to you;
Your reward shall be very great.”
2Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” 4Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” 5And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. 7And He said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it.” 8He said, “O Lord GOD, how may I know that I will possess it?” 9So He said to him, “Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds. 11The birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.
12Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him. 13God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. 14“But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions. 15“As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. 16“Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.”
17It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces. 18On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying,
“To your descendants I have given this land,
From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:
19the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite 20and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim 21and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.”
Sarai and Hagar
1Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. 2So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife. 4He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight. 5And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done me be upon you. I gave my maid into your arms, but when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her sight. May the LORD judge between you and me.” 6But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your power; do to her what is good in your sight.” So Sarai treated her harshly, and she fled from her presence.
7Now the angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. 8He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going?” And she said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” 9Then the angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority.” 10Moreover, the angel of the LORD said to her, “I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be too many to count.” 11The angel of the LORD said to her further,
“Behold, you are with child,
And you will bear a son;
And you shall call his name Ishmael,
Because the LORD has given heed to your affliction.
12 “He will be a wild donkey of a man,
His hand will be against everyone,
And everyone’s hand will be against him;
And he will live to the east of all his brothers.”
13Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees”; for she said, “Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?” 14Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
15So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. 16Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to him.
Abraham and the Covenant of Circumcision
1Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him,
“I am God Almighty;
Walk before Me, and be blameless.
2 “I will establish My covenant between Me and you,
And I will multiply you exceedingly.”
3Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying,
4 “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you,
And you will be the father of a multitude of nations.
5 “No longer shall your name be called Abram,
But your name shall be Abraham;
For I will make you the father of a multitude of nations.
6“I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. 7“I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. 8“I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
9God said further to Abraham, “Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. 10“This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. 11“And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12“And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants. 13“A servant who is born in your house or who is bought with your money shall surely be circumcised; thus shall My covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14“But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”
15Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16“I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” 17Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before You!” 19But God said, “No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20“As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21“But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year.” 22When He finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham.
23Then Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all the servants who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s household, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the very same day, as God had said to him. 24Now Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26In the very same day Abraham was circumcised, and Ishmael his son. 27All the men of his household, who were born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
Prayer for Mercy in Time of Trouble.
FOR THE CHOIR DIRECTOR; WITH STRINGED INSTRUMENTS, UPON AN EIGHT-STRING LYRE. A PSALM OF DAVID.
1 O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger,
Nor chasten me in Your wrath.
2 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am pining away;
Heal me, O LORD, for my bones are dismayed.
3 And my soul is greatly dismayed;
But You, O LORD—how long?
4 Return, O LORD, rescue my soul;
Save me because of Your lovingkindness.
5 For there is no mention of You in death;
In Sheol who will give You thanks?
6 I am weary with my sighing;
Every night I make my bed swim,
I dissolve my couch with my tears.
7 My eye has wasted away with grief;
It has become old because of all my adversaries.
8 Depart from me, all you who do iniquity,
For the LORD has heard the voice of my weeping.
9 The LORD has heard my supplication,
The LORD receives my prayer.
10 All my enemies will be ashamed and greatly dismayed;
They shall turn back, they will suddenly be ashamed.