.. nant, Abraham was visited by three travelers. One of these travelers was the ‘Angel of Jehovah’ and two others were attending angels. 18 These angels proceeded to reiterate to Abraham the promise of a son by Sarah. Sarah was listening at the tent door and laughed to herself thinking of how preposterous it was for a woman and man of their age to actually have sex, let alone for her to conceive a child. The angels knew of this laughter and asked why she had done so.
Sarah denied it, but the Lord said through the angels ‘No, but you did laugh.’ 19 These angels then left and set out toward Sodom. As Abraham was walking with them for a part of the way, God chose to disclose to him the destruction he had in mind for Sodom and Gomorrah. At this time, God allowed Abraham to negotiated with Him over destroying the cities if any righteous people were found living their. As it was, no righteous people lived in these cities, not even Lot and his family. The next morning, Abraham got up early in the morning and saw the fate of the cities as smoke rose ‘up as the smoke of a furnace.
20 When Abraham was one hundred years old, and Sarah ninety, Isaac was born. Abraham circumcised Isaac when he was eight days old as commanded. Subsequently, during a feast on the day Isaac was weaned, Sarah saw Ishmael and Hagar mocking her. This infuriated her so much that she insisted to Abraham they be sent away. Abraham reluctantly consented after God told him that not only would his descendants be numerous through Isaac, but also Ishmael.
Abraham gave Hagar bread and water and sent her off. God subsequently kept Hagar from leaving Ishmael to die when all food and water was gone. An angel of God called to her from heaven and told her a great nation would rise from Ishmael. This great nation would be the Arabs. God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water and gave her son a drink. Ishmael eventually grew up in the wilderness of Paran, and became an expert archer.
The dispute of who received the promise of Canaan, Isaac or Ishmael, still broils the hatred between the Jews and Arabs today. The Jews believe Isaac was given the promise of Canaan, and the Arabs believe Ishmael inherited this promise. After this, God tested Abraham by commanding him to go to Mt. Moriah and offer up Isaac as a sacrifice. This was a great test of Abraham’s faith, because Isaac’s death would nullify all the promises God gave to Abraham concerning Isaac. Abraham probably decided to obey, because ‘he considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead.’ 21 Abraham rose early in the morning, cut wood for the burnt offering, and set off for the mountains near Moriah with two of his servants and Isaac.
On the third day of their journey, Abraham saw the place God told him to go to. He told his servants he and his son would go on without them to worship and then return. When Isaac asked Abraham where was the lamb for the burnt offering, Abraham told him that God would provide the lamb Himself. Abraham proceeded to build the altar and secured on top of it. As he was about to slay Isaac with a knife, the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, ‘ Abraham! Abraham! Do not lay your hand on the lad, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son from me.’ 22 Abraham stopped, looked up, and saw a ram caught in a thicket by his horns.
He took the ram, and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. This test of Abraham ‘s faith is a Type of Christ. This is because Abraham can be considered like God when he was willing to sacrificed his only son on the cross. Also, Isaac was a young man as was Jesus and adult Ram was offered in Isaac’s place. Abraham called the name o f this sacrificial place ‘The Lord Will Provide.’ 23 After this, the angel of the Lord called Abraham a second time and said, ‘Because you have done this, I will indeed bless you.
I will Multiply you descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand o n the seashore. They shall possess the gate of their enemies, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed by them, because you have obeyed my voice.’. After this event, Abraham returned to his servants and with them went to Beer-sheba where Abraham dwelt. 24 The next event recorded in Abraham’s life is the death of Sarah at 127 years of age. She died near Hebron in the land of Canaan.
Abraham buried her in a cave he cleverly purchased from the Hittites n the field of Machpelah. The next significant act of Abraham was to procure a suitable wife for Isaac. He commanded his eldest servant to go to Haran, where Abraham’s brother Nahor lived to get Isaac’s wife. The servant went to Haran with many camels and gifts. When he got to Haran, he made the camels kneel down by a well during the evening. He did this because he knew the women of the city would come out at that time to get water from the well.
He then prayed to the Lord, ‘O Lord, God of my master Abraham, grant me success today, I pray thee, and show steadfast love to my master, I am standing by the spring, and the daughters of the city are coming out to draw water. Let the maiden to whom I shall say, ‘Pray let down your jar that I may drink, ‘and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’–let her be the one whom thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac’. 25 Before he had finished this prayer, Rebekah, a beautiful virgin, and granddaughter of Nahor, came out with her water jar upon her shoulder. When she had filled her jar with water, the servant ran to meet her and asked her for a drink. Rebekah quickly let down her jar and told him she would draw water for his camels also.
After the camels finished drinking, the servant gave her gold ring and two bracele ts and asked her who her father was. Rebekah said she was the daughter of Nahor and ran to show her family the jewelry. After some convincing by the servant who told the family it was God’s will for Rebekah to return with him, they let her go. She retur ned with the servant and married Isaac. Abraham died when he was 175 years old and was buried by Isaac and Ishmael in the cave of Machpelah around 1986 BC with his wife Sarah. After Abraham’s death, God blessed Isaac as promised.
SUMMARY Abraham was truly a man of God. Although he still had his human frailties, he ultimately trusted in God and always came back to Him for forgiveness and guidance. His spiritual experience with God was indicative of four specific areas in which his faith was tested. First, he gave up his country and kindred; second, he broke off with his nephew, Lot; thirdly, he abandoned his plans for Ishmael to be his hope for his ultimate heritage, and fourth, he was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac. 26 In the end, God rewarded Abraham by fulfilling the four great promises He made to him: 1) Great nations would come from him. 2) God would bless and prosper him. 3) Sarah would give him a child named Isaac. 4) His generations would produce the savior of the world, Jesus Christ.
Praise God for the lessons he has given us through the life of Abraham. I stand in awe thinking that not only will I be able to meet Abraham in heaven, but also our Lord who guided him throughout. BIBLIOGRRAPHY * J. A. Thompson, The Bible and Archaeology (Wm. B. Eerdmands Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan) * Henry H.
Halley, Bible Handbook, 1951 * National Geographic Society, Everyday Life in Bible Times * Samuel J. Schultz, The Old Testament Speaks (Harper & Row, Publishers) * John H. Tullock, The Old Testament Story (Prentice-Hall, Inc.) * The Reader’s Digest Bible Illustrated Edition (Reader’s Digest Associated Limited) * The Holy Bible, King James Version (The World Publishing Company) * The New Ungers’s Bible Dictionary (Moody Press) 1 Ungers, pg. 12 2 King James, Acts 7:2-3 3 King James, Gen. 12:1 4 King James, Gen. 12:1 5 King James, Gen.
12:6-7 6 Class Lecture, Jon Randles 7 Everyday life in Bible Times, pg. 89 8 Class Lecture, Jon Randles 9 King James, Gen. 20:12 10 King James, Gen. 14:17 11 King James, Gen. 14:19-20 12 Halley, pg. 95 13 Reader’s Digest Bible, pg.
35 14 King James, 15:1 15 Reader’s Digest Bible, pg. 35 16 Unger’s, pg. 13 17 Reader’s Digest Bible, pg. 36 18 Unger’s, pg. 13 19 Reader’s Digest Bible, pg.
37 20 King James, Gen. 19:28 21 Heb. 11:19 22 Reader’s Digest Bible, pg. 40 23 Unger’s, pg. 14 24 Reader’s Digest Bible, pg.
40 25 Reader’s Digest Bible, pg. 40-41 26 Ungers’s, pg. 14 11 10.