January 7, 2021

Genesis 16:1-18:15

The “clock” was running out (so they thought). Sarai was naturally too old to have a child. So Sarai convinces her husband Abram to go in to her maidservant Hagar in order to have  children. It’s an absolute tragedy that Sarai and Abram refused to wait on the LORD. They decided to go the way of the world, and the flesh, and “help” God out.

Hagar did indeed get pregnant, but immediately the unnecessary troubles began. God help us to wait on Him, to trust the LORD to fulfill His plans for our lives in His timing. The descendants of Ishmael would eventually become the Arab nations. (Click HERE for more on this)

Warren Wiersbe, “Faith and patience always go together (Heb. 6:12; James 1:1–5). Isaiah declared, “Whoever believes will not act hastily” (Isa. 28:16). We must trust God not only for His plan but also for His timing. Before He could send the promised son, God had to wait until Abram and Sarai were as good as dead (Rom. 4:19–21; Heb. 11:11–12). Sarai leaned on human understanding instead of God’s promises (Prov. 3:5–6). She trusted a woman from Egypt instead of the God of heaven.”

The LORD loves everyone involved, so when Hagar runs away He pursues her and convinces her to return to Sarai with a heart of submission. How gracious and personal God is! Hagar realizes this and even referred to the LORD as “El Roi” which means “The God-Who-Sees” (Genesis 16:13). The well nearby was then called “Beer Lahai Roi” which literally means, “The One Who lives and sees me.”

Wow!

As we experience the the hard times in life, we need to remember, our way is not hidden from the Lord, He really does see and will act on our behalf…wait on Him (Isaiah 40:27-31).

Abram was 86-years-old when Ishmael was born (Genesis 16:16). God appeared to him 13 years later (Genesis 17:1).

God changed his name from Abram ( high or exalted father) to Abraham (father of a multitude). Again, God promised Abraham the Land, and again God promised Abraham many descendants. God then instituted circumcision as a covenant between them which symbolized the cutting away of the flesh (the fallen sin nature). God promised a son to Abraham through his wife and changed her name from Sarai (she that strives) to Sarah (princess, a woman of high rank).

When the LORD promised a son to this couple, Abraham laughed and doubted and Sarah later laughed as well (Genesis 17:17; 18:12) (so much for their amazing faith). I find it encouraging as a parent that Abraham had been praying for Ishmael and God said He had heard those prayers (Genesis 17:20). Abraham assumed Ishmael was the child of promise, but God said no, His covenant would be through Isaac (his name means laughter). Doesn’t that bring a smile to your heart?

Why the delay? Many factors are involved in God’s timing but ultimately when Isaac was born, there would be absolutely no doubt about it – this son is a miracle!

Hebrews 11:12 (NKJV) “Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.”


Matthew 6:1-24

“When you do a charitable deed…” (Matthew 6:2)

“When you pray…” (Matthew 6:5)

“When you fast…” (Matthew 6:16)

These are things Jesus assumes we will do as His children. May we do so almost secretly, obediently, and with sincerity, not to be seen by others so they’d think we’re godly. Let’s end the desire to impress others, let’s live only to bless God.

In Matthew 6:9-13 we have what’s been called a “Model Prayer.” When we pray may we have reverence for Our Father, may we seek His Kingdom and His will. He is the Giver of the Bread of Life, every day of our lives. As we ask for forgiveness for the sins we’ve committed against God we MUST also be sure to forgive those who have wronged us. And how important it is to ask the Lord to protect and deliver us from temptation and the evil one.

One last thing about this prayer. Did you notice that when you pray this prayer you’re praying for the entire church? (notice the words “US”  and “WE” are found 5 times in this prayer)

God help us to invest our time, talents, and treasures towards His Kingdom, towards the things that are everlasting. People try, but no one is able to serve both God and money. Eventually our loyalty will be tested and revealed. 

Warren Wiersbe, “We lay up treasures in heaven when we consider that all we have belongs to God and we use it to magnify His righteousness and advance His kingdom (Matt. 6:33). It means much more than merely giving offerings to God, although that is important. It means total stewardship of life so that God is in complete control and our one desire is to glorify Him.”

Is my eye good? (Matthew 6:22) When our eyes are looking at good things, our entire life will benefit. Seek after God, read the Word, watch good studies and movies, look at everyone and everything through the lenses of Lord. But if our eyes are “bad” looking and lusting after the things of this world, our life will suffer the consequences (see Proverbs 17:24).


Psalm 7:1-17

Once again David prays for deliverance. I can’t even begin to imagine the wars he experienced.

I’ve always been fascinated by:

Psalm 7:11 (NKJV) “God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day.”


Proverbs 2:1-5

The first 9 chapters of Proverbs are largely an invitation to seek after wisdom. The invitation is not without promise.

Proverbs 2:4–5 (NKJV) “If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.”

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.

Leave a Reply