I’m actually up to verse 29 and soon my writing will catch up to my reading, but this is the best I can do with the time I have each morning.
- Babel is a fascinating story. In part because it shows what a potential we have as a people. So much so that God actually was worried about it. “”Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.” You could argue that with advanced technology and the “shrinking” of the globe, that we now have the ability to communicate almost freely with most people in the world. However, we are not “one people” and probably won’t be until the end times (if I’m understanding that little bit of prophesy correctly).
- On a similar and simpler note: I think that as individual communities and church groups, we should draw encouragement that we can do much more as a unified group than we could on our own. We are only limited by the restraints that God has put upon us for our own good.
- The Lord reveals himself to Abraham again and again promising to fulfill his covenant to him. I wonder if that was because of Abraham’s fears or lack of faith or what. Not that I’m judging. I can be guilty of forgetting God’s promise of provision and protection and need reminders from time to time.
- Interesting (as I read on) that Abraham uses the “she’s my sister” routine with his wife twice and Issac uses it as well. Was this part of God’s protection for them (because in the end it does keep them from being killed, despite undesired consequences)? Or was it part of Abraham’s lack of faith that God would protect him? I lean towards the latter and I think it is an example of how God blesses us despite our attempts to take control of those blessings.
- “Melchizedek king of Salem” makes his appearance (seemingly out of nowhere) and Abraham establishes the tithes (repeated later by Issac I believe) of a tenth.
- Despite his occasional acts of panic and self preservation – Abraham is honored for having strong faith “Then he believed in the LORD ; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness” – to the point where later God tests him by asking him to offer up Issac on the alter, and Abraham passes that test.
- Polygamy is reported but not exactly condoned. On the other hand, if God makes a big deal about some things, why not call out the leaders of his chosen people for this? I do believe in the sanctity of marriage and God’s plan of one man and one woman joined together. But it bothers me that it seems like God allows it without rebuke in many instances in the Bible.
- The Lord appeared to Abraham in chapter 18 with 2 other men. Was this the pre-incarnate Christ (with 2 angels)? I tend to think so. What an amazing thing.
- Abraham’s negotiation with the Lord for Sodom and Gommorah is interesting in that it shows how willing the Lord is to listen to our prayer. On the other hand, it is interesting that not 10 “righteous” men were found there to save the city. You could argue that nobody is righteous but without looking at the translations I would assume this was the more loose understanding of righteous – meaning a God fearing but still sinful person.
- God’s destruction of the cities is on one hand sad, but on the other hand an interesting foreshadow of the end times. God promised not to flood the Earth again, but he didn’t say anything about fire and brimstone. The end will come and Christ is coming back with a sword.
- In chapter 20 Abraham uses the sister trick again and God actually has to intervene with the king in a dream. I think again God used Abraham’s poor action to bless him despite it. He becomes rich and prosperous because of this. I love that God can and does bless us in spite of ourselves.