Abraham, The Friend Of God
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Then Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine; he was a priest to God Most High. He blessed him and said:Abram is blessed by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth,
From there he moved on to the hill country east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. He built an altar to Yahweh there, and he called on the name of Yahweh.
Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.
He believed, hoping against hope, so that he became the father of many nations according to what had been spoken: So will your descendants be. He considered his own body to be already dead (since he was about 100 years old) and also considered the deadness of Sarah’s womb, without weakening in the faith. He did not waver in unbelief at God’s promise but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,read more.
because he was fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. Therefore, it was credited to him for righteousness.
By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went out to a place he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed as a foreigner in the land of promise, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, coheirs of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.read more.
By faith even Sarah herself, when she was unable to have children, received power to conceive offspring, even though she was past the age, since she considered that the One who had promised was faithful. Therefore from one man—in fact, from one as good as dead—came offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as innumerable as the grains of sand by the seashore.
After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!”“Here I am,” he answered. “Take your son,” He said, “your only son Isaac, whom you love, go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” So Abraham got up early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took with him two of his young men and his son Isaac. He split wood for a burnt offering and set out to go to the place God had told him about. read more.
On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you.” Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac. In his hand he took the fire and the sacrificial knife, and the two of them walked on together. Then Isaac spoke to his father Abraham and said, “My father.”And he replied, “Here I am, my son.” Isaac said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” Then the two of them walked on together. When they arrived at the place that God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood. He bound his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”He replied, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not lay a hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your only son from Me.” Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught in the thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram and offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son. And Abraham named that place The Lord Will Provide, so today it is said: “It will be provided on the Lord’s mountain.” Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “By Myself I have sworn,” this is the Lord’s declaration: “Because you have done this thing and have not withheld your only son, I will indeed bless you and make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your offspring will possess the gates of their enemies. And all the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring because you have obeyed My command.” Abraham went back to his young men, and they got up and went together to Beer-sheba. And Abraham settled in Beer-sheba.
Foolish man! Are you willing to learn that faith without works is useless? Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was active together with his works, and by works, faith was perfected.
Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, know that you will certainly die, you and all who are yours.”
The men got up from there and looked out over Sodom, and Abraham was walking with them to see them off. Then the Lord said, “Should I hide what I am about to do from Abraham? Abraham is to become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him.read more.
For I have chosen him so that he will command his children and his house after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. This is how the Lord will fulfill to Abraham what He promised him.” Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is immense, and their sin is extremely serious. I will go down to see if what they have done justifies the cry that has come up to Me. If not, I will find out.” The men turned from there and went toward Sodom while Abraham remained standing before the Lord. Abraham stepped forward and said, “Will You really sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are 50 righteous people in the city? Will You really sweep it away instead of sparing the place for the sake of the 50 righteous people who are in it? You could not possibly do such a thing: to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. You could not possibly do that! Won’t the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” The Lord said, “If I find 50 righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” Then Abraham answered, “Since I have ventured to speak to the Lord—even though I am dust and ashes— suppose the 50 righteous lack five. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?”He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find 45 there.” Then he spoke to Him again, “Suppose 40 are found there?”He answered, “I will not do it on account of 40.” Then he said, “Let the Lord not be angry, and I will speak further. Suppose 30 are found there?”He answered, “I will not do it if I find 30 there.” Then he said, “Since I have ventured to speak to the Lord, suppose 20 are found there?”He replied, “I will not destroy it on account of 20.” Then he said, “Let the Lord not be angry, and I will speak one more time. Suppose 10 are found there?”He answered, “I will not destroy it on account of 10.” When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, He departed, and Abraham returned to his place.
So the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, and he was called God’s friend.
For I have chosen him so that he will command his children and his house after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. This is how the Lord will fulfill to Abraham what He promised him.”
There was a famine in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine in the land was severe. When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “Look, I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ They will kill me but let you live.read more.
Please say you’re my sister so it will go well for me because of you, and my life will be spared on your account.” When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. Pharaoh’s officials saw her and praised her to Pharaoh, so the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s household. He treated Abram well because of her, and Abram acquired flocks and herds, male and female donkeys, male and female slaves, and camels. But the Lord struck Pharaoh and his household with severe plagues because of Abram’s wife Sarai. So Pharaoh sent for Abram and said, “What have you done to me? Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She’s my sister,’ so that I took her as my wife? Now, here is your wife. Take her and go!” Then Pharaoh gave his men orders about him, and they sent him away with his wife and all he had.
From there Abraham traveled to the region of the Negev and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he lived in Gerar, Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech king of Gerar had Sarah brought to him. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “You are about to die because of the woman you have taken, for she is a married woman.”read more.
Now Abimelech had not approached her, so he said, “Lord, would You destroy a nation even though it is innocent? Didn’t he himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ I did this with a clear conscience and clean hands.” Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you did this with a clear conscience. I have also kept you from sinning against Me. Therefore I have not let you touch her. Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, know that you will certainly die, you and all who are yours.” Early in the morning Abimelech got up, called all his servants together, and personally told them all these things, and the men were terrified. Then Abimelech called Abraham in and said to him, “What have you done to us? How did I sin against you that you have brought such enormous guilt on me and on my kingdom? You have done things to me that should never be done.” Abimelech also said to Abraham, “What did you intend when you did this thing?” Abraham replied, “I thought, ‘There is absolutely no fear of God in this place. They will kill me because of my wife.’ Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. So when God had me wander from my father’s house, I said to her: Show your loyalty to me wherever we go and say about me: ‘He’s my brother.’” Then Abimelech took sheep and cattle and male and female slaves, gave them to Abraham, and returned his wife Sarah to him. Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you. Settle wherever you want.” And he said to Sarah, “Look, I am giving your brother 1,000 pieces of silver. It is a verification of your honor to all who are with you. You are fully vindicated.” Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female slaves so that they could bear children, for the Lord had completely closed all the wombs in Abimelech’s household on account of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
Abram’s wife Sarai had not borne any children for him, but she owned an Egyptian slave named Hagar. Sarai said to Abram, “Since the Lord has prevented me from bearing children, go to my slave; perhaps through her I can build a family.” And Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar, her Egyptian slave, and gave her to her husband Abram as a wife for him. This happened after Abram had lived in the land of Canaan 10 years. read more.
He slept with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When she realized that she was pregnant, she treated her mistress with contempt.
He slept with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When she realized that she was pregnant, she treated her mistress with contempt. Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for my suffering! I put my slave in your arms, and ever since she saw that she was pregnant, she has treated me with contempt. May the Lord judge between me and you.” Abram replied to Sarai, “Here, your slave is in your hands; do whatever you want with her.” Then Sarai mistreated her so much that she ran away from her.
But Sarah saw the son mocking—the one Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham. So she said to Abraham, “Drive out this slave with her son, for the son of this slave will not be a coheir with my son Isaac!” Now this was a very difficult thing for Abraham because of his son. read more.
But God said to Abraham, “Do not be concerned about the boy and your slave. Whatever Sarah says to you, listen to her, because your offspring will be traced through Isaac. But I will also make a nation of the slave’s son because he is your offspring.” Early in the morning Abraham got up, took bread and a waterskin, put them on Hagar’s shoulders, and sent her and the boy away. She left and wandered in the Wilderness of Beer-sheba.