Abraham, The Friend Of God
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King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine, since he was serving as the priest of God Most High. Melchizedek blessed Abram and said, "Abram is blessed by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth,
From there Abram traveled on to the hill country east of Bethel and set up his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.
Abram believed the LORD, and it was credited to him as righteousness.
Hoping in spite of hopeless circumstances, he believed that he would become "the father of many nations," just as he had been told: "This is how many descendants you will have." His faith did not weaken when he thought about his own body (which was already as good as dead now that he was about a hundred years old) or about Sarah's inability to have children, nor did he doubt God's promise out of a lack of faith. Instead, his faith became stronger and he gave glory to God, read more.
being absolutely convinced that God would do what he had promised. This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness."
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who also inherited the same promise, because he was waiting for the city with permanent foundations, whose architect and builder is God.read more.
By faith Sarah, even though she was old and barren, received the strength to conceive, because she was convinced that the one who had made the promise was faithful. Abraham was as good as dead, yet from this one man came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
Sometime later, God tested Abraham. He called out to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am!" he answered. God said, "Please take your son, your unique son whom you love Isaac and go to the land of Moriah. Offer him as a burnt offering there on one of the mountains that I will point out to you." So Abraham got up early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his male servants with him, along with his son Isaac. He cut the wood for the burnt offering and set out to go to the place about which God had spoken to him. read more.
On the third day he looked ahead and saw the place from a distance. Abraham ordered his two servants, "Both of you are to stay here with the donkey. Now as for the youth and me, we'll go up there, we'll worship, and then we'll return to you." Then Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac. Abraham carried the fire and the knife. And so the two of them went on together. Isaac addressed his father Abraham: "My father!" "I'm here, my son," Abraham replied. Isaac asked, "The fire and the wood are here, but where's the lamb for the burnt offering?" Abraham answered, "God will provide himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." The two of them went on together and came to the place about which God had spoken. Abraham built an altar there, arranged the wood, tied up his son Isaac, and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. Then he stretched out his hand and grabbed the knife to slaughter his son. Just then, an angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven and said, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Here I am," he answered. "Don't lay your hand on the youth!" he said. "Don't do anything to him, because I've just demonstrated that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only unique one, from me." Then Abraham looked up and behind him to see a ram caught by its horns in the thicket. So Abraham went over, grabbed the ram, and offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son. Abraham named that place, "The LORD Will Provide," as it is told this day, "On the LORD's mountain, he will provide." The angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, "I have taken an oath to swear by myself," declares the LORD, "that since you have carried this out and have not withheld your only unique son, I will certainly bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in heaven and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the gates of their enemies. Furthermore, through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed my command." After this, Abraham returned to his servants and they set out together for Beer-sheba, where Abraham settled.
Do you want proof, you foolish person, that faith without actions is worthless? Our ancestor Abraham was justified by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar, wasn't he? You see that his faith worked together with what he did, and by his actions his faith was made complete.
Now then, return the man's wife. As a matter of fact, he's a prophet and can intercede for you so you'll live. But if you don't return her, be aware that you and all who are yours will certainly die."
After this, the men set out from there and looked out over Sodom. Abraham went with them to send them off. "Should I hide from Abraham what I'm about to do," the LORD asked, "since Abraham's descendants will become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him? read more.
Indeed, I've made myself known to him in order that he may encourage his sons and his household that is born after him to keep the way of the LORD, and to do what is right and just, so that the LORD may bring about for Abraham what he has promised." The LORD also said, "How great is the disapproval of Sodom and Gomorrah! Their sin is so very serious! I'm going down to see whether they've acted according to the protests that have reached me. If not, I wish to know." Then two of the men turned away from there and walked toward Sodom, while Abraham remained standing in the presence of the LORD. Abraham approached and asked, "Will you actually destroy the righteous along with the wicked? Perhaps there are 50 righteous ones within the city. Will you actually destroy it and not forgive the place for the sake of the 50 righteous that are found there? Far be it from you to do such a thing to kill the righteous along with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike! The Judge of all the earth will do what is right, won't he?" The LORD said, "If I find 50 righteous people within Sodom, I'll forgive the whole place for their sake." Abraham answered, "Look, even though I am only dust and ashes, I've ventured to speak to my LORD. What if there are five less than 50 righteous ones? Will you bring destruction upon the city because of those five?" The LORD said, "I won't destroy it if I find 45 there." Abraham continued to speak to him, asking, "What if 40 are found there?" The LORD replied, "I won't do it for the sake of those 40." Abraham then asked, "I hope my LORD will not be angry if I speak. What if 30 are found there?" The LORD answered, "I won't do it for the sake of those 30." "Look," Abraham said, "I've presumed to speak to my LORD" so what if 20 are found there?" "For the sake of those 20," the LORD responded, "I won't destroy it." Finally, Abraham inquired, "I hope my LORD will not be angry if I speak only once more. What if ten are found there?" He replied, "For the sake of those ten I won't destroy it." As soon as he finished talking to Abraham, the LORD left and Abraham returned to where he had been sitting.
And so the Scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." And so he was called God's friend.
"LORD God of our ancestors, you are the God who lives in heaven, are you not? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, don't you? In your own hands you grasp both strength and power, don't you? As a result, no one can oppose you, can they? You are our God, who expelled the former inhabitants of this land right in front of our people Israel, aren't you? Then you gave it to your friend Abraham's descendant forever, didn't you?
Indeed, I've made myself known to him in order that he may encourage his sons and his household that is born after him to keep the way of the LORD, and to do what is right and just, so that the LORD may bring about for Abraham what he has promised."
There was a famine in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt to live because the famine was so severe. When he was about to enter Egypt, he told his wife Sarai, "Look, I'm aware that you're a beautiful woman. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, "She is his wife.' Then they'll kill me, but allow you to live. read more.
Please say that you are my sister, so things will go well for me for your sake. That way, you'll be saving my life." As Abram was entering Egypt, the Egyptians noticed how beautiful Sarai was. When Pharaoh's officials saw her, they brought her to the attention of Pharaoh and took the woman to Pharaoh's palace. He treated Abram well because of her, so Abram acquired sheep, oxen, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels. But the LORD afflicted Pharaoh and his household with severe plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife. Pharaoh summoned Abram and asked, "What have you done to me! Why didn't you tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, "She is my sister,' so that I took her as a wife for myself? Now, here is your wife! Take her and get out!" So Pharaoh assigned men to Abram, and they escorted him, his wife, and all that he had out of the country.
Abraham traveled from there to the Negev and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he was living in Gerar as an outsider, because Abraham kept saying about his wife Sarah, "She is my sister," King Abimelech of Gerar summoned them and took Sarah into his household. But God came to Abimelech in a dream during the night and spoke to him, "Pay attention! You're about to die, because the woman you have taken is a man's wife!"read more.
Now Abimelech had not yet come near her, so he asked, "LORD, will you destroy an innocent nation? Didn't he say to me, "She's my sister'? And she also said, "He's my brother.' I did this with pure intentions and clean hands." Then God replied to him in the dream, "I know that you did this with pure intentions, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore, I didn't allow you to touch her. Now then, return the man's wife. As a matter of fact, he's a prophet and can intercede for you so you'll live. But if you don't return her, be aware that you and all who are yours will certainly die." So Abimelech got up early the next morning, summoned all his servants, and told them all these things. The men became terrified. Then Abimelech called Abraham and asked him, "What have you done to us? How have I sinned against you, that you have brought such great sin against me and my kingdom? You've done things to me that ought not to have been done." Abimelech also asked Abraham, "What could you have been thinking when you did this?" "I thought that there's no fear of God in this place," Abraham replied, "and that they would kill me because of my wife. Besides, she really is my sister she's my father's daughter, but not my mother's daughter so she could become my wife. When God caused me to journey from my father's house, I asked her to do me this favor and say, "He's my brother.'" So Abimelech took some sheep and oxen, and some male and female servants, gave them to Abraham, returned his wife Sarah to him, and said, "Look! My land is available to you, so settle wherever you please." Abimelech also told Sarah, "Look! I am giving your brother 1,000 pieces of silver to vindicate you in the eyes of all who are with you. As a result, you will be completely vindicated." Then Abraham interceded with God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants so they could bear children, since the LORD had made all the women barren in Abimelech's household on account of Abraham's wife Sarah.
Now Abram's wife Sarai had not borne a child for him. She had an Egyptian servant girl whose name was Hagar. So Sarai told Abram, "You are well aware that the LORD has prevented me from giving birth to a child. Go have sex with my servant, so that I may possibly bear a son through her." Abram listened to Sarai's suggestion, so Abram's wife Sarai took her Egyptian servant, Hagar, and gave her as a wife to her husband Abram. This took place ten years after Abram had settled in the land of Canaan. read more.
He had sex with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When she realized that she was pregnant, she looked with contempt on her mistress.
He had sex with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When she realized that she was pregnant, she looked with contempt on her mistress. Then Sarai told Abram, "My suffering is your fault! I gave you my servant so you could have sex with her, and when she discovered that she was pregnant, she looked on me with contempt. May the LORD judge between you and me!" Abram answered Sarai, "Look, your servant is under your control, so do to her as you wish." So Sarai dealt so harshly with Hagar that she ran away from Sarai.
Nevertheless, when Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian whom Hagar had borne to Abraham making fun of Isaac, she told Abraham, "Throw out this slave girl, along with her son, because this slave's son will never be a co-heir with my son Isaac!" Abraham was very troubled about what was being said about his son, read more.
but God told Abraham, "Don't be troubled about the youth and your slave girl. Pay attention to Sarah in everything she tells you, because your offspring are to be named through Isaac. Nevertheless, I will make the slave girl's son into a nation, since he, too, is your offspring." So early the next morning, Abraham got up, took bread and a leather bottle of water, gave them to Hagar, and placed them on her shoulder. He then sent her away, along with the child. She went off and roamed in the Beer-sheba wilderness.