Free eBook: Getting Through the Storms in Life

Genesis 16; Genesis 17; Genesis 18

1 Abram's wife Sarai had never had any children by him. But she had a female servant from Egypt named Hagar. 2 So she said to Abram, "The LORD has kept me from having children. Go and make love to my servant. Maybe I can have a family through her." Abram agreed to what Sarai had said. 3 After he had been living in Canaan for ten years, his wife Sarai gave him her servant Hagar to be his wife. 4 He made love to Hagar. And she became pregnant. When Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to look down on the woman who owned her. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, "It's your fault that I'm suffering like this. I put my servant in your arms. Now that she knows she's pregnant, she looks down on me. May the LORD judge between you and me. May he decide which of us is right." 6 "Your servant belongs to you," Abram said. "Do with her what you think is best." Then Sarai treated Hagar badly. So Hagar ran away from her. 7 The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring of water in the desert. The spring was beside the road to Shur. 8 He said, "Hagar, you are the servant of Sarai. Where have you come from? Where are you going?" "I'm running away from my owner Sarai," she answered. 9 Then the angel of the LORD told her, "Go back to the woman who owns you. Obey her." 10 The angel continued, "I will greatly increase the number of your children after you. You will have more of them than anyone can count." 11 The angel of the LORD also said to her, "You are now pregnant. You will have a son. You will name him Ishmael. That is because the LORD has heard about your suffering. 12 He will be like a wild donkey. He will use his power against everyone. And everyone will be against him. He will not be friendly toward any of his relatives." 13 She gave a name to the LORD who spoke to her. She called him "You are the God who sees me." That's because she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me." 14 That's why the well was named Beer Lahai Roi. It's still there, between Kadesh and Bered. 15 So Hagar had a son by Abram. And Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had by him. 16 Abram was 86 years old when Hagar had Ishmael by him.
1 When Abram was 99 years old, the LORD appeared to him. He said, "I am the Mighty God. Walk with me and live without any blame. 2 I will now put into practice my covenant between me and you. I will greatly increase your numbers." 3 Abram fell with his face to the ground. God said to him, 4 "As for me, this is my covenant with you. You will be the father of many nations. 5 "You will not be called Abram anymore. Your name will be Abraham, because I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will give you many children. Nations will come from you. And kings will come from you. 7 "I will make my covenant with you. It will last forever. It will be between me and you and your children after you for all time to come. I will be your God. And I will be the God of all of your family after you. 8 "You are now living in Canaan as an outsider. But I will give you the whole land of Canaan. You will own it forever. So will your children after you. And I will be their God." 9 Then God said to Abraham, "As for you, you must keep my covenant. You and your children after you for all time to come must keep it. 10 "Here is my covenant that you and your children after you must keep. Every male among you must be circumcised. 11 You must be circumcised. That will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 It must be done for all time to come. "Every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised. That includes those who are born in your house. It also includes those who are bought with money from a stranger. Even those who are not your own children must be included. 13 Any male who is born in your house or bought with your money must be circumcised. "My covenant will last forever. Your body will have the mark of my covenant on it. 14 "Any male who has not been circumcised will be cut off from his people. He has broken my covenant." 15 God also said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, do not call her Sarai anymore. Her name will be Sarah. 16 I will give her my blessing. You can be sure that I will give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations. Kings of nations will come from her." 17 Abraham fell with his face to the ground. He laughed and said to himself, "Will a son be born to a man who is 100 years old? Will Sarah have a child at the age of 90?" 18 Abraham said to God, "I wish Ishmael could receive your blessing!" 19 Then God said, "I will bless Ishmael. But your wife Sarah will have a son by you. And you will name him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him. It will be a covenant that lasts forever. It will be for Isaac and for his family after him. 20 "As for Ishmael, I have heard you. You can be sure that I will bless him. I will give him children. I will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of 12 rulers. And I will make him into a great nation. 21 "But I will establish my covenant with Isaac. By this time next year, Sarah will have a son by you." 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God left him. 23 On that very day Abraham circumcised his son Ishmael. He also circumcised every male who was born in his house or bought with his money. He did exactly as God had told him. 24 Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised. 25 His son Ishmael was 13. 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that same day. 27 And every male in Abraham's house was circumcised along with him. That included those who were born in his house or bought from a stranger.
1 The LORD appeared to Abraham near the large trees of Mamre. Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent. It was the hottest time of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. He quickly left the entrance to his tent to meet them. He bowed low to the ground. 3 He said, "My lord, if you are pleased with me, don't pass me by. 4 Let a little water be brought. All of you can wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 "Let me get you something to eat to give you strength. Then you can go on your way. I want to do this for you now that you have come to me." "All right," they answered. "Go ahead and do it." 6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. "Quick!" he said. "Get about half a bushel of fine flour. Mix it and bake some bread." 7 Then he ran to the herd. He picked out a choice, tender calf. He gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 Then he brought some butter and milk and the calf that had been prepared. He served them to the three men. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree. 9 "Where is your wife Sarah?" they asked him. "Over there, in the tent," he said. 10 Then the LORD said, "You can be sure that I will return to you about this time next year. Your wife Sarah will have a son." Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old. Sarah was too old to have a baby. 12 So she laughed to herself. She thought, "I'm worn out, and my husband is old. Can I really know the joy of having a baby?" 13 Then the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, 'Will I really have a baby, now that I am old?' 14 Is anything too hard for me? I will return to you at the appointed time next year. Sarah will have a son." 15 Sarah was afraid. So she lied and said, "I didn't laugh." But the LORD said, "Yes, you did." 16 The men got up to leave. They looked down toward Sodom. Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17 Then the LORD said, "Should I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 He will certainly become a great and powerful nation. All nations on earth will be blessed because of him. 19 "I have chosen him. He must direct his children. He must see that the members of his family after him live the way I want them to. So he must direct them to do what is right and fair. Then I, the Lord, will do for Abraham what I have promised him." 20 The LORD said, "The cries against Sodom and Gomorrah are very great. Their sin is so bad 21 that I will go down and see for myself. I want to see if what they have done is as bad as the cries that have reached me. If it is not, then I will know." 22 The men turned away. They went toward Sodom. But Abraham remained standing in front of the Lord. 23 Then Abraham came up to him. He said, "Will you sweep away godly people along with those who are evil? 24 What if there are 50 godly people in the city? Will you really sweep it away? Won't you spare the place because of the 50 godly people in it? 25 "You would never kill godly people along with those who are evil, would you? You wouldn't treat godly and evil people alike. You would never do anything like that! Won't the Judge of the whole earth do what is right?" 26 The LORD said, "If I find 50 godly people in the city of Sodom, I will save it. I will spare the whole place because of them." 27 Then Abraham spoke up again. He said, "I have been very bold to speak to the Lord. After all, I'm only dust and ashes. 28 What if the number of godly people is five less than 50? Will you destroy the whole city because of five people?" "If I find 45 there," he said, "I will not destroy it." 29 Once again Abraham spoke to him. He asked, "What if only 40 are found there?" He said, "If there are 40, I will not do it." 30 Then Abraham said, "Lord, don't let your anger burn against me. Let me speak. What if only 30 can be found there?" He answered, "If there are 30, I will not do it." 31 Abraham said, "I have been very bold to speak to the Lord. What if only 20 are found there?" He said, "If there are 20, I will not destroy it." 32 Then he said, "Lord, don't let your anger burn against me. Let me speak just one more time. What if only ten are found there?" He answered, "If there are ten, I will not destroy it." 33 When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left. And Abraham returned home.
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