Tag Archives: Isaac

CORRECTION – MOSES THE SHEPHERD

Before I get started with the post, I want to mention something that I posted in yesterday’s post – This is yesterday’s post – “PRAYER – MOSES THE SHEPHERD AND GOD“.  It was a quote from another website and after thinking about it today and talking to mom and dad about it, well, it is an incorrect statement. Or at the least, I misunderstand totally what they are trying to say. It is from the article “Moses in Egypt, and Moses in Midian” and is from this magazine – “The Christian’s Friend” which is on the website STEM Publishing (Sound Teaching on Electronic Media) Here is the quote…

Moses was an eminent type of the Lord Jesus. And I would just notice, in passing, that they are the only two persons mentioned in Scripture whose course we are able to trace from their birth on to the glory.”

I don’t know if any of you thought about that statement today, but at supper mom and dad and I came up with a few more folks that we can trace from the cradle to the gates of glory. I like to make a correction of any error I have made or find that I have posted. Here is a very short list of a few folks that we thought of:

  1. Isaac
    1. Born – Genesis 21:1-3 – And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him—whom Sarah bore to him—Isaac.
    2. Dies – Genesis 35:2929 Isaac breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, an old man [a]of ripe age; and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
  2. Jacob
    1. Born – Genesis 25:26Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob.[a] Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.
    2. Dies – Genesis 49:3333 When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and was gathered to his people.
  3. Joseph
    1. Born – Genesis 30:2525 And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own place and to my country.
    2. Dies – Genesis 50:2626 So Joseph died, being 110 years old. They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.
  4. Moses
    1. Born – Exodus 2:1-2 – And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi. So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months.

There may be more… if you come up with any, let me know and I will make an addition to my correction. I would be interested to know what you think of. I am just not certain what that person meant when he made that statement. But it was a LONG time ago (1874) when the article was written… but if a scholar, he should have known… ???   Anyway, I just wanted to clear that up. Thanks for bearing with me.

With that said and out of the way, I will say this… I am going to take another day to gather my thoughts about Moses’ conversation with God in the Burning Bush. Tomorrow is Sunday and a day of rest. I will put together a post for Monday morning for you and it will be about their conversation and God’s mission for Moses. Thank you for understanding…

Below is a compilation list of some of my favorite songs that I have posted.  I know… I just counted them… 23 of them.  I told you I love music!  Just click on any of the songs to listen.  Thought you might enjoy!

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PRAYER – ISAAC, REBEKAH AND TWINS

The last time I wrote anything in the Prayer series was about when Rebekah was found to be a wife for Isaac. Isaac was 40 years old when he and Rebekah became husband and wife. The age of Rebekah is actually in question, but the general consensus is around 14 years of age. isaac-meeting-rebecca-by-friedrich-bouterwekYep, Isaac was 40 and Rebekah was 14… wow… I know! However, that is what the “experts” seem to settle on based on the records of births. Nonetheless, that is not what we are here to talk about. This series is based on Prayer and thus we shall continue on such.

The first mention of Isaac praying is for Rebekah because of her barrenness. Isaac prayed and God heard his prayer and Rebekah conceived. Let’s look at the scripture:

Genesis 25:21

21 Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.

23 And the Lord said to her:

“Two nations are in your womb,
Two peoples shall be separated from your body;
One people shall be stronger than the other,
And the older shall serve the younger.”

24 So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. 25 And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau.[b] 26 Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob.[c] Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

27 So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. 28 And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

Now, I know some of youIsaac-Blessing-Jacob-1642 know the story of Jacob and Esau and this blog post is not really going to be about the life and times of these boys growing into young men. Since I have begun this series on Prayer, from Genesis 1 to now, Genesis 25, I have realized that I have to reign myself in so often when I write a post when it is directly from scripture, like this is. Why? Because I begin to study, research and try to find the “truth” about meanings of words and phrases and that takes me on rabbit trails and down fox holes sometimes. I love doing that but it distracts from the true meaning of this series – Prayer. Not that all of that researching and studying is not good and important to me, I simply do not have the time to do all of that and to write a quality post about the main idea – which is Prayer. So… with that said, I will try to find the “prayer times” and stay away from the unfortunate choices that Rebekah, Isaac, Jacob and Esau made that caused consequences that seem so unnecessary. However, you know as well as I do, that “… all things work together for good for those that love the Lord…” Romans 8:28. God was in control then just as He is now and He used all the happenings for His glory. Sometimes, our choices just are not the right way to go and the consequences seem harsh but as long as we leave the final outcome to God, He will get the glory and we will learn a lesson, as did Jacob and Esau – eventually. I would encourage you to read the entire story, however. It is quite interesting with twists and turns and ups and downs. (Genesis 25)

The next prayer time I am going to discuss is fast forwarding to Genesis 28. In this scripture Jacob is on his way to Haran to find a wife among his relatives (his mother’s brother, Laban). Jacob has traveled all day and arrives at a location to spend the night. When he falls asleep, he has a dream and God appears in his dream. Here is the scripture:

Genesis 28:10-22

10 Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. 12 Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God wjacobs-ladderere ascending and descending on it.

13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. 14 Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”

16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”

18 Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. 19 And he called the name of that place Bethel;[a] but the name of that city had been Luz previously. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, 21 so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. 22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”jacobs-ladder-meditation1

You hear it said that when God speaks to your heart it is with a “still, small voice”. Well, my experience has been that way sometimes and then sometimes it is not so small. However, I have never had a dream where I actually see and hear God. This dream Jacob had must have rocked his world! It is quite descriptive about the dream and the paintings you see about this particular subject are quite elaborate.

In that I have never had a dream like Jacob’s, I have heard God speak to my heart and like Jacob, it is pretty awesome! When God speaks, whether it is with stillsmallvoicethat still, small voice or otherwise, it is awesome! I mean it brings tears to my eyes usually and I am usually speechless for a time… I know that may be hard for some of you to understand, those that know me pretty well, but it’s true. It takes my breath away for the God of all creation to speak to me. He knows my name! He cares about each of us! Just as He cared for Jacob. He wanted Jacob to know He loved him and has made a promise and a way for Jacob. “…15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”god_speaks

God makes that promise to us as well. He is with us and He will keep us wherever we go. He will never leave us nor forsake us!

De.uteronomy 31:6

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

With that wonderful scripture, I will close this post for now. I love knowing that God will never leave me or forsake me. He is faithful – always! He loves you and wants you to know that too! After all He calls you His beloved!

The Song – Be Still and Know That He Is God – Steven Curtis Chapman

The Video – Be Still and Know That He Is God – Steven Curtis Chapman

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PRAYER – ELIEZER, REBEKAH AND ISAAC

I didn’t get this posted on Sunday afternoon like I wanted but I guess better late than never.  I am one that HATES to be late, but  in this particular incident, timing is always God’s. There is always a reason for the time and day of any post I do.  I trust God to allow the time for me.  I trust Him in laying on my heart what I am supposed to share with you and so here it is.  This post will be published on Monday morning and I suppose … no I know… that is what God wanted.  So here it is.

Since I have been doing this series on Prayer from the beginning of Genesis to now, I have learned an immense amount of information about so many things. One thing that I have learned is that the stories in the Bible are not “just stories”. They are warnings and lessons. Warnings in that they show what not to do and lessons in that they teach us what to do to have a close relationship with God. The symbolism used in the stories is incredible and something to really pay attention to.

For instance… THE ARKI never, ever saw the Ark of Noah being a representation of Christ and His protection of us (see this post – “Prayer – The Ark and Noah 2”) and furthermore, I never, ever realized that Isaac was a representation of Christ as he was about to be sacrificed, either! I am learning that this wonderful book that I have literally read and heard stories from my entire life, is truly our life book. I have only “read” the words most of the times before and never really delved deep into the meanings and actual translation of words and phrases. So, the last few years have been such a wonderful adventure and journey for me. And to top it off, I get to share it all with you! I love writing and sharing. One day soon, that book will be on the shelves to be read by many. For now, I am sticking with the blog and still preparing for the book.

Now, without any more delay, I want to Abraham-Sacrifices-Isaac_fsjump right in to “the rest of the story” of Eliezer, Rebekah and Isaac. This is truly a lovely story and like I said yesterday, one filled with symbolism.

To begin, Abraham is representation of God the Father in that he was willing to sacrifice his son. Isaac, as was said earlier was representation of Christ and his sacrifice for us, however, as I have said in previous posts there is some more research to be done on that subject and I will re-visit at a later time.

Then there is Abraham telling Eliezer (who is not named in this particular scripture) to go and fi9f3fb95a20fbb26a4e10c51bf1ba9322nd a bride for the “son” (again a representation of Christ). Now if you are a Christian and have accepted Jesus into your life as your personal Savior, then you know about the “Bride of Christ” which is the “church” – not the building but the body of believers.  (If you would like to see a description of “Bride of Christ” there is a good one here on this website gotquestions.org).

After Jesus died and rose again on the third day and ascended into Heaven on the 40th day, God sent the Holy Spirit into the world to prepare the “Bride for Christ”. The first record of the Holy Spirit actually beginning His work is called the Day of Pentecost. The Scripture is Acts 2:1-4

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

So, just as Abraham sent his trusted servant out to find the bride for his son, God sent the Holy Spirit out into the world to seek out and prepare the bride for His Son.  Here is another scripture that speaks about Christ’s ascension and the gifts given by the Holy Spirit to the “church” – body of believers.

Ephesians 4:7-16

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says:

“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”[a]

(Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first[b] descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

So, Eliezer is sent out to find this bride. He is apparently a praying man and prays a wonderful, very real prayer asking God to reveal to him who this bride is to be. God is faithful in that He always answers prayer. He may not always answer in our time or in our way, but He always answers. In this particular incident, He answered even before Eliezer got the thought finished or words out of his mouth…

Genesis 24:12-15

12 Then he said, “O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’—let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”

15 And it happened, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder.

Now I would say that was an instant reply! It may have even taken Eliezer ofrebekahf guard at how fast God answered that prayer. Sometimes God chooses to move quickly and other times, it seems as though He moves at a snail’s pace. But remember, God is God and we are not… thank goodness, huh?

Now the bride that God chose for Isaac was sure to share in the wealth and blessings that God had bestowed on Abraham and thus Isaac. Just as the “bride of Christ” will share in His riches in glory.

Romans 8:16-17

16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

The bride must possess character traits of humility, imagesservant hood, and be hospitable. These same traits, God expects of His Son’s bride.

Matthew 20:20-28

25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

John 13:13-15

13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

I Peter 1:15-16; 2:21

15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”[a]

21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us,[a] leaving us[b] an example, that you should follow His steps:

Lastly, the bride for Isaac would have to have a tremendous amount of faith to step out and follow Eliezer back to her groom, just as we, as Christians, are called to have faith.

Luke 9:57-62camels

57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.”

58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.”

But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”

60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”

61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”

62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Luke 9:57-62; 14:26

26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

So we see in the “rest of the story” when Eliezer meets Rebekah, that this young woman meets all the character traits that are desired for the bride of Isaac. She willingly goes with Eliezer back to his country which is a long distance from her present home. We as Christians, our home – our Heavenly home – is a long, long distance from our present home. But we will travel that road one day! We will meet our Bridegroom in the air and live with Him forever in a place that He is preparing. As Jesus said Himself …

“… if I go to prepare a place for you…”

John 14:1-4

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions;[a] if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.[b] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

This will end this portion of the story of Eliezer, Rebekah and Isaac. I do pray that you know the Jesus that I am speaking of. If not, He is waiting to hear from you. This link is to a simple Plan of Salvation that walks you through what it means to be a Christian and a Christ follower. If you have questions, please click the link and read the information. It will change your life and you will never be the same! God loves you so much! He calls you His beloved!

The Song – Alive Forever, Amen – Singing Men of North Central Texas

The Video below is of The Singing Men of North Central Texas in Ukraine.  It is from when The Singing Men went to Ukraine on a mission trip.  The Holy Spirit definitely paved the way for them to spread the good news about Jesus.  It was an awesome trip for all and one they will be taking again next year (2015).  The video is an awesome reminder of people that need the Lord.

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PRAYER – ELIEZER AND REBEKAH

With a lot to still research on this “near sacrifice” of Isaac, I am not going to go forward with this part of Abraham’s story until I do further research. There is a gnawing inside of me that suggests that I may have jumped the gun on my beliefs and opinions of that whole chapter of Abraham’s journey. However, I will continue my posts past the near sacrifice of Isaac onto the next prayer time that we find in the scriptures. This prayer time doesn’t involve Abraham directly, but one of his men or servants (Eliezer)– “the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had…” This is a wonderful story of Abraham sending this trusted man off to find a wife for his son Isaac, which was the custom back then. Sometimes I think how odd that would be in this day and age, yet, this one worked beautifully!

The journey down this path begins with Abraham instructing his head servant and telling him to swear that he will not take a wife from among the Canaanite women to find a wife for Isaac. Here is the scripture:

Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. So Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Please, put your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

The woman that was to be the wife for Isaac was to be pure and from his father’s relatives. I really love Eliezer’s reply. He is so real with Abraham, but I suppose he had been with him for quite some time and had a wondRebekah-Eliezererful relationship with Abraham. Here is what the servant Eliezer says:

Genesis 24:5

And the servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came?”

Oh, but you forget, Mr. Servant … God is a God of Provision! God will provide! How quickly we forget to recall the memories of when God provided everything at a time when we saw it to be so unsettling and lacking. God knows our limits and our finiteness… He created us. We have to be reminded over and over again, sometimes and that’s ok, I suppose because He keeps doing it.

Now Abraham sends Eliezer out and he takes with him 10 camels and all the provisions and gifts for the “wife to be”. This trip will take approximately 3-4 weeks. Eliezer has a plan and must have thought of this along the way. This was a long journey back to Abraham’s land of his father’s. I imagine he had plenty of time to think about it and I can imagine that he and God had conversations along the way. He had 3-4 weeks and I feel certain that God assured him He would show him which one was the one for Isaac. The scripture actually just records his prayer to God after he arrives just outside the city of Haran. Here is the scripture:

Genesis 24:12-14eliezer-et-rebecca

12 Then he said, “O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’—let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”

By this time this man knew that the God of his master would hear his prayer. He was absolutely certain and he also knew that if he just talked to God and told him what it would take to help him realize which young woman it was that was for Isaac that God would help.

This story, like all of the Old Testament stories, is so full of symbolism. I want to explore the symbolism more in the next post. However, I will say that this story is a representation of the Father (God/Abraham) and the son (Jesus/Isaac) and the “Bride of Christ” (Christians/Rebekah). I will explore that in depth in the next post. I will be making 2 posts today (Sunday) and will share with you what God has asked me to share with you.

For now, let us not forget that Today is the day that The Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Psalm 118:24

The Video – Today Is The Day – Lincoln Brewster

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PRAYER – ABRAHAM AND SACRIFICE 2

In preparing for this post I ran across some very interesting ideas and thoughts on the sacrifice or near sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham. They range from Isaac actually was sacrificed and was raised from the dead to continue the life of the “promised son”, to the one that I am going to share with you tonight. I read about 5 different viewpoints and believe this one from a man called Zoltan Fischer fits more what I believe about the entire story. His article “Sacrificing Isaac” is very interesting and here is the link to read it. In a much shorter explanation, Mr. Fischer thinks that Abraham misunderstood – in some way – the instruction to “sacrifice” Isaac. The one thing I thought was interesting was the word used in the original text for “burnt offering”. It is the word “olah”. Here is the JewishEncyclopedia.com website’s definition and/or explanation.

“The ordinary translation in modern versions of the Hebrew “‘olah” (). This term does not mean literally “burnt offering,” but “what is brought up” or presented to the Deity. The name is a translation of the Septuagint rendering, which is itself based upon the descriptive phrase often attached to “‘olah” in the ritual prescriptions: “an offering made by fire unto the Lord” (Lev. i. 9 et seq.). A synonym is, which defines the offering as complete; i.e., when it is placed upon the altar, to distinguish it from the other forms of animal sacrifice (see I Sam. vii. 9; compare Ps. li. 21). The burnt offering was the highest order of sacrifice in the Old Testament ritual. The bloodless offerings were made only in connection with it.”

Basically, God was asking Abraham to offer Isaac to Him but not kill Isaac. As Mr. Zoltan Fischer puts it…altar2

“It has been pointed out by scholars that G-d could have used the word for ‘slaughter’ but He did not. He used a slightly more ambiguous word that still conventionally meant ‘sacrifice’ but left open some other interpretations,  in my opinion. There is more than one way a father can offer his son to G-d. He can offer his son’s life-long service or he can offer his son’s blood and burned body. Abraham started to think about this.”  (from “Sacrificing Isaac” by Zoltan Fischer)

Now there are some places where I am a little cloudy on but I do agree with Mr. Fischer that this story in Genesis is not intended to promote “blind faith”. God doesn’t want blind faith, necessarily. He gave us a brain and expects us to use it. Yes, we take things that the Bible says on faith coupled with studying and research… well, we should anyway. I have found so many things that I didn’t know and so many things that have been untwisted in my mind since I have begun studying what God’s Word really says. faith-oswald-chambers-550x320We, as Christians, should not just take everything on “face value”. We have to understand what is in this Book the Bible so we can explain, in an intelligent fashion, to others that either don’t believe or simply don’t know and are seeking. There is a scripture that tells us to know why we believe what we believe. Here is the scripture:

1 Peter 3:15

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man who asketh you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.

In my mind, “being ready” means know what is in the Bible and know why we believe it. Yes, now there is a personal experience with Jesus Christ that a Christian experiences when they are “saved”, however, there is more to it than just the “feeling” that we have when we are saved. 1-peter-315We have to know that we know and why we know. It will strengthen your relationship with our Father! Believe me! It will! I have grown so much over the past couple of years … and really a lot in the last 6 months! Mainly because I have made a choice to study and find out what the scriptures mean and what is the lesson in the stories in the Bible. How do they relate to me and my life with Jesus today?

With that said, let’s look at the scripture about the sacrifice – or near sacrifice – of Isaac.

Genesis 22:1-13

Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad[a] and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”

So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!”

And he said, “Here I am, my son.”

Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”

And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.

Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.gen-22-13-web-watermarked

11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”

So he said, “Here I am.”

12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.

As I said in yesterday’s post, God always provides. He, the other Father, provided His Son as a sacrifice for us so that we may live. God also provided a sacrifice for Isaac so that he could live.

With that said, here is the next scripture (verse 14 about God providing). This is one of the “names of God”. Jehovah Jireh – The Lord Will Provide and provide He did.

14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide;[b] as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

This is where I will stop tonight. The prayer between Abraham and God (and the Angel of God) is so precious. There is a lot that is left out of the text and I probably won’t be able to get to each part of it. However, I will attempt to provide another day or so and go over more of the prayer time.

Thank you for reading and thank you for joining me on the “journey” in this series on Prayer. As you can see there are many twists and turns that we will take as we study “prayer” along the way.

The Video – Our God is an Awesome God (with lyrics) – Michael W. Smith

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PRAYER – ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND ISHMAEL

My last post ended with God’s conversation with Abraham ending and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah set in motion. Our next stop along the journey of Prayer will be the blessed even of the arrival of the long promised son, Isaac. This son of promise was promised by God 30 years earlier. However, before God could fulfill His promise, Sarai and Abram took matters into their own hands and tried to “help” God along. a1cadba9-d70a-4431-9a67-d211445f8746_273This resulted in the birth of the son Ishmael (before God changed their names to Sarah and Abraham – see Prayer – Abraham and Sarah post). This son was born of an Egyptian maidservant of Sarai’s and was not the promised son. This is a quote from that post, but I encourage you to read the entire post, if you have not been following the story.

“They did not wait for God’s plan to unfold because of their unbelief that with God all things are possible! They spent 13 long years in bitterness and misery because of their unwillingness to trust God’s plan. Because of their actions, a child named Ishmael, was born of Hagar, the maidservant, and Abram. As I said yesterday, this child grew to be the Father of the Arab nation, who has been a thorn in the side of Israel, to this day! These 13 years were spent out of the presence of God and His grace and mercy. The baby Ishmael grows to be a teenager and when he was 13 years old things began to change. However, I believe that things were changing over the course of these 13 years but things really changed when he was 13.”

So let’s begin this post with the scripture that introduces us to the “Promised Son”.

Genesis 21:1-7

And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him—whom Sarah bore to him—Isaac. Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and alABRAHAM AND ISAACl who hear will laugh with me.” She also said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age.”

This was definitely a blessed event. What a miracle has SARAH AND ISAACoccurred! God made it physically possible for this 90 year old woman and this 100 year old man to have a baby. Something that is beyond man, God can do! Always!

How many times do we doubt God’s power in our lives? God can make anything happen if it is His will. God loved Abraham and Sarah and gave them this wonderful promised son and through Isaac many will be born and inhabit the land that had been promised to Abraham many, many years earlier.

As young Isaac grew and was weaned they had a feast to celebrate. This is a day of gladness and excitement throughout the camp. As the scripture goes, as the festive occasion is going on, Sarah glances over and happens to see Ishmael, who is 14 years old now, and Isaac. The young lad of 14 is playing with his new half-brother. Sarah realizes that the two cannot possibly co-exist. Isaac is the promised son and the Covenant is to be fulfilled through him and not Ishmael.  As Sarah sees this unfolsarah-and-isaac-by-scott-snow-oil-on-canvas-2000ding, she can see that there could be real trouble. She knows what God has promised and now she believes the two shall not dwell together any longer. The maidservant, Hagar, the mother of Ishmael, and Ishmael must leave the camp. Sarah tells Abraham that they must leave and this is very disturbing to Abraham – rightfully so… however, God speaks to Abraham. Here is the scripture.

Genesis 21:12-14

12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. 13 Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed.”Hagar-And-Ishmael

14 So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water; and putting it on her shoulder, he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba.

Now, let’s stop here and think about this situation. Here is Abraham at 100 years old and Sarah at 90. Abraham has a 14 year old son that he had with his wife’s maidservant and now he has a brand new baby – Isaac. Abraham loves them both. However, Ishmael is a product of his flesh, when he allowed himself to be pulled into the “helping God” story. This is of the flesh no matter how you slice it. Isaac, on the other hand, is of the Spirit. He is the product of years of waiting and praying and much changing in both Sarah and Abraham’s life. They softened over time and became more pliable by God. God waited until it was weSarah and Isaac (?)ll past the time of child bearing years for both of them to make sure they understood it was of God and not man.

The same goes in our lives, we try to “help” God sometimes and it becomes an effort born of the flesh and not of the Spirit. When we walk and talk with God daily and are in close communion with Him regularly, we know how we must walk, what we must say and which direction to put our feet in. That is walking “in the Spirit”. When we go off on our own and do what we want, say what we want to say, and go where we want to go without talking to God about any of it, then that becomes walking “in the flesh”. I have walked in the flesh before, for years, and I tell you one thing, walking in the Spirit is a much sweeter place.

Another scripture that references Ishmael being of the flesh and Isaac being of the Spirit is this:

Galatians 4:21-23

22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 2

The next thing to look at is the need for Ishmael to go! You say, oh how terrible that is to cast out this woman and her child into the wilderness. It had to be a very, very hard thing for Abraham to do. He loved Ishmael greatly, I feel certain. However, he was born of the flesh and had no place in the lives of those walking in the Spirit.

When we are new Christians, there are many things in our lives that change. Some things seem to change overnight (i.e., quit smoking, quit drinking, quit carousing, etc.) and other things seem to linger for years. God allows things to remain and others he takes the desire for them away totally. I for one, when I re-dedicated my life totally to God, was smoking 1-1 ½ packs of cigarettes a day. God spoke to me one night while I was praying and said “Leah, you are not being the example I need you to be with your smoking.” I stopped that very moment and never wanted another one. That has been 24 years ago November 1, 2014. Praise God! Other things didn’t leave so fast. Things born of the flesh are hard to let go of sometimes – most of the time. However, we reach a point in our walk with God when we must let go of things that were of the flesh so we can grow in the Spirit. God doesn’t promise an easy time always, but He does promise that it will be well worth every bit of the effort!

God was serious about Ishmael. For the journey that Abraham, Sarah and now Isaac was on with God to progress, Ishmael must go. Now.8033817_f520  God is serious about you too!  If you want to grow in the Spirit, you must cast out the Ishmaels that linger in your life.

All of us have Ishmaels in our lives. Things (or people) we don’t want to let go of.  Things that we have, or things that we have  done, and continue to do or ideas that we have had for many years. Or places we have gone for many years.  I know this first hand. I also know that God’s love and plan is perfect and if you let them go and trust God, He will replace them with Isaacs – laughter, goodness, happiness, fulfillment, a deeper relationship with Him. God is a good God that loves you so much. Talk to God today. He is waiting to hear from you. He calls you His beloved.

The Song – Voice of Truth – Casting Crowns