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September 27 | Genesis 23:1-20

PRAYER PRACTICE

Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.

 

DAILY READING:


For more help use this Bible Study method

 

REFLECTION


Abraham and Sarah

by Pr. Dave Mann


One of the reasons that I love the Bible is because it is so realistic. If I were to invent my own religious writing that I wanted people to honor as sacred, I would compose a book where the main characters would be perfect, free of faults. But that is NOT what we have in the Bible. God chose to inspire the writing of the real sacred Scriptures with characters who are flawed, yet who grow in their trust in God. Sarah and Abraham were not the perfect matriarch and patriarch.

Sarai/Sarah at times showed great faith, and other times she was less than what we would want her to be. If you have time, you can look up these references to get a broad view of the real Sarah, whom God loved, called, and used despite her failings.

  • Sarai in faith goes with Abram into an unknown land – Gen 12:1-5.

  • Sarai self-sacrificially agrees to Abraham’s faithless scheme to put her at risk in order to save his own neck – Gen 12:10-20.

  • Sarai devises the plan for Abram’s son to come from Hagar and then despises her – Gen 16.

  • Sarah laughs at God’s promise to give Abraham and her a son -- Gen 17:1-15.

Abram/Abraham, likewise at times, showed great faith, and other times he was less than perfect. Here are some references which show the real Abraham – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

  • God calls Abram to leave his home and to travel to an unknown land. – Gen 12:1-5

  • Abram presents his wife as his sister in order to save his own neck -- Gen 12:10-20.

  • Abraham believes God’s promise – Gen 15:1-6.

  • Abraham’s faith is tested – Gen 22.

  • Abraham, in the midst of grieving the loss of his wife, has to use great tact in order to negotiate the purchase of a tract of land as a burial plot – Gen 23:1-20.

Aren’t you glad that God chose to include in the Bible multiple perspectives of important people whom God used? If the Biblical record had only shown the favorable sides of Abraham and Sarah (and the other greats), I know that I would feel like I could never measure up to such a standard. But as it is, the Bible is full of people who were “saints and sinners, wimps and winners” -- as the VBS song goes -- “all in the Bible, look in the book!”


As Pastor Buff likes to say, “There is only one hero in the Bible – God Himself!”


Thank you, Lord, for using real people in your work on this earth. And thank you for showing us in the Bible that your people are plagued by warts and wrinkles as they learn to trust in you. Help me, as well, to grow in faith, despite my failings. In Jesus’ name. Amen



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