Brief outline: Abram rescues Lot from the four kings after he was taken captive in Sodom. The kings of Sodom and Salem blessed Abram, but Abram wouln’t accept anything belonging to them so he wouldn’t break the oath he’d made with God. The Lord made a covenant with Abram that he would have an heir, from his own body, and his descendents would inherit the land. He would be the father of many nations. Ishmael was born from the maidservant Hagar.
In chapter 17 Abram becomes Abraham-father of many nations. Sarai becomes Sarah-mother of many nations.
Chapter 18 tells of three visitors to Abraham. The Lord tells him that next year, Sarah will bear him a son. God tells Abraham about the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham pleads with God, “will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?”After study, I read that one of the men was most likely a manifestation of God in human form, and the other two were angels appearing as men. Abraham may not have immediately recognized that from his reaction to them.
In chapter 19, the two men, now called angels escorted Lot and his family out of Sodom before it is destroyed. Lot’s wife looks back at Sodom after being told not to, and turns into a pillar of salt. Lot’s daughters deceived him, and bore children from him. I didn’t catch the warning not to look back, and questioned why the “pillar of salt.” They were told in verse 17 to “Flee and don’t look back…or you will be swept away.” Do you think Lot’s daughters were immoral because they were exposed to immorality in Sodom?
Chapter 20- Abraham lies to Abimelech, saying that Sarah is his sister, having little faith that God would protect them in the new land. Abraham again has a faith failure, but God intervenes with Abimelech in a dream.
Chapter 21brings the birth of Isaac, and Hagar and Ishmael are sent away. God told Abraham that He would make Ishmael into a nation also.
Abraham is tested again in chapter 22. God asked him to sacrifice his son Isaac, and he was going to do it. He is again told that his descendants will possess all nations and be blessed. I found a few good things in this. Abraham tells his servants to wait, and he and Isaac will be back. He was already showing his faith, that God would not allow him to sacrifice his own son. He then tells Isaac that “God will provide the lamb” when Isaac asked where the offering was. Also, it says that Isaac was a boy, and he carried the wood for the offering. He had to be an adolescent by then, or young adult. Isaac let his father bind him and lay him on the altar, and probably watched as his father drew out a knife, before and angel stopped Abraham. Why would Isaac not resist or fight Abraham? He surely could have overtaken him. But he didn’t. He was obeying his father, just like Jesus did.
Sarah dies in chapter 23, at age 127. Abraham pays Ephron for property to bury her in a cave. That is the only piece of land in Canaan that Abraham ever owned.
Chapter 24, Rebekah is chosen for Isaac and they marry.
Chapter 25, Abraham dies at age 175, and is buried with Sarah. Ishmaels family lived near the border of Egypt after he died, and they lived in hostility toward all their borthers. Isaac and Rebekah have twins- Esau and Jacob. God told Rebekah that two nations will be born from her, and that they will be separated, the older serving the younger. When they were born, Esau was red and hairy, and Jacob was holding onto Esau’s heel. Isaac loved Esau who was a hunter, and Rebekah loved Jacob, who liked to stay among the tents. Jacob eventually gets Esau to sell him his birthright.
Chapter 26, There’s a famine, and Isaac goes to Abimelech, and deceives him that Rebekah is his sister. Isaac planted crops and was blessed greatly. Abimelech sends them away, then later comes to him to make a treaty that they wouldn’t harm the other. The chapter ends with Esau marrying two wives, and says he was a source of grief.