Friday, February 26, 2010

Bible Study: As It Was In The Beginning - Genesis - Chapter 17

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Genesis. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses you through this material. Much of what I learned for chapters 16 and 17 came from Liz Curtis Higgs' "Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible". I highly recommend it!


Take a few minutes to savor Genesis Chapter 17. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

17:1-8 – The Lord appears to Abram, establishes a Suzerain-Vassal Covenant and changes his name to Abraham. NOW Abraham is ready to have the child that God promised him in 15:4. (LFL – wait on God or you may birth a new war-making people, like Ishmael’s descendants, the Iraqis.)

17:1 – God Almighty – El Shaddai.

17:5, 15 – God gives each a new name. Is this a fresh start apart from their sin?

17:5 – the addition of “ha” to Abram’s name represents Jehovah.

17:12 – eight days old – “The Arabs, who consider themselves to be descendants of Ishmael, are circumcised at the age of 13 (see v.25).” (NIVSB)

17:15 – the addition of only an “h” to Sarai’s name made it “sacramental, covenantal.” (Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible – Higgs)

17:16 – God specifically includes Sarah in His promise to Abraham.

17:17 – Abraham laughs at the thought of becoming a father. Was this joyful, hopeful laughter?

17:19 – “call him Isaac” – Isaac means “laughter”. Was he so named because his parents laughed when they learned of is impending arrival? Or because he would bring such joy to their family? Isaac never really measures up in Abraham’s eyes, though. Did the patriarch love Ishmael more (because he was firstborn)?

17:20 – God assures Abraham that Ishmael will be prolific, responding to Abraham’s statement in 17:18. Abraham may have thought Ishmael would be done away with. Here, God assures Abraham that the boy won’t be harmed, but will have many children.

17:21 – “at this time next year” – this detail is almost added as an afterthought.

What attributes of God have you observed in your study today? How will this change your relationship with Him?

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