Hello, Scroll Eaters! There are so many fantastic things to discuss here, but where to begin? We could discuss how nine kings of small city-states fight, and King Abram ends up with the plunder (further evidence of God’s blessings on him), then gives all the plunder away. We could discuss Melchizedek for days, but we’ll wait until Hebrews to do that, other than to say, this ain’t your ordinary, mortal king, and Abram tithes to him.
The Covenant is vital, so we’ll start there. Abram is nervous about God keeping his promise of a son, since he’s still childless. God reiterates the promise, and we have the most important verse in the Old Testament, Genesis 15:6: “And Abram believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.” God declared Abram righteous before him. Why? Because Abram believed him – faith, not works, not keeping the Law, not keeping the covenant. Abram was saved by faith through grace 430 years before the law was given, and a few moments before the covenant was cut.
God then made a covenant with Abram that entailed numerous promises, but the key is that covenants are sealed by blood and can only be broken by death, and this is symbolized by the sacrifices that are part of the ritual. God makes a covenant with a man, creating his own race that he will save the world through.
But Abram’s still a sinner, and being impatient, waiting on that promised son, he gives into Sarai’s surrogacy plan and now we have two ethnic groups fighting until today. What are they fighting over? Birthright – Ishmael is the older, and Isaac is the younger. Have you noticed that pattern that goes through Genesis? The older son misses out, and the younger son is the son of promise. We saw it with Cain and Seth, we see it here with Ishmael and Isaac, and we’ll see it two more times.
God is merciful. Though it was a sinful act, God sends an angel to see to Hagar and restores her, promising that her son would be the father of a great nation. However, he would be a wild one, and he would be against all people, and all people would be against him. Ishmael is the father of the Arabian peoples.
Tomorrow we read Genesis 17-19.
The Lord bless you and keep you.