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Genesis 20

1 Abraham left there for the region of the Negeb, and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While staying in Gerar,

2 Abraham said of his wife Sarah, ‘She is my sister,’ and Abimelech the king of Gerar had Sarah brought to him.

3 But God visited Abimelech in a dream one night. ‘You are to die,’ he told him, ‘because of the woman you have taken, for she is a married woman.’

4 Abimelech, however, had not gone near her; so he said, ‘Lord, would you kill someone even if he is upright?

5 Did he not tell me himself, “She is my sister”? And she herself said, “He is my brother.” I did this with a clear conscience and clean hands.’

6 ‘Yes, I know,’ God replied in the dream, ‘that you did this with a clear conscience and I myself prevented you from sinning against me. That was why I did not let you touch her.

7 Now send the man’s wife back; for he is a prophet and can intercede on your behalf for your life. But understand that if you do not send her back, this means death for you and all yours.’

8 Early next morning, Abimelech summoned his full court and told them the whole story, at which the people were very much afraid.

9 Then summoning Abraham, Abimelech said to him, ‘What have you done to us? What wrong have I done you, for you to bring such guilt on me and on my kingdom? You had no right to treat me like this.’

10 Abimelech then said to Abraham, ‘What possessed you to do such a thing?’

11 ‘Because’, Abraham replied, ‘I thought there would be no fear of God here and that I should be killed for the sake of my wife.

12 Anyway, she really is my sister, my father’s daughter though not my mother’s, besides being my wife.

13 So when God made me wander far from my father’s home I said to her, “There is an act of love you can do me: everywhere we go, say of me that I am your brother.” ‘

14 Abimelech took sheep, cattle, men and women slaves, and presented them to Abraham, and gave him back his wife Sarah.

15 And Abimelech said, ‘Look, my land is open to you. Settle wherever you please.’

16 To Sarah he said, ‘Look, I am giving your brother a thousand pieces of silver. This will allay suspicions about you, as far as all the people round you are concerned; you have been completely vindicated.’

17 Abraham then interceded with God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave-girls, so that they could have children,

18 for Yahweh had made all the women of Abimelech’s household barren on account of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

Genesis 21

1 Yahweh treated Sarah as he had said, and did what he had promised her.

2 Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the time God had promised.

3 Abraham named the son born to him Isaac, the son to whom Sarah had given birth.

4 Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.

5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

6 Sarah said: God has given me cause to laugh! All who hear about this will laugh with me!

7 She added: Whoever would have told Abraham that Sarah would nurse children! Yet I have borne a son in his old age.

8 The child grew and was weaned, and Abraham gave a great banquet on the day Isaac was weaned.

9 Now Sarah watched the son that Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac.

10 ‘Drive away that slave-girl and her son,’ she said to Abraham, ‘this slave-girl’s son is not to share the inheritance with my son Isaac.’

11 This greatly distressed Abraham, because the slave-girl’s child too was his son,

12 but God said to him, ‘Do not distress yourself on account of the boy and your slave-girl. Do whatever Sarah says, for Isaac is the one through whom your name will be carried on.

13 But the slave-girl’s son I shall also make into a great nation, for he too is your child.’

14 Early next morning, Abraham took some bread and a skin of water and, giving them to Hagar, put the child on her shoulder and sent her away. She wandered off into the desert of Beersheba.

15 When the skin of water was finished she abandoned the child under a bush.

16 Then she went and sat down at a distance, about a bowshot away, thinking, ‘I cannot bear to see the child die.’ Sitting at a distance, she began to sob.

17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven. ‘What is wrong, Hagar?’ he asked. ‘Do not be afraid, for God has heard the boy’s cry in his plight.

18 Go and pick the boy up and hold him safe, for I shall make him into a great nation.’

19 Then God opened Hagar’s eyes and she saw a well, so she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.

20 God was with the boy. He grew up and made his home in the desert, and he became an archer.

21 He made his home in the desert of Paran, and his mother got him a wife from Egypt.

22 About then, Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, said to Abraham, ‘Since God is with you in everything you do,

23 swear to me by God, here and now, that you will not act treacherously towards me or my kith and kin, but behave with the same faithful love to me and the land of which you are a guest as I have behaved to you.’

24 ‘Yes,’ Abraham replied, ‘I swear it.’

25 Abraham then reproached Abimelech about a well that Abimelech’s servants had seized.

26 ‘I do not know who has done this,’ Abimelech said. ‘You yourself have never mentioned it to me and, for myself, I heard nothing of it till today.’

27 Abraham then took sheep and cattle and presented them to Abimelech, and the two of them made a covenant.

28 Abraham put seven lambs of the flock on one side.

29 ‘Why have you put these seven lambs on one side?’ Abimelech asked Abraham.

30 He replied, ‘You must accept these seven lambs from me as evidence that I have dug this well.’

31 This was why the place was called Beersheba: because there the two of them swore an oath.

32 After they had made a covenant at Beersheba, Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, left and went back to Philistine territory.

33 And Abraham planted a tamarisk at Beersheba and there he invoked the name of Yahweh.

34 Abraham stayed for a long while in Philistine territory.

Job 9

1 Job spoke next. He said:

2 Indeed, I know it is as you say: how could anyone claim to be upright before God?

3 Anyone trying to argue matters with him, could not give him one answer in a thousand.

4 Among the wisest and the hardiest, who then can successfully defy him?

5 He moves the mountains, though they do not know it; he throws them down when he is angry.

6 He shakes the earth, and moves it from its place, making all its pillars tremble.

7 The sun, at his command, forbears to rise, and on the stars he sets a seal.

8 He and no other has stretched out the heavens and trampled on the back of the Sea.

9 He has made the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the Mansions of the South.

10 The works he does are great and unfathomable, and his marvels cannot be counted.

11 If he passes me, I do not see him; he slips by, imperceptible to me.

12 If he snatches his prey, who is going to stop him or dare to ask, ‘What are you doing?’

13 God does not renounce his anger: beneath him, Rahab’s minions still lie prostrate.

14 And here am I, proposing to defend myself and select my arguments against him!

15 Even if I am upright, what point is there in answering him? I can only plead for mercy with my judge!

16 And if he deigned to answer my citation, I cannot believe he would listen to what I said,

17 he who crushes me for one hair, who, for no reason, wounds and wounds again,

18 not even letting me regain my breath, with so much bitterness he fills me!

19 Shall I try force? Look how strong he is! Or go to court? But who will summon him?

20 If I prove myself upright, his mouth may condemn me, even if I am innocent, he may pronounce me perverse.

21 But am I innocent? I am no longer sure, and life itself I despise!

22 It is all one, and hence I boldly say: he destroys innocent and guilty alike.

23 When a sudden deadly scourge descends, he laughs at the plight of the innocent.

24 When a country falls into the power of the wicked, he veils the faces of its judges. Or if not he, who else?

25 My days pass: more swiftly than a runner they flee away with never a glimpse of happiness,

26 they skim past like a reed canoe, like an eagle swooping on its prey.

27 If I decide to stifle my complaining, change countenance, and wear a smiling face,

28 fear seizes me at the thought of all my woes, for I know you do not regard me as innocent.

29 And if I have done wrong, why should I put myself to useless trouble?

30 If I wash myself in melted snow, clean my hands with soda,

31 you will only plunge me into the dung, till my clothes themselves recoil from me!

32 For he is not human like me: impossible for me to answer him or appear alongside him in court.

33 There is no arbiter between us, to lay his hand on both,

34 to stay his rod from me, or keep away his daunting terrors.

35 Nonetheless, unafraid of him, I shall speak: since I do not see myself like that at all!

Job 10

1 Since I have lost all taste for life, I shall give free rein to my complaining; I shall let my embittered soul speak out.

2 I shall say to God, ‘Do not condemn me, tell me what your case is against me.

3 Is it right for you to attack me, in contempt for what you yourself have made, thus abetting the schemes of the wicked?

4 Are your eyes mere human eyes, do you see as human beings see?

5 Are you mortal like human beings? do your years pass as human days pass?

6 You, who enquire into my faults and investigate my sins,

7 you know very well that I am innocent, and that no one can rescue me from your grasp.

8 Your hands having shaped and created me, now you change your mind and mean to destroy me!

9 Having made me, remember, as though of clay, now you mean to turn me back into dust!

10 Did you not pour me out like milk, and then let me thicken like curds,

11 clothe me with skin and flesh, and weave me of bone and sinew?

12 In your love you gave me life, and in your care watched over my every breath.

13 Yet, all the while, you had a secret plan: I know that you were biding your time

14 to see if I should sin and then not acquit me of my faults.

15 Woe to me, if I am guilty; even if I am upright, I dare not lift my head, so overwhelmed with shame and drunk with pain am I!

16 Proud as a lion, you hunt me down, multiplying your exploits at my expense,

17 attacking me again and again, your fury against me ever increasing, your troops assailing me, wave after wave.

18 Why did you bring me out of the womb? I should have perished then, unseen by any eye,

19 a being that had never been, to be carried from womb to grave.

20 The days of my life are few enough: turn your eyes away, leave me a little joy,

21 before I go to the place of no return, to the land of darkness and shadow dark as death,

22 where dimness and disorder hold sway, and light itself is like dead of night.

Proverbs 2 [6-8]

6 For Yahweh himself is giver of wisdom, from his mouth issue knowledge and understanding.

7 He reserves his advice for the honest, a shield to those whose ways are sound;

8 he stands guard over the paths of equity, he keeps watch over the way of those faithful to him.

Thoughts and Reflection

Abraham has been. considered the father of our faith. He created a lasting covenant with God but he is also human. With that, he does falter as well. In these chapters we see that he passes off Sarah as his sister twice out of fear, rather than saying she is his wife.

We also see God being proactive and warning Abimelech to stay away from Sarah because she is Abraham’s wife. He does so and he is kept from sin. We may not know how many times God keeps us from a fall. It may be once we go to heaven we see how many times that actually was. Hopefully we learn how to trust God.

Job continues to express his questions that I have. Why am I here only to feel abandoned? Do you not care? Do I not matter?

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

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