1 Abram’s wife Sarai had borne him no child, but she had an Egyptian slave-girl called Hagar.
2 So Sarai said to Abram, ‘Listen, now! Since Yahweh has kept me from having children, go to my slave-girl. Perhaps I shall get children through her.’ And Abram took Sarai’s advice.
5 Then Sarai said to Abram, ‘This outrage done to me is your fault! It was I who put my slave-girl into your arms but, now she knows that she has conceived, I count for nothing in her eyes. Yahweh judge between me and you!’
7 The angel of Yahweh found her by a spring in the desert, the spring on the road to Shur.
9 The angel of Yahweh said to her, ‘Go back to your mistress and submit to her.’
10 The angel of Yahweh further said to her, ‘I shall make your descendants too numerous to be counted.’
11 Then the angel of Yahweh said to her: Now, you have conceived and will bear a son, and you shall name him Ishmael, for Yahweh has heard your cries of distress.
12 A wild donkey of a man he will be, his hand against every man, and every man’s hand against him, living his life in defiance of all his kinsmen.
13 Hagar gave a name to Yahweh who had spoken to her, ‘You are El Roi,’ by which she meant, ‘Did I not go on seeing here, after him who sees me?’
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old Yahweh appeared to him and said, ‘I am El Shaddai. Live in my presence, be perfect,
3 And Abram bowed to the ground. God spoke to him as follows,
4 ‘For my part, this is my covenant with you: you will become the father of many nations.
6 I shall make you exceedingly fertile. I shall make you into nations, and your issue will be kings.
7 And I shall maintain my covenant between myself and you, and your descendants after you, generation after generation, as a covenant in perpetuity, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
9 God further said to Abraham, ‘You for your part must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you, generation after generation.
11 You must circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and that will be the sign of the covenant between myself and you.
12 As soon as he is eight days old, every one of your males, generation after generation, must be circumcised, including slaves born within the household or bought from a foreigner not of your descent.
14 The uncircumcised male, whose foreskin has not been circumcised — that person must be cut off from his people: he has broken my covenant.’
15 Furthermore God said to Abraham, ‘As regards your wife Sarai, you must not call her Sarai, but Sarah.
16 I shall bless her and moreover give you a son by her. I shall bless her and she will become nations: kings of peoples will issue from her.’
17 Abraham bowed to the ground, and he laughed, thinking to himself, ‘Is a child to be born to a man one hundred years old, and willSarah have a child at the age of ninety?’
18 Abraham said to God, ‘May Ishmael live in your presence! That will be enough!’
19 But God replied, ‘Yes, your wife Sarah will bear you a son whom you must name Isaac. And I shall maintain my covenant with him, a covenant in perpetuity, to be his God and the God of his descendants after him.
20 For Ishmael too I grant you your request. I hereby bless him and will make him fruitful and exceedingly numerous. He will be the father of twelve princes, and I shall make him into a great nation.
21 But my covenant I shall maintain with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear you at this time next year.’
22 When he had finished speaking to Abraham, God went up from him.
23 Then Abraham took his son Ishmael, all the slaves born in his household or whom he had bought, in short all the males among the people of Abraham’s household, and circumcised their foreskins that same day, as God had said to him.
26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised on the very same day,
1 Make your appeal then. Will you find an answer? To which of the holy ones will you turn?
2 Resentment kills the senseless, and anger brings death to the fool.
4 His children are deprived of prop and stay, ruined at the gate, and no one to defend them;
5 their harvest goes to feed the hungry, God snatches it from their mouths, and covetous people thirst for their possessions.
8 If I were you, I should appeal to God and lay my case before him.
11 If his will is to raise up the downcast, or exalt the afflicted to the heights of prosperity,
17 Blessed are those whom God corrects! Do not then scorn the lesson of Shaddai!
19 Six times he will deliver you from sorrow, and the seventh time, evil will not touch you.
20 In time of famine, he will save you from death, and in wartime from the stroke of the sword.
21 You will be safe from the lash of the tongue, unafraid at the approach of the despoiler.
22 You will laugh at drought and frost, and have no fear of the beasts of the earth.
23 You will have a pact with the stones of the field, and live in amity with wild beasts.
24 You will know that your tent is secure, and your sheepfold unharmed when you inspect it.
25 You will see your descendants multiply, your offspring grow like the grass in the fields.
26 At a ripe age you will go to the grave, like a wheatsheaf stacked in due season.
27 All this we have observed and it is so! Heed it, you will be the wiser for it!
1 Job spoke next. He said:
4 The arrows of Shaddai stick fast in me, my spirit absorbs their poison, God’s terrors stand paraded against me.
7 But the very things my appetite revolts at are now my diet in sickness.
8 Will no one hear my prayer, will not God himself grant my hope?
9 May it please God to crush me, to give his hand free play and do away with me!
11 But have I the strength to go on waiting? And why be patient, when doomed to such an end?
12 Is mine the strength of stone, is my flesh made of bronze?
27 Soon you will be haggling over the price of an orphan, and selling your friend at bargain price!
28 Come, I beg you, look at me: man to man, I shall not lie.
30 Is evil to be found on my lips? Can I not recognise misfortune when I taste it?
Proverbs Chapter 1 [20-33]
20 Wisdom calls aloud in the streets, she raises her voice in the public squares;
22 ‘You simple people, how much longer will you cling to your simple ways? How much longer will mockers revel in their mocking and fools go on hating knowledge?
23 Pay attention to my warning. To you I will pour out my heart and tell you what I have to say.
28 Then they will call me, but I shall not answer, they will look eagerly for me and will not find me.
31 so they will have to eat the fruits of their own ways of life, and choke themselves with their own scheming.
33 but whoever listens to me may live secure, will have quiet, fearing no mischance.’
Thoughts and Reflection
There are several significant events being discussed here. Abram and Sarai have now changed their names to Abraham and Sarah (I didn’t know the root of Sarah was Sarai) to signify their acceptance of the covenant. In another sign of the covenant with God, all males under Abraham had to be circumcised. Why Circumcision? I don’t know other to say that this act places us under his dominion.
In the book of Job, we see that sometimes the people who love us the most understand us the least. Sometimes that all we need is for those friends just to be present. That analogy can be used with God. Perhaps we don’t need to look at God for answers, but rather look to him for comfort during our confusion and pain.
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!