Isaac, the Son of Promise

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Grace Bible Church

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Sermon Study Sheets

Pastor Scott L. Harris

Grace Bible Church, NY

August 19, 2007

Isaac: The Son of Promise

Genesis 16-22

Last week we talked about Abram and the importance of the covenant God made with him and in particular that through him all the families of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:3). (See: Abram, The Friend of God). Abram was chosen by God to be the one through whom the redeemer would come and that he and his descendants were to proclaim God to the rest of the nations. We ended our study last week in Genesis 15 with God expanding on some of the promises that he had made to Abram in Genesis 12 including: 1) He would be a shield to Abram (vs. 1); 2) that Abram would have an heir that would come from his own body (vs. 4); 3) that Abram’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars (vs. 5); and 4) that the majority of the land currently inhabited by the Canaanites would belong to his descendants (vs. 7, 18-21). God then sealed these promises with a unilateral covenant. They would be fulfilled based only upon God’s word and without regard to anything Abram would or would not do in the future.

This morning we are going to examine Genesis 16-22 and find out more about Abram’s faith and to which one of his descendants God’s promises would be given. Turn to Genesis 16 where we begin with a story of what happens when man tries to fulfill God’s promises through their own efforts.

The Origin of Ishmael Genesis 16

1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no [children,] and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the Lord has prevented me from bearing [children.] Please go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3 And after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife. 4 And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived;

Now this seems strange to us, but it was not uncommon in the customs of ancient times. Abram is now 85 years old and Sarai is 75. It has been 10 years since God told Abram that he would have an heir that would come from his own body. Sarai’s barrenness weighs heavily upon her, so she decides that perhaps the way she could have a child is by having her maid – i.e. house slave – be a surrogate mother. Hagar would be the biological mother, but Sarai would be the legal mother. The length of time he had waited apparently also affected Abram for he agreed to Sarai’s plan resulting in Hagar becoming pregnant. The error of their plan became apparent almost immediately.

4b “. . . and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight. 5 And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done me be upon you. I gave my maid into your arms; but when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her sight. May the Lord judge between you and me.” 6 But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your power; do to her what is good in your sight.” So Sarai treated her harshly, and she fled from her presence.

That Hagar was able to conceive when Sarai could not resulted in pride. She considered Sarai to be inferior because of her barrenness. Sarai then sought to blame Abram for it even though it was her plan. Abram reminds her that Hagar was her maid and she could do what she wanted with her. Sarai retaliates by treating her harshly resulting in Hagar running away. The plan was turning out to be very bad. Sarai & Hagar became rivals and Abram’s directions only aggravated it.

Verses 7-14 tell us that the Angel of the Lord found Hagar in the wilderness by a spring of water on the way to Shur. He tells her to go back to Sarai and submit to her authority and also tells her about the future of the child within her womb saying, “I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they shall be too many to count.” 11 . . . “Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son; And you shall call his name Ishmael, Because the Lord has given heed to your affliction. 12 “And he will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand [will be] against everyone, And everyone’s hand [will be] against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers.”

Ishmael means “God hears” and Hagar named that place, Beer-lahai-roi meaning “the well of the living one who sees.” Hagar went back and bore Ishmael to Abram when he was 86 years old. Genesis 25 delineates the descendants of Ishmael in fulfillment of the prophecy by the Angel of the Lord.

The Covenant of Circumcision Genesis 17

Thirteen years after the birth of Ishmael when Abram is 99 years old, the Lord appears to him again and further explains and expands the covenant. Among the important points in this chapter are the following. God uses the name “El Shaddai” for Himself for the first time in verse 1. Abram is told he will would “be the father of a multitude of nations” not just one nation, so his name is changed to Abraham which means father of a multitude (vs. 4-6). The land of Canaan would be given to his descendants for an “everlasting possession” (vs. 7-8). The ritual of circumcision would be the sign of this covenant between God and Abraham and his descendants. Every male was to be circumcised including the servants. Every son born whether a descendant or a foreigner living among them was to be circumcised when they were 8 days old (vs. 9-14). Sarai, meaning “my princess,” has her name changed to Sarah, meaning “princess,” for she would have a son by Abraham and would be the mother of nations and kings of people would come from her (vs. 15-16). She would be the princess for many people and not just for Abraham alone. This caused Abraham to laugh in his heart say to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before Thee!” Abraham had a hard time believing that Sarah who was 90 years old would be able to bear a son so it was fine with him if Ishmael was the fulfillment of God’s promises (vs. 17-18). God responded that Sarah would indeed have a son who was to be named Isaac, which means “he laughs,” and he would be born one year from then. God would bless Ishmael to become the father of 12 princes and a great nation, but God was specifically going to establish His covenant with Isaac. Isaac, not Ishmael, would be the son of promise (vs. 19-21).

When God was finished talking with Abraham he took Ishmael and all his male servants and circumcised them as the sign of the covenant with God (vs. 22-27).

The Theophany Genesis 18

Chapter 18 begins with the Lord appearing to Abraham again a short time later, but this time He and the two angels with Him have taken on the form of men. When Abraham sees them he is a good host and seeks to refresh them by letting them rest from the heat of the day, have their feet washed, and provide them with something to eat. Abraham has bread, meat, curds and milk prepared for them (vs. 1-8). Abraham was standing by them while they were eating and they asked where Sarah was at. Abraham responded she was in the tent. They then confirmed the earlier prophecy saying to him (vs. 10), “I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” Sarah heard them say this and laughed to herself saying, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” (vs. 11-12). In verse 13 we are told directly that this is the Lord (Yahweh) and He knew what she was thinking and challenged her on it saying in verse 14, “Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” Sarah would not admit to laughing, but you can’t hide anything from the Lord. Abraham’s heir would come through Sarah.

The Doom of SodomGenesis 18:16 – 19:29

Abraham’s Intercession Genesis 18:16-33

As they overlooking the Jordan valley toward Sodom., the Lord and the two angels discussed whether they should tell Abraham what they were about to do “since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed? 19 “For I have chosen him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice; in order that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.” The Lord then told Abraham that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was “exceedingly grave.” The two angels then left to find out about the outcry from those cities with the Lord remaining behind with Abraham.

Abraham then began a series of intercessions with the Lord on behalf of those cities beginning in verse 23. “Wilt Thou indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 “Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; wilt Thou indeed sweep [it] away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 “Far be it from Thee to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are [treated] alike. Far be it from Thee! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” 26 So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account.” This same conversation is repeated five more times as Abraham intercedes to bring the number from 50 to 45 to 40 to 30 to 20 to 10. Abraham is reverent yet bold in approaching this man that he knew was at least a representative of God.

But why reduce the number to 10 people? Remember that Abraham’s nephew Lot lived there along with a wife. There were also two single daughters at home, sons, a son-in-law (& married daughter), and “sons in law that were to marry his daughters.” That is a minimum of 10 people. If Lot had only affected his immediately family the Lord would spare the cities.

The Destruction of Sodom Genesis 19:1-29

In chapter 19 the two angels arrive in Sodom and find it was as bad as the outcry that they had heard. Lot happens to meet them when they come into Sodom and invites them to come stay with him and then strongly urging them to do so when they said they would just stay in the town square. Lot prepared a feast for them. Verse 4 picks up the story. 4 “Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; 5 and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.” 6 But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, 7 and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. 8 “Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.” 9 But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door. 10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11 And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied [themselves trying] to find the doorway.”

This is homosexual lust in all its ugliness. Though Lot was willing to even sacrifice his daughters in order to protect the men that he had brought under his roof. These perverted men were still pressing forward to force themselves on Lot’s guests. Only the actions of the angels in blinding these men brought about the rescue of Lot himself. But notice in verse 11 that even these wicked men were blinded they not leave but continued to weary themselves in trying to find the door to get in!

In verses 12-22 the angels then tell Lot to gather his family and flee for they had been sent by the Lord to destroy it. Though Lot sought to convince his extended family the rest of the night to flee with him, they only thought he was jesting. As the morning dawned it was only the action of the Angels that seized the hand of Lot & his wife and two unmarried daughters that got them out of Sodom. They told him to flee for their lives to the mountains and not to look back, but even then they showed additional compassion by agreeing to spare the nearby small town of Zoar since Lot did not think he could get to the mountains in time

The sun was up by the time Lot made it to Zoar, and after he did the angels destroyed Sodom & Gomorrah and the surrounding areas with “brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.” However, Lot’s wife did not follow the command of the angels and she did look back and became a pillar of salt (vs. 25). In Luke 17:31-32 Jesus uses Lot’s wife as example of the danger of disobedience to the Lord’s warnings. It would just be speculation about all the specific reasons she may have looked back, but it is clear from the instructions that there was to be no longing for Sodom. The Lord’s patience and longsuffering of those cities had come to an end.

Homosexuality is not some “alternative lifestyle” that is somehow on par with marriage. It is a perversion and an abomination before God (Leviticus 18:22). No nation in history that has allowed it to be an acceptable lifestyle has lasted long. These statements are not homophobic. They are simple facts. True fear should be given to the Lord God who will judge those who practice what He says are abominations and the societies that accept such behavior as normal. Anyone involved in any sexual perversion, homosexuality being just one of them, needs to repent and turn to the Lord for mercy. (See Sermon: Unrighteousness in Homosexuality Romans 1:26,27)

Verses 27-28 tell us that early that morning when Abraham looked toward Sodom he saw the “smoke of the land ascended like the smoke of a furnace.” Verse 29 tells us that Lord had spared Lot from that destruction because He had remembered Abraham.

The Origin of Moab & Ammon Genesis 19:30-38

Lot and his two unmarried daughters were rescued out of Sodom, but mindset of Sodom was not out of his daughters. Lot ended up living in a cave in the mountains and his daughters somehow got the idea that there were no other men on earth. Their plan to preserve their family was to get Lot drunk and then have an incestuous relationship with him to produce children. The results were Moab and Ben-Ammi, the fathers of the Moabites and Ammonites. Both nations were noted for their perversion and false religious practices, and both nations were often in opposition to Israel and thorns in it side.

Abraham’s Fear Genesis 20

In chapter 20 we find that though Abraham’s faith had grown tremendously over the years, there was still an area of weakness. Abraham migrated down into the Negev to a place called Gerar where Abimelech was king. Abraham was once again afraid that the local king would kill him in order to take Sarah away from him, so he asked her to again say she was his sister instead of his wife. Abimelech did take Sarah but God warned him in a dream that Sarah was married before he had ever touched her and that Abraham was a prophet (Genesis 20:1-7). Abimelech confronted Abraham about it. Abraham explained his fear and the true nature of their relationship. Abimelech then restored Sarah to Abraham and also gave him sheep, oxen, male & female servants and a thousand pieces of sliver as Sarah’s vindication. He also told Abraham to settle where he wanted. In turn, Abraham prayed for Abimelech and his family so that they could have children again for the Lord had closed their wombs (Gen. 20:8-18).

The Birth of Isaac Genesis 21

Chapter 21 begins with the birth of Isaac exactly as had been prophesied. Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90. Sarah’s response was “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me. . . “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have born him a son in his old age” (Genesis 21:6,7). Abraham circumcised him on the 8th day according to the sign of the covenant and made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.

It did not take long though for tension to develop in this family. 9 “Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking. 10 Therefore she said to Abraham, “Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac.” 11 And the matter distressed Abraham greatly because of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named. 13 “And of the son of the maid I will make a nation also, because he is your descendant.”

Abraham did just as Sarah asked and sent Hagar & Ishmael away. Just when their supplies ran out and Hagar began to despair God visited her again reminding her of the promise He gave her 15 years earlier that Ishmael would become a great nation. He opened her eyes to see a well of water nearby. Ishmael grew up in the wilderness of Paran and becoming a great archer. At the proper time Hagar found an Egyptian wife for him (Genesis 21:14-21).

Islamic Arabs often claim to be descendants of Ishmael and that they are the true heirs of Abraham. They are simply wrong on both accounts. While Ishmael’s descendants did settle in the northern area of the Arabian peninsula, most Arabic people are through other descendants of Shem as we saw in the maps describing the table of nations (Genesis 11). The Scriptures are very clear that the covenant was to pass through Isaac, the son of Sarah. The very fact that Hagar and Ishmael were sent away is part of the proof of that very thing. The Islamic claim that the Jews corrupted the story is false even on its surface since these things were written down thousands of years before the first word of Koran was even uttered.

During that same time that Ishmael was becoming a man, Abraham was becoming established in the land and Isaac was growing up. In Genesis 21:22-34 we find that Abimelech and Philcol, the commander of his army, recognize that God was with Abraham and make a covenant with him that he would not deal falsely with them and would treat them and their descendants with kindness. Abraham does so but also resolves a source of contention concerning a well that some of Abimelech’s servants and seized from Abraham. They made a covenant concerning this too so that it would be recognized that the well at Beersheba belonged to Abraham. He then lived in the land of the Philistines for many days.

The Test of Abraham’s Faith Genesis 22.

Chapter 22 brings about the greatest test of faith that Abraham would ever face. It was a test that would demonstrate if there was any more wavering in whether Abraham believed God or not.

22:1 Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 And He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”

God’s instructions are specific that this must be Isaac, for he was the son of promise, the heir, and so Abraham’s “only son” in that respect. It must be emphasized that Abraham understood this very clearly and that if Isaac died then all of the promises would die with him. God had not yet given any prohibition about a human sacrifice so he could not object to the command given to him on that basis. This left Abraham in quite a dilemma because Isaac was to be a burnt offering which means he was to be completely burned up. Would Abraham believe God and obey Him though the commands seemed contradictory to the earlier promises and covenant or not? Would Abraham do things God’s way or his own?

3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship and return to you.”

The place they were going, the mountains of Moriah, was the Jerusalem area. 2 Chronicles 3:1 reveals that Abraham went to the very place where the temple would eventually be built.

6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. 7 And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

Now you can imagine Isaac’s curiosity by this point. This is an unusual situation. There is wood and fire and the knife, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice? 8 And Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.

9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there, and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. The faith of Abraham is continuing to be demonstrated as he prepares the altar, arranges the wood and then binds Isaac for the sacrifice. But note as well here the cooperation Isaac gives his father. While the exact extent cannot be known from the text, there is no indication that he tried to run away or fight his father. And while he was “bound” (i.e. his limbs were tied together), this would have been a normal practice in preparing a burnt offering.

10 And Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 And he said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

What a person really believes cannot be known until their faith is put to the test. Hebrews 11:17 tells us about what Abraham actually believed at that moment in time. “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac; and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten [son]; 18 [it was he] to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called.” 19 He considered that God is able to raise [men] even from the dead; from which he also received him back as a type.”

Abraham understood that the only way for God’s promises to be fulfilled was for Isaac to live, so if God wanted Abraham to sacrifice him, then God would have to raise Isaac from the dead afterward. Abraham’s faith was tested and proven true. His faith no longer wavered as it had in the past.

Verses 13-19 then records God’s provision for the sacrifice and another reiteration of the covenant. 13 Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind [him] a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.” 15 Then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, 16 and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 “And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham lived at Beersheba.

The chapter ends with a genealogy of Abraham’s brother which introduces the source of Rebekah who would be Isaac’s wife and through whom the next generation in the line of promise would come.

Hebrews 11:19 describes this sacrifice and substitution as a type. It is a type of what God would do in the future with the promised redeemer. We are the ones that deserve to be sacrificed as sin offerings to God. The wages of sin is death and that is all we deserve, but if we died for our own sins then our lives could not be saved for we would have already been justly put to death. God Himself is the one that provides the substitute sacrifice. Jesus Christ died for our sins so that we would not have to. The issue left for us is whether we will believe God trusting His promises and what He has already done for us, or if we will continue to try to do it our own way. This is not just for the forgiveness of our sins and our eternal destination, but it is also daily life. When Abraham was weak in faith and did things according to his own wisdom the result was both immediate and long term negative consequences. When he was strong in faith to believe and do things God’s way the result was God’s blessings on his life. The same is true in our own lives. The strength of our faith will be revealed in our obedience to God and that in turn will result in consequences either good or bad. It is now your choice. Do you believe God enough to follow Him, or will you only trust your own way?

Sermon Study Sheets

Sermon Notes – August 19, 2007

Isaac: The Son of Promise Genesis 16-22

Review

The elements of the Abrahamic covenant include:

The Origin of Ishamel Genesis 16

__________ came up with the plan to use Hagar as a surrogate mother

After Hagar had conceived she ____________ Sarai

Ishmael would become:

Ishmael was born with Abram was ____ years old

The Covenant of Circumcision Genesis 17

Canann would belong to Abram’s descendants as an _____________ possession

Abraham means _____________________

______________ would be the sign of the covenant between the descendants of Abraham and God

____________ not ____________ would have the covenant established with him.

The Theophany Genesis 18

The Lord & ____________ appeared to Abraham telling him ________ would have a son next year

The Doom of SodomGenesis 18:16 – 19:29

    Abraham’s Intercession Genesis 18:16-33

The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was ________________ grave

The Lord promised to spare the city if there were ___________ righteous people in them.

Abraham was able to get the Lord to reduce that number to _________.

The minimum number of people Lot’s family (sons, daughters & their spouses) was _________

    The Destruction of Sodom Genesis 19:1-29

Even after they were __________ the men of Sodom still tried to find the door into Lot’s house

Only Lot, his ______ and ___________ were rescued.

Sodom and _____________ were destroyed by ___________ and fire from the Lord.

They were commanded not to look back, but _____________ did and became a pillar of salt.

________________ is the cure for any sexual perversion, including homosexuality.

The Origin of Moab & Ammon Genesis 19:30-38

Lot’s daughters believed there no _______ left to ________ them.

Moab & Ammon were nations of ______________ morality and false religion

Abraham’s Fear Genesis 20

God protected _________________ by revealing to him in a dream that Sarah was married

Sarah was Abraham’s ______________ and his wife

Abraham did not tell the truth about here because he was:

The Birth of Isaac Genesis 21

Isaac was born with Abraham was _______ years old and Sarah was ______

Sarah wanted Hagar and Ishmael to leave because:

God promised Hagar that Ishmael would be a __________ _____________

Abraham lived in _______________ and had a covenant with ________________

The Test of Abraham’s Faith Genesis 22.

God told Abraham to offer Isaac as a ____________ _____________

Abraham believed that if he killed Isaac, God would have to:

God provided a ___________ as a ____________ sacrifice

Conclusions

The promised redeemer would come through Abraham and then through Isaac

The ram which was the substitute sacrifice for Isaac was a type for ______________ who would be the substitute sacrifice for all mankind.

KIDS CORNER

Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help.

Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Write down all the verses mentioned in the sermon and look them up later. 2) Count how many times Isaac is mentioned. Talk with your parents about what it would have been like if you had been in the place of Isaac when Abraham was told to offer him as a burn sacrifice.

THINK ABOUT IT!

Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What are the major elements of the Abrahamic Covenant? Whose idea was it to use Hagar as a surrogate mother? Why was this considered an option? Why was it a bad idea? What promises did God make concerning Ishmael? What are the important points made in Genesis 17 when God established circumcision as the sign of the covenant? Why was Abram’s name changed to Abraham and Sarai’s name to Sarah? In what form did the Lord and the 2 angels appear before Abraham? Why were they there? What was Sarah’s reaction to the news she would have a son the next year? How old was she? Why does Abraham intercede on behalf of Sodom? Why did he work the number of righteous that could spare the city all the way down to 10? What was the sin of the men of Sodom? What in the text indicates this? What indicates the depth of their depravity? How does God view homosexuality? What is its cure? Who escapes Sodom and what is God’s judgement on it, Gomorrah and surrounding areas? What is the origin of the nations of Moab & Ammon? What were their moral characteristics? Why does Abraham tell a half truth to Abimelech? What does this indicate about his faith? How does God protect Abimelech? How old were Abraham and Sarah when Isaac was born? Why were Hagar and Ishmael sent away? What became of Ishmael? Why did God tell Abraham to offer up Isaac as a burnt offering? What was Abraham’s response? What did Abraham believe? At what point did God intervene and then provide a substitute? What did this prove about Abraham’s faith? What is the nature of your faith? What are the consequences when your faith is strong and you obey God? When it is weak and you do things your way?


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