Hi! We've now been introduced to the creation and the fall and just yesterday we began the first of a long segment known as the Abrahamic Covenant. Covenants are one of the most important themes of what it means to be in a relationship - be it a spouse, child, employment, or even with God. What things do you expect and value from your relationships? What do you expect from a relationship with God?
Scripture to Read:
An Audio/Video version is listed below and read by Pastor Nick
Questions to Consider
I invite you to form and meditate on the questions you naturally come up with first and foremost as I believe that these questions originate from God and are purposeful to your life in some way. But, should you wish to mediate further I pose these following questions for you.
Hagar refers to God as "the one who sees me" - What does it say about God to see and hear the plight of a foreigner, a slave, and a woman in Biblical times? What does it say about Hagar's world? Who do you think we fail to "see" in our own times?
The mark of the covenant (circumcision) remains an important distinction until the New Testament when Paul challenges the Abrahamic Covenant. It was important because it showed who was "in" and who was "out" in a tangible way. If you had to imagine either a physical or symbolic "brand" for your family what would it be?
This entire chapter has two themes: The introduction of the hospitality codes and the question of "what is possible God is greater than what is possible for humans." The first is seen in how Abraham provides the finest of meals and provides shelter for the Lord and the other strangers. This will be further emphasized when the law is established in Deuteronomy. The latter is suggested in Sarah not believing God could bring her a child. Are there things in your life right now that seems impossible or out of your control? What can you give to God?
Chapter 18 ends with Abraham bargaining with God for the sake of Sodom and Gomorrah. Anyone familiar with the infamous story knows what's coming tomorrow. What I find odd in my reading is that Abraham ends at 10 after coming down all the way from an entire city. Why would Abraham not continue until he reached a point where God said no? Isn't that the point of a barter? Could Abraham have saved Sodom and Gomorrah and his own nephew's wife if he had continued?
Share your own questions or answer these by joining the discussion at: https://www.chagrinfallsumc.org/group/home-group/discussion
To the God who sees me, thank you for that reassurance. Thank for you letting me know I am a person of value, a child of God, a member of your sacred covenant even if others view me as Hagar. To the miracle worker who made life dance within Sarah's womb, I lift up my petitions, my heart, my burdens, and my joys to you believing that you can and will provide. God who reigns with justice, let me have the confidence of Abraham to speak witness to the world that there are more good people than bad. I entrust my life and words to you for the glory of your coming kingdom. Amen.
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