Genesis 16-18

Chapter 16:

“The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”

Before we start throwing a stone at Sarai, you need to know that this is an ancient custom of the day to ensure the birth of an heir.  Through time this actually gets written in to the Hammurabi Code.  In order to unite all of southern Mesopotamia, the Babylonian king wrote a Code of Laws.  We will see many of the laws sprinkled throughout the Bible as a “custom”.  It is important to understand the culture of the time. All 282  codes,  are “If….Then”.  (some were pretty harsh!)

HOWEVER, I will throw first….”perhaps I can”- c’mon Sarai!!

Skipping to verse 7: I never noticed before God perused Hagar…not vice versa. I think I jsut assumed she cried out.  (He is with us even when we are ignoring Him)  The angel of the Lord’s first appearance in our Bible makes an appearance BUT verse 13.

13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” 

Any thoughts?  Another Trinity appearance?    So let’s mention Ishmael (God has heard…always look for the EL.  El refers to God):

He will be a wild donkey of a man;
    his hand will be against everyone
    and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
    toward  all his brothers.”

Poor Ishmael, caught in the adult drama will live a nomadic life but oddly will be war-like.  His descendants will be called the Ishmaelites, but this large nation he will grow (specified in the next chapter) is never in conflict with Israel OR are they subject to God’s judgement.


  • El Roi- The God who sees me.  (Hagar has the honor of “naming” the Lord for the first time”)
  • Beer Lahai Roi- Marla, this is not a Pub! “The well of the Living One who sees me”

Chapter 17: May I encourage you to grab a pen and circle how many times the word Covenant is used.  God does put responsibility out there for this Everlasting Covenant.  Abram and his descendants do not have a license to live as they please. Twelve years ago,  a wise woman once said to me “You are called to be Holy, not to be happy”, and I say it in my head at least once a week…or once a day.

Recall: Promise…. then Covenant….. then Sign.  Here we are: Chapter 12-15-17

In my time studying and listening to podcasts on this topic I have heard lots of reasons as to why circumcision is the sign:

  • the constant reminder of the cutting away of the old,
  • or applies to the making of male descendants so sexual activity must he disciplined and dedicated to procreation for God (read that twice if your name is Elliot or Charlie…my daughters!!),
  • to be set apart (Holy), as they are called to enter a pagan land called Canaan

As always: I read this and God shows me something new that knocks my socks off!

13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised.

I have always seen the Gentiles (me and you) in God’s plan. But in my Bible today I stopped when I read this.  Those that were bought…that’s me!  Redeemed.

Abram gets a name change to Abraham and Sarai to Sarah.  Abraham means “the father of many nations’.  “ha” or “ah” added to a name means “breath”.  The breath of God is now on them!  This is a new destiny, just like the day of your salvation.  (so call me Patricaha!)

Chapter 18:(I am running late this morning, so this might be a rushed post)  Of these 3 visitors, one is clearly the Lord.  Sarah, when told she will bear a child at her age doesn’t just “laugh”, she denies the possibility.  I guess she hasn’t planned a date night in a while!  In her defense, just like Adam and Eve, the conversation WAS between God and Abram, Sarai was not a witness to it.

God himself makes a personal inspection of the city.  Abraham speaks boldly to God and asks if he will refrain from judging a whole nation if there are a few to be found righteous in the city (yup, sounds like America).  Can God find at least 10 righteous people??  Abraham’s Nephew,  Lot,  has been living there…surely he has missioned at least a few right??


Genesis 12-15

If you got a little behind in Job, tuck it away for now and stay with us in Genesis!  Here is a video to recap of Job you can watch later.  Video.

Click here for  the Reading

Click here for audio version

Chapter 12: Abram is told to “Go”.  He lives in the Ur of Chaldean.  Ur, located in modern day Iraq,   was the world’s hub of culture, power, and wealth.  Abram was told to leave this county, these people, and this comfortable household….and he did. THEN, the Lord made him a promise at the age of 75:

The Promise:

 “I will make you into a great nation,
    and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.
 I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.”

ALL peoples on earth will be blessed THROUGH you. This is why we are going to follow every genealogy until Christ. If you did not read last nights overview, there is genealogy in the sidebar you will want to peek at.  Let’s now look at the map:

map of Abraham's Journeys

Let’s begin our traveling.  Abram follows the caravan roads (rather than cutting through the desert) Here are some notes if interested:

  •  Haran: Hebrew word: the road
  • Cannaan: which is Israel today.  Go back to Genesis 9, the son of Noah: Ham.
  • Shechem: Hebrew words:  shoulder of the mountain.
  •  Bethel: House of God.  This is where Jacob will see the stairway to heaven.
  • Ai- means Ruin…hmmm
  • Negev-this is where Isaac is going to be born
  • Hebron- this is where Abraham is going to be buried
  • He builds an altar to the Lord.  Altars are built for 2 reasons-
    • 1.) for offering a sacrifice
    • 2.) as a place of remembrance.

So if he built an alter to the Lord remembering his promise…but does he fully trust it?  I don’t recall God telling him to go to Egypt.  THEN, he takes his smoking hot wife into the land.  It was known in those times that if Pharaoh wanted to have a “conjugal prison visit, if you know what I mean” with your wife, he would just kill you and take her (or like David, send them to war….insert sad face)  So Abram says, “Tell them I am your brother”. I am still trying to figure out if Sarai is born from Abram’s brother Nahor which would make this a “white lie” since cousin and sister are interchangeably in their language.  Anyway….focus Szymanski!!

 I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;

Sorry, Pharoah….you didn’t know about this Promise…

Chapter 13:  As the elder person, Abram would have been fully within his rights to decide who gets what portion of land.  Abram voluntarily let’s Lot choose.  Lot chooses the plain of Jordan (right on the edge of a party town: Sodom so he can Uber over for some fun)

God PROMISES again in 13:14 the promises he made to him: I will give you this land and I will give you children.  Abram, makes another altar.

I know this is getting long, I am sorry…Chapter 14, cliffnote version: Five cities formed an alliance to fight for their independence against an alliance of 4 cities (this is like Game of Thrones!)  and in the midst of it all party boy Lot get taken P.O.W.    So here is how cool God is.  He takes Abram and a mere 318 men…against thousands, ambushed them at night and gets Lot AND all the stolen goods AND the other captives!

Melchizedek.   Can we call in sick today and talk about this ALL day!!  The Bible is going to be filled with typologies of Christ, but this one is my favorite.  Hebrew tradition says he is Shem (Noah’s son) But we really don’t know. Out of NO WHERE this King of Salem (King of Peace) comes to accept the FIRST TITHE! He performs COMMUNION.

Genesis 14-18-20 (go underline it)

Then Melchizedek king of Salem  brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High,  and he blessed Abram, saying,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator  of heaven and earth.

And blessed be God Most High,
who delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

Do you understand how much foreshadowing is in just those two verses. This was 600 years BEFORE the priesthood was dictated through Moses as a Levitical line (don’t get confused, we will get there next month 🙂 ). 

  • We end with Abram professing his Faith in the Lord!  God won this “318” Battle for him!

Chapter 15: “After this”: After he fought some major k Abram was afraid of retaliation..So what does God say “DON’T BE AFRAID, I AM YOUR SHIELD”.

If a person did not have an heir, the estate went to your top servant.  Abram’s servant was Eliezar.  Abram’s like “God, I am getting pretty old, and you have not given us Viagra yet!” (paraphrase of course) Oh how I love Abram…He’s a mess…verse 6: He believed the Lord…but in verse 8: “How can I know”….

So God ratifies this Promise with a Covenant!

Image result for Genesis 15

This is not one of those, “cut your hand and let’s shake on it”.  The animals are huge and they are cut vertically in half and spaced out.  The blood would pool up…lots of it,  and God in the form of fire, would pass through it creating an Everlasting Covenant!

On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates— the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,  Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,  Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”

BUT….Not before saying…

13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

If you have a study bible you will see in your margin or at the bottom a cross reference to Exodus 12:40  Look it up!

 Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years.  At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the LORD’s divisions left Egypt.

Book Overviews · Genesis

Patriarchs overvierw. Genesis 12-50

Back to Genesis!  We are going to cover 360 years in just 2 week!!  Buckle up kids!!

  • The History of Abraham (12-25)
  • The History of Isaac (26-27)
  • The History of Jacob (28-39)
  • The History of Joseph (37-50)

Timeline: it is about 400 years after the flood.  We will begin right away with a Covenant.  Let’s recall what we learned in the time of Noah: there is a promise, a sealing of the covenant, and then a sign to remember the covenant.  Covenant by the way,  means an agreement, a  promise, a contact, an oath, that God will not break.  At the beginning of this section we will read about the Covenant with Abraham.  The Abrahamic Covenant is unconditional.  (one sided...not an “If…then” promise)   God makes a Covenant with Abraham, then repeats the Covenant with Abraham’s son Isaac, then repeats it a third time with Abraham’s grandson Jacob. This is why we will see throughout the Bible: “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers”.

We have been in Job for 2 weeks so let me put the scripture we left off at in Chapter 11 (or cheat and look at the graph at the bottom)- I will also post as a handout in the sidebar.  I highly recommend you keep a folder of the handouts to refer back to 🙂

Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot.  While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah.  Now Sarai was barren; she had no children.  Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.

  Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran.

Image result for terah family tree


Job 40-42 The End!

I have drafted 4 different posts for this read.  Each one I  sounded like I was Eliphaz, Bildad, or Zophar.  So in the end I deleted them (I wish they had…this was a long 2 weeks).  We have chosen to read the Bible, not to be in a Bible study.  We don’t need a commentary, or a video, or workbook.  God’s word is all we need.  Last night I was texting with Lucas, an accountability partner, on my “take” on God’s response.  If I shared my thoughts it might take away from what God wanted to say to you.  So I won’t.

Here is the reading 

I pray that you read this book and walked away different.  If God is in control, do we need to question “Why”.  As a human, I always will.  What I walked away with, it is OK to ask why.  It is not OK to demand why, or to seek other sources of authority to try to figure it out.  But I know in my heart that I may not know the reason for everything that happens, but when I am listening to God, I have a Peace about all circumstances.  When I listen to anyone else I am unsettled.

 My ears had heard of you
    but now my eyes have seen you.”

You will never be the same if you stick with this commitment to read through the entire Bible. My favorite verse in today’s read was 42:8:

My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.

Grace.  He will NOT deal with me according to my folly.

So where is Jesus on this page.  (He is on every page!)

So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves.

Remember back in Genesis 3, we saw God provide a substitute for your death when he sacrificed an animal to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness (sin).  Elihu stated in chapter 33:27 “I have sinned, I have perverted what is right, but I did not get what I deserved”.  Jesus took my death for me.  From the creation there was always a substitute provided for you, the 3 friends’ sins were covered (atoned) by God’s ultimate plan of offering a substitute for them.  In this case, the blood was shed in the form of burnt offering.

Jesus is on every page.


Job 38-39

Well, Job asked for a “trial” to plead his case.  So he finally gets to to take the stand.  However, I think in Job’s head this trial would have gone a little different.  He thought he was going to plead his case.  Instead, he is left speechless!

Click here for the reading

Click here to listen (Ms. Sutley) 🙂

Chapter 39: God begins with over 60 rhetorical questions that cannot be answered by humans.

Who? Where? Have you? Do you? Can you?

Does Job truly understand earth’s structure? The forces of the seas? Dawn? The depths of the sea and the gates of death? Light and darkness? Storm? The movement of the constellations? The control of weather? The understanding of wild animals?

Job’s turn to state his case:  ready for it??


The Lord replies:

“Brace yourself like a man; I WILL QUESTION YOU,  and you shall answer me”

I would have needed to change my pants!  God created the universe and all abiotic and biotic factors (trying to impress Ms. Lewis, my science teacher).  I think we forget who God is sometimes (for me,  all the time).  The question is not can he subdue or tame the Leviathan or the Behomeath,  referring to the most wild dangerous creatures of the world.  He doesn’t have to…He CREATED them!

If God is the omniscient Creator, does He really need to explain to us Why, as if we deserve it or are owed it, like He is our equal?  If we think He needs to,  then maybe we don’t trust his judgement like we thought we do?


Job 35-37

  • Elihu

Click here for the reading

Click here to listen to it in your car 🙂

“When times get bad, people cry out for help.
They cry for relief from being kicked around,
But never give God a thought when things go well”  (The Message)

If you are just jumping in you may wonder why I am quoting The Message version.  If you click above I attached the parallel reading.  I struggle reading Job and I just need a little downgrade on this book.  This is the last read from the “friends” (can I get an Amen).  As much as I am not a fan of ANY of men talking to Job, I did love when Elihu said:
“He pulls water up out of the sea,
    distills it, and fills up his rain-cloud cisterns.
Then the skies open up
    and pour out soaking showers on everyone.
Does anyone have the slightest idea how this happens? 36:27-33
Most of you do not know me, so I will let you know I have a unique job where I have to learn 6th, 7th, and 8th grade curriculum.  A few years ago we did a science project  in my room to show the water cycle.  One of the students said “If the water is evaporating from the ocean, then how come rain doesn’t have salt in it?”  Well, I knew the science answer BUT out of my mouth I may or may not have said “Because God is smart enough to design rain for growing crops and drinking water”.  But I love how Elihu used the words “distills it “.
Every time I teach Science, I see God in the details.
Genesis · Job

Jan 12th Perfect time to start

If you can commit to this without an accountability person..kudos to you!  I am weak and have already made my excuses in my head ” But….I work full time, I have 3 kids, they all play sports, one is graduating this year,  it’s prom week, I am on vacation….”  I have someone in my life who will say “Trish, you want God to be with you ALL day, but you can’t give Him 15 minutes a day!”  So find someone that you love who can punch you in the face like that.   They can jump in today…read Genesis on the plan below.

So here is the schedule for them (or you if you never started this and wish you had)

January 13th: Genesis 1-3 Click for reading
January 14 th: Genesis 4-7 Click for reading
January 15th: Genesis 8-11 Click for reading

If they have spare time or need some visuals with the reading click here (and start at the bottom and scroll up)

Chapel Time

Chapel Time

Image result for chapel

Last week we started something new: ‘Chapel time’.  In comments you quote a scripture that was new to you and God highlighted it just for YOU or something you may have read so many times but God made it fall on you new.  It may have been from this reading, church (if you went, but no judgement if you stayed in your cozy bed or don’t belong to one), a song…etc.   But truth be told,  I was 90% on the side of staying in bed and ‘Chapel time’ inspired me to go to church so I would have something to share.

Click here for last week’s Chapel time 


Job-32-34 and “friends” recap

I want to now take a moment to talk about the 3 friends one last time now that we heard all their arguments (so glad that is over).  These men were “sources” of information.  Where do you get your “spiritual” “religious” or “biblical” information?   There are 3 inadequate sources some might fall prey to.  (I fall to all 3 😦 )

  • Experience
  • Intellect
  • Tradition

Experience: You determine Truth by your senses, feelings and emotions.  Eliphaz thought wisdom came from his experiences in life, and that he had God all figured out.

Intellect: Zophar! You determine truth by your ability to reason what is right or wrong, good or bad, we use intellect to figure logic.  God did give us a brain, but oh how we use it wrong sometimes.  I think “over thinking” is one of the hardest things not to do.

Tradition:  I don’t care what denomination you are, this is a dangerous authority.  “That is what we do”  You structure your beliefs by what you have inherited.    Our dependence on tradition is a way to clearly escape responsibility for knowing the Word of God. Bilbad did this.

Although all 3 sources can be good in life.  However, they need to be filtered through the Bible.

Click here for the reading.

Elihu, has been there the whole time biting his tongue because he is the “kid” in the room. He can’t take this conversation any longer and explodes.  Am I fan of Elihu? Not really.  He is a bit to brash and dogmatic for me,   I have a Facebook account, if I want people to tell me why I am wrong and what to believe I will read their posts and theology of life.  With that said, Elihu speaks truth and states God is just, and we do not have to know his motives.

Feel free not to agree with me, but the last 2 times I read Job through I didn’t like the 3 friends.  This time I am more upset with Job.  This court case issue, pleasing his case before the Lord.

 “His eyes are on the ways of mortals;
    he sees their every step.
 There is no deep shadow, no utter darkness,
    where evildoers can hide.
 God has no need to examine people further,
    that they should come before him for judgment. (34:21-23)

I probably should not have inserted my opinion on Elihu, so let tell you what I love about him.  He UNDERSTANDS WISDOM surpasses knowledge because of the source!  Wisdom comes from God.

So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said:

“I am young in years,
    and you are old;
that is why I was fearful,
    not daring to tell you what I know.
I thought, ‘Age should speak;
    advanced years should teach wisdom.’
But it is the spirit[ in a person,
    the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.
It is not only the old  who are wise,
    not only the aged who understand what is right……

13 Do not say, ‘We have found wisdom;
    let God, not a man, refute him.’


In other words Trish…”You are not someone’s Holy Spirit!”  “Pray or speak truth.  Then get out of the way so you are not a speed bump for God to do his work”


Let's Begin...

Phone verse Laptop

Hello.  I just wanted to point out that your view of the resources available is very different on a phone verse a laptop/computer/email (I think).

Next week we will jumping into the Patriarchs and I will have a lot of handouts in the sidebar (maps, graphs, genealogy…)

  • Computer view:

  • Phone View:

If you prefer your phone that is OK!  The sidebar that you see on your desk screen is just at the bottom of the page rather than the side.

  • If you get the “email” updates in the morning and want to get to the full page just click the URL: at the bottom.