After a Father’s Heart

Genesis 22

What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? Relationship? Financial? Career? Future? Why was it so risky? Stakes involved? Lack of information? Uncertain outcome?

In our story today, Abraham makes what seems to be the riskiest decision of his life…going all in with God. The promises/commitments made by both the LORD and Abraham are tested to their limits. With the perplexing command that Abraham sacrifice Isaac, how could God possibly fulfill His covenant with Abraham to make him into a great nation through whom all the families of the earth would be blessed? Called upon to make such a costly sacrifice, how will Abraham remain obedient to his covenant commitment? This story presents the radical nature of faith: tremendous demands and incredible blessings.

And in our story, we have insider information, we know what Abraham doesn’t…God is testing him. As I reflected on the story of Abraham’s life and particularly on this episode, I had to ask myself the question: Could I have trusted God in that moment? Would I be able to trust God’s character, who I know Him to be, who He’s revealed Himself to be, more than my circumstances?

Abraham is what Soren Kirkegaard calls the knight of faith. Hebrews tells us that Abraham believed the absurd, that he knew that God could bring Isaac back even from the dead…Abraham had no doubt that he would bring Isaac back down the mountain with him. Abraham had the courage to obey, no matter the cost, trusting God fully that He would provide and that He would keep His promise.

What about you? Where are you in your faith journey? Are you in one of those testing times? Have you come to place where you know that God can be trusted…no matter the circumstances? Or are you still somewhere along the way? Are you able to believe the absurd, that radical obedience doesn’t mean the surrender of your joy, but the opposite, the realization of joy unimaginable? In fact, forgiveness of sins cannot make us happy if it is not accompanied by the radical renovation of our natures. For you dads out there, are you passing on your faith to your children? Can they discern the greatest of your faith by your actions?

This story is a glimpse at what God will ultimately do in order to redeem mankind and provide the way back to Himself. Isaac is a picture of the Genesis 3.15, but he’s not the One. One day God will send the One…His own Son. He will live a perfect life…He will be innocent…but He will willing sacrifice Himself in order to crush the head of the serpent and provide the way back to paradise. God the Father will provide for Himself the Lamb, so that we might, through faith in Him, have a way back to the Father. Jesus became the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world.

My prayer for us is that we will believe the absurd and trust God for great things, having the courage to follow Him no matter what the cost.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Listen online at:http://www.centralchristian.org, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

June 14 – Weekend Passage

Genesis 22

The Offering of Isaac

22 Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 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.” 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. On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance. Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.” 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. 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?” Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.

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. 10 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 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.” 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 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 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.

20 Now it came about after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, “Behold, Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor: 21 Uz his firstborn and Buz his brother and Kemuel the father of Aram 22 and Chesed and Hazo and Pildash and Jidlaph and Bethuel.” 23 Bethuel became the father of Rebekah; these eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. 24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore Tebah and Gaham and Tahash and Maacah.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

Big God – Promise Keeper

Genesis 21

Ever messed up…I mean really messed up. Messed up so bad that you didn’t think you could recover? Maybe a betrayed confidence? Maybe a serious lapse in judgment? Maybe a broken trust? It’s the mistake that makes you cringe. The mistake that Satan uses most in your life to accuse you and make you feel worthless. What’s on the other side?

Abraham found something on the other side of absolute failure…God’s grace. And His faithfulness to His promises. Moses seems to tell the story to let Israel know how important they are. That I AM brought life from death and that I AM protected and delivered the son of promise because I AM chose them to be His people. Abe is God’s instrument in bringing about His plan for a people and His redemptive plan for all of us. The amazing thing is… God’s grace in using people who mess up to accomplish His amazing redemptive plan.

The Abraham-side of the story… his faith journey to this point has had a few painful and faith-challenging detours and shortcuts…in Galatians 4, Paul, using Ishmael and Isaac, picks up on the contrast between the good as God has revealed it, and the “good” that we define for ourselves. We could call it faith vs. works, flesh vs. spirit, physical vs. spiritual. The point is the same. When Abraham and Sarah, when we, do what’s right in our own eyes, we’re being our own gods, running our universe, writing the Creator God out of the script. That never ends well. And leads to bondage and ultimately to death…as a believer, taking that shortcut is a definite bad move.

What about you? Are you plagued by memories of past mistakes, paralyzed and unable to move forward? Be encouraged. God is bigger than Your mistakes…where sin abounds, grace superabounds. He delights to bring life from death, to redeem the broken, to lift up those who are bowed down, to use us…Again Abraham is our example…after total failure, once again we find him running to God. Though he stumbles and even falls, yet he never stops pursuing. What an amazing lesson for us. That when we blow it…and we will, we too should run back to God, and we too, will find Him waiting for us, to restore us and continue the redemptive, sanctifying work he started in us. Just as Abe and all his baggage were part of the redemptive plan for Israel and us, you and all your baggage can be part of God’s redemptive plan for someone else (8-15).

My prayer for us this week is that we would have the clarity and the courage to let go of past mistakes and trust more fully in a big God who wants to do amazing things through us.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Listen online at:http://www.centralchristian.org, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

June 9 – OT Reading

1 Chronicles 1

Genealogy from Adam

Adam, Seth, Enosh, 2 Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth.

5 The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech and Tiras. 6 The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Diphath, and Togarmah. The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim and Rodanim.

8 The sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. 9 The sons of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabta, Raama and Sabteca; and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan. 10 Cush became the father of Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

11 Mizraim became the father of the people of Lud, Anam, Lehab, Naphtuh, 12 Pathrus, Casluh, from which the Philistines came, and Caphtor.

13 Canaan became the father of Sidon, his firstborn, Heth, 14 and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 15 the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 16 the Arvadites, the Zemarites and the Hamathites.

17 The sons of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, Aram, Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshech. 18 Arpachshad became the father of Shelah and Shelah became the father of Eber.19 Two sons were born to Eber, the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided, and his brother’s name was Joktan. 20 Joktan became the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 21 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 22 Ebal, Abimael, Sheba, 23 Ophir, Havilah and Jobab; all these were the sons of Joktan.

24 Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah, 25 Eber, Peleg, Reu, 26 Serug, Nahor, Terah, 27 Abram, that is Abraham.

Descendants of Abraham

28 The sons of Abraham were Isaac and Ishmael. 29 These are their genealogies: the firstborn of Ishmael was Nebaioth, then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 30 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, 31 Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah; these were the sons of Ishmael. 32 The sons of Keturah, Abraham’s concubine, whom she bore, were Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. And the sons of Jokshan were Sheba and Dedan. 33 The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida and Eldaah. All these were the sons of Keturah.

34 Abraham became the father of Isaac. The sons of Isaac were Esau and Israel. 35 The sons of Esau were Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam and Korah. 36 The sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zephi, Gatam, Kenaz, Timna and Amalek. 37 The sons of Reuel were Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. 38 The sons of Seir were Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer and Dishan. 39 The sons of Lotan were Hori and Homam; and Lotan’s sister was Timna. 40 The sons of Shobal were Alian, Manahath, Ebal, Shephi and Onam. And the sons of Zibeon were Aiah and Anah. 41 The son of Anah was Dishon. And the sons of Dishon were Hamran, Eshban, Ithran and Cheran. 42 The sons of Ezer were Bilhan, Zaavan and Jaakan. The sons of Dishan were Uz and Aran.

43 Now these are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom before any king of the sons of Israel reigned. Bela was the son of Beor, and the name of his city was Dinhabah. 44 When Bela died, Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah became king in his place. 45 When Jobab died, Husham of the land of the Temanites became king in his place. 46 When Husham died, Hadad the son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the field of Moab, became king in his place; and the name of his city was Avith. 47 When Hadad died, Samlah of Masrekah became king in his place. 48 When Samlah died, Shaul of Rehoboth by the River became king in his place. 49 When Shaul died, Baal-hanan the son of Achbor became king in his place. 50 When Baal-hanan died, Hadad became king in his place; and the name of his city was Pai, and his wife’s name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab. 51 Then Hadad died.

Now the chiefs of Edom were: chief Timna, chief Aliah, chief Jetheth, 52 chief Oholibamah, chief Elah, chief Pinon, 53 chief Kenaz, chief Teman, chief Mibzar, 54 chief Magdiel, chief Iram. These were the chiefs of Edom.

 

1 Chronicles 2

Genealogy: Twelve Sons of Jacob (Israel)

These are the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher.

The sons of Judah were Er, Onan and Shelah; these three were born to him by Bath-shua the Canaanitess. And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, so He put him to death. 4 Tamar his daughter-in-law bore him Perez and Zerah. Judah had five sons in all.

5 The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul. 6 The sons of Zerah were Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol and Dara; five of them in all. 7 The son of Carmi was Achar, the troubler of Israel, who violated the ban. 8 The son of Ethan was Azariah.

Genealogy of David

9 Now the sons of Hezron, who were born to him were Jerahmeel, Ram and Chelubai. 10 Ram became the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, leader of the sons of Judah; 11 Nahshon became the father of Salma, Salma became the father of Boaz,12 Boaz became the father of Obed, and Obed became the father of Jesse; 13 and Jesse became the father of Eliab his firstborn, then Abinadab the second, Shimea the third,14 Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, 15 Ozem the sixth, David the seventh; 16 and their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. And the three sons of Zeruiah were Abshai, Joab and Asahel.17 Abigail bore Amasa, and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmaelite.

18 Now Caleb the son of Hezron had sons by Azubah his wife, and by Jerioth; and these were her sons: Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon. 19 When Azubah died, Caleb married Ephrath, who bore him Hur. 20 Hur became the father of Uri, and Uri became the father of Bezalel.

21 Afterward Hezron went in to the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead, whom he married when he was sixty years old; and she bore him Segub. 22 Segub became the father of Jair, who had twenty-three cities in the land of Gilead. 23 But Geshur and Aram took the towns of Jair from them, with Kenath and its villages, even sixty cities. All these were the sons of Machir, the father of Gilead. 24 After the death of Hezron in Caleb-ephrathah, Abijah, Hezron’s wife, bore him Ashhur the father of Tekoa.

25 Now the sons of Jerahmeel the firstborn of Hezron were Ram the firstborn, then Bunah, Oren, Ozem and Ahijah. 26 Jerahmeel had another wife, whose name was Atarah; she was the mother of Onam. 27 The sons of Ram, the firstborn of Jerahmeel, were Maaz, Jamin and Eker.28 The sons of Onam were Shammai and Jada. And the sons of Shammai were Nadab and Abishur. 29 The name of Abishur’s wife was Abihail, and she bore him Ahban and Molid. 30 The sons of Nadab were Seled and Appaim, and Seled died without sons. 31 The son of Appaim was Ishi. And the son of Ishi was Sheshan. And the son of Sheshan was Ahlai. 32 The sons of Jada the brother of Shammai were Jether and Jonathan, and Jether died without sons. 33 The sons of Jonathan were Peleth and Zaza. These were the sons of Jerahmeel. 34 Now Sheshan had no sons, only daughters. And Sheshan had an Egyptian servant whose name was Jarha.35 Sheshan gave his daughter to Jarha his servant in marriage, and she bore him Attai. 36 Attai became the father of Nathan, and Nathan became the father of Zabad, 37 and Zabad became the father of Ephlal, and Ephlal became the father of Obed, 38 and Obed became the father of Jehu, and Jehu became the father of Azariah, 39 and Azariah became the father of Helez, and Helez became the father of Eleasah, 40 and Eleasah became the father of Sismai, and Sismai became the father of Shallum, 41 and Shallum became the father of Jekamiah, and Jekamiah became the father of Elishama.

42 Now the sons of Caleb, the brother of Jerahmeel, were Mesha his firstborn, who was the father of Ziph; and his son was Mareshah, the father of Hebron. 43 The sons of Hebron were Korah and Tappuah and Rekem and Shema. 44 Shema became the father of Raham, the father of Jorkeam; and Rekem became the father of Shammai. 45 The son of Shammai was Maon, and Maon was the father of Bethzur. 46 Ephah, Caleb’s concubine, bore Haran, Moza and Gazez; and Haran became the father of Gazez. 47 The sons of Jahdai were Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah and Shaaph. 48 Maacah, Caleb’s concubine, bore Sheber and Tirhanah.49 She also bore Shaaph the father of Madmannah, Sheva the father of Machbena and the father of Gibea; and the daughter of Caleb was Achsah. 50 These were the sons of Caleb.

The sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah, were Shobal the father of Kiriath-jearim, 51 Salma the father of Bethlehem and Hareph the father of Beth-gader. 52 Shobal the father of Kiriath-jearim had sons: Haroeh, half of the Manahathites, 53 and the families of Kiriath-jearim: the Ithrites, the Puthites, the Shumathites and the Mishraites; from these came the Zorathites and the Eshtaolites. 54 The sons of Salma were Bethlehem and the Netophathites, Atroth-beth-joab and half of the Manahathites, the Zorites. 55 The families of scribes who lived at Jabez were the Tirathites, the Shimeathites and the Sucathites. Those are the Kenites who came from Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

June 7 – Weekend Passage

Genesis 21

Isaac Is Born

21 Then the Lord took note of Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had promised. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.” And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

The child grew and was weaned, and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.

Sarah Turns against Hagar

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 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.” 14 So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar, putting them on her shoulder, and gave her the boy, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba.

15 When the water in the skin was used up, she left the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him, about a bowshot away, for she said, “Do not let me see the boy die.” And she sat opposite him, and lifted up her voice and wept. 17 God heard the lad crying; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter with you, Hagar? Do not fear, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. 18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him by the hand, for I will make a great nation of him.” 19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water; and she went and filled the skin with water and gave the lad a drink.

20 God was with the lad, and he grew; and he lived in the wilderness and became an archer. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

Covenant with Abimelech

22 Now it came about at that time that Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, spoke to Abraham, saying, “God is with you in all that you do; 23 now therefore, swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my offspring or with my posterity, but according to the kindness that I have shown to you, you shall show to me and to the land in which you have sojourned.” 24 Abraham said, “I swear it.” 25 But Abraham complained to Abimelech because of the well of water which the servants of Abimelech had seized. 26 And Abimelech said, “I do not know who has done this thing; you did not tell me, nor did I hear of it until today.”

27 Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them made a covenant. 28 Then Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. 29 Abimelech said to Abraham, “What do these seven ewe lambs mean, which you have set by themselves?” 30 He said, “You shall take these seven ewe lambs from my hand so that it may be a witness to me, that I dug this well.” 31 Therefore he called that place Beersheba, because there the two of them took an oath. 32 So they made a covenant at Beersheba; and Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, arose and returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God. 34 And Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines for many days.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

Egypt…Take Two

Genesis 20

Ever experienced deja vu? Ever felt like maybe you’ve been down this path before? Much to Abraham’s embarrassment and shame he has to answer in the affirmative. Abraham, the prime example of faith in both the Old and New Testaments, still struggled with his faith? How could that be? Twenty-five years of seeing God work since that first fateful, “Go…”

Why does Moses include the account of this episode in the life of Abraham? He hasn’t told us everything about his life…there are long stretches where nothing is said. But now we have several vignettes in a row. We’ve already seen Abraham make this mistake before, so why repeat it? I think Moses includes this story to show the Israelites (and us) that ultimately the failure of Abraham’s faith God’s promises will not stop God from fulfilling those promises. Though Abraham’s faith may fail, but God remains faithful…His promises will not fail.

I don’t know about you, but I find that somewhat comforting in a weird way. If Abraham struggled, it shouldn’t surprise me my struggles. It doesn’t excuse them, but I know that I’m not alone in that struggle. Just as Abraham was a work in progress, learning more and more what it meant to follow this amazing God and still stumbling along the way, so we are works in progress learning what it means to follow this amazing God and to be His image bearers.

All the while this amazing God’s faithfulness continues to shine forth. He will deliver, He will protect, He will redeem, He will save…ultimately He will crush the head of the serpent. And if you don’t know this amazing God today…this patient, loving, benevolent, creative, faithful, powerful God today. You can. It’s as easy as believing that Jesus, the One we had been looking for came and lived the life you were supposed to live, died the death you were supposed to die and was raised again so that just as He conquered sin and death, you too might conquer sin and death and experience life…life today in His kingdom. Today is the day.

My prayer for us this week that instead of hiding, justifying, blaming, or downplaying our sin, we would simply acknowledge it, confess it and turn it over to Jesus.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Listen online at:http://www.centralchristian.org, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

May 31 – Weekend Passage

Genesis 20

Abraham’s Treachery

20 Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the land of the Negev, and settled between Kadesh and Shur; then he sojourned in Gerar. Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married.” Now Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, “Lord, will You slay a nation, even though blameless? Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also kept you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. Now therefore, restore the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”

So Abimelech arose early in the morning and called all his servants and told all these things in their hearing; and the men were greatly frightened. Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? And how have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me things that ought not to be done.” 10 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What have you encountered, that you have done this thing?” 11 Abraham said, “Because I thought, surely there is no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife. 12 Besides, she actually is my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife; 13 and it came about, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said to her, ‘This is the kindness which you will show to me: everywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”’” 14 Abimelech then took sheep and oxen and male and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and restored his wife Sarah to him. 15 Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you; settle wherever you please.” 16 To Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; behold, it is your vindication before all who are with you, and before all men you are cleared.” 17 Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maids, so that they bore children. 18 For the Lord had closed fast all the wombs of the household of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)