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January 11 - Morning

"Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, 'Abraham!' 'Here I am,' he replied.
Then God said, 'Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.' ”

- Genesis 22:1-2

Passing the Test to Advance to the Next Level

This was a test, but Abraham did not know it. It seems like an evil deed, a cruel act and an unnecessary waste, but this episode had value. Abram did not know, but he was being tested. And, he was being taught. The successful performance during this test and the lessons learned would have results of both temporal and eternal value.
Isaac is identified with three terms. These three references focus this pivital moment on what is a stake:
  1. “your son” - Abraham's long awaited son
  2. “only son” – there was another son and there would be others, but this was the only son of promise. The future of Abram’s nation rested on Isaac alone.
  3. “Isaac” - the fulfilled promise of "laughter"

  1. Three imperatives are used to command Abram:
  2. take your son
  3. go to the region of Moriah
  4. sacrifice him there

The one described as “whom you love” is to become a “burnt offering” which is the Hebrew word ‘ola. Later in the book of Leviticus 'ola means a completely consumed sacrifice on the altar (minus the hide). This Hebrew word ‘ola is the Greek word holokautoma (English, “holocaust”).
The Lord stopped the sacrifice of Isaac, and a ram was used in his place, thus adding mercy to the founding of the nation of Israel. Abraham's nation of Israel will now be founded on two things:
  1. The promise of God
  2. The mercy of God
Qara' (Hb) - Read (Eng) - qara' is the Hebrew word that means “read,” (38x) “to call,” (450x) “summon,” (23x) “to proclaim” (50x). The words of God were recorded with the intention of being qara’, or read, to the people, qara’ by the king, leaders and the people. Qara’ was to be done for learning about God, devotion to God and to live a life of obedience to God.
  • Moses read, qara’, to the people in Exodus 24:7
  • Israel's leaders were to qara' the word of God before the people every seven years in Deuteronomy 31:10-12
  • The king is to qara’ or “is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees.” - Deuteronomy 17:18-19
  • Joshua qara’ the Law to his people in Joshua 8:34-35
  • Ezra qara’ the Law to the people of his generation in Nehemiah 8:3-12
Do I get frustrated during times of testing?
Do I complain during a test that if passed would propel me to the next level of understanding?
I will focus on being obedient and act in righteousness.
I will trust God to open doors and provide options.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text


Organization of you house and home management


Peace with opponents
Local economy
The Least reached countries with less than 0.4% Christian population

A lintel from the Nea Church built by Emperor Justinian and dedicated in 534 AD in Jerusalem of the Byzantine Empire. Here it is in a reused position at the base of the southern wall of the Temple Mount.
Print and trace the Greek letters

Someone to Quote

“Truth says, “Examine me,” while mere tolerance says, “Leave me alone.”

Something to Ponder

When the black plague swept through Europe in the 1600’s twenty-five percent of the population died. Panic and fear terrorized the people who sought answers, but had very little understanding of diseases, germs, bacteria, etc. The clergy led their people to the Mosaic Law and began to practice: quarantine (Lev. 13:45-4), removal of dead (Numbers 19:11-22), removal of human waste (Deuteronomy 23:12-14)

Here’s a Fact

A bulla (a seal impression in clay) made from the seal of Baruch, the scribe the wrote a large portion of the Book of Jeremiah for the prophet has been found. It reads:
“Belonging to Berekhyaku son of Neriyahu the scribe.”
It was found with a group of other clay bullae that had been baked hard, apparently, in the fires that destroyed Jerualem in 586 BC. The Hebrew script is from the time of Jeremiah and his scribe Baruch and the geneology and the occupation match the biblical figure from the book of Jeremiah 32:12; 43:1-7; ch. 36 and ch. 45. The bulla also has the imprint of the fingerprints, it would seem, of the person making the impression in the originally soft clay. (More details here and here. Photos here)


"A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother."
- Proverbs 10:1

Coach’s Corner

Every choice has consequences and every decision produces a reaction…make it a priority to anticipate consequences and reactions.

Exodus 24:7
New International Version (NIV)
Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.”
Deuteronomy 31:10-12
New International Version (NIV)
10 Then Moses commanded them: “At the end of every seven years, in the year for canceling debts, during the Festival of Tabernacles, 11 when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose, you shall read this law before them in their hearing. 12 Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and follow carefully all the words of this law.
Deuteronomy 17:18-19
New International Version (NIV)
18 When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees
Joshua 8:34-35
New International Version (NIV)
34 Afterward, Joshua read all the words of the law—the blessings and the curses—just as it is written in the Book of the Law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the foreigners who lived among them.
Nehemiah 8:3-12
New International Version (NIV)
He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.
Ezra the teacher of the Law stood on a high wooden platform built for the occasion. Beside him on his right stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah and Maaseiah; and on his left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam.
Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.
The Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiah—instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.
Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.
10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
11 The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a holy day. Do not grieve.”
12 Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.
Genesis 13
New International Version (NIV)
Abram and Lot Separate
13 So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold.
From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the Lord.
Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. And quarreling arose between Abram’s herders and Lot’s. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time.
So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.”
10 Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: 12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. 13 Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.
14 The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. 15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”
18 So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the Lord.
Genesis 21
New International Version (NIV)
The Birth of Isaac
21 Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away
The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”
11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”
14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.
15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob.
17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. 21 While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.
The Treaty at Beersheba
22 At that time Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forces said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do. 23 Now swear to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me or my children or my descendants. Show to me and the country where you now reside as a foreigner the same kindness I have shown to you.”
24 Abraham said, “I swear it.”
25 Then Abraham complained to Abimelek about a well of water that Abimelek’s servants had seized. 26 But Abimelek said, “I don’t know who has done this. You did not tell me, and I heard about it only today.”
27 So Abraham brought sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelek, and the two men made a treaty. 28 Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs from the flock, 29 and Abimelek asked Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs you have set apart by themselves?”
30 He replied, “Accept these seven lambs from my hand as a witness that I dug this well.”
31 So that place was called Beersheba, because the two men swore an oath there.
32 After the treaty had been made at Beersheba, Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forces returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Eternal God. 34 And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time.
Job 29-30
New International Version (NIV)
Job’s Final Defense
29 Job continued his discourse:

“How I long for the months gone by,     for the days when God watched over me,

when his lamp shone on my head     and by his light I walked through darkness!

Oh, for the days when I was in my prime,     when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house,

when the Almighty was still with me     and my children were around me,

when my path was drenched with cream     and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil.

“When I went to the gate of the city     and took my seat in the public square,

the young men saw me and stepped aside     and the old men rose to their feet;

the chief men refrained from speaking     and covered their mouths with their hands;
the voices of the nobles were hushed,     and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.
Whoever heard me spoke well of me,     and those who saw me commended me,
because I rescued the poor who cried for help,     and the fatherless who had none to assist them.
The one who was dying blessed me;     I made the widow’s heart sing.
I put on righteousness as my clothing;     justice was my robe and my turban.
I was eyes to the blind     and feet to the lame.
I was a father to the needy;     I took up the case of the stranger.
I broke the fangs of the wicked     and snatched the victims from their teeth.
“I thought, ‘I will die in my own house,     my days as numerous as the grains of sand.
My roots will reach to the water,     and the dew will lie all night on my branches.
My glory will not fade;     the bow will be ever new in my hand.’
“People listened to me expectantly,     waiting in silence for my counsel.
After I had spoken, they spoke no more;     my words fell gently on their ears.
They waited for me as for showers     and drank in my words as the spring rain.
When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;     the light of my face was precious to them.
I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;     I dwelt as a king among his troops;     I was like one who comforts mourners.
“But now they mock me,     men younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained     to put with my sheep dogs.

Of what use was the strength of their hands to me,     since their vigor had gone from them?

Haggard from want and hunger,     they roamed the parched land     in desolate wastelands at night.

In the brush they gathered salt herbs,     and their food was the root of the broom bush.

They were banished from human society,     shouted at as if they were thieves.

They were forced to live in the dry stream beds,     among the rocks and in holes in the ground.

They brayed among the bushes     and huddled in the undergrowth.

A base and nameless brood,     they were driven out of the land.

“And now those young men mock me in song;     I have become a byword among them.
They detest me and keep their distance;     they do not hesitate to spit in my face.
Now that God has unstrung my bow and afflicted me,     they throw off restraint in my presence.
On my right the tribe attacks;     they lay snares for my feet,     they build their siege ramps against me.
They break up my road;     they succeed in destroying me.     ‘No one can help him,’ they say.
They advance as through a gaping breach;     amid the ruins they come rolling in.
Terrors overwhelm me;     my dignity is driven away as by the wind,     my safety vanishes like a cloud.
“And now my life ebbs away;     days of suffering grip me.
Night pierces my bones;     my gnawing pains never rest.
In his great power God becomes like clothing to me;     he binds me like the neck of my garment.
He throws me into the mud,     and I am reduced to dust and ashes.
“I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer;     I stand up, but you merely look at me.
You turn on me ruthlessly;     with the might of your hand you attack me.
You snatch me up and drive me before the wind;     you toss me about in the storm.
I know you will bring me down to death,     to the place appointed for all the living.
“Surely no one lays a hand on a broken man     when he cries for help in his distress.
Have I not wept for those in trouble?     Has not my soul grieved for the poor?
Yet when I hoped for good, evil came;     when I looked for light, then came darkness.
The churning inside me never stops;     days of suffering confront me.
I go about blackened, but not by the sun;     I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.
I have become a brother of jackals,     a companion of owls.
My skin grows black and peels;     my body burns with fever.
My lyre is tuned to mourning,     and my pipe to the sound of wailing.

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