Marios Podcast

Episode 12 - The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob  

This is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I’m Mario Diaz.


We left our story with an amazing discussion of the sons of Leah and the change we see in her through the naming of her children and the Providence of God (which has been a theme all along our journey—this God who is never a victim of earthly circumstances but who is in complete control of every situation and whose wisdom, though beyond our full comprehension, is unimpeachable). We saw that she named his son Judah saying “this time I will praise the Lord,” and we noted that the promised Messiah will come from the tribe of Judah. 


Now, I just stated that because I did not want to jump ahead too far, but I know some of you are astute enough to be wondering about that. So, let me pause here and do a quick preview of what we will see as we near the end of our story with respect to the Messiah coming from the line of Judah. In Genesis 49, Jacob, near his death, calls to himself his 12 sons, representing the 12 tribes of Israel and he prophecies about their descendants. In verse 10, he addresses Judah and says:


The scepter shall not depart from Judah, 

nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, 

until tribute comes to him; 

and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.


The reference to the “scepter” and the “ruler’s staff” points us to kingship (King David will indeed come from the tribe of Judah—and there are numerous other prophecies associated with that link between David and the Messiah). But also the breath and scope of the promise reminds us of the eternal nature of Messiah’s Lordship. John’s vision of the last days in Revelations 5:5 notes, “behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered…” There is, of course much more to discover down that rabbit trail, so to speak, but we must get back to our story.


Genesis Chapter 30 shifts the focus to Rachel. She is jealous of Leah’s many sons and so she expresses that frustration towards Jacob who basically says take it over with God, I can’t do anything. So, Rachel implements the plan she has seen other in her family attempt, she will give her servant Bilhah to Jacob to bear her a son. So Bilhah conceives Dan and then Nephtali.


Then, we are told, Leah gets jealous and gives Jacob her servant Zilpah, and they bore Gad, and later Asher. This is what jealousy and envy will do to you, they will consume you, there is no end to the struggle it will spark within you. Beware of it- do not indulge in it.  As if that wasn’t enough, we are told the story of a time when Rachel asked Leah for some mandrakes (a type of Mediterranean berry) and an argument ensued that leads to Leah getting Jacob to herself for a time, and she bears another son who was called Issachar, and then a sixth son called Zebulun; and after that, a daughter named Dinah.


Rachel then had Joseph (a very important figure that we will briefly look at later on).

Children were viewed very different in ancient times. Remember, there is no Walmart in those days. You work for what you eat, daily. So children are workers. They are essential for survival.


So, it is at this point (when Jacob has 11 sons and a daughter) that he goes to Laban because he wants to branch out on his own. You will recall that Laban has dealt deceitfully with Jacob who has been the best thing that ever happened to Laban, as the Lord blessed him because of Jacob. Therefore Laban wants Jacob to stay and he tells him, name your price. Note that Jacob, after all those years was willing to depart with nothing, just his family (he had the promise of God that He would be with him), but now God will bless him with much wealth, even through Laban’s treacherous dealings.


Laban readily admits he has witnessed God’s hand upon Jacob (how could he not) and he will try to do anything to keep him there. So, Jacob tells him that, since the sheep are usually white, and the goats black, he will take the spotted or speckled ones, which are comparatively rare, for himself. 


Jacob’s reasoning seemed to be that Laban could never accuse him of stealing (when the Lord inevitably blessed him) since the natural marks of the cattle would tell the story. The proposal seemed great to Laban who knew he was at a great advantage, ordinarily speaking. And, treacherous as he was, he went and took the speckled and spotted animals and gave them to his son, keeping him separate from Laban’s flock, so as to put him at a disanvantage right out of the gate..


But no matter. God is with Jacob and he is confident on his breeding abilities. Therefore, he employs a variety of methods to ensure he breaded speckled and spotted sheep and lamb. And it happened that the stronger and best of the them went to Jacob, and the more feeble to Laban. Thus, his wealth increased greatly. 


God did that. We are told that explicitly in chapter 31. Here is how Jacob explained it starting in verse 6— he told Rachel and Leah:


You know that I have served your father with all my strength,  yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. But God did not permit him to harm me.  If he said, ‘The spotted shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore spotted; and if he said, ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore striped. Thus God has taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me. In the breeding season of the flock I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream that the goats that mated with the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled. Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am!’ And he said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that mate with the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. 


Jacob was explaining to Rachel and Leah why they needed to leave. The Lord was commanding him to leave.  But the account reveals to us some deep truths about the God of Jacob. He works in mysterious ways, for the benefit of those who love Him—those He has chosen to serve Him in various ways. Note how He uses the injustice against Jacob and the wrongdoings of many people, including Jacob’s own failures (remember he first came there fearing his brothers retaliation against his treachery)—God uses all of it to bless Jacob. 


Think of all that has happened. These are decades of hardship. But God remained faithful through it all. He will even redeem Rachel and Leah, who in a moment of candor show, starting in verse 14 their resentment against their father for “selling” them. This is not lost on them. They say all that Jacob has earned from Laban was simply the portion their father owed them. They are ready to leave with Jacob.


And this time Jacob will not ask for permission. He fled while Laban was away, and set for his father Isaac’s house in Canaan.  But, there was more trouble, unbeknown to Jacob, while they were leaving and Laban was away Rachel stole some household gods from her father. She knew Jacob served only Yahweh, so it is likely she did this in order to inflict damage on her father, more than anything else.


They set out and crossed the Euphrates before word reached Laban after three days. Proving Jacob’s wisdom in leaving in secret, Laban gathers a band of his people and goes after him for seven days, keeping close after him by the hill country of Gilead, we are told.


His intentions were not good, but then God appear to Laban in a dream to warn him not to say anything to Jacob, good or bad (verse 24). When he catches him, Laban asks him why he fled and tells him about the dream. Jacob says he was afraid, and understandably so. But then Laban asks about the stolen goods. Jacob, not knowing what Rachel has done, says “anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live.” He was sure he hadn’t taken anything.


Now Rachel, knowing what she had done, took the gods and put them in the camel’s seat and sat on them, telling his father she could not rise because “the way of women is upon me.” So Laban did not find them. Then Jacob explodes, thinking he was once again being unjustly treated and he vents on all he has endured under Laban’s hand. It was a lot. He concludes (v.41):


These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. 42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands and rebuked you last night.”


Laban then proposes and they indeed make a covenant, making a heap and a pillar. “This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness,” he says, “that I will not pass over this heap to you, and you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, to do harm.” And each go their separate ways.


Jacob’s new liberty is met with a supernatural occurrence starting in chapter 32, where Jacob is met with “the angels of God.” Upon seeing them, he says, “This is God’s camp!” And, that is all we are told about it. We must save all our questions for another occasion.


Jacob sends word ahead to his brother Esau. Remember, Esau has sworn to kill him once their father Isaac had died. Jacob sends word of where he has been and the he has acquired much wealth in order to find favor in Esau’s sight.


The response was not not exactly what he was hoping for. His brother send word that he is coming to meet him and nothing else. And oh, by the way, he is coming with 400 men. Yikes!


We are told Jacob was “greatly afraid and distressed.” He should be, right? We all would be. This is one of the great and sad things about sin in our lives. It shames us. It makes us afraid and unsure. We know what we deserve and we therefore lose our footing, feeling we will be exposed frauds. But the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, always takes the focus away from our feeble and sinful nature and puts in on His goodness and mercy and grace. We have hope because of His nature, not because of ours.


But in his fear, Jacob divides his camp in two, thinking if Esau attacks one camp, the other can escape. That’s how real this is to him. An, here is the other thing he does: he prays. And I want to read this prayer to you because it is a great example for us. Listen to this. This is Genesis 32:8-12. Jacob says:


“O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children.  But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’”


We can learn a lot from this prayer. Notice how Jacob leans on what the Lord has told Him. He says You, Lord of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, You told me to come to my brother. You have promised to do me good, therefore deliver me. He does not say, God, see how good I am, how righteous, pay me back. No. He pleads to God for His goodness, because He knows this God will not go back on His word. And from that He pleads for deliverance. This is why it is important for us to study the Scriptures and know what the Lord has said. His words are true. His words are sure. He does not relent on His promises. And when we pray we can lean on them and say, Lord deliver me, for you have said, x, y, z. This principle will help us in very practical ways. To make decisions, to intercede for our loved ones. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is still listening.


Note too, that Jacob still acts on his best judgments, even as He prays to God. We have seen over and over that this God will act through our actions, through the words and deeds of men to accomplish His purposes. So we need not be paralyzed as we wait on the Lord. 


Here Jacob takes a whole bunch of his animals and possessions and sends them ahead in waves to his brother, so that Esau will be receiving gifts from Jacob all the way as he gets to him, and his thinking is that Esau’s anger (if any still lingers) may be appease, that he may forgive him for his treachery.


Now, Jacob and his family are going to cross the Jabbok River, which is a river that flows from Amman and joins the Jordan River about 15 miles north of the Dead Sea. This is Eastern Palestine, so you can situate yourself on the map. They are returning to Paddan-aram to their extended family, now lead by his brother Esau. Jacob sends his family and all the possessions across the river and he says behind and we have this amazing encounter that will blow our minds, and we’ll end with this. As he is alone, and with all his family and possessions across the river… I’ll give it to you just as we read it in Genesis 32, starting on verse 24:


And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.”


This is a strange and mysterious event, but an incredibly significant one. See here that this is the place where the people of Israel are born. This figure who is presented first as a man, and throughout the account presented as representing God himself, right?, for He changes his name from Jacob to Israel, quote “for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” And Jacob, now Israel, names the place Peniel, quote “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.”


Now, no one has ever seen God (see John 1:8, or Moses’s “show me Your glory” encounter in Exodus 33:18). But there is a senses in which Jacob is encountering God through this figure. We are already familiar with this type of encounter. If you remember when Abraham had the encounter with the burning bush, the account told us “the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush.” That was Genesis 3. But then, Abraham proceeds to talk to “the Lord” as He is identified in Scripture. This was that amazing encounter where God identified Himself to Abraham as “I am that I am,” that’s verse 14 of chapter 3. So too here, we have this sort of agency where we are encountering God himself through this figure. The Prophet Hosea is helpful here, writing of Jacob:


In the womb he took his brother by the heel, 

and in his manhood he strove with God. 

He strove with the angel and prevailed; 

he wept and sought his favor. 

He met God at Bethel, 

and there God spoke with us

the Lord, the God of hosts, 

the Lord is his memorial name: 

“So you, by the help of your God, return, 

hold fast to love and justice, 

and wait continually for your God.”


That’s Hosea 12:3-6.


It helps us envision this quote “wrestling” with Jacob had all night. It says “he wept and sought his favor.” This is more than a physical “wrestling,.” This figure, at the desired time, simply touched Jacob’s hip and it came out of joint. So he clearly has more power than Jacob, but this “wrestling” was somehow necessary. It feels like this involves a deep prayerful encounter. It feels like this is precisely the reason why Jacob stayed back-to seek the Lord’s face in light of what he was about to face. Jacob met someone, and he was convinced that this figure was of divine origin because it could indeed bless him. He had the authority and power to do so. And he did.


Some see a pre-incarnate Jesus in these encounters were a reference to The Angel of the Lord of a “Man” appears in the old testament and speaks with the authority of God. Jesus told Philip in John chapter 14, when Philip asked to see the father, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (That’s verse 9 of John 14). So you can see a parallel. However we are not told this explicitly, so we take the Scripture at its word and just marvel at this amazing encounter. 


This is another confidence we can always have with Scripture, it is God’s way of revealing what He wants to reveal to us in the way He wants to reveal himself to us. Nothing more and nothing less. So, the things we are not told, there is no need for us to obsess over them. There are things God has chosen not to reveal and we can be at peace with that too.


Here we can learn a lot from Jacob. In distress, he sought the face of God. He sought His blessing based on the Lord’s goodness, not his own. He wrestled, wept and (in verse 26 of Chapter 32) he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”


Jacob wanted to know who this figure was, verse 29: “Then Jacob asked him, ‘Please tell me your name.’ But he said, ‘Why is it that you ask my name?’ And there he blessed him.”


And there it is, he receives the blessings.  Jacob names the place Peniel, saying, “I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” Jacob will leave a changed man, after this encounter. He now walks with a noticeable limp because of his hip, and spiritually, he is a new person. He has had an encounter with God, he’s been born again, has a new name, and will walk in the purpose God has chosen for him to establish a people, a new nation… Israel.


But we have seen God’s plan unfold for many generations now, haven’t we? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (the God of Israel) is great. He is mighty. His wisdom is unsearchable. His ways unstoppable. He is worthy of a struggle, of us wrestling like Jacob to receive His blessings. Count me in for that… hope He can count on you too.


More to come…

Episode 11 - The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob  

GAIJ Podcast Episode 11 

Welcome again friends, to a retelling of the story of God’s dealings with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Now in its final stages when we will dive right into the God of Jacob. My name is Mario Diaz of Marios Ministries, and I am so thankful God has brought you near those speakers right now to hear the Scriptures. The Bible tells us faith comes by hearing. So, I am praying for your heart and mind as you listen today. 

In this podcast we have left behind all the things we think we knew about God, that frankly, come from movies and fictional books and other extra biblical sources many times, and which can cloud our minds as to our relationship with God. 

This is important because we have discovered a God who is personal. Who is near those who seek and obey him. He is involved in our affairs and interacts with us. So, if you’re ready, I’m ready. Let’s get to it. 


After Jacob’s deception of Esau, Rebekah decided to send Jacob to her brother Laban’s place because Esau had vouched to kill him after his father passed away.  Isaac calls Jacob blesses him and asks him not to take a wife from the Canaanites. A few chapters back (in chapter 26: 34-35) we were told that Esau had taken two Hittite (descendants of Canaan) who “made life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah. So, Isaac asks Jacob to take a wife from one of Laban’s daughters. 

Esau, seeing this, decides he should take another wife that was not a Canaanite, perhaps in an effort to appease his father.  So he marries Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son. 

Jacob leaves towards Haran but as he is traveling it gets late and he decides to spend the night, put a rock under his head and then had a magnificent dream. 

In it, there was a ladder that went from earth to heaven, and the Angels of God were ascending and descending on it! The Lord stood on the top and said, “ I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south and in you and your offspring shall all the famlies of earth be blessed.” Behold I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 

Jacob wakes up and is stunned, How awesome is this place, he says. He calles it the gate of heaven, given what he saw. He took the stone he used for a pillo and set it up a as a pillar and poured oil over it, and called the name Bethel. And he makes a vow saying , “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up  for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.” 

Jacob keeps going and gets to a well outside a city and sees some shepherds with three flocks. He asks them if they know Laban, and they tell him his daughter, Rachel, who is also a shepherdess (how awesome is that!) is coming to water the sheep. She gets there and Jacob moves the rock covering the well and give water to Laban’s/Rebekah’s sheep. He greets her and explains who he is. She is ecstatic and goes to tell her father, who also comes greeting and rejoicing with Jacob. He stayed with them a month. 

Jacob had apparently been working hard for Laban as his guest, and Laban then tells him, listen, I know you are my blood, but I cannot keep taking advantage of you. Tell me what you want as your wages for the work you are doing. 

Now, Jacob still remembering the charge his father Isaac gave him, asked for Rachels hand in marriage. Laban had two daughters Leah was the first born and then Rachel. Jacob says he will work for seven years for her. 

Now, I know this is not how things are done in our day… 

Laban agrees. So Jacob serves for those seven years for Rebekah, and it says on chapter Genesis Chapter 29 verse 20 that “they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.” But when it came time for the wedding night Laban gave him his daughter Leah. And then in the morning he discovered what had happened. 

Now, some of us may be wonder how is that possible. There are several factors we can consider. It seemed tradition had something to do with it, the customary veil and clothing for the weeding night, it was late at night, after a feast where the drinking of wine is customary, and that also may have helped cloud Jacob’s vision and judgement. We also don’t know how much they resembled each other. In any case, Jacob rises and says to Laban, “what have you done? I served you for seven years. Why have you deceived me?” 

Now, the irony might have escaped Jacob, but it can’t escape us. Here is Jacob, his very reason for being there is the deception he perpetrated on his father, and now he is going to cry foul when deception is committed against him. Perhaps a lesson was being given there, in mercy? 

Laban for his part says, sorry, “it is not so done on our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.” And he says he will give him Rebekah also, if he serves him for another 7 years. 

And Jacob agrees to this. He loves her, so he will fight for her… 

The chapter also lets us know Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. 

This is understandable. But Leah will have a tough predicament. Who will love her? The next verse tells us that God did not forget Leah. Verse 31, “When the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.” 

Let us praise this God. A God who does not forget us, in our afflictions, in our troubles. Is there some heartache within you today. You can trust the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. All may have forgotten, but he has not. He cares. You can trust Him. He is the same God today, as it was then. He was the same God to Leah, as He was to Haggar. You remember? She called him El Roi, the God who sees me. When she was destitute, completely alone, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in His Providence saw to it that she was provided for—there are always longings within man’s heart. 

We just need to open our eyes, in the middle of our affliction, to see His love—God’s compassionate care for us. We all struggle. Everyone person needs to feel noticed. Here you have Rachel who has her husband’s undivided love and affection, yet cannot have children. She longs for what Leah has, she is fruitful in bearing children, and yet longs for her husband’s love, each wishes for what the other has. Both missing God’s unbelievable care for them. His love is present at all times, yet we miss it so often. 

We too long for what we don’t have, and, if we don’t get these desires under control they can turn our hearts bitter to the point that all joy will be drained out of us. A word of caution. 

Notice the change that will slowly happen in Leah. We see it through the naming of her children. And we will finish with that incredible fact of her fourth child and the incredible Providence of God. 

Leah gives birth to her firstborn Reuben (which means “see a son”), “Because,” she says, “the Lord has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.” 

She then gives birth to her second, Simeon (which means to be heard) because she was starting to see that the Lord was taking care of her. She conceived a third time and gave birth to Levi (meaning “joined”) saying “Now this time my husband will be attached to me.” So you see where her focus is on each name. 

But then she conceived again, her fourth, and this time something different happened. This time she said, I will praise the Lord. She called him Judah (which means praise). 

Now her focus has shifted. No longer putting her husband first, she now focuses on thanksgiving to that God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who has been sustaining her all along. 

This is really an amazing thing. It is hard to express. If you have studied Scripture at all, that name Judah, immediately jumped out at you. But even if you haven’t heard of it before, just with what we have learned today, if I were to give you a guess to pick from Leah’s sons, from which would you say the Messiah will come? Would you pick Reuben (see a son), Levi (meaning joined), Simeon (to be heard), or Judah (meaning praise--- to God, that is). 

That’s right, the Christ, the Messiah, will come from the line of Judah. He is called the Lion of Judah. 

Friends, I hope your heart just jumps with joy and amazement at what we are reading. If you take this God to heart, you will start to understand that your life matters. What you do matters. What you say matters. Who you worship matters. 

My prayer is that your heart if filled up with thanksgiving so that your cup runeth over, as the psalmist wrote, for there is power in the praise and thanksgiving of our Lord. There is freedom and peace. That calm and enjoyment your heart is seeking in so many other things, is found in the Lion of Judah, the praise of God. 

Much to think about… until next time.

Episode 10 - The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob  

This is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. A podcast re-telling the story of the patriarchs of Scripture, which, practically speaking, helps us to get to know the one true God, Yahweh, for who He is, free from the preconceived notions and desires of the world. 

We’ve already seen amazing things about this God. He is Sovereign, that is, He is in charge. He is Faithful, over and above our unfaithfulness. He is Holy. He is unpredictable. He will do things that we, with our human ideas of what God should be like, think God would never do. Because, we’ve discovered that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob does not think as we do. His timing, we’ve seen this all throughout Abraham and Isaac’s story is nothing like ours. Nothing like ours! Can there be any doubt of this, after all we have seen? But one thing is indisputable: He is trustworthy. His timing, His plan are better than ours. He is perfect. 

Are you ready for more? 

Here we go. 


In the last episode, we went almost through all of Isaac’s life, which is a surprisingly short account in the Genesis narrative. Isaac’s account turns into Jacob’s very quickly. But today there is one last significant episode that we want to spend some time unpacking. 

In Genesis 27 we read of Isaac’s blessing over Jacob. 

It is a very twisted and sort of sad story. Here’s what happened. Isaac is in his last days, he is blind and he called on Esau, the older son to hunt for game and prepare for him some food that he may bless him before he dies. 

Now Rebekah was listening and heard what Isaac had said to Esau. So, Rebekah tells Jacob to bring her some goats from the flock and she will prepare some food, just like Isaac likes it, that Jacob may bring it to Isaac, so that the blessing may fall upon Jacob, instead of Esau. 

Now Jacob objects to it, not because of the deception really, but because he believes he’ll get caught. “Behold my brother Esau is a hairy man,” he tells his mother in verse 11, “and I am a smooth man. Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him and bring a curse upon myself and not a blessing.” 

We should note, here as you measure your words before this Yahweh God, that blessings and curses are real things. I know most people take them as a joke or some sort of superstition. But this is not so, do not be fooled. Especially if you are a Christian, understand that the Scriptures call us to speak the truth. Let your yes be yes and your no be no, said Jesus in Matthew 5:37. Our Father in Heaven hears us, and so we should be circumspective about our words—our promises to God, and things like blessings. 

This is a very profound truth and we do not have the time to get into it here but note that we walk by the Spirit, and should invoke these according to the will of God. Which brings us back to the story here. 

Because recall that the pronouncement of God had been made since the baby’s births. The older shall serve the younger. Remember also that Esau had already sold his birthright (this very blessing, if you will) for a plate of stew—that’s how little he thought of it. This is the reason why the writer of the book of Hebrews cautions us not to be like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. That’s on Hebrews 12:16. 

So, what is about to transpire, is happening under a mountain of context. 

Back to the story, Rebekah tells Jacob, “Let your curse be on me, my son,” and pleads with him to obey her. So he does. 

The scheme is elaborate, she prepares the food, dress him in his brother’s garments, and even took the skin of the goats and puts it on his hands and the smooth part of his neck so that if Isaac touched him, he would feel the hairs, like that of Esau’s instead of Jacob. Very mischievous. 

Does this not sound like Abraham and Sarah trying to help God keep his promise? We are not told why Rebekah is doing this, but we can sort of see that she might have held on to that promise from her birth, and favoring Jacob, decides she needs to take action to make sure he is the one leading the family going forward. As we have already learned, God does not need our help to keep his promises, despite why we might think, and there are always painful consequences for our unbelief. 

But Jacob takes the food to Isaac then, who is a bit suspicious that he was able to hunt for game so fast. But Jacob says, “Because the Lord has granted me success.” 

An incredibly foolish thing to say, really. But this is what happens, and everyone listening knows this. You start lying and the lies will have to continue. Lying will burry you because it is never-ending. So Jacob will have consequences for what is about to happen. You might have felt sympathy for him at first because he is being forced by his mother to do this, but you can see how he is complicit, even now to the point of invoking the Lord’s name into the mix. Not good. 

So Isaac indeed reaches out to touch him, and he does feel hairy like Esau. Rebekah’s plan with the goat skin is working. Isaac notices the voice is more like Jacobs too. So he asks him point-blank, “are you my son Esau?” “I am,” says Jacob. 

So, Isaac eats, later smell Esau’s garments and is ready then to bless him. 

Starting on verse 27: 

“See, the smell of my son 
    is as the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed! 
 May God give you of the dew of heaven 
    and of the fatness of the earth 
    and plenty of grain and wine. 
 Let peoples serve you, 
    and nations bow down to you. 
Be lord over your brothers, 
    and may your mother's sons bow down to you. 
Cursed be everyone who curses you, 
    and blessed be everyone who blesses you!” 

I hope you hear there then what had been prophesied from the beginning. Jacob would be Lord over his brother. 

As soon as Jacob had left, Esau came in with his catch, and the scheme is exposed. Isaac word’s are important, he asks, “Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed.” He shall be blessed, he says. He cannot take it back. 

Esau is distraught, understandably, it says “he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!” 

They, of course, realize it was Jacob. The account tells us then that Esau hated Jacob. Interestingly, he says Jacob had cheated him twice. But that is not quite true, is it? The first time, he willingly gave up his birthright, not anticipating the real-world consequences of undervaluing his position as the oldest. 

“Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father,” he says. 

So here receives something: 

“Behold, away from the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be, 
    and away from the dew of heaven on high. 
By your sword you shall live, 
    and you shall serve your brother; 
but when you grow restless 
    you shall break his yoke from your neck.” 

There is hope there. He shall break his yoke from his neck, one day. But he will serve his brother, whom he now hates. He hates him so much that he in fact says, “The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” 

Now, when Rebekah hears this she urges Jacob to flee to her brother Laban’s place in Haran, “until your brother’s anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him.” 

Here are the consequences of taking matters into your own hands and trying to manipulate God’s will for your life and that of yours. God has given you a promise regarding your children? It is not up to you to bring those about. It is up to you to trust God. 

For this will be a real loss to Rebekah. Her son will leave and not return until he is married with kids. It will actually be 21 years before these brothers reunite. 

We will continue the story, but it is worth pointing out now the consequences of our unbelief. Jacob will lose his mother and father and brother, for the foreseeable future. He will carry this burden as he continues his journey. 

Interestingly, we are not told in the Scriptures precisely when Rebekah dies. We are only told in Genesis 49:30 that her remains were eventually buried at the Cave of Machpelah, near Mamre, along with Abraham and his wife Sarah. 

So, it is possible, perhaps even likely that Jacob never saw her mother again. And, if he did, as we mentioned, is going to be a long time where Jacob is going to go and get married and have children, and all that will be a hard consequence of their choice to deceive Isaac. 

We’ll get into the story of Jacob more in detail next time, but for now let us notice that God’s plans, the plans of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob cannot be derailed. Even when we act contrary to His principles, he will redeem our actions, and they too will work to bring about his purposes for your life. 

How patient is this God, who puts up with all our tomfoolery and lovingly waits for our understanding! 

As with Abraham, Jacob’s life will be redeemed, he is not cast off because of his mistakes. God will fulfill the promise of Abraham, through him, and He will learn to trust in the God of his father and grandfather. 

Therefore, we need not be distraught or disheartened because of the mistakes we’ve made in our lives. For we have studied the Scriptures and we know that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is not a God of rancor, but a God of love, patience and understanding towards His people. 

Now, He will teach us, no doubt about that. So we will feel the painful consequences of our actions, but He will see us through all of them, and teach us to trust in him more fully, until the fullness of time has pass, when His purposes will unravel in our lives completely. 

Next time, the God of Jacob emerges, you won’t want to miss it. 


Episode 9 - The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob  

Welcome to Episode 9 of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We stand at a pivotal point in our story. We have now transitioned from Abraham to Isaac, so we are so glad you are joining us at this point. But that means that, if this is your first episode, you’ve missed quite a bit and it would benefit you immensely to go back and start from Episode 1 to hear the story of Abraham. 

You could also pick it up here and then go back, not a big deal. I am confident it will be fruitful and enjoyable for you. My name is Mario, glad to make your acquaintance. If you have comments or questions, feel free to find us on Facebook @MariosMinistries. You can definitely leave us a comment there or visit our website at 

Let’s go. 


When we left off, Isaac had married Rebekah, after the death of his mother, Abraham’s wife Sarah. And now we start on Genesis chapter 25 with the account that Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah and she bore him 6 children and 10 grandchildren. Then we are told he died at the ripe old age of 175 years. He was buried with Sarah in the tomb he had purchased for her. 

We are then given the descendants of Ishmael, Abraham and Hagar’s son, and we are told he lived 137 years before he died. It is worth noting for future studies that his descendants settled, we are told in verse 18 of chapter 25, “over against all his kinsmen.” So, some of the conflict we will read about in Scripture later, are born out of this arrangement. 

Then we get to Isaac, through whom the Abrahamic covenant – the promise God had made—will be carried through. Isaac was 40 when he married Rebekah, and we get an interesting parallel right away because we are told that Isaac prayed for Rebekah, his wife, because she was barren—she couldn’t have children. 

As you will remember, this was the struggle of his parents, early on in their walk with the Lord, when they were given the promise of many descendants, but they were not able to have children, so it is interesting to contrast how the two handled the situation, at least initially. 

You see Abraham believed God, which was huge, under the circumstances. But both he and Sara, struggled with the infertility issue a bit, to the point that they fell into that fool’s errand of trying to help God keep His promise by making Abraham have a child with Hagar, Sarah’s maidservant. And, as we’ve discussed, much pain ensued from that misguided decision. 

But here we are told now that Isaac prayed to God and, “the Lord granted his prayer” – verse 21. Note, it was not an instantaneous prayer either. Isaac was 40 when he married Rebekah and will be 60 by the time she gives birth. Therefore, we can calculate 19 plus years of praying before Isaac’s prayer for his wife is ultimately answered. 

I hope that is encouraging to some of you out there. Maybe you who have been praying a long time for something, and you must realize that God’s timing is not human timing. We saw what he did in the life of Abraham, and here too we have in the case of Isaac, God waiting for His timing in answer to Isaac’s prayer. So don’t give up. We know for a fact that God hears our prayers and that He loves us, that He will keep His Words—His promises—so we can trust Him in His timing too. 

Rebekah gets pregnant then, and we are told the children (plural) struggle within her. So yes, surprise, surprise, there is more than one baby in her womb.  But it looks like the kicks and movements within her felt so out of the ordinary, that she inquires of the Lord about it. 

Let’s not miss that, this is admirable, once again. God will answer her, and it shows us that God cares about everything in our lives. We do well when we inquire of Him, instead of what most of us do, which is complain to God about most things. 

The Lord tells Rebekah, starting on verse 23, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.” 

The matter is revealed further then. Rebekah indeed, has twins. The older is called Esau. The younger they named Jacob, and even as they came out of the womb, we are told Jacob was holding on to Esau’s heel, further symbolizing the struggle God had explained to Rebekah. 

This revelation by the Lord then will weigh in in the hearts and minds of, at least Rebekah, though we can safely assume she shared the word with her husband. I think that is a safe assumption for us to make. 

We are told the boys grow up and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents—which means he was a man of the house, if you will. So, in that sense, we can see how Esau became close with his dad, while Jacob gravitated towards his mother. We are told Isaac loved eating of Esau’s game, which will be important for the next event we read about at the endo of this chapter. 

It is a strange account that leaves you asking many questions, perhaps because we do not fully understand the weight of the birthright idea at that time, but here is what happens. Jacob was cooking a stew. Esau came from the field, and he was exhausted. Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of the stew, for I am exhausted.”  Because of the response, we sort of figure that he was in bad shape. If you’ve ever been outdoors and run out of water or food, you might understand that things can get pretty desperate. One day, I’ll tell you the story of my friend Ken and I doing the Appalachian Trail. 

But that’s a story for another occasion. Esau is desperate then, ask for stew, and Jacob, seizes on the opportunity and tells him, well, if you want some stew, sell me your birthright. 

Now, again, lots of questions: was that “a thing” back then, the selling of the birthright? That is, was it common back then. What are the effects? Why does Jacob do this? Was he aware of the promise God had given her mother? We have already been told Rebekah and Jacob were close, so it would not be a stretch to think that Rebekah had laid it upon his heart about his destiny. So, maybe. 

The answers to this question do not seem to be determinative, though, so let’s continue reading. Esau, does not seem to think it a big deal, for he tells him, “I am about to die here, of what use is a birthright to me?” 

Jacob makes him swear. Esau does, and Jacob gives him the stew. 

Now, thankfully, in order to understand this event, we have help from other passages in Scripture, which is an essential principle for us to understand. We read Scripture in light of Scripture. I think we might have mentioned that before. So, for this account we have help from this very interesting passage in Hebrews 12:15-17 where the writer tells us: 

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears. 

Wow. So, there you have it. Note how it connects this story with God’s grace and guarding against allowing that “root of bitterness” to spring up on us. That is what Esau had allowed. And that’s why he made the choice that he made. 

Some of you are there right now. You can feel the “root of bitterness” within you right now, and I want to sign the alarm for you: DANGER! We make bad decisions when we allow bitterness in our heart. Therefore, repent, come to the LORD, the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob immediately, while there is still time, before you make a choice you will regret. Do not be like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 

Note that the passage compares what Esau did to sexual immorality. Because isn’t that exactly the way that many of our sexual immorality comes about? A husband or wife feels neglected, perhaps unappreciated, lets bitterness enter his or her heart and now is ripe for the picking, as they say, in danger of making a choice he or she will regret for the rest of his life. Many throw away their entire lives for a single meal (a night of pleasure), an act to blow off steam, to relax and have a good time. Only those times are very short, and the regret lasts a lifetime. 

Do not be like Esau, Scripture tells us. Do not neglect what is eternally good and pleasurable, for a fleeting moment of perceived release. That sort of “freedom” enslaves. 

Certainly, there is much more to say, but we, unfortunately cannot stay here for long, so I commend you this story for further meditation and study. The Hebrews passage also gave us a glimpse of what is to happen, that Esau will indeed regret his decision, but we’re not quite there yet, so let’s keep going. 

We are told next that there was a famine in the land and Isaac went to Gerar to Abimelech, the king of the Philistines— ostensibly to overcome the famine. 

We’ve already dealt with Abimelech of Gerar, the king of the Philistines before in Genesis chapter 20. He was one of the kings who took Sarah before realizing she was Abraham’s wife, but, because of the passage of time, it is likely that this is a different Abimilech, perhaps his son? There are several characters named Abimelech in Scripture. 

At any rate, the Lord appeared to Isaac and speaks to him. Let’s read what He said (this is Genesis chapter 26:2-5): 

“Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father.  I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” 

First of all, note God’s faithfulness to Abraham. He will bless Isaac and his offspring for Abraham’s faithfulness. Think about that, you parents out there, the sort of impact you can have in your family and children, if you are faithful to God. 

Remember our term, this is the Abrahamic Covenant still being unfolded through God’s amazing grace, and the promises of God, again being found unshakeable from generation to generation. You can count on His Word, 100 percent of the time. 

But he is not to go to Egyp. So, Isaac settles in Gerar. And, you won’t believe what we read about as he settles there, the men of the area ask him about his wife Rebekah, and guess what he decides to do, he was afraid, so he said she was his sister. 

Seriously? He’s going to follow his dad on that? Well, yes, apparently. And not surprisingly if we are honest with our own human nature. Yes, we will fall in the same hole, we saw our father fall. The many promises we made to ourselves not to be like them, notwithstanding. Right? 

Rebekah was beautiful, so that we know what is going to happen. But thankfully, Abimelech was astute enough to notice something. Verse 8 of chapter 26 tells us that when he saw the two of them laughing together, he knew something was up. So he called up Isaac and said, “Look man, don’t give me none of this she’s my sister business, she is your wife” (he didn’t quite speak like that, but you get the idea). Isaac confesses and Abimelech says, “what have you done, you could have brought guilt upon us.” Which is interesting, right. These people, even though they do not know or serve the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they know that certain things are wrong. 

Which is something many philosophers, thinkers and theologians have explored. How this moral law written in our hearts, points us to a moral law giver—to God. Yet another thing for you to think about. 

But here, Abimelech let’s everyone know that no one is to touch Rebekah as she is Isaac’s wife. The Lord blesses Isaac, as Abraham was, in his time in Gerar.  He became very rich, and the Philistines envied him. So, they filled up all the wells that they used, even the ones that Abraham had dug up, and Abimelech ultimately asks him to leave for apparently Isaac had become more powerful than their entire kingdom. 

He leaves and settles in the Velley of Gerar and has to re-dig up the wells that Abraham had dug up during his time there and that the Philistines had covered up. But when the water came out, the herdsmen of Gerar, fought them saying the water was theirs. So, Isaac moved and dug a new well, but they fought him about that one too. 

So, he moved and dug a third well, and was finally left in peace to use it. He called Rehoboth, saying, “For now the Lord has made room for us and we shall be fruitful in the land.” 

Then he went to Beersheba where the Lord appeared to him that same night he got there and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham's sake.” So, they built an altar there and dug another well. 

Interestingly, Abimilech and his advisors where indeed very afraid of Isaac’s prosperity because they follow after Isaac and ask that he make a pact with them not to harm them. Isaac does. 

Finally, we are told that when Esau was 48 years old, he took Judith and Basemath, daughters of two Hittites to be his wives. Not a wise move that we are quickly told made life “bitter” for Isaac and Rebekah. 

And there is that word again, I believe the Scriptures are sounding the alarm on for us today: bitterness. Do not let it take root in you, fight it with all your heart. Trust in God, full trust in His Sovereignty and goodness and love for us, is the answer. “What can man do to me?” sung David in his Psalms, and it is affirmed for us again in Hebrews 13:6, “we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” Rest in that. And don’t fret. Do not let your anxieties rule, leave them at the foot of the Cross. 

One last event at the end of Isaac’s life will mark the course of history. It’s an important one, we don’t want to rush it. So, we’ll live it for next time. It begins in chapter 27, if you want to study ahead before we meet again. 

It should be fun. See you then.

Episode 8 - The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob  

Back and better than ever, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob podcast continues. Episode 8 on the way. Are you ready? We pretty much finished chapter 22 of Genesis last time, so we’re ready to make the transition from Abraham to Isaac – a monumental transition, really. 

As always, I’ll encourage you, if this is your first time listening, go back and listen from the beginning so you can get the whole picture of this amazing story. 

And remember more resources, like this podcast, are available on Also, can I trouble you to leave a review of the podcast on your favorite platform, that helps get the word out. The other thing that helps more than anything actually, is for you to share this podcast with your family and friends. We would be so grateful. 

The reason this is being recorded is to be a help to those who God would have listen, that they may be strengthen and encouraged in their faith as they meet face to face with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So, the more people we can get it too, the better. 

With that said, let’s get started! 


Last episode, we finished the amazing story of Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac. A truly inspiring account of the faithfulness of God. It is a story that looks forward toward the ultimate sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, on the cross. 

To put even more emphasis on it, take one last look at the end of Genesis 22. The conclusion of the episode with the sacrifice of Isaac is that the angel of the Lord calls out to Abraham a second time and says: 

By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice. 

So, you not only hear there, again, the affirmation of God’s promise to Abraham – He will multiply his offspring— but note that “in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” How is this possible? As we have discussed, the Christ will eventually come through Abraham’s offspring, through whom we are all saved. If you take a look at Luke 3, starting on verse 23, you’ll read the genealogy of Jesus and Luke will trace it from Joseph, all the way back through David and Jacob, Isaac to Abraham, and even all the way to Adam. It is all significant. And you can understand it better now, after getting acquainted with the God of Abraham and His faithful promises. I hope those New Testament passages take on a new meaning for you. 

Okay, time to move on now, we read that Abraham was told about his brother Nahor having children with Milcah his wife. A number of his children are mentioned, including Bethuel who fathered Rebecka. That is a name we don’t know about yet, but we will. It relates to one of today’s story, so I want to note it for here. 

Chapter 23 greets us with the death of Sarah. She lived 127 years, the text says, and she died at Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan (in Israel today, in the West Bank as it is known). We are told Abraham weeps for Sarah and sets out to find a fitting gravesite for his beloved. Recall that Abraham is sojourning in the land of the Hittites, so he asks them for a piece of land, and we have this sort of a funny exchange where they want to just give it to him, but he wants to buy it from them. They go back and forth, but Abraham insists, and he pays Ephron the son of Zohar four hundred shekels of silver for the cave of Machpelah, where he ends up burying Sarah. 

This is an important Biblical site that is still around to this day, Abraham will be buried here also, as will be Isaac and his wife and Jacob and his wife. The site has been transformed at different points in history. Herod the Great built a big structure around it. There was a church built inside that was later converted into a mosque by the Muslims in the 7th century, and then recaptured by the Crusaders in the 12th century, then again by Muslims. But anyway, you can still visit this site today, although the actual tomb is in the cave beneath the place that is open to the public. 

These facts are always encouraging to note because they remind us, we are reading history here, not fiction. Always remember that and remind your children and grandchildren of it. 

Abraham is left alone now, but he is very old also. If Sarah is 127, he is probably 137, given their ages at the birth of Isaac (90 and 100). So, he’s thinking that his time is coming and therefore wants to make sure Isaac marries a woman from his own tribe, and not a Canaanite from the place they are currently living, so he makes his servant swear to him that he would go back to his homeland and try to get a wife for his son. 

The servant is a bit reluctant at first, “Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?” he tells Abraham (verse 5 of chapter 24) Abraham said to him, “See to it that you do not take my son back there. The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘To your offspring I will give this land,’ he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there.” 

Note again, Abraham is walking by faith. The woman will have a choice. To be sure there are societal pressures that force women to make tough choices at the time, but there is something deeper here than the simplistic calculations of our modern society. Never listen to those who want to sit in judgement of the Word of God, from their supposed enlighten modern or post-modern point of view. These so-called experts are usually the most blind of all teachers. 

We do well to approach Scripture always with humility. With a sort of fear and trembling due to the Lord of the Universe. 

Abraham’s servant swears, takes some significant resources, camels, servants and gifts, and then departs on his journey to find a wife for Isaac. Where is he going? He is going to go to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor—remember the name? — yes, that is Abraham’s brother, to whom we were introduced earlier (at the end of chapter 22) who had born children along with his wife Milcah. 

Now, you can see how this is a crazy endeavor. How is he going to even approach anybody, he doesn’t know anyone in the area, and he is just showing up unannounced. Just about the only thing he has going for himself is the appearance of being respectable, given the possessions he is carrying around, but everything else really seems to be working against him. What is he going to do? This is a desperate situation. Where is he going to turn for help? 

Well, here’s a great testimony, this servant has seen the faithfulness of the God of Abraham, and so he turns to that God for help. 

“O Lord, God of my master Abraham, [he prays in verse 12 of chapter 24] please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Let the young woman to whom I shall say, ‘Please let down your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.” 

Ladies and gentlemen, faith will carry this servant through. He will have success, just as Abraham had affirmed through faith. He will complete this impossible task. The God of Abraham is the God of Abraham’s servant. 

And never lose sight, this is your God too. Or I hope you will recognize Him as such, if you haven’t. This Amazing God who can do the impossible is still looking out for his people, performing marvelous deeds to the glory of His name. 

Perhaps some other time I’ll tell you what He has done in my life. For He has done the impossible in my life too. This God is real. He is near and present at every turn. We are not talking theory here, but the true life that can be yours today. 

Let’s keep reading: 

Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her water jar on her shoulder. 

He, he… isn’t this exciting? 

The young woman was very attractive in appearance, a maiden whom no man had known. She went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up. Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jar.” 

What do you think is going to happen? 

She said, “Drink, my lord.” And she quickly let down her jar upon her hand and gave him a drink. When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” So, she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw water, and she drew for all his camels.  

C’mon friends, are you all reading the same thing I’m reading?! This is… this is mind-blowing. He just prayed for this. I mean giving the man water that’s one thing, but to volunteer to water the camels also, that’s something else. 

She’s beautiful, she’s not married, she’s doing this incredible charitable deed, she doesn’t need to do this, she doesn’t owe anything to this servant. 

What I hope you see is that the God of Abraham and his servant is at work. That’s what we are witnessing here. So, stand back and prepared to be amazed! 

After she finished, he gives her some gifts and asks, “whose daughter are you?” And you can only imagine his face when she tells him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” 

So, let’s revisit this again. I’m sorry, but, this servant shows up unannounced to a place he doesn’t know, prays to God, talks to the first woman that comes by and she does exactly what he prayed for, she is beautiful, unmarried and she is from his master’s household. 

You may call that coincidence and go on your way. But I join this servant as he (in verse 26) “bowed his head and worshiped the Lord,” saying, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his steadfast love and his faithfulness toward my master.” 

I am tempted to stop there… to leave us marveling at our God. I hope you take some time to mediate on this. 

But I do want to finish the story. 

The servant can’t believe it, in the next verse he says, “As for me, the Lord has led me in the way to the house of my master’s kinsmen.” 

He knows he hasn’t done anything, he just showed up, walking by faith and God took him right where he needed to be at the exact time he needed to be there. 

Do you dare pray this way? This is not testing God, I know many of us have tried that, that is not the same prayer. Jesus refused to do that in the dessert when the devil tried to get him to put God to the test. We cannot do that. We will be frustrated and disappointed every time. 

This is someone sent by God on an impossible task that demands trust, and actually walking in that trust, desperately praying for God’s help and guidance through faith.  God will come to your aid every time in answer to such prayer. 

This servant is not out of the woods yet though. He’s got to go and talk to the family still. And he hasn’t even told Rebekah. She may refuse to go. Common sense says she will. He, he… 

But for God, ha? 

He goes to her household, meets the family, dines with them, and finally tells the story that has brought him there. Can you imagine? 

Just put yourself as a dad or a mom hearing this craziness from a man you just met, conveniently talking to you about your beautiful daughter. I mean, I have two daughters, people… this is not sitting well on my stomach right now. 

But you see, those are the calculations of men. I know these calculations; they don’t add up. They never will. 

The problem is that they are not reality. There is a spiritual reality that the world ignores, and because of that, it can never experience righteousness. You know what that means. It’s just what is right and good and excellent. In order for us to experience that peace and joy, we must walk by the Spirit, not by sight. Rebekah and her family must be guided in this way right now, or they will understandably reject this man as an unstable lunatic. 

But he is not. Do you see what we are talking about? 

If you have rejected God up until now, because things just don’t add up, and your parents or Cristian friends sound like crazy people, what if they are not? What if what they are telling you is the truth? 

I beg you to come and see, taste that the Lord is good. 

Laban, Rebekah’s brother, and Bethuel, her father, seem to be at a loss, but they believe it is from the Lord, so they agree. Listen to how they respond: “The thing has come from the Lord; we cannot speak to you bad or good.  Behold, Rebekah is before you; take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master's son, as the Lord has spoken.” 

You can hear the fear of the Lord in them, but it’s like they don’t like it, they won’t speak good or bad about it. 

So, it is not surprising that then next day they are a bit apprehensive about it. They ask the servant to remain with them for a bit longer. Abraham’s servant sort of feels what is happening and then ask them not to delay them, so they finally turn to what they should have done in the first place, Let’s ask Rebekah what she wants to do. 

And they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go.” So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham's servant and his men.  And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, 

“Our sister, may you become 
    thousands of ten thousands, 
and may your offspring possess 
    the gate of those who hate him!” 

Then Rebekah and her young women arose and rode on the camels and followed the man. 

What an amazing testimony of the goodness of God and none of them will regret trusting God. Not the family, nor the servant, nor Abraham or Isaac, and not Rebekah who will be loved by Isaac, note that on verse 67. When we are faithful to God, He is always sure to bless us in ways unimaginable. The God of Abraham is faithful and good. Put your trust in him today.

Episode 7 - The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob  

Hello there. Mario here, continuing our adventure to discover the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Last episode was epic! I hope you had a chance to listen. If this is your first time listening, I suggest you go back and binge-listen all six episodes from the beginning to get caught up. We’ve seen some amazing things through this journey, none more amazing than God delivering on his 25-year promise to Abraham to give him a son, Isaac. 

We have come to know the God of Abraham – a faithful, caring, purposeful God that will not relent on His word. So now, are you ready to start the transition from the God of Abraham to the God of Isaac? 

Let’s do this! 


We left off on Genesis chapter 21, where “The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, [He] did to [her] as he had promised… Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age… [Abraham was 100 years old when it happened, and]….  Abraham called the name of his son… Isaac. 

Both Sarah and Abraham stand in awe of what God has done. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is Awesome! He gave them a child in their old age, demonstrating His omnipotence and Sovereignty – His limitless power and control over all things. 

Now, starting in verse 8 of chapter 21, we hear of troubling story, where on the day that Isaac was weaned, that’s when a child starts eating solid food and detaches from the mother’s milk, Abraham threw a feast and Sarah heard Ishmael laughing.  Ishmael was the son of Abraham and Hagar, as you remember, the slave woman who had bore a child to Abraham (we read that story back in Episode 3, when we looked at chapter 16). 

That was Abraham and Sarah’s scheme to help God fulfill his promise and to this day that sin continues to plague them. Now Sarah’s resentment towards Hagar and Ishmael spurs up again at this party. So, she tells Abraham to get rid of Hagar and Ishmael. 

Abraham does not like this idea and was greatly distressed, but He hears from God once again. God tells him (starting in verse 12), “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named.  And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.” 

Note that phrase, “because he is your offspring.” Again, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is faithful. He has promise to multiply Abraham’s offspring. And even though Abraham sinned in bringing Ishmael into the world, God will not relent on His promise.  Ishmael is not the son of the promise, but God will still multiply his offspring because of His Word (His promise) to Abraham. 

Scripture tells us Abraham obeys the Lord and rises up early, gives bread and water to Hagar and sends her and Ishmael out of their camp, into the wilderness of Beersheba. 

This could not have been easy for Abraham. Just imagine sending your son away like that. I still remember the day we sent my brother away to serve in the military. It was an early morning too, while it was still dark. And it was tough on me, let alone my mother and father. 

But to consider how Hagar must have felt just breaks your heart. 

Now, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is the God of Hagar too. She knows Him— knows Him intimately. Remember, she tried to run away from Sarah once before. Remember? In that episode, Hagar met with “El Roi.” Remember what that name meant? — the God who Sees Me” 

This is kind of the point of this whole exercise. As you face life, you must draw on your knowledge of, and experience with, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to face your own trials. When you feel alone, betrayed, forgotten, hurt, remember “El Roi.” Remember what He has done in the past. Remember His love and faithfulness. When you’ve messed up, remember how He brought about Abraham’s blessings, in spite of his failures and shortcomings. 

This God is real. He is at work in our world today. He is working in Your life. Let us act accordingly. Let us trust in Him, fully. 

The wilderness was not kind to Hagar. She comes to a point where the supplies she had were gone and she thought both she and the child would die. So, she puts him under one of the bushes and goes and sits away from him so as not to see him die. Again, when we read something like this, it is just a few lines here in chapter 22, but we must pause and consider the agony, the desperation of the moment. Put yourself in Hagar’s position. Perhaps you’re going through that kind of pain and desperation today. I hope you feel God’s peace and comfort, even as you listen to this. 

Consider that these examples in Scriptures have been kept throughout the generations for your benefit, and to the glory of God. So, take your time to think about what you are reading in Scripture before moving on to the next thing. 

Because here God intervenes in the situation once gain. He is “El Roi.” He sees Hagar, and He cares. But often times it is when we are at that point of despair that we are ready to receive God’s help. Therefore, consider and remember it for your own trials. 

Don’t ask me why that is, God could have intervened with Hagar before this point. Perhaps our self-reliance must be completely destroyed. We are very proud as humans. But whatever the case, we must learn (by the grace of God) that He does not forget. He is aware of your circumstances and will come to your aid. Do not cast away your faith as you become weary in your journey. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is for you, if you have put your trust in Him. Never doubt Him. 

Can I take a parenthesis here to say this is the key to contentment? This has been the theme of what the Lord has been teaching me in this season of my life. The key to inner peace— to true freedom. The key is to keep our minds on Christ— to act in every way in His confidence. If He is in control, why should I grumble about anything. 

He who has ears to hear let him hear… 

Back to our story. God steps in. Starting in verse 17, we read, “God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, ‘What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is.  Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.’ Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water.”  

What a miraculous, merciful turn of events! They are both saved. And the story tells us God was with Ishmael, that he grew in the wilderness of Paran where he became an expert with the bow. This is interesting because the wilderness of Paran is part of the wilderness where the Israelites will wonder for 40 years after their exodus from Egypt. 

Yet another connection because we read here that Hagar found an Egyptian woman for her son Ishmael to take as a wife. 

At the end of chapter 21 we have the account of a treaty between Abimelech and Abraham, to establish a friendship and settled the matter of a well. What I’d like to point out is that this is brought about, right there on verse 22, because Abraham’s fame as one who has favor with God is being recognized by those around him. “God is with you in all that you do,” Abimelech and his commander tell him, therefore x, y z. 

May we also enjoy such reputation among those around us. May we be known as those who have been with God and walk in His presence. 

So, we come to Chapter 22 then, a very important chapter, and one that is well known. The first verse is a life-changing verse. It says, “After these things, God tested Abraham…” Can you settle that in your mind? Yes, God will test you. He will test me. 

Looking back at your life, can you identify God’s tests at different points? Not every difficult thing you go through is a test from God, so we need spiritual discernment for this. We need spiritual eyes to see and understand what we are going through. 

Here’s how Abraham’s tests went. And gain, note the kind of test he gets. This is not what you expect. And in our lives, we must learn that God will do the unexpected. Do not reduce God to the way you think He ought to behave, based on your personal experiences. When we do that, we are really trying to take on His role as God. We try to make Him in our image, instead of what is the reality, right?, that He made us in His. 

So, God says to Abraham, “Abraham… Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 

And we pause again. This cannot be! Put yourself in Abraham’s shoes. He’s waited for this kid his whole life. He waited on God’s specific promise of a son for twenty-five long years. He finally gets the son, he is rejoicing. He will finally get to relax and enjoy him. Guide him in the ways of the Lord, and… no. 

Now God asks him to give him up. His only son. The son of the promise. 

This is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Chances are He will ask you to give up some things that you hold very dear to you. Perhaps is not as dramatic. In my life, He asked me to leave my homeland, to give up my career, to give up some of the entertainment I enjoy. 

These are difficult things at the moment, but what awaits on the other side of obedience is the rest, the peace and the fulfillment you seek. 

God is worth it. He is worthy of these small sacrifices. 

That is why Abraham obeys. The very next verse says he “rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.” 

He walks for three days and then sees the mountain God told him about. He tells his men to wait there and he and Isaac will go and worship and come back. That little nugget on verse 5 is worth pointing out. He believed he was returning back with Isaac. 

How can that be? Well, Hebrews 11:19 tells us “Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead…” That is the type of faith He had in Almighty God. And His faith was not in vain. It was, indeed, reasonable. 

As Abraham went along with Isaac, the boy asks the father, “Dad, I see the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” That’s verse 8, and Abraham responds in faith again, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” 

And he was right, again. His faith was rightly placed. That is why he could act confidently. You and I can act in the same way today, if we put our faith in Jesus Christ. 

When they got there, Abraham built the altar, put the wood, bound his son and laid him on the altar. Many clues in the passage suggest that Isaac was a young man already when this happens, so that it almost looks like Isaac must have also had faith to go along with his father’s plan to willingly allow himself to be bound up, which is worth thinking about (the next chapter, for examples starts with the death of Sarah at 127 years-old). 

But whatever the case, he is bound up on top of the wood on the altar, and verse 10, “Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.” 

Pause the movie again… ponder this scene. This is amazing faith in God. We must pray that God will help us to believe in Him in this way. 

But as Abraham is set to kill the son of the promise, the plan is revealed “the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven [(verse 11)] and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 

Test passed. 

God then provides a ram that was caught by the horns in a thicket, so that Abraham can use it for the sacrifice to the Lord. Abraham called the place, “The Lord will provide.” This is that name for God many of you may have heard, “Jehovah Jireh.” That’s what it means the Lord will provide. Remember the song, “Jehovah Jireh, my provider…” This is where it comes from. 

The angel of the Lord then reaffirms God’s promise to Abraham, “because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” 

But, we cannot ignore the obvious parallel between this substitution of the ram for Isaac and the most holy substitution of Christ on the cross for us. There on the cross, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob provided His only begotten son to die in your place—for your sins. 

Our sins condemn us to death. Those are the wages of sin, according to Romans 6:23. But Christ, paid the price for our sin, and instead gave us His righteousness, that we may be saved, when we put our trust in Him. 

Would you, if you haven’t yet, put your trust in Him? 

I pray this is the day you do. 

Until next time.

Episode 6 - The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob  

We’re back at it with more on our story of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We are getting to know this God, straight from Scripture, and not from popular culture. In fact, in some cases, we may be destroying some of the misconceptions we have about God that we’ve picked up from here and there that have actually distorted God’s character and hurt us in the process. Here, we want no nonsense, to make us feel good inside while taking us farther away from God. 

Here, we’re after the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Simple as that. 


After the destruction of Sodom, Abraham goes to Negeb and he sojourned in Gerar, this south of Israel today. There, incredibly, Abraham tries the old Sarah is my sister approach and he goes through the same predicament as before because Abimelech, king of Gerar took Sarah to be his wife. But the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, intervenes for Sarah once again. God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken for she is a man’s wife.” 

Now, I don’t know who listening to this needs to hear this but, if you are or are thinking of entering a relationship with  a married woman, listen to the words of God here. Death awaits on the other side of that exchange. Flee from it. That’s all I need to say about that. 

Now Abimelech had not “known” Sarah, as we have discussed before, kings took wives in those days and they were to go through a whole process to get ready to be with the king. So, he pleads to God, saying Abraham lied to him. “In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this,” he says in Genesis chapter 20, verse 5. 

So, yes, of course, God knows this and will acquiesce. But the answer will blow your mind away! Listen to what God tells him, He tells yes, I know you did this in the integrity of your own heart, [quote] “it was I who kept you from sinning against me” [end quote]. 

I mean, there is so much there… I don’t want to bog down the story so that you feel we’re sort of stuck in the mud and we won’t get out of it any time soon. I guarantee you we’re moving along, we will get to the birth of Isaac on this very episode, so that the transition will start already- BUT… but… let’s not miss what we are learning here about the God of Abraham. 

You see what we’re doing, right? We’re putting layers upon layers of knowledge. Your spiritual muscles are being strengthen as I speak. You are being built up. Do not quit now! 

Listen, we already know the God of Abraham will stand up for the oppress. He will not forget the destitute. He deals with each, with justice. No one gets away with anything, I like to say. 

Notice here against who the offense, the real offense is committed, if Abimelech was to marry Sarah. It’s against God. “it was I who kept you from sinning against me,” says the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Listen, you want to engage in sinful behavior, in sinful relationships, you have bigger problems than the people you are hurting around you. And believe me you are hurting A LOT of people. 

I know there are many out there who have already gone through the experience who can attest to the pain and suffering of such a path. But that is the least of your problems. Your eternal destiny is on the line. 

But there is good news. There is hope still. God can help you! He can help you get out of the deep whole you find yourself in. He told Abimelech, it was Him, God, who kept Abimelech from sinning. God did not let Abimelech touch Sarah. 

Listener, the battle against sin must be won in God’s strength, not ours. We are not strong enough! Cry out to God, ask Him to fight the fight for you, to strengthen you, to lead you. Surrender to Him and you will begin to see a change in your life. 

It’s not that He will not allow painful experiences come your way, they will still come. But God will use each and every one of them for your good. 

God asks Abimelech to return Sarah to Abraham, for he is “a prophet.” Let us note that. God calls Abraham a prophet, even though he has not up until now, at least as recorded, done the types of things that we usually think prophets do, proclaim the word of God and “prophecy” right of what’s to come. 

But I told you we would be tearing down some misconceptions, and the role of prophets here is one that we might need to start revisiting in our minds. God calls Abraham a prophet and we know he has been called and chosen by God for a specific task. We can also add to that, the fact that God tells Abimelech that Abraham will pray for Abimelech so that God will answer Abraham and spare him his life. 

So, we can say that the prophet of God is also an intercessor. He tells the people the Word of God and He brings to God the plight of the people. Remember that. 

Note again, how the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is revealing himself to us. It pleases Him to move according to His will, through the prayers of His people. This is sometimes a hard concept to grasp, but it is crucial for us to understand this. Yes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is in control. Nothing happens against His ultimate purposes. Yet, He asks us to pray without ceasing and He will move through our prayers. It is an amazing thing! 

Abimelech returns Sarah to Abraham and asks him why he did what he did. Abraham here gives the same answer he gave before, he thought he would be killed since there was no fear of the Lord in that place and Sarah was very beautiful. 

I do not know if we have mentioned it before, but we must consider that this practice, though foreign to us now, could’ve been fairly common at the time, so that Abraham’s fear is well founded. These kings, as kings, might do what they want. In fact, remember David, who as king took another man’s wife, so I throw that out there so as to make you feel the rawness of this account. The Bible is incredibly real. We read of some horrific things in it, perhaps things we have not experienced ourselves, especially those of us here in America, but let us be wise and consider that we are all capable of many of the horrific things we hear about. 

Much evil can come out of man’s heart. It is why we are in need of a Savior. 

But here the Scriptures lets us in in a little secret. You might have thought Abraham was plainly lying on these “she’s my sister” nonsense, but here we find out Sarah is indeed, according to verse 12 of Chapter 20, the daughter of Abraham’s father with another woman, not Abraham’s mother. And, they had also come to this arrangement as they sojourned over lands, that they would say this up front. 

Abimelech lets Abraham live on his land and he gives him money and many possessions, sheep, oxen and servants. Again, a potentially disastrous situation, has turned out for Abraham’s good, to bring about the promises of God in his life. 

This is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is worthy of our trust. Perhaps you find yourself in the middle of that difficult situation where there seems to be no way out. DO NOT underestimate the power of Yahweh, the great I Am. He will use this to your advantage, if like Abraham, you believe Him. 

Abraham prays for Abimelech and we are given an even more understanding here. It turns out that God had, according to verse 18, closed all the wombs in Abimelech’s house, since he had taken Sarah. So, we can see a bit more of the context of his dream. It seems things were not a right from the moment he took Sarah. But now Abraham prays, and everyone is healed from this him (he will not surely die now, immediately) and his household will be opened up again. 

And now the time has finally come, on chapter 21. The Lord visits Sarah and she conceived and bore a son in her old age and he was named Isaac. This is the son of the promise Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded, on the eight day, when Abraham was 100 years old. 

We must pause here, no? It has taken us five episodes, six with this one, from the time God gave the promise to Abraham. Can you understand a bit more the God of Abraham? 

He does not move on our timeline. Write that down. 

Recall when we started this journey, Abraham was 75 when he departed, after having heard God’s promise for the first time. The promise seemed impossible at first and with each passing year for 25 years, it would have been more than reasonable to doubt the promise of God. 

You see why, it was counted to Abraham as righteousness that he believed God. He had faith that God would deliver on His promise, even though it would have been more than reasonable to despair. To say, “God has forgotten about me.” 

But he had not. 

So, we’ll leave it there at this important, really significant point in the story, because, more than anything I want you to think about it, to meditate on what has just happened. The Scriptures just take a few verses to describe this to us, at the beginning of chapter 21, but you and I who know the Genesis of the story (pun intended) can appreciate the significance. 

If you are in the middle of your journey. In the middle of those 25 years of waiting on God. Wait on God. Do not despair. He is faithful. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob does not lie. You did not mishear His promises to you. This is what the enemy usually tells us when we are waiting on God. 

Remember the serpent on the garden? What did it tell Eve? “Did God really say…?” Do not fall for it. What God has spoken in your life will come to pass. He has not forgotten about you. 

All things, even the painful things, are working to bring it about. He is the Great I Am. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

There is none like Him. Believe it! 

Peace unto you.

Episode 5 - The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob  

This is the MARIOS podcast. You are listening to a series on the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is episode five. If this is your first time listening, I do recommend going back and starting with episode one.  More on this podcast and other resources can be found at 

We left the story last time with the destruction of Sodom. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in His infinite mercy, spared Lot and his family, from the destruction of Sodom. But God told them not to look back or stop, and yet, Lot’s wife (on verse 26, of that 19th Chapter in Genesis), disobeyed the command. She did look back and lingered in the plains, and she seemed to have been caught up the fire and sulfur. Scripture tells us she became “a pillar of salt.” 

Now, let us pause, and consider what to make of this. The Scriptures are more than we can handle at times. But we must not gloss over what we are reading. This is a magnificent account. A terrifying account. This really happened. It is no fairytale. It’s history. This is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

Fortunately, we have some help here from Jesus’ himself on this account. 

And let me pause here and hand to you this precious Bible study tool. When you come to a particularly difficult passage of Scripture, look elsewhere. One of the miracles of God’s revelation through Scripture is its cohesion. The whole of Scripture tells one story and without the whole, you are missing a part. 

The Bible is composed of 66 books, written over a period of roughly two thousand years by forty different authors from three continents, writing in three different languages. And yet, there is a supernatural harmony in Scripture that will be your friend, a guide to you, in your personal study. It does require time and energy to get to know this, but I want to encourage you. This is a precious Gift of God to you. Do not waist it. 

So always interpret Scripture in light of Scripture. All passages fit together perfectly. This is why I always encourage preachers and teachers to teach the whole counsel of God. All of Scripture. Not just the parts we are most comfortable with. 

Anyway, that’s enough of that. For this story of Lot’s wife, we have help from the words of Jesus in Luke 17 where we read of an account where the Pharisees (this were the so-called religious scholars of Jesus’ time), they asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come. Here’s how He responded, pay attention: 

“The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” 

[Pause] That alone there is something to think about for weeks on end (“the kingdom of God is in the midst of you”), but that’s not what relates directly to our story, so I won’t go there.  He then, turns to His disciples and He opens the windows of heaven a bit, to talk about the end times. He says, starting in verse 22: 

“The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it.  And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them.  For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.  But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.  Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man.  They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.  On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back.  Remember Lot’s wife.  Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it. 

Friends listen to me very carefully. There are those today who seek to minimize the Word of God, especially the Old Testament, as having no real application to us in the 21st Century. DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM. Do not disregard the Word of God. Not one part. Not one book. Not one sentence, not a single word. 

You have it form the mouth of our Savior! Remember Lot’s wife. Our God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob still rules, and He admonishes us to “Remember Lot’s wife.” 

So, how do we do that. Well, one thing is to listen to God and never look back to the sin that ensnared us with nostalgia.  What God has torn down was not to your benefit. Do not look back. Do not linger in the past. Do not long for Egypt, as the people of God would do after the Exodus. 

We are Christ’s. Old things have passed away. We are not who we were. We are a new creation and we must keep our eyes in Eternity. 

Detach yourself from the love of the world, and Love God above all else, and through Him, your neighbor. What profits man to gain the whole world and in the end lose his very soul? (Mt. 16:26). 

Ok, you get the picture. Again, we could write an entire book on this concept. We have much to meditate by “remembering Lot’s wife” as our Savior commanded. But we must move along in our story here. 

Abraham gets up early in the morning and sees the scene from afar, the smoke testifies of God’s judgement upon the land. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has kept His word, as He always does. 

Lot goes to live in a cave, we are told at the end of chapter 19, with his two daughters. This is an amazing contrast with the man who had so many possessions he could not live with Abraham on the same land. But his unwise decisions have led him to lose everything. 

There are Christians like this today. I confess I have lived like this. Ambivalent. You want to follow God, yet you are so attracted to the things of this world, you remain close to it. What fools we are! I bear the scars of my foolishness. And you will too, if you do not heed God’s voice and long for holiness. You know the meaning of holiness, right. To be separated. 

I’ll leave three dots on that one too. I apologize. There is just so much for us to get through. Perhaps our next podcast project should be a “meditations” one, where can stay on a thought like that for longer. 

But here we keep going. It is not surprisingly, that Lot’s two daughters, having grown up in Sodom, have also suffered under the influence of the prevalent sin around them. They take with them some very wicked ideas of what is important.  So, the older daughter decides that the two of them need to get pregnant by their father because if not there will be no lineage from them. They get their father drunk on two different occasions and each lay with him, while he was imperiled, and both became pregnant. 

Some commentators have suggested the pressures and realities of the day may justify their decisions, but I don’t buy it. It certainly helps to explain their actions, we’ve already covered some of the many injustices women faced at the time, if they had no husband or brother once their father died. But this does not justify sinful thoughts and behavior. Robbing someone is a sin, even when done to give to the poor. 

Remember God is just. He will bring justice. That is why we are blessed when we thirst for justice and righteousness, because we will be filled (according to Matthew 5:6). So, we need not try to be judges ourselves, trying to bring justice. Because we usually bring justice in unjust ways. Because, the problem is that we are not just. We have blind spots. God alone is just, and so we have to trust Him. We do not need to carry that burden. Wait on Him. He is our refuge and strength. He is our avenger. Hulk and Thor and Iron Man and the rest have nothing on God. 

We need only to trust Him. 

Lot’s older daughter became pregnant and gave birth to a son named Moab, from whom the Moabites will come. The younger bore a son and called him Ben-ammi, from where the Ammonites will come. As you can imagine, the history of  these two peoples is a troubled one. In Numbers 25, we read of how the Moabites led Israel to Baal worship. In Deuteronomy 23 we read about how the Moabites and the Ammonites hired   to curse Israel. 

But let’s be clear. The issue in Scripture, even when we read of a race of people in this way, is always faith, not race. The book of Ruth is a good account of how Moabites and Ammonites who put their faith in The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob can become part of the people of God. The issue is always faith. It was faith, we have already discovered, that made Abraham pleasing in God’s eyes. 

It is always about faith. 

What we can’t ignore is the influence that you and I as parents have on our children. Our faith or lack of it can be impactful in their lives. If you are not a parent yet, you know how your parent’s faith or lack of it had an impact on you. 

It should not surprise us to find our children walking in the same way we walk. And it is in the way we walk, not in the way we talk. Sometimes we talk a good game, in terms of faith, but our lives reveal the true state of our hearts, and our children pick up on it. 

God knows how many times I’ve had to repent for preaching unbelief to my children with my discontent and grumblings, even while I taught them about being faithful to God and trusting Him in everything. 

We must take this lesson seriously. Our lives will have an impact for generations to come. We don’t get to choose whether or not we have influence, only what type of influence will we be. So, let us turn from sin. Decidedly. Purposefully. Let us embrace holiness. Being separated by God for God. Let us not linger in the sin that ensnared us. Let us leave the past and walk differently. Let us walk in the light. 

That Hebrews passage pointing to all these giants of the faith, including Abraham and Sarah, concludes with the same charge in Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 

We look forward, we run, our eyes on Jesus. And we will endure. 

See you next time.

Episode 4 - The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob  

Hello, hello and welcome to the Marios Podcast. You are listening to a series on the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is episode four, so if you are just joining us, guess what(?), you can binge listen all four episodes on your favorite podcast app, or at! And I do recommend you go back now and start with episode one.  That will provide you the necessary context and background for today’s discussion. 

I am so thankful that you are listening though. I believe God is speaking to us through this study and revealing Himself to us in very special ways, so I hope you endure until the end. 

Today, the God of Abraham, Part 4. 

We left Abraham after receiving a reiteration of God’s promise towards him and actually receiving a sign of the “Abrahamic covenant,” remember that term? And do you remember what was the sign? That’s right, it was circumcision. God also changed Abram’s name to Abraham, for he was going to be the father of multitudes. God also change Sarai’s name to Sarah. 

Abraham then did what God asked of him. On the very day he received the message from God, He circumcised himself, Ishmael (the son he had had with Haggar, which we also learned was NOT the son of the promise) and his whole household. So, we pick up now in Genesis chapter 18. 

Here we learned that the Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre. The text tells us he looked up and saw three quote-unquote “men” (we’ll discuss more about why I put that in quotes) and he ran to them. He bowed before them and listen to how he speaks, “O Lord, [he says] if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant….” And in that manner, he offers them refreshment and rest through his hospitality. Abraham seems to recognize these men, these beings, as coming from God, by the way he treats them. One of them seems to speak from the Lord. Some have suggested these was the presence of the pre-incarnate Jesus, but we have nothing to really go on that. Perhaps we can say they are heavenly beings; I’ll show you why in a second. 

But, whoever they are, these messengers from God accept Abrahams invitation and he and Sarah work to make them feel honored. As they eat, they ask Abraham, where is your wife? And he says, she in a tent. 

This is important, I want to slow down here so that we can all get what is happening. The Lord is going to speak and with this sort of calling out to Sarah, it’s almost like he is drawing her inn. She needs to hear what God is going to say. She is in fact standing behind the door and will now surely be attentive. Here’s why I say this is important. In the Hebrews 11 passage we have already referenced in previous episodes, the Hall of Faith passage, as it is known, Abraham’s faith is not the only one mentioned. Sarah’s is also mentioned, independent of Abraham. 

Here’s Hebrews 11: 11: “By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.” Do you see that? By faith Abraham believed God. But it was by faith also that Sarah herself will conceived past her child-bearing years. Don’t forget that as we read this scene. 

The Scriptures tell us that “the Lord said [to Abraham], ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” 

Now, before we get into Sarah’s reaction. Let us consider that the term Lord here is different from the term that Abraham used when he first saw the men. In our English Bible the difference can be missed because it is merely identified as Lord in small letters or lord in small capital letters. The term Abraham used in the beginning is in small letters. It is the Hebrew word Adonai, meaning lord or masters. But Here, when Scripture tells us who is speaking the term is Lord in all small caps, it means Yahweh, which you’ve probably heard was not pronounced for the Jews but it refers to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the Israelites specifically. 

So, what we are about to hear are the very words of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That’s what this, “The lord said, in verse 10 means.” It can get confusing with the three beings, but let’s stay alert. 

Now, Sarah, again is listening to this behind the tent and she laughs saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 

On the one hand, you can sympathize with her, just as we did with Abraham. Think about it, the Lord gave this promise to Abraham decades before when they were younger, and nothing happened. That was the whole Haggar episode, right. They can’t have children, so they are going to “help God” fulfill his promise. God rejected that and insists she will bear a son, even now. 

It is almost as if God wanted to wait until the day when they could not, humanly speaking, rear children, beyond any medical issues that she might have had, so as to leave no doubt who was bringing this child about. The time is now where both Abraham and Sarah scientifically unable to bear children. 

And that is the point, isn’t it? It is as though, this is the perfect time now for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to shine. 

The Lord said to Abraham, why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘shall I indeed bear a child, now in that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? 

That question still reverberates throughout the earth’s atmosphere. Is anything too hard for the Lord? Remember that as you face your own struggles, your own impossible promise. Is anything too hard for the Lord? 

The answer is plain. Which is why Sarah, sort of comes to her senses and, realizing what she has done, she tries to deny that she had laugh because she was afraid. Which is, of course, is another bone headed move. Can we hide anything from God? Of course not, and God calls Sarah out on it on verse 15, saying, “No, but you did laugh.” 

Always remember, let the fear of the Lord lead you to repentance. There is no fooling God. 

But do not lose sight of what we are doing here. We are getting to know the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in very meaningful way. Nothing is impossible for him. And nothing is hidden from him. He is omniscient, that is he knows everything, and he is omnipotent, that is, he is all powerful. This is our God. 

The story then shifts. Genesis 18:16 tells us that the men that were with Abraham “looked down toward Sodom” this is where Abraham’s nephew Lot chose to live. Abraham goes to send them on their way and God says, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?” He continued, “For I have chosen him… to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice…” 

Again, we must step back and stand in awe of this God. The God of Abraham, cares. He is going to reveal His plan to Abraham, out of His great love for his children. He is going to invite him in into his plan and revealed his sovereign will. 

The Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not. I will know.” 

The story tells us that the men that were visiting him went towards Sodom, but the Lord remain with Abraham. Then Abraham drew near to God and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Supposed there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing…” Abraham is assuming, as we all do most times, that there are about 50-50 righteous and unrighteous in any given place. Don’t we assume that? But that is not reality. The Lord tells him, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” 

So, Abraham presses the matter, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.  Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” So he’s asking if there’s forty five. 

God again is clear, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 

Abraham continues this line of thought and asks about 40, 30, 20, and the Lord answers him, with incredible love and patience on each, even emphasizing, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” And the Lord leaves. 

Friends, listen closely, especially you young people, or if you have kids. We have a generation today that is eager to fight for justice. Listen closely, you are not more compassionate the Jesus. You are not more loving than our God. You are not even close to being as interested in the wellbeing of the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed than the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

Indeed, if you want to fight for justice, stop following the fads of the world and come under the guidance and authority of Scripture, of the Word of the One True Judge of heaven and earth. It is the only way to change the world. 

We get to chapter 19 here, in the book of Genesis, where Scripture reveals to us that the two that left Abraham where angels who are now entering Sodom. Lot was at the gate and sees them, bowed before them and asks them to come to his house to spend the night (similar to the way Abraham received them, somehow, they both knew these were messengers from God). They refuse at first, saying they would stay at the town square, but he insists, and they acquiesce. He serves them but soon the hospitality turns to horror as the real reason why God had sent the angels there was revealed. 

The wickedness of the people of Sodom, except Lot, had become so great that they headed down to Lots house and demanded that he gave the two angels to them the they may, [quote] “know them” [end quote].  This phrase to know them, of course, is the same type of phrase used in Genesis 4:1 when Adam “knew his wife Eve,” and she became pregnant, so we know the level of corruption that the Sodomites had reached. 

It is hard for us to imagine, but we can see why God had heard the cry against these people who would sexually assault strangers in this manner. Verse 4 of Chapter 19 tells us that “both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house to demand this. 

Lot went out to try to calm them down saying, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly.” But they are enraged now. The level of tension is so violent Lot offers to bring out his two daughters instead. We really don’t know if he’s just trying to buy time, for this is a horrible proposition too, but they are not having it and they push him against him, threatening to deal with him even worse than with the angels, who they intend to grab by force. Verse 9 says they “drew near to break the door down,” when the angels reached out, grabbed him and brought him in. They struck everyone with blindness. And, as you can imagine is chaos ensued. 

They tell Lot and his family to get out of the city for they will destroy it. 

Lot tells his sons-in-law who were supposed to marry his two daughters, but they don’t take him seriously.  The angels say to him, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.”  But he lingered. The angels seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, Scripture says, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 

Just think of the patience and care of the God of Abraham. 

The angels tell him, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.”  Lot pleads to be allowed to go to a nearby city and he is allowed to do so. The angel says, “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” 

Lot get there with the rising of the sun and Scripture tells us, “the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven.  And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.” 

This too is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob friends. He will not put up with wickedness forever. He will intervene on behalf of the oppressed. And woe to those who are the oppressors, they will know true justice. 

Will pick up here next time.

Episode 3 - The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob  

The God of Abraham 

Part III 

We’re moving along everyone. Mario back with you, continuing our series on the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. If you are joining us for the first time, I suggest you pause this episode and start with episode 1, we’ll be right here when you get back. Previous episodes can be found on your favorite podcast app, or you can visit 

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Today, we dive into Part III of our look at the God of Abraham. 

We finished Genesis 15 last time with God’s sealing the covenant He was making with Abram with fire consuming the animals Abram had set up. We’ve had therefore the promise of the Abrahamic Covenant, there’s a term we had not used before, but that you should know. That is the theological term given to that covenant we’ve been discussing that God gave to Abram. What we have not seen is the fulfillment if you will of this impossible promise. That covenant, of course, it’s still unfolding in miraculous ways in our days, but today we’ll witness the beginning of God’s plan for Abram. 

Remember, his descendants are supposed to be innumerable. God will make him a great nation. And yet Abram is in his 80s and his wife is sterile. It’s almost comical. But what we are learning is that the God of Abraham is a God of the impossible. 

Sometimes, when we don’t see God move as we thought he would move, we start second guessing His word. Remember the serpent in the garden? What was his approach? “Did God really say you shall not eat…” We see this happen in our lives too. 

Here, since God had made a promise to Abram, but he and his wife had gone years without conceiving a child, they unfortunately take matters into their own hands. 

Sarai had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. Sarai says well, maybe the way for us to have children is through her and she tells Abram to take Hagar as wife, so they can bear children that way. Abram, amazingly (and foolishly) agrees to do this. 

This, of course, was definitely not what God had promised and God will make it clear to Abram later on. 

But here, in their disobedience and unbelief, we have a great picture, again, to learn about the God of Abraham. How will He handle their lack of trust? Because, guess what, we know exactly how Abram and Sarai felt. We are them, aren’t we? We doubt the promises of God time and time again. 

So, let’s pay close attention to what the God of Abraham does. 

Hagar indeed gets pregnant. But she becomes bitter towards her mistress, Sarai. Scripture says she looked at her with contempt. 

This is another aspect of the tale too. Hagar. How will God deal with her? She too is a woman bearing the image of the living God. Is it all about Abram and Hagar will be discarded as a casualty of war, so to speak? 

Hagar, understandably, resents Sarai. But it is interesting that she only resents Sarai. Why not Abram too? Keep that in mind as we continue the story because it reveals something about her heart, doesn’t it? 

Sarai, for her part, blames Abram now for her broken relationship with Hagar. “May the wrong done to me be on you!,” she tells him in verse 5 of chapter 16. Broken relationships are usually the result of our disobedience. 

Abram then tells her to do whatever she wants with Hagar. Which every husband in the world can identify with (that “do whatever you want” is still a favorite of ours, to our shame). 

But the result, as we also know, is more brokenness. Sarai deals harshly with Hagar. 

How does the God of Abraham respond? Well, it is encouraging to me that His first concern is for Hagar. 

We learn in verse 7 that, the angel of the Lord found Hagar by the spring of water in the wilderness. “Hagar, servant of Sarai,” he said, “where have you come from and where are you going? 

Hagar responded: “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” 

And the angel first says to her: “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” Which seems hard to a woman in Hagar’s condition, except that I think we can associate that with God’s work on Hagar’s heart, as we had mentioned earlier, she has some things to work out herself. God will deal with Abram and Sarai. 

But the angel is not done with Hagar, he also says to her: “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude,” that’s verse 10. He goes on: 

“Behold, you are pregnant 
    and shall bear a son. 
You shall call his name Ishmael, 
    because the Lord has listened to your affliction. 
    He shall be a wild donkey of a man, 
    his hand against everyone 
    and everyone's hand against him, 
and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.” 

So, God is telling Hagar to go back to a difficult situation, but He is telling her “I will be with you.” “I have listened to your affliction,” verse 11. And she knows her future is secure; she is going to bear much fruits from her womb. Her offspring too will be multiplied so that they cannot be numbered. 

Hagar recognizes the blessing of the Lord and calls him in verse 13 “El Roi,” “the God who Sees Me.” And isn’t that just a precious insight for us into the God of Abraham. God sees you. He does. He knows what you’re going through. He sees you by the spring in your wilderness. Perhaps you’ve been running away from something too. God is “El Roi,” the God who sees you. 

Hagar explained why she worshiped Him this way. She said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” God is looking out for you too. 

Hagar then goes back full of this hope and bears a son with Abram and, as God told her, he was named Ishmael. Abram was 86 at the time. 

Now, were Sarai and Abram right? Did they sort of help God out to deliver on His promise to them to have many descendants? Is Ishmael the son of the promise? 

Well, Abram went another 13 years without seeing any other way. But then, it was time. Abram was to become Abraham. When he was 99 years old the Lord appear to Abram again and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” This is a bit different than before, the God of Abraham is now interested in the way Abram is walking. ¿Could that have something to do with the way he had acted towards Hagar? 

The response of Abram is telling. He fell on his face. 

Then God said to him: 

 “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.” 

Those are verses 4-8 of Genesis chapter 17. And there you have it, this is how Abram becomes Abraham. He is going to be the father of multitudes and kings will come from him. Note, again, the God of Abraham (our God), does not forget (remember He spoke to Abraham more than 25 years before this moment), and He is still working out His promises to Abraham. God does not forget, He does not give up, He is not startled; He plan is unfolding as planned, regardless of mistakes or opposition to it. 

Nature itself cannot stand against this God. Abraham is 99 years old now. And he will be a father to many. Not through his own dealings with Hagar, but through the miraculous, sovereign work of Almighty God. 

God then asks Abraham to keep the covenant with a sign, “Every male among you shall be circumcised.” He said, “it shall be a sign of the covenant… an everlasting covenant” between Abraham and God. 

He then turns to speak to Abraham about his wife, “you shall not call her name Sarai,” He tells him, “but Sarah shall be her name” and God gives a bit of an explanation for that change too, “ I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”  

Then, (I love this, the Bible is so real), it says “Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” This is the way we would all speak. But, you know what, we should know better. We have the story of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We are not like Abraham; we have the Scriptures. We know God can do the impossible. 

Abraham does not have that advantage and is still thinking about Ishamel, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” he says in verse 18.  But God corrects him, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac.” And now we are introduced for the first time to the son of the promise, The God of Abraham and Isaac. 

Now, God doesn’t forget Ishmael, in fact he tells Abraham “he has heard him,” which is cool to know that Abraham was praying for his son, but also this fact helps us to remember: the God of Abraham is a God who hears our prayers. 

And God tells him: “As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.” 

The God of Abraham is a covenant-keeping God. He is able to bring about what He has promised us. Now Abraham is realizing how foolish he was to think he would somehow help God to accomplish his promise. God need nothing from us. He is the giver. We receive from Him. 

Now, that He deserves our honor and praise and worship, there is no doubt. But we can rest in His Word, secure. God has all things at His disposal. We need to trust in His ways. 

That very day Abraham did as God had commanded and He, Ishmael and all males in his household were circumcised in obedience to God, as a sign of the covenant with God. 

May we be as quick to obey the Lord’s commands. 

Until next time.