Genesis: Girl time

Genesis 16:7–17:21

Two pretty important scenes happen in today’s reading.

God speaks to Hagar. Think about that. First mention in the Bible that God speaks directly to a woman. And not just any woman. This woman. And we’re told she’s Egyptian. She’s an immigrant single mom living on the streets. That’s the first woman God speaks to in the Bible. That’s important.

God speaks to the least and the lost. God intercepts those on the margins, those in the gutters, those on the streets. God goes out looking for them in the wilderness.

Second, God re-ups the promise to Abraham. We were told back in chapter 12 that Abram was 75. As chapter 16 ends, and Ishmael is born, we’re told he’s now 86. So 11 years have passed.

When chapter 17 begins, Abram is 99. Thirteen years have passed. Thirteen long years, we can presume, that God was silent. It’s been 24 years since God first called Abram, and still no heir for this so called “promised land.”

Now God comes back, and we see his longest speech yet recorded in Genesis. First off, God invites Abram to “walk before me” and to “be blameless.” Remember, these were exact words used to describe Noah. God has to tell Abram to do them 24 years into their relationship, which perhaps gives a hint that Abram wasn’t necessarily squeaky clean choir boy. But he listened to God. He believed God. And he responded accordingly. And that’s all the qualification God requires.

What about you? What do you see?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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