Saturday, June 13, 2009

Rebekah is born

Good afternoon Issy, that is some story about Iran, yes? What have you heard?

< = = = I understand some folks are calling President Ahmadinejad "The George Bush of the Middle East" because he is such a cowboy, Hamas and Syria were quick to show support. I read that the rival candidate, the more moderate Mousavi has been arrested. Some reports say the election was not fair and there is rioting in Iran. At one point they cut cell phone service, which was interesting because text messaging was a big part of Mousavi's campaign organization strategy.

A very powerful tool for a totalitarian government, cutting cell phone service isn't it? Expect to see that card pulled again in the next few years. And you can expect to see an increase in Qassam rockets fired into Israel. Abraham's children continue to contend with each other. But let's return to the story of Abraham. After the test concerning Issac was complete, Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided."

The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, "I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."

<= = = And the Christian faith takes this only son statement as a reference to Jesus Christ, yes?

Yes, though there are differences, they generally state the Angel of the Lord is Christ, speaking about Christ. Issy, we can talk about Christ, Redeemers and Messiah at another time, in fact we should, but there are two points I want you to take from this reading so far.

The first is repetition, God is not senile so when he repeats himself it is not because of memory failure. Rather God is emphasizing how important this promise is, to make Abraham's descendants numerous and that through his offspring the world will be blessed. You have seen this as a unilateral promise, a bilateral covenant, but the point is it will be so.

The second is the only son thing, God is telling Abraham again, that the son of promise, the son of the covenant is Issac. Just because Abraham slept with his wife's handmaiden Hagar does obligate God to bless that offspring. God does to some extent, the children of Ishmael will be numerous, a mighty nation and right now Islam is the fastest growing population group in Europe. But they are not the children of promise.

Then Abraham returned to his servants from Mount Moriah, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba. Some time later Abraham was told about an increase in his tribe back in Ur, "Milcah is also a mother; she has borne sons to your brother Nahor: Uz the firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel (the father of Aram), Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel." Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. Milcah bore these eight sons to Abraham's brother Nahor. His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also had sons: Tebah, Gaham, Tahash and Maacah.

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