Sunday, May 31, 2009
So Abraham got up early the next morning, prepared food for the journey, and strapped a container of water to Hagar's shoulders. He sent her away with their 16 yr old son, and she walked out into the wilderness of Beersheba, wandering aimlessly, all that time in the desert and she had still not learned her way around and she wasn't willing to listen to Ishmael's directions. When the water was gone, she left the boy in the shade of a bush.
Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yards away. "I don't want to watch the boy die," she said, as she burst into tears.
Then God heard the boy's cries. He didn't choose to hear Hagar's cries, she was insubordinate and not the voice you would want to listen to if you were God, but he heard Ishmael's cries. Ishmael, at 16, schooled by Abraham himself was perfectly capable of crossing the desert, but his mom was having a total breakdown. He was crying out to God to save Hagar.
So God responded. The angel of God called to Hagar from the sky, "Hagar, what's wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy's cries from the place where you laid him. Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants."
<= = = Sir, who is the angel of God?
Insightful question Izzy. He is a part of Elohim, God, that chooses to express characteristics suitable to interacting with the human race. If Jehovah God appeared before any man, that man's life would be over instantly, vaporized by His greatness, His glory. He did allow Moses to see a bit of his back, but not his face. The angel of God will appear three times in the stories of the patriarchs. More commonly as you clearly noted, is the term angel of the LORD. Here he is helping Ishmael keep his mother from losing it in the desert.
Then God opened Hagar's eyes, and she saw a well and her panic attack ended. She immediately filled her water container and gave the boy a drink. After this, Hagar decided it was wiser to follow the boy's lead and they continued to travel through the desert without further incident. And God was with the boy as he grew up in the wilderness of Paran, the place where the Israelites will wander for 40 lost years. Ishmael became an expert archer, he had his father's business sense and began to assemble herds of sheep and cattle and his mother arranged a marriage for him with a young woman from Egypt, a lovely Hyksos girl, not a true Egyptian. Thus was Hagar's father, Pharoh granted double success in his plan, Abraham indeed did have the mark of God in his life who helped him, he would sire nations and now, his first son would be half Hyksosian and by marrying a Hyksos girl, their bloodline would be established until the end of the earth.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
But Sarah saw Ishmael--the son of Abraham and her Egyptian servant Hagar--making fun of Isaac. So she turned to Abraham and demanded, "Get rid of that servant and her son. He is not going to share the family inheritance with my son, Isaac. I won't have it!"
This upset Abraham very much because Ishmael was his son. But God told Abraham, "Do not be upset over the boy and your servant wife. Do just as Sarah says, for Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted." This is why they say Sarah the Matriarch is also a prophet, because God told Abraham to listen to her and do as she says.
And then God said, "But I will make a nation of the descendants of Hagar's son because he also is your son."
<= = = "Islam", whispered Izzy, "But they are not the descendants that are counted."
Yes, Master Cohen, Islam indeed, Ishmael will survive the journey through the desert and will prosper and he will number his sons as twelve great princes. And of all peoples to ever walk the earth to hate and plot against Zion, Islam is first and foremost. And as you count yourself a descendant of Abraham, make no mistake your Islamic world neighbors count themselves the children of Ibrahim as well.
And no, Islam is and always will be a strong force, they are the children of Abraham who is chosen by God to be the father of many nations. But God's people will be the sons and daughters of Abraham, Issac and Jacob.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
The image is partially based on gcawleyart.
Good afternoon Izzy, I am sure you have heard the news about the four American Islamic terrorists that wanted to bomb Riverdale Temple and Riverdale Jewish Center?
<= = = Yes sir, Benjamin pointed out on the school bus that at least they were equal opportunity terrorists, they wanted to take out one reform and one orthodox center each. Sounds like they weren't too bright. My father told me once, that angry men would always be trying to hurt or kill us, but if they were just angry and dumb, they could only do a little harm, it is the ones that are hateful and cunning we need to be wary of. If I may change the subject, I have been thinking about what you said last time. It is true that people that have contact with God are different looking, more attractive, I have noticed that the United Synagogue Youth leader at our synagogue has a gorgeous wife and that is true of the other USY events I have visited. I wonder what God has in store for me.
Rest assured that He has something very special for you, it will even top what he did for the USY leader. You are still on track for your Bar Mitzvah? How are the chanting lessons coming?
<= = = Well sir, I missed this week, I had so much school work, but I will try to make it next week.
Try hard Izzy, the time is short and getting shorter, but in the story of Abraham, the timing is perfect. Then the LORD did exactly what he had promised, such a surprise. Sarah became pregnant, and she gave a son to Abraham in his old age. It all happened at the time God had said it would.
Eight days after Isaac was born, Abraham served as the Mohel and circumcised ISSAC as God had commanded, then blessed the child and prayed that he would grow up to be healthy and pious and in the prayer Abraham named his son Isaac, a gentle reference to the time Sarah laughed and God said, you laughed. Afterwards a meal was served. And more or less this is the pattern that has been followed for Jewish people everywhere when blessed with a baby boy. Abraham was one hundred years old at the time.
And Sarah declared, "God has brought me laughter! All who hear about this will laugh with me. For who would have dreamed that I would ever have a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age!" As time went by and Isaac grew and was weaned, Abraham gave a big party to celebrate the happy occasion.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
How's that school project going Izzy? I understand you are to diagram all the parts of a computer.
<= = = Yes sir and I was lucky, they let me take a few old broken ones apart, so I have mounted them on this board and labled all the parts you can see. And thank you for coming later for today's lesson, I needed the time to get that project done.
Now Abraham moved south to the Negev desert, a broad expanse of nothing but dust at that time. But following the vision of David Ben-Gurion much of this is productive agriculture today. Abraham and settled for a while between Kadesh and Shur at a place called Gerar marked by Tel Haror today.
The king of Gerar was a thug named Abimelech that considered himself quite the lady's man and had sired children with most of the women in Gerar. Since it was not appropriate in that culture to bed a married woman, what commonly happened is Abimelech has his way with them before marriage and if a child resulted, rewarded the family for raising the child as their own. Abraham played his old trick and told people there that his wife, Sarah, was his sister. So King Abimelech sent for her and had her brought to him at his palace.
<= = = No way! We have been learning about how old they are, there is no chance the king would want Sarah.
There is every chance, first she has been in the presence of the LORD, that transforms your appearance, remember Moses? Second, It happens sometimes that women are allowed to keep their beauty in advanced age, what about Jane Fonda and Nichelle Nichols. Look them up with Google sometime. The one night God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him, "You are a dead man, for that woman you took is married." But Abimelech had not slept with her yet, so he said, "Lord, will you kill an innocent man? Abraham told me, `She is my sister,' and she herself said, `Yes, he is my brother.' I acted in complete innocence!"
"Yes, I know you are innocent," God replied. "That is why I kept you from sinning against me; I did not let you touch her. Now return her to her husband, and he will pray for you, for he is a prophet. Then you will live. But if you don't return her to him, you can be sure that you and your entire household will die."
This is the first time the word prophet is used in scripture and we keep adding to the character of Abraham, exalted father, father of many nations, generous with family, fierce warrior, loving husband, wayward husband and now prophet, one to whom God reveals his will and then in turn shares God's will with the people. Finally, note that Abraham is being cast in the role of intercessor.
Abimelech got up early the next morning and hastily called a meeting of all his servants. When he told them what had happened, great fear swept through the crowd. Then Abimelech called for Abraham and essentially repeated the pharaoh speech. "What is this you have done to us?" he demanded. "What have I done to you that deserves treatment like this, making me and my kingdom guilty of this great sin? This kind of thing should not be done! Why have you done this to us?"
"Well," Abraham said, "I figured this to be a godless place. I thought, `They will want my wife and will kill me to get her.' Besides, she is my sister--we both have the same father, though different mothers--and I married her. When God sent me to travel far from my father's home, I told her, `Wherever we go, have the kindness to say that you are my sister.' " Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen and servants--both men and women--and gave them to Abraham, and he returned his wife, Sarah, to him. "Look over my kingdom, and choose a place where you would like to live," Abimelech told him.
Then he turned to Sarah. "Look," he said, "I am giving your `brother' a thousand pieces of silver (~25 pounds) to compensate for any embarrassment I may have caused you. This will settle any claim against me in this matter."
Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and the other women of the household, so they could have children. For the LORD had stricken all the women with infertility as a warning to Abimelech for having taken Abraham's wife.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
This will be a slightly longer lesson, Izzy as we look at part II of the escape from Sodom. Afterward Lot left Zoar because he was afraid of the people there, they blamed him for the destruction of the Costco and Wal-mart superstore in Sodom and he went to live in a cave in the mountains with his two daughters, a far cry from serving as an elder sitting in the gate in Sodom, a man with many possessions.
One day the older daughter said to her sister, "There isn't a man anywhere in this entire area for us to marry. And our father will soon be too old to have children. Come, let's get him drunk with wine, and then we will sleep with him. That way we will preserve our family line through our father." So that night they got him drunk, and the older daughter went in and slept with her father. He was unaware of her lying down or getting up again.
The next morning the older daughter said to her younger sister, "I slept with our father last night. Let's get him drunk with wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him. That way our family line will be preserved."
So that night they got him drunk again, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. As before, he was unaware of her lying down or getting up again.
<= = = I am having a bit of trouble with this. How could he not know?
The scripture does not say he did not know, it says he didn't notice her coming or going. Granted alcohol is involved, but he knew full well he was having sex. And no, God is not going to honor their sin, there is more pain yet for all of them and for generations and generations to come. But for the moment they have their victory from having worked out their predicament.
Both of Lot's daughters became pregnant by their father. When the older daughter gave birth to a son, she named him Moab, which means from father which was certainly the case. He became the ancestor of the nation now known as the Moabites, a race that would be no end of trouble for the Israelites, especially when they enlist the help of Balak son of Zippor.
@MissMoabite Please RT, just had a son, Moab, 16 inches, 6 lb 4 oz. M&B doing fine
When the younger daughter gave birth to a son, she named him Ben-ammi, son of my people. He became the ancestor of the nation now known as the Ammonites. They will one day help ensnare Israel with the false god Molech and the detestable practices associated with him.
Izzy, what I want you to see is the chain of disobedience, the cost of disobedience. God told Abraham to leave his family; he took Lot. Later Lot's shepherds and Abram's shepherds are fighting. Lot moves towards Sodom where he is captured and has to be rescued, then he moves into the city, his women lose their sense of spirituality and one becomes salt, two the mothers of tribes that will cause Israel no end of pain. These little decisions can have eternal consequences.