Scriptures… (Click here to read the blog)
NOW [in Haran] the Lord said to Abram, Go for yourself [for
your own advantage] away from your country, from your relatives and your father’s
house, to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you
[with abundant increase of favors] and make your name famous and distinguished, and you will be a blessing [dispensing good to
others]. So Abram departed, as the Lord had directed him; and Lot [his
nephew] went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, I will give this
land to your posterity. So Abram built an altar there to the Lord, Who had appeared
For all the land which you see I will give to you and to your
posterity forever. And I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth,
so that if a man could count the dust of the earth, then could your descendants also
And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, This man
shall not be your heir, but he who shall come from your own body shall be your
heir. And He brought him outside [his tent into the starlight] and
said, Look now toward the heavens and count the stars–if you are able to number
them. Then He said to him, So shall your descendants be. And He said to him, I am the [same] Lord, Who brought you out
of Ur of the Chaldees to give you this land as an inheritance.
So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her Egyptian maid, after
Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram
to be his [secondary] wife.
Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael.
WHEN ABRAM was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him
and said, I am the Almighty God; walk and live habitually
before Me and be perfect (blameless, wholehearted, complete). And I will make My covenant (solemn pledge) between Me and you
and will multiply you exceedingly. Then Abram fell on his face, and God said to him, As for Me, behold, My covenant (solemn pledge) is with you,
and you shall be the father of many nations. Nor shall your name any longer be Abram [high, exalted
father]; but your name shall be Abraham [father of a multitude], for I have made you
the father of many nations. And I will make you exceedingly fruitful and I will make
nations of you, and kings will come from you. Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said in his
heart, Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? And shall Sarah,
who is ninety years old, bear a son? But God said, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son indeed,
and you shall call his name Isaac [laughter]; and I will establish My covenant or solemn pledge with him for an everlasting covenant and
with his posterity after him. And Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was
circumcised. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was
THE LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for her as He had promised. For Sarah became pregnant and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time God had told him. Abraham named his son whom Sarah bore to him Isaac [laughter]. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when Isaac was born.
8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because shet considered him faithful who had made the promise.12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”t19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised,40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.