God's Chosen Person

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In the line of Shem, 292 years after the flood, Abraham was born. His was the 20th generation of mankind.

God chose Abraham, without saying why.
God promised to make Abraham famous.
God promised to make Abraham a great nation.
God promised to bless those who blessed Abraham.
God promised to curse those who cursed Abraham.
God promised to give Canaan to Abraham's progeny.
God told Abraham to move to Canaan.

Abraham moved to Canaan with his childless wife Sarah and his orphan nephew Lot. Once they went to Egypt for a time to escape a famine in Canaan. On the way, Abraham concluded that if the Egyptians knew that Sarah was his wife they'd kill him just in order get to her, because she was a woman of such awesome beauty. He also believed that they might treat him well on her account. As they were about to enter Egypt, Abraham told Sarah to tell everyone that she was his sister.

Soon Sarah was on the street, and Pharaoh's men saw her. Before long she was in Pharaoh's household. She was one of his wives. Sarah's relationship with Pharaoh indeed brought wealth to Abraham: men and women slaves, flocks and oxen, donkeys, she-donkeys, and camels.

Then God applied muscle. Pharaoh first learned something was wrong when he and his family were hit with a big plague. Somehow Pharaoh figured out what the problem was, and what to do about it. He called in Abraham and chewed him out. Then he gave Sarah back to him. Then Pharaoh sent them away, but he let Abraham keep the goods.

As time passed, Sarah doubted God's repeated promises of fertility, She advised Abraham to impregnate her Egyptian slave girl Hagar, which he did. Then Sarah decided she didn't like the way Hagar looked at her, so she abused her until she ran off. An angel of God found Hagar by a spring in the desert, and told her to go back and submit. She returned and bore a son they called Ishmael.

At last Sarah did gave birth to Abraham's son Isaac. Isaac's birth made Hagar and Ishmael more than unnecessary in the eyes of Sarah. She demanded that Abraham get rid of them, which he did.

He gave Hagar some bread and water, and sent the two out into the desert. Although Ishmael was about fourteen at this time, she carried him on her shoulder. They ran out of water and were about to die when an angel revealed to Hagar's eyes a well that had been there all the time, so they survived.

During the affair in Egypt, both Abraham and Lot acquired large numbers of cattle and other riches. The needs of their livestock made it impractical for them to stay together. Abraham told Lot to select a place for himself. Lot would go one way, Abraham the other. Knowing the area was well irrigated, Lot chose Sodom, to the east, even though the citizens were known to be vicious and sinners in a big way. Abraham took Canaan, to the west, and they parted.

Soon there was a war that involved nine local kings. Lot and his family were taken captive. Abraham formed an army from among his servants and rescued them, defeating their captors. Everyone was very grateful to Abraham.

One day God and two angels visited Abraham and Sarah. The two angels went ahead to Sodom and God told Abraham that He was going to find out if things there had become as wicked as He'd heard. Abraham knew that God was thinking of destroying Sodom, so he asked if it was fair for good people to suffer along with evil ones. God offered to spare the town if there were fifty righteous people in it. Eventually Abraham jewed Him down to ten, but as it turned out it didn't make any difference.

Lot sat at the gates of Sodom. He saw the two angels, as men, enter the town. He asked them to enjoy his hospitality, and spend the night in his home. They agreed, and Lot's family served them a nice meal.

Before bedtime, all the men of the town, every one, without exception, surrounded Lot's house. They called out to Lot, and demanded that the travelers be sent out so they could have intercourse with them.

Lot would not allow his guests to be so grossly abused. Instead, he offered his two virgin daughters to be so grossly abused. The men outside were not just not interested in Lot's idea. They were insulted at the suggestion. They told Lot that now they would abuse him even more than the two travelers.

They were about to break the door down when the two travelers revealed themselves as God's agents. They blinded the mob outside, so that no one could find the door. Inside, they told the family God's plan. Lot's daughters had fiancées who were there, but they thought the angels were kidding.

Lot and his wife and daughters went out with orders to not look back. God's fire and brimstone rained down on Sodom, as well as Gomorrah, and all the towns of the plain except Zoar. Lot and his family were in Zoar. Lot's wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt.

The next day it was just Lot and his two girls alone in a cave in the hills. The girls were sure that dad was the last man on earth. They sought to preserve the human race, so they took turns getting him drunk and copulating with him. Lot was oblivious. In this way he became the father of the Moabites and Ammonites. Alcohol has been mentioned twice so far in the bible, and both times the drinkers were old men who were then taken advantage of sexually.

God told Abraham to take Isaac to a certain mountain and sacrifice him, and burn him up. Early the next morning they were underway. When they came within sight of the mountain, Abraham loaded wood for the fire on Isaac's back. He carried a knife and a torch. As they climbed, Isaac wondered.

"Father," he said, "Look, here are the fire and the wood but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"

Abraham answered, "God…will provide."

When they got to the top, Abraham bound Isaac and laid him down on the wood. His knife was poised when God finally spoke, saving Isaac from Himself. Abraham saw a ram tangled in thorns. He killed it and offered it instead. God complimented Abraham repeatedly on his willingness to butcher his son, and promised yet again to make him and his people immensely successful.

Another time Abraham and Sarah went to Gerar. The local king was Abimelech. Feeling familiar desires and fears, Abraham asked Sarah to lie as she had before, to say that she was his sister. Soon she was brought to the king, like the last time, but before Abimilech had a chance to marry her, God came to him in a dream and told him he was going to kill him and why. After the king stated his case, God said he'd let him off with his life because he hadn't touched Sarah yet, but that he would certainly wipe out Abimilech and his entire household if he didn't let her go.

When confronted by the king, Abraham explained, lamely, that he hadn't really lied, since Sarah was his father's daughter, therefore his half-sister, as well as his wife.

That was good enough for Abimelech, who promptly sent them off with sheep, cattle, more slaves of both sexes, and additionally, a pile of silver, and an invitation to take as much of his land as they wanted.

In return, Abraham interceded with God and He cancelled the plague. Abimilech's life and his family's lives were spared.

Sarah died. Abraham bought a cave and buried her there.

Abraham took another wife. Her name was Keturah. She bore him six boys.

Abraham was a hundred and seventy-five when he died. He'd fathered eight sons. He'd accumulated great wealth. He'd won the respect of kings. They buried Abraham in Sarah's cave.

Ishmael came back for the funeral.



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