Today’s readings are Genesis 16-18

Click here to read today’s passages on BibleGateway.

Hey fam! In the first day’s notes I posted a link to an article on why I call the Father what I do. It contains some very useful information but I’m afraid some of you may have missed it. Please click here to read that now. We call our wonderful Father by many names in the group. At the end of the day, I’m just grateful for the love and reverence behind whatever name we use for Him! We serve a mighty King!

Rabbit Trails Today we see a name change and I have to apologize because I have been using Abraham as Abram’s name all this time and the Father had not yet changed it. Y’all kept up really well, though!

Interesting note about name changes: Unlike Abraham and Jacob, One of the most famous “name changes” in the Bible never actually happened. Paul’s name was never changed. He held dual citizenship as a Jew and as a Roman citizen and his name simply translates differently between Hebrew and Greek. Similar to how my husband’s name is Richard but his high school Spanish teacher called him “Ricardo”. Okay that was kinda weird but hey, it’s high school Spanish class and she had to keep it interesting.

Noted instances of Paul still being called Saul after His repentance (please note that I said repentance, not conversion. Paul had no need to convert as he already worshipped the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob- the very same God we worship now):

  • By Messiah Acts 9:4
  • Acts 9:17
  • By the Holy Spirit Acts 13:2

Here is an interesting article on it with some good Biblical evidence to help increase understanding: (Important: I just found this article. I do not know the doctrinal bent – if any – of this site, but the article is helpful.)

Also, more covenants! I’ll leave learning about those to you but I do want to point out that the type of circumcision performed in the Bible was not even remotely as invasive and severe as what takes place today. This will help you understand the lack of hesitancy (although I’m sure there was some) in having it done. And that is all we will say about that.

18:1 THE FATHER APPEARS TO ABRAHAM! WOW! Note that the Father appears in human form here, walking, talking, etc. It is important to know that this happened. Someday, you may encounter some doctrine that knowing this simple fact disproves.

Some have expressed an interest in explanations of Biblical names so it is worth noting (in case y’all are ever on a game show with this as a question and a million dollars on the line) that the names we refer to key folks in the Bible as bear little (and in some cases none at all) resemblance to what their mama’s called them. Their names have been given English “translations” and that is what we are familiar with. A humorous meme that I saw once said “So tell me again how Jesus lived in the middle east and had friends named Peter, James, John, and Matthew?”

The reason that is so funny is because transliterated, their names would sound more like:

  • Peter – Kefa
  • James – Ya’akov*
  • John – Yochanan*
  • Matthew – Mattityahu

*There was no J sound in Hebrew. What we pronounce with that sound now used to be a Y sound. This is just interesting to know. Aren’t you AMAZED at the many facets of wisdom and knowledge in the Bible? We have just got started! Also, I use the word “translations” in quotes because in some translations the apostles were given entirely new names rather than use what their name would normally translate to. A noted instance of this is the name of James. As you can see from his pronunciation, that name would more accurately translate to “Jacob”. In fact, the Biblical patriarch we know as Jacob shared his name and his name was translated to Jacob but with the King James translation James was suddenly given a new name entirely.

Genesis 17:12 shows us that servants (in addition to relatives) and foreigners living in Abraham’s household were also able to be part of this covenant. Understanding of the importance of this information will grow as we continue to read. In other words, keep this in your back pocket. We’ll pull it out later.

While Isaac is the grandfather of the twelve tribes of Israel, Hagar’s son Ishmael will also go on to be the father of twelve tribes (Genesis 25:16). His people will be very wealthy, just as God promised, and to this day we still see that his descendants, the Arabs, have tremendous wealth but know precious little peace.

Note: Islam traces its roots back to Ishmael. In fact, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all consider Abraham (yes, our Abraham that we are reading about) to be their patriarch. Just to be clear where I stand on all of this, there is one true God and we are saved by Grace through faith alone, not of ourselves, in His son who we commonly refer to as Jesus (pronounced Yeshua in Hebrew) as our Messiah. I am most definitely not of the opinion that “all religions worship the same god”.

However, Judaism is a noted exception in that they DO worship the same God as we do, but some (not all as we are often led to believe) do not yet see Jesus (Yeshua) as the Messiah. There are a myriad of reasons for this -and knowing each should draw our compassion, love, and even repentance rather than scorn- but this is all part of God’s plan and serves his purpose. We will see this purpose unfold as we read through the Word this year. Check out Romans 11:25.

Anti-Semitism has no place in the life of a follower of YHWH. In fact, if you’re not already feeling the love for our Jewish brethren, you’ll find yourself going further and further in that direction the deeper we get into the Word! Furthermore, as you will likely notice in our reading this year, prophecy is coming true at a rapid rate and reconciliation between the branches of YHWH is already taking place with more on the horizon. This family reunion is going to take place sooner than we think! So excited to be on this journey with y’all!

Test everything, hold tight to what is good – and HE is the only source of good.

PSA: As the Bible study group embarks on another journey through the Word, our founder would like to point out that typing errors in the notes are just a reminder that only our Creator is perfect.
Christy includes these reminders at random intervals. ?

Leave your greetings and rabbit trails on the group discussion thread. We love getting to know you and you commenting is what helps us to do that! You don’t have to share anything deep unless you want to, a simple Good Morning is great!

Also, please know that there are no dumb questions in our Fellowship group. We are ALL learning together.  

Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21

We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!

May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!

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Christy Jordan
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