On July 1, I started reading the Bible four chapters per day. Today I am up to
1) Reading Genesis 17 really brings home why the debate over circumcision in the early Christian church was such a wrenching one. Any male who is not circumcised will be cut off from the people. Any male who does not bear this sign of the covenant is not one of God’s people. To live this for centuries and then to be told you are missing the essential point of the thing must have been just incomprehensible to so many people.
2) I love the bit in Genesis 18 where God debates whether to tell Abraham what he is planning on doing with Sodom and Gomorrah. Yahweh says to himself (and us), I’ve chosen Abraham and want him to teach his children and grandchildren the meaning of righteousness and justice, so I will let him in on the plan. I find myself wondering if God anticipated that Abraham would argue with him. Is that the reference to a lesson in justice? God gives Abraham an opportunity to appeal for justice even as Yahweh insists on righteousness.
3) A blow against Greek notions of God’s omniscience: Genesis 18:21. “I must go down and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me; and if not, I will know.” So, God did not know about the sin of Sodom but had heard an outcry about it. (Reminds me of Exodus, too.) Is this a call to us for prayer?
3.5) Lot’s daughters. Whoa. I mean. Whoa.
The LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, and say, “Shall I indeed bear a child now that I am old?” Is anything too wonderful for the LORD? At the set time, I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. He said, “Oh yes, you did laugh.”