Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Matthew 7:20

Genesis 20-22

Genesis 20

Abraham and Sarah Deceive Abimelech

1 Abraham traveled from Mamre toward the southern territory and lived between Kadesh and Shu. While he was living as a foreigner in Gerar, 2 Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.”

Abimelech king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her. 3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream during the night and said to him, “You are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.”

4 Now Abimelech had not come near her. He said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5 Didn’t he tell me, ‘She is my sister’? She, even she herself, said, ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this with a clear conscience and innocent hands.”

6 God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that with a clear conscience you have done this, and I also kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not allow you to touch her. 7 Now therefore, return this man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you, and you will live. If you do not return her, know for certain that you will die, you and all who are yours.”

Abimelech Returns Sarah

8 Abimelech rose early in the morning and called all of his servants and confided all of these things to them. The men were very frightened.

9 Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? How have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done things to me that ought not to be done!” 10 Abimelech said to Abraham, “What were you thinking, when you did such a thing?”

11 Abraham said, “Because I thought, ‘Surely the fear of God is not in this place. They will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 When God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This kindness you can show to me: everywhere that we go, say of me, “He is my brother.” ’ ”

14 Abimelech took sheep and cattle, male servants and female servants, and gave them to Abraham and returned Sarah, his wife to him. 15 Abimelech said, “My land is before you. Dwell where it pleases you.” 16 To Sarah he said, “I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver. It is a covering for all that are with you to see. In the presence of everyone, you are vindicated.”

17 Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his female servants, and they bore children. 18 For the Lord had thoroughly closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

Genesis 21

Isaac is Born

1 The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had spoken. 2 Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.

3 Abraham named his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac.  4 Abraham circumcised his son, Isaac, when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5 Abraham was 100 years old when his son, Isaac, was born to him.

6 Sarah said, “God has made me laugh. Everyone who hears will laugh with me.” 7 She said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age.”

8 The child grew and was weaned. Abraham gave a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.

Conflict between Sarah and Hagar

9 Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking. 10 Therefore she said to Abraham, “Throw out the servant and her son! For the son of this servant will not be heir with my son, Isaac.”

11 This was very grievous to Abraham on account of his son. 12 God said to Abraham, “Do not let it be grievous to you because of the boy, and because of your servant. In all that Sarah says to you, listen to her, for your offspring will be named through Isaac. 13 I will also make a nation from the son of the servant, because he is your child.”

Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away

14 Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a container of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and gave her the child and sent her away. She departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

15 The water in the container was used up, and she put the child under one of the shrubs. 16 She went and sat down a good distance opposite him, about a bow shot away. For she said, “Don’t let me watch the death of the child.” She sat opposite him and raised her voice and wept.

17 God heard the voice of the boy. The angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid. For God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18 Get up, lift up the boy, and take his hand. For I will make him a great nation.”

19 God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went, filled the container with water, and gave the boy a drink.

20 God was with the boy, and he grew. He lived in the wilderness, and as he grew up, became an archer. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran. His mother found a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

The Covenant at Beersheba

22 At that time, Abimelech and Phicol the captain of his army spoke to Abraham, saying, “God is with you in all that you do. 23 Now, therefore, swear to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son’s son. But according to the kindness that I have done to you, you shall do to me, and to the land in which you have lived as a foreigner.”

24 Abraham said, “I will swear.” 25 Abraham complained to Abimelech because of a water well, which Abimelech’s servants had violently taken away. 26 Abimelech said, “I don’t know who has done this thing. You didn’t tell me, and I didn’t hear of it until today.”

27 Abraham took sheep and cattle, and gave them to Abimelech. Those two made a covenant. 28 Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. 29 Abimelech said to Abraham, “What do these seven ewe lambs, which you have set by themselves, mean?”

30 He said, “You shall take these seven ewe lambs from my hand, that it may be a witness to me, that I have dug this well.” 31 Therefore he called that place Beersheba, because they both swore an oath there. 32 So they made a covenant at Beersheba. Abimelech rose up with Phicol, the captain of his army, and they returned into the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God. 34 Abraham lived as a foreigner in the land of the Philistines many days.

Genesis 22

The Offering of Isaac

1 After these things, God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”

He said, “Here I am.”

2 He said, “Now take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love and go into the land of Moriah. Offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”

3 Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son. He split the wood for the burnt offering and rose up and went to the place of which God had told him.

4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far off. 5 Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there. We will worship and come back to you.”

6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac, his son. He took in his hand the fire and the knife. They both went together. 7 Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father?”

He said, “Here I am, my son.”

He said, “Here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”

8 Abraham said, “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they both went together. 9 They came to the place of which God had told him. Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order, bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, on the wood. 10 Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to kill his son.

The Sacrifice Averted

11 The angel of the Lord called to him from the heavens and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”

He said, “Here I am.”

12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”

13 Abraham looked up and saw that behind him was a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 Abraham named that place “The Lord Will Provide”. As it is said to this day, “On the mountain of the Lord, it will be provided.”

15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “I have sworn by myself, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 that I will bless you greatly, and I will multiply your offspring greatly like the stars of the heavens and like the sand which is on the seashore. Your offspring will possess the gate of his enemies. 18 All the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring because you have obeyed my voice.”

19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba. Abraham lived at Beersheba.

Nahor’s Sons

20 After these things, Abraham was told, “Here is Milcah. She also has borne children to your brother Nahor: 21 Uz his firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, 22 Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 23 Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. 24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.

Matthew 7:15-29

Known by its Fruit

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravaging wolves. 16 By their fruits you will know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but the corrupt tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not grow good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?’ 23 Then I will tell them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity.’ ”

The House on the Rock

24 “Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock. 25 The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”

The Authority of Jesus

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the multitudes were amazed at his teaching, 29 for he taught them with authority, and not like the scribes.

Psalm 9:1-12

Sing to the Lord, All the Earth

For the Chief Musician. Set to “The Death of the Son.” A Psalm by David.

1 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart.
I will tell of all your marvelous works.
2 I will be glad and rejoice in you.
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

3 When my enemies turn back,
they stumble and perish in your presence.
4 For you have maintained my just cause.
You sit on the throne judging righteously.
5 You have rebuked the nations.
You have destroyed the wicked.
You have blotted out their name forever and ever.
6 The enemy is overtaken by endless ruin.
The very memory of the cities which you have overthrown has perished.

7 But the Lord reigns forever.
He has prepared his throne for judgment.
8 He will judge the world in righteousness.
He will administer judgment to the peoples in uprightness.
9 The Lord will also be a high tower for the oppressed;
a high tower in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name will put their trust in you,
for you, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

11 Sing praises to Lord, who dwells in Zion,
and declare among the people what he has done.
12 For he who avenges blood remembers them.
He does not forget the cry of the afflicted.

Proverbs 2:11-22

11 Discretion will watch over you.
Understanding will keep you,
12 to deliver you from the way of evil,
from the men who speak perverse things,
13 who forsake the paths of uprightness,
to walk in the ways of darkness,
14 who rejoice in doing evil,
and delight in the perverseness of evil,
15 who are crooked in their ways,
and wayward in their paths,
16 to deliver you from the immoral woman,
even from the seductress who flatters with her words,
17 who forsakes the friend of her youth,
and forgets the covenant of her God;
18 for her house leads down to death,
her paths to the departed spirits.
19 None who go to her return again,
neither do they attain to the paths of life.
20 So you may walk in the way of good men,
and keep the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will dwell in the land.
The perfect will remain in it.
22 But the wicked will be cut off from the land.
The treacherous will be rooted out of it.

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