Genesis 20-22 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Sarah Rescued from Abimelech
20 From there Abraham traveled to the region of the Negev and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he lived in Gerar, 2 Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech king of Gerar had Sarah brought to him.
3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “You are about to die because of the woman you have taken, for she is a married woman.”[a]
4 Now Abimelech had not approached her, so he said, “Lord, would You destroy a nation even though it is innocent? 5 Didn’t he himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ I did this with a clear conscience[b] and clean[c] hands.”
6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you did this with a clear conscience.[d] I have also kept you from sinning against Me. Therefore I have not let you touch her. 7 Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, know that you will certainly die, you and all who are yours.”
8 Early in the morning Abimelech got up, called all his servants together, and personally[e] told them all these things, and the men were terrified.
9 Then Abimelech called Abraham in and said to him, “What have you done to us? How did I sin against you that you have brought such enormous guilt on me and on my kingdom? You have done things to me that should never be done.” 10 Abimelech also said to Abraham, “What did you intend when you did this thing?”
11 Abraham replied, “I thought, ‘There is absolutely no fear of God in this place. They will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. 13 So when God had me wander from my father’s house, I said to her: Show your loyalty to me wherever we go and say about me: ‘He’s my brother.’”
14 Then Abimelech took sheep and cattle and male and female slaves, gave them to Abraham, and returned his wife Sarah to him. 15 Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you. Settle wherever you want.”[f] 16 And he said to Sarah, “Look, I am giving your brother 1,000 pieces of silver. It is a verification of your honor[g] to all who are with you. You are fully vindicated.”
17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female slaves so that they could bear children, 18 for the Lord had completely closed all the wombs in Abimelech’s household on account of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
The Birth of Isaac
21 The Lord came to Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what He had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time God had told him. 3 Abraham named his son who was born to him—the one Sarah bore to him—Isaac. 4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, 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, and everyone who hears will laugh with me.”[h] 7 She also said, “Who would have told Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne a son for him[i] in his old age.”
Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away
8 The child grew and was weaned, and Abraham held a great feast on the day Isaac was weaned. 9 But Sarah saw the son mocking[j]—the one Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham. 10 So she said to Abraham, “Drive out this slave with her son, for the son of this slave will not be a coheir with my son Isaac!”
11 Now this was a very difficult thing for[k] Abraham because of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be concerned[l] about the boy and your slave. Whatever Sarah says to you, listen to her, because your offspring will be traced through Isaac. 13 But I will also make a nation of the slave’s son because he is your offspring.”
14 Early in the morning Abraham got up, took bread and a waterskin, put them on Hagar’s shoulders, and sent her and the boy away.[m] She left and wandered in the Wilderness of Beer-sheba. 15 When the water in the skin was gone, she left the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she said, “I can’t bear to watch the boy die!” So as she sat nearby, she[n] wept loudly.
17 God heard the voice of the boy, and the[o] angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What’s wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy from the place where he is. 18 Get up, help the boy up, and support him, for I will make him a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the waterskin and gave the boy a drink. 20 God was with the boy, and he grew; he settled in the wilderness and became an archer. 21 He settled in the Wilderness of Paran, and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
Abraham’s Covenant with Abimelech
22 At that time Abimelech, accompanied by Phicol the commander of his army, said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do. 23 Swear to me by God here and now, that you will not break an agreement with me or with my children and descendants. As I have been loyal to you, so you will be loyal to me and to the country where you are a foreign resident.”
24 And Abraham said, “I swear it.” 25 But Abraham complained to Abimelech because of the water well that Abimelech’s servants had seized.
26 Abimelech replied, “I don’t know who did this thing. You didn’t report anything to me, so I hadn’t heard about it until today.”
27 Abraham took sheep and cattle[p] and gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them made a covenant. 28 Abraham separated seven ewe lambs from the flock. 29 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “Why have you separated these seven ewe lambs?”
30 He replied, “You are to accept the seven ewe lambs from my hand so that this act[q] will serve as my witness that I dug this well.” 31 Therefore that place was called Beer-sheba[r] because it was there that the two of them swore an oath. 32 After they had made a covenant at Beer-sheba, Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, left and returned to the land of the Philistines.
33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and there he called on the name of Yahweh, the Everlasting God. 34 And Abraham lived as a foreigner in the land of the Philistines for many days.
The Sacrifice of Isaac
22 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he answered.
2 “Take your son,” He said, “your only son Isaac, whom you love, go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
3 So Abraham got up early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took with him two of his young men and his son Isaac. He split wood for a burnt offering and set out to go to the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you.” 6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac. In his hand he took the fire and the sacrificial knife,[s] and the two of them walked on together.
7 Then Isaac spoke to his father Abraham and said, “My father.”
And he replied, “Here I am, my son.”
Isaac said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
8 Abraham answered, “God Himself will provide[t] the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” Then the two of them walked on together.
9 When they arrived at the place that God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood. He bound his son Isaac[u] and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”
He replied, “Here I am.”
12 Then He said, “Do not lay a hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your only son from Me.” 13 Abraham looked up and saw a ram[v] caught in the thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram and offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son. 14 And Abraham named that place The Lord Will Provide,[w] so today it is said: “It will be provided[x] on the Lord’s mountain.”
15 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By Myself I have sworn,” this is the Lord’s declaration: “Because you have done this thing and have not withheld your only son,[y] 17 I will indeed bless you and make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your offspring will possess the gates of their enemies. 18 And all the nations of the earth will be blessed[z] by your offspring because you have obeyed My command.”
19 Abraham went back to his young men, and they got up and went together to Beer-sheba. And Abraham settled in Beer-sheba.
20 Now after these things Abraham was told, “Milcah also has borne sons to your brother Nahor: 21 Uz his firstborn, his brother Buz, Kemuel the father of Aram, 22 Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 23 And Bethuel fathered Rebekah. Milcah bore these eight to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. 24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.
Matthew 7:15-29 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
15 “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. 16 You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ 23 Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!’[a][b]
The Two Foundations
24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great!”
28 When Jesus had finished this sermon,[c] the crowds were astonished at His teaching, 29 because He was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like their scribes.
Psalm 9:1-12 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Celebration of God’s Justice
For the choir director: according to Muth-labben.[a] A Davidic psalm.
1 I will thank Yahweh with all my heart;
3 When my enemies retreat,
7 But the Lord sits enthroned forever;
11 Sing to the Lord, who dwells in Zion;
Proverbs 2:16-22 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
16 It will rescue you from a forbidden woman,