Genesis 20-22Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Abraham and Sarah at Gerar
20 Abraham moved to the Southern Desert, where he settled between Kadesh and Shur. Later he went to Gerar, and while there 2 he told everyone that his wife Sarah was his sister. So King Abimelech of Gerar had Sarah brought to him. 3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream and said, “You have taken a married woman, and for this you will die!”
4-5 Abimelech said to the Lord, “Don’t kill me! I haven’t slept with Sarah. Didn’t they say they were brother and sister? I am completely innocent.”
6 God spoke to Abimelech in another dream and said:
I know you are innocent. That’s why I kept you from sleeping with Sarah and doing anything wrong. 7 Her husband is a prophet. Let her go back to him, and his prayers will save you from death. But if you don’t return her, you and all your people will die.
8 Early the next morning Abimelech sent for his officials, and when he told them what had happened, they were frightened. 9 Abimelech then called in Abraham and said:
Look what you’ve done to us! What have I ever done to you? Why did you make me and my nation guilty of such a terrible sin? 10 What were you thinking when you did this?
11 Abraham answered:
I did it because I didn’t think any of you respected God, and I was sure that someone would kill me to get my wife. 12 Besides, she is my half sister. We have the same father, but different mothers. 13 When God made us leave my father’s home and start wandering, I told her, “If you really love me, you will tell everyone that I am your brother.”
14 Abimelech gave Abraham some sheep, cattle, and slaves. He sent Sarah back 15 and told Abraham that he could settle anywhere in his country. 16 Then he said to Sarah, “I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver as proof to everyone that you have done nothing wrong.”[a]
17-18 Meanwhile, God had kept Abimelech’s wife and slaves from having children. But Abraham prayed, and God let them start having children again.
Sarah Has a Son
21 The Lord was good to Sarah and kept his promise. 2 Although Abraham was very old, Sarah had a son exactly at the time God had said. 3 Abraham named his son Isaac, 4 and when the boy was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, just as the Lord had commanded.
5 Abraham was a hundred years old when Isaac was born, 6 and Sarah said, “God has made me laugh.[b] Now everyone will laugh with me. 7 Who would have dared to tell Abraham that someday I would have a child? But in his old age, I have given him a son.”
8 The time came when Sarah no longer had to nurse Isaac,[c] and on that day Abraham gave a big feast.
Hagar and Ishmael Are Sent Away
9-10 One day, Sarah noticed Hagar’s son Ishmael[d] playing,[e] and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that Egyptian slave woman and her son! I don’t want him to inherit anything. It should all go to my son.”[f]
11 Abraham was worried about Ishmael. 12 But God said, “Abraham, don’t worry about your slave woman and the boy. Just do what Sarah tells you. Isaac will inherit your family name, 13 but the son of the slave woman is also your son, and I will make his descendants into a great nation.”
14 Early the next morning Abraham gave Hagar an animal skin full of water and some bread. Then he put the boy on her shoulder and sent them away.
They wandered around in the desert near Beersheba, 15 and after they had run out of water, Hagar put her son under a bush. 16 Then she sat down a long way off, because she could not bear to watch him die. And she cried bitterly.
17 When God heard the boy crying, the angel of God called out to Hagar from heaven and said, “Hagar, why are you worried? Don’t be afraid. I have heard your son crying. 18 Help him up and hold his hand, because I will make him the father of a great nation.” 19 Then God let her see a well. So she went to the well and filled the skin with water, then gave some to her son.
20-21 God blessed Ishmael, and as the boy grew older, he became an expert with his bow and arrows. He lived in the Paran Desert, and his mother chose an Egyptian woman for him to marry.
A Peace Treaty
22 About this time Abimelech and his army commander Phicol said to Abraham, “God blesses everything you do! 23 Now I want you to promise in the name of God that you will always be loyal to me and my descendants, just as I have always been loyal to you in this land where you have lived as a foreigner.” 24 And so, Abraham promised.
25 One day, Abraham told Abimelech, “Some of your servants have taken over one of my wells.”
26 “This is the first I’ve heard about it,” Abimelech replied. “Why haven’t you said something before? I don’t have any idea who did it.” 27 Abraham gave Abimelech some sheep and cattle, and then the two men made a peace treaty.
28 Abraham separated seven female lambs from his flock of sheep, 29 and Abimelech asked, “Why have you done this?”
30 Abraham told him, “I want you to accept these seven lambs as proof that I dug this well.” 31 So they called the place Beersheba,[g] because they made a treaty there.
32 When the treaty was completed, Abimelech and his army commander Phicol went back to the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree[h] in Beersheba and worshiped the eternal Lord God. 34 Then Abraham lived a long time as a foreigner in the land of the Philistines.
The Lord Tells Abraham To Offer Isaac as a Sacrifice
22 Some years later God decided to test Abraham, so he spoke to him.
Abraham answered, “Here I am, Lord.”
2 The Lord said, “Go get Isaac, your only son, the one you dearly love! Take him to the land of Moriah, and I will show you a mountain where you must sacrifice him to me on the fires of an altar.” 3 So Abraham got up early the next morning and chopped wood for the fire. He put a saddle on his donkey and left with Isaac and two servants for the place where God had told him to go.
4 Three days later Abraham looked off in the distance and saw the place. 5 He told his servants, “Stay here with the donkey, while my son and I go over there to worship. We will come back.”
6 Abraham put the wood on Isaac’s shoulder, but he carried the hot coals and the knife. As the two of them walked along, 7-8 Isaac said, “Father, we have the coals and the wood, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?”
“My son,” Abraham answered, “God will provide the lamb.”
The two of them walked on, and 9 when they reached the place that God had told him about, Abraham built an altar and placed the wood on it. Next, he tied up his son and put him on the wood. 10 He then took the knife and got ready to kill his son. 11 But the Lord’s angel shouted from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am!” he answered.
12 “Don’t hurt the boy or harm him in any way!” the angel said. “Now I know that you truly obey God, because you were willing to offer him your only son.”
13 Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in the bushes. So he took the ram and sacrificed it in place of his son.
14 Abraham named that place “The Lord Will Provide.” And even now people say, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”[i]
15 The Lord’s angel called out from heaven a second time:
16 You were willing to offer the Lord your only son, and so he makes you this solemn promise, 17 “I will bless you and give you such a large family, that someday your descendants will be more numerous than the stars in the sky or the grains of sand along the beach. They will defeat their enemies and take over the cities where their enemies live. 18 You have obeyed me, and so you and your descendants will be a blessing to all nations on earth.”
19 Abraham and Isaac went back to the servants who had come with him, and they returned to Abraham’s home in Beersheba.
The Children of Nahor
20-23 Abraham’s brother Nahor had married Milcah, and Abraham was later told that they had eight sons. Uz was their first-born; Buz was next, and then there was Kemuel who became the father of Aram; their other five sons were: Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel, who became the father of Rebekah. 24 Nahor also had another wife.[j] Her name was Reumah, and she had four sons: Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.
Matthew 6:19-34Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Treasures in Heaven
19 Don’t store up treasures on earth! Moths and rust can destroy them, and thieves can break in and steal them. 20 Instead, store up your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy them, and thieves cannot break in and steal them. 21 Your heart will always be where your treasure is.
22 Your eyes are like a window for your body. When they are good, you have all the light you need. 23 But when your eyes are bad, everything is dark. If the light inside you is dark, you surely are in the dark.
24 You cannot be the slave of two masters! You will like one more than the other or be more loyal to one than the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
25 I tell you not to worry about your life. Don’t worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn’t life more than food or clothing? 26 Look at the birds in the sky! They don’t plant or harvest. They don’t even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren’t you worth more than birds?
27 Can worry make you live longer?[a] 28 Why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow. They don’t work hard to make their clothes. 29 But I tell you that Solomon with all his wealth[b] wasn’t as well clothed as one of them. 30 God gives such beauty to everything that grows in the fields, even though it is here today and thrown into a fire tomorrow. He will surely do even more for you! Why do you have such little faith?
31 Don’t worry and ask yourselves, “Will we have anything to eat? Will we have anything to drink? Will we have any clothes to wear?” 32 Only people who don’t know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father in heaven knows that you need all of these. 33 But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.
34 Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.
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