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BIBLE FOR YOU!--No.39! --Test on Genesis 18!       DFO 2806       11/90
--Bible Classtime with Grandpa!

       1. (Techi: Thank You Jesus! Thank You Lord for this time that we have to take a test. We really pray that You'll help us to really learn from it & to get a lot out of it. Please bless Grandpa as he teaches us too & help him to feel good & to be strengthened, in Jesus' name. Thank You Lord! Amen!) Amen! Thank You Lord! Notebooks ready? Head your test page with your name, date & the name of the test: "Genesis Chapter 18!"

       Genesis 18 Test!

       2. No. 1: So Abraham was sitting inside of his tent door in the heat of the day in the plains of Mamre & he lifted up his eyes & looked, & lo, how many men stood by him? Just write the number.
       3. No. 2: And he ran to meet them from the tent door & bowed himself toward the ground & said, "My blank."--What did he call one of them?
       4. No. 3: And the other two men were probably what?
       5. No. 4: So what did Abraham do immediately for these men? (Techi: He asked some other people to do some things.) Yes, he had his wife Sarah prepare them. Just tell us one of the things that Sarah made for them.
       6. No. 5: And Abraham himself ran & fetched a what for them to eat? He picked it out himself, but he gave it to a young man to dress it.
       7. No. 6: And they ate it under a what? It wasn't a tent. (Techi: One word?) Yes, just one word.
       8. No. 7: And He promised Abraham a what?
       9. No. 8: And when Sarah heard it, what did she do? She was inside the tent so she probably figured the Lord didn't see her.
       10. No. 9: And there's a very famous Scripture right here that is often quoted by us & which has been a help to many: "Is anything too what for the Lord?"
       11. No. 10: And when the Lord accused Sarah for having done what she did, then what did she do?
       12. No. 11: Then the three visitors rose up, & where were they headed?--Towards what city?
       13. No. 12: The Lord said, "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I'm going to do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great & mighty nation, & all nations of the Earth shall be blessed in him." What was that a prophecy of?--The coming of Whom? How would all the nations of the Earth be blessed by Abraham? Through Whom?
       14. No. 13: "And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom & Gomorrah is great, & because their what is very grievous, I will go down now & see whether they have done altogether according to the cry which is come unto Me; & if not, I will know." The Lord was sure giving them every chance, wasn't He? He was going to go down & check it out & see if they were really that bad.
       15. No. 14: So Abraham was thinking about whom when he started his pleading? One of his relatives was living there in the city; he was even a judge!
       16. No. 15: So Abraham said, "Now Lord, would You also destroy the what with the wicked?"
       17. No. 16: So what number of people did the Lord first say He would save the city for? He said, "If I find blank righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes."
       18. No. 17: Then Abraham sort of apologises for carrying on the conversation, & finally he gets the Lord to reduce it down to what number?
       19. And we'll have to stop there because I can't think of any more important questions to ask you! Check your answers carefully, & if you missed any, go back & pray about it. Now exchange your papers & we'll go through the answers.

       Test Answers!

       20. No. 1: How many men did Abraham see coming towards him? (David: Three.) Yes. It says "three men stood by him." Actually they weren't standing right by him, but they were coming in his direction & he ran to meet them. Maybe they were standing out under a tree.
       21. No. 2: And what did Abraham call one of them? (Kids: My Lord.)
       22. No. 3: And the other two men were probably what? (Kids: Angels!)
       23. No. 4: So what did Abraham have his wife prepare for the men? (Techi: Biscuits.) Yes, you could say biscuits or cakes or bread, any of those would be all right.
       24. No. 5: And Abraham himself ran into the herd & picked out a what? (Techi: A calf.) Very good, you got the exact word. And he gave it to a young man to dress it. He also took butter & milk & set it out along with it. By then they had bread & meat & butter to put on their buns, & milk to wash it down. So it must have been hot roast beef sandwiches! That was MacAbraham's barbecue! Ha! (Techi: Can Angels eat?) Yes, they can!
       25. No. 6: And they ate it under a what? (Techi: A tree!) Yes, they probably sat down & ate their beef sandwiches under a tree.
       26. No. 7: So then the Lord promised Abraham a child or a son, either one of those would be correct.
       27. No. 8: And what did Sarah do? (David: She laughed.) Right!
       28. No. 9: And what is the famous Scripture the Lord gives Abraham? (Techi: "Is anything too hard for the Lord?") Right!
       29. No. 10: And then when the Lord heard it & asked Sarah why she laughed, what did she do? (Techi: She lied.) Yes, she lied or denied it. I think the Lord took it pretty well, though, He didn't slay her on the spot. (Techi: Well, Abraham had laughed before, & He didn't slay him on the spot either.) Yes. It was a pretty hard thing to believe. So Sarah denied it, saying, "I laughed not." But the Lord said, "Nay, but you did." (Techi: "Nay, but thou didst.") Yes, sometimes I interpret this into modern language, is that all right? That's my "revised version"! I used to do that when you kids were little to make it simple so you could understand it.
       30. No. 11: So the men got up & they went where? (Kids: Towards Sodom!) And Abraham went with them a little way. Maybe he went with them to guide them & show the road.
       31. No. 12: How would all the nations of the Earth be blessed by Abraham?--Through Whom? (David: Jesus!) Yes! He was going to bless the whole World through Jesus.
       32. No. 13: "The cry of Sodom & Gomorrah is great & their what is very grievous?" (David: Sin.) Yes. Or if you had written "wickedness" or anything like that, that would be okay. So the Lord wanted to go down & check it out, right? (David: Yes.)
       33. No. 14: And Abraham was thinking about whom? (Kids: Lot.) Right.
       34. No. 15: And now Abraham begins his argument with the Lord! He did it very politely & very delicately. He said, "Wilt Thou also destroy the what with the wicked?" (Techi: The righteous.) Right. "You wouldn't kill righteous people, would You, Lord?"
       35. No. 16: So the Lord began by saying if there were how many righteous people in the city He'd save it? (Techi: 50!) Fifty, right.
       36. No. 17: But dear Abraham, being the Jew that he was--& they're very good at arguments--he whittled it down to how many? (Kids: Ten!) Yes, just for ten. I think he figured that would cover Lot & his family. (David: I guess there weren't even ten, because it got destroyed.) Yes, they apparently didn't have ten.
       37. So apparently Abraham won his argument with the Lord! And the Lord was very patient & tolerant with him, wasn't He? Abraham kept the Lord there quite a while, no doubt to keep whittling down the number. He started out very gently with 50, then he said, "You wouldn't destroy the city if there were 45 there, would You?" And then he went down to 40. Then he went down to 30, & then he went down to 20. And finally he came down to what? (David: 10! And he probably would have gone to five if the Lord hadn't left.) Yes, I think the Lord was getting a little impatient & figured that ten would be sufficient.
       38. All right! Grade your papers & give them back to the owners. And by the way, each mistake is worth six points because 17 goes into 100 nearly six times. (David: OK! We both got 100%!) Good for you! Now file your papers in your test section & enter the test number & Chapter number & your grade. OK? (Techi: OK!)

       Closing & Prayer!

       39. All right! We finished at just the right time, since we started late. That was Chapter 18, & Lord willing, tomorrow night we'll study Genesis 19! If we have time we'll have a test too, but it's a pretty big subject, I think. It's about Lot in Sodom. So praise the Lord! Who is praying? (David: I am! Thank You Jesus for this test & for these good Bible studies! Thank You for how much we're learning from them. Please help us to remember what we learned tonight & be able to use it when we need it. We pray You will bless the rest of our evening, in Jesus' name. Amen!) Amen! Praise the Lord! God bless you!

       Picture captions & fact boxes:

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       A COVENANT is an agreement between two people or two groups that involves promises on the part of each to the other. By making a covenant with Abraham, God promised to bless His descendants & to make them His special people. Abraham, in return, was to remain faithful to God and to serve as a channel through which God's blessings could flow to the rest of the World (Gen.12:1-3).
       Even before Abraham's time, God also made a covenant with Noah, assuring Noah that He would not again destroy the World by flood (Genesis 9). Another famous covenant was between God & David, in which David & his descendants were established as the royal heirs to the throne of the nation of Israel (2 Sam.7:12; 22:51). This covenant agreement reached its highest fulfillment when Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of the line of David, was born in Bethlehem about a thousand years after God made this promise to David the king.
       Jesus' death ushered in a new covenant under which we are justified by God's grace & mercy rather than our human attempts to keep the law. Jesus Himself is the Mediator of this better covenant between God & Man (Heb. 9:15). Jesus' sacrificial death served as the oath, or pledge, which God made to us to seal this new covenant. He has given us Eternal Life & fellowship with Him, in spite of our unworthiness.
       --Reference Book

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       CIRCUMCISION is the surgical removal of the foreskin of the male sex organ. This action served as a sign of God's covenant relation with the Jews. Circumcision was not a new rite, neither was it confined to the Hebrew people. It was widely practiced in many parts of the World, especially in Egypt & Canaan. But among these people the rite was performed at the beginning of puberty, or about 12 years of age, as a sort of initiation ceremony into manhood. In contrast, the Hebrew people performed circumcision on infants. Assyrians & Babylonians, however, refused to have any part in it. Note that David scornfully refers to Goliath as an "uncircumcised Philistine" (1Sam.17:26).
       In the Bible's first mention of circumcision, God instructed Abraham to circumcise every male child in his household, including servants, "in the flesh of your foreskins" (Gen.17:11). The custom was performed on the eighth day after birth (Gen. 17:12). Recent studies have confirmed that the safest time to perform a circumcision is on the eighth day of life. Vitamin K, which causes blood to coagulate, is not produced in sufficient amounts until the fifth to seventh day. On the eighth day the body contains 10% more prothrombin (a plasma protein) than normal, which is also important in the clotting of blood.
       The naming of the child frequently accompanied the act of circumcision on the 8th day. This happened in the case of John (Luke 1:59) & Jesus (Luke 2:21).
       In the early history of the Jewish people, circumcision was performed by the father. But the surgical task was eventually taken over by a specialist. Circumcision of the Jewish male was required as a visible, physical sign of the covenant between the Lord & His people. Any male not circumcised was to be "cut off from his people" (Gen.17:14).
       Although circumcision was required by the Mosaic law, the rite was neglected when the people of Israel wandered in the wilderness. The nation had broken their covenant with God through their disobedience, & all of the older generation except Joshua & Caleb died in the desert. The rite was resumed when they entered the land of Canaan, with Joshua performing the ritual on the generation born in the wilderness. (Josh.5:2-7)
       The Jews came to take great pride in circumcision, which to them was like a badge of their spiritual & national superiority. Gentiles came to be regarded by the Jews as the "uncircumcision," a term of disrespect implying that non-Jewish peoples were outside the circle of God's Love. The terms "circumcised" & "uncircumcised" became emotionally charged symbols to Israel & their Gentile neighbours. This issue later brought discord into the fellowship of the New Testament church.
       Moses & the Prophets used the term "circumcised" as a symbol for purity of heart & readiness to hear & obey. Through Moses the Lord challenged the Israelites to submit to "circumcision of the heart," a reference to their need for repentance. "If their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, & they accept their guilt," God declared, "then will I remember My covenant" (Lev.26:41-42); (also Deut.10:16). Jeremiah characterised rebellious Israel as having "uncircumcised" ears (6:10) & being "uncircumcised in the heart" (9:26).
       In the New Testament, circumcision was faithfully practiced by devout Jews as recognition of God's continuing covenant with Israel. Both John the Baptist (Luke 1:59) & Jesus (Luke 2:21) were circumcised. But controversy over circumcision divided the Early Church, which included believers from both Jewish & Gentile backgrounds. Gentile believers regarded their Jewish brethren as eccentric because of their dietary laws, Sabbath rules, & circumcision practices. Jewish believers tended to view their uncircumcised Gentile brothers as unenlightened & disobedient to the Law of Moses.
       A crisis erupted in the church at Antioch when believers from Judea (known as Judaizers or "the Concision") taught the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved" (Acts 15:1-2). In effect, the Judaizers insisted that a believer from a non-Jewish background (Gentile) must first become a Jew ceremonially (by being circumcised) before he could be admitted to the Christian brotherhood. A council of apostles & elders was convened in Jerusalem to resolve the issue (Acts 15:6-29). Among those attending were Paul, Barnabas, Simon Peter, & James, pastor of the Jerusalem church. To insist on circumcision for the Gentiles, Peter argued, would amount to an unnecessary burden & bondage to the now defunct Law of Moses, as it is "through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ" that we are saved (Acts 15:10,11). This was the decision handed down by the council, & the church broke away from the binding legalism of Judaism.
       Years later, reinforcing this decision, the Apostle Paul wrote the believers at Rome that Abraham, "the father of circumcision" (Rom. 4:12), was saved by faith rather than by circumcision (Rom.4:9-12). He declared circumcision to be of no value unless accompanied by an obedient spirit (Rom.2:25-29). Paul also spoke of the "circumcision of Christ" (Col.2:11), a reference to His atoning death which nailed legalism "to the cross" (Col.2:14). In essence, Paul declared that the new covenant of Christ's blood has provided forgiveness to both Jew & Gentile & has made circumcision totally unnecessary. All that ultimately matters for both Jew & Gentile, Paul says, is a changed nature--a new creation that makes them one in Jesus Christ (Eph.2:14-18).
       --Reference Book

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       ISHMAELITES [EDITED: "ISH may el ites"]--descendants of Ishmael, Abraham's first son. His mother was Sarah's Egyptian servant, Hagar (Gen.16:1-16; 1Chr.1:28). The Ishmaelites, like the Israelites (Abraham's children through Sarah), were divided into 12 tribes (Gen. 25:16). Out of respect for Abraham, God made a great nation of the Ishmaelites, even though Ishmael was not Abraham's promised son (Gen.21:12-13). Ishmael's 12 sons had many descendants who lived as nomads in the deserts of northern Arabia.
       The Old Testament eventually used the term Ishmaelite in a broader sense, referring to all the Arabian merchants. Any wild & war-like peoples of the desert could claim to be descendants of Ishmael (Gen.16:12). This wider use of Ishmaelites is illustrated by an event in the life of Joseph. His older brothers sold him to some caravan traders who were called "a company of Ishmaelites" (Gen.37:25) as well as "Midianite" traders (37:28). They were probably a minor clan of the larger Ishmaelite tribe. Mohammed claimed Ishmael as his ancestor, as do most Arabs.

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       SLAVERY IN ANCIENT ISRAEL. Men became slaves of their brethren for the following reasons:
       (a) Poverty, the inability to sustain oneself & one's family. This was regarded as a kind of sale, in that the person sold the right to his labour to one of his brethren in return for support for himself & his family (Lev.25:39,47). Exorbitant interest rates on loans, although forbidden under Jewish law, often brought a man to bankruptcy & subsequent slavery. Some of King David's followers were defaulting debtors who had fled their creditors (1Sam.22:2).
       (b) Restitution for theft. Repayment by law required the return of at least double the amount stolen. Should the thief be unable to pay what was required, he was sold for his theft & made the restitution by his work (Exo.22:1-4).
       (c) Birth. Children of a Hebrew slave became slaves of their master by birth (Exo.21:4), though this could not have been permanent except in the case of one who had chosen permanent slavery (Exo.21:6; Deut.15:17).
       (d) Children of a defaulting debtor were sold to pay the debt or were claimed along with their father as slaves until the next year of jubilee. [EDITED: "Every 50 years."] (Exo.21:7; Lev.25:39-41,47,54; 2Kgs.4:1; Neh.5:5; Isa.50:1.)
       (e) Abduction. Joseph's brothers essentially stole him & sold him as a slave (Gen.37:27-28). To reduce a kidnapped person to slavery was a crime punishable by death (Exo.21:16; Deut.24:7).
       There were limits to slave service under the Mosaic law. Besides freedom granted in the year of jubilee, a relative might redeem the slave (Lev.25:48-49). If not redeemed, however, a person would receive freedom after six years' service together with a gift of cattle or fruits from his master (Exo.21:2; Deut.15:12-15). A man's wife, & her children also, went free with him (Exo.21:3). If, however, the slave had received his wife from her master, then she & her children remained with the owner (Exo.21:4).
       In his seventh year, a Hebrew servant could choose to become a permanent slave instead of accepting freedom. If so, he came before the elders & had his ear bored through with an aul (awl) against a doorpost, & thereby became a lifelong servant (Exo.21:6; Deut.15:17), wearing a gold earring to show he was a "love slave."

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       Abraham entertains three mysterious visitors.


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