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52 Weeks Discussion > Week 2 Day 1 - Genesis 16-18

Good study today! It’s a good reminder about the important lesson in Christian life — that of learning to wait upon the Lord. The author said, “Sometimes God laces us in a position of testing our faith ...”. I think I would change the word, “sometimes,” to “oftentimes.” It seems that almost every choice we make in life boils down to a test of our faith. And what he says about the time that God often makes us wait is so true. Sometimes it’s a short time period; other times it seems like a lifetime. I think of Joseph and the years he was unjustly incarcerated in prison. That had to test his faith.

Something occurred to me as I was reading through the Scripture passage for today and coupled with something the author stated in his commentary. He spoke of the strife between Ishmael and Isaac and how it continues to this day in the form of the Arab nations warring with Israel. What struck me when reading the Scripture passage for today was the fact that Ishmael was circumcised as well (Genesis 17:23-27) as a sign of God’s covenant with Abraham. My curiosity regarding that is, what do the Arabs do with that in their theology today? I know that in their theology, the say that Ishmael (instead of Isaac) was the son that Abraham was about to sacrifice on the altar, when God provided the substitute ram for sacrifice. But I’ve never heard anything about the fact that Ishmael was circumcised. Do the Arab nations continue that practice today? I don’t know.

March 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPastor Ken

I guess I’m replying to my own query. After posting the question, I googled the internet to find out the customary practices of circumcision amongst the Arab nations (Islam). From what I found out, the vast majority of Muslims practice circumcision today. So, I guess it’s not a problem for Ishmael to have been circumcised. I guess this would make sense. Since they view Ishmael as the first-born of Abraham and thus the chosen seed in their eyes (regardless of God’s promise and commitment to Abraham), the custom of circumcision would have continued on.

March 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPastor Ken


I agree with your statement that “it seems that almost every choice we make in life boils down to a test of our faith”, and have to say that more often then not, I fail because I rely on my own wisdom and my own experiences to guide my choices. However, I have also seen in my own life over and over again how what seems to me like the last minute, is actually perfect timing when it all falls into place. God’s timing is not always my timing, BUT it is His perfect timing. Bottom line, doing something like Sarai did (not literally but figuratively) is trusting in my own wisdom to take care of my life and where I think it needs to go. I have to stop trusting in my own wisdom and start trusting in God’s because He knows so much better than I do what I need. Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV) “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”.

March 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJamie F.

Was the Egyptian maid, Hagar, a dependent of Noah’s son Ham?

March 17, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

Diane, I have done some looking and I am not able to definitively see where Hagar descended from, maybe someone else knows more though. The first mention of Hagar is in Genesis 16:1 where it mentions that Sarai had an Egyptian handmaid named Hagar but aside from saying she is Egyptian, it does not mention anything else concerning her background.

Many modern Bible translations translate the name of Ham's son "Mizraim" to Egypt because it is believed that the Egyptians descended from him, however, I personally cannot find scripture to support this one way or another. Perhaps someone else has more insight on this. Based on the verses Psalms 105:23, (Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham), Psalms 106:21-22 (They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt; Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea), and it might be safe to make the assumption though that the Egyptians are descendants of Ham, it is just unclear which son - and therefore, may answer your question.


March 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJamie F.

Thanks, Jamie for doing some digging on this.

March 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDiane