A Tetractys on Trust {gn23}

Photo © Unsplash/Scott Rodgerson

Photo © Unsplash/Scott Rodgerson

Canaan, the land,
as a gift to him and his descendants.

Years passed with no fulfillment of the vow,
but Abraham
had learned to
trust in

passed away,
he bought a grave,
and laid her there to rest in promised land.

Israel's first piece of Canaan was a
burial plot,
a wager
on God's


*Tetractys: A poetic form consisting of at least 5 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 10 syllables, respectively. Tetractys can be written with more than one verse, but each must follow suit with an inverted syllable count.

The Voice That Asked for Sacrifice {gn22}

Photo © Wikimedia Commons/Laurent de La Hyre

Photo © Wikimedia Commons/Laurent de La Hyre

It has been said
that Abraham was crazy,
that the voice he heard
asking him to sacrifice Isaac
was not God's,

that God would never ask a father
to sacrifice his son—
even to prove a point.

I don't buy it.

Not because I'm so convinced
God would use such a method
to make such a point,

but because I'm pretty sure
that any man who obeyed the voice
which asked him to cut off the tip of his
— you know what —
would recognize that voice
if it ever spoke to him again.


An Etheree on Woman Power {gn21:10}

Photo © Unsplash/Geran de Klerk

Photo © Unsplash/Geran de Klerk

Adam to
stomach the fruit.
Sarah expertly
bent Abraham to her
will — "Get rid of that woman!"
Hagar summoned (with desert-hot
tears) Jehovah Almighty Himself.

Who says Biblical women were bridled?


Etheree: A poem consisting of 10 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables, respectively.

A Reality Check for Abraham {gn20:11}

Photo © Unsplash/michael podger

Photo © Unsplash/michael podger

Abraham, Abraham,
Judge of Gerar:
Always a tangled web you're weaving,
dependent, as you are, on your deceiving.

Abraham, Abraham,
Judge of Gerar:
You searched Abimelek's soul and found no respect for God—
or so you thought.

You concluded that you were in danger
since nobody in that land, you thought, would ever listen to God.

Were you including yourself in the count?

Abraham, Abraham,
Judge of Gerar:
As between you and Abimelek,
he was revealed as the one with ears open.
Your judgment was wrong.
Yet your judgment was right.

It wasn't so much that your conclusion was wrong,
just the person to whom you applied it.
Perhaps Jesus said to be careful with judging,
because others can be more of a mirror than we think.

Abraham, Abraham,
Judge of Gerar:
In misjudging others,
you judged yourself.

You imagined that no one in Gerar would respect God
                      ...because you didn't.


Duologue {gn18}

Photo © Unsplash/shttefan

Photo © Unsplash/shttefan

When God mentioned circumcision to his friend,
Abraham didn't think twice
or question once.
Not a single word on the tip of his tongue
about removing the tip of his—
well, you know.

Perhaps it was the finality of
bearing heaven's mark forever in his flesh
that made Abraham bold enough
to dicker with God.

After all,
you'd have to be bold to question
The Judge Of All The Earth
about his morality
and offer suggested improvements
to his strategy.

To be fair, though, it was
The Judge Of All The Earth
who invited himself over for dinner
and initiated the whole conversation.

He knew there weren't any righteous people left in Sodom,
so why even bring it up?

The Judge Of All The Earth
wants more
than a burnt offering in his gut
and a pat on his back.

The Judge Of All The Earth


Foreshadow of Faith {gn17:10-11}


Forefather Abraham must have been filled with
such foreboding as the appointed blade drew near.

He could never have foreseen God's circumscriptive request...
nor foregone its fulfillment once it had been proposed.

After all, he was God's foremost friend on the planet.
Mostly, though, he didn't want God to foreclose on the covenant—

Ishmael had turned out to be the forerunner of the promise,
just a foretaste of the legitimate heir.

God was still forecasting Isaac's arrival,
so obedience was forefront on Abraham's mind.

He cut a deal, therefore, skin and all.


A Patient's Impatience {gn16}

Photo © Unsplash/Ricardo Viana

Photo © Unsplash/Ricardo Viana

Abram couldn't wait on God,
but listened to his wife,
who suggested a surrogate with a working womb,
and together, they foisted Plan B on the Almighty.

That's how Hagar became
the mistress of her mistress' husband,
and that never has a happy ending.
Hagar was destined for a rock and a hard place—
punishment if she refused,
punishment because she obeyed.

Hagar could stomach the morning sickness,
but she'd had it with the abuse
and ran away, determined to die in the desert
rather than spend one more day
as a pawn in a power play.

God could have let Plan B die right along with her
and the unsanctioned baby hiding inside.
Instead, he gave birth to Plan C,
and it's been hard labor ever since.

Abram couldn't wait on God,
but God has enough forbearance
to deal with all our impatient messes—
even if it takes an eternity to clean them up.


God's timing is different than ours.

God's timing is different than ours.


As I was reading this chapter, it dawned on me that the first part of Canaan that Abraham possessed with a burial plot. That seems rather odd, doesn't it, given what God said in Genesis 15:18-21? "On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, 'To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.'"

God reveals what's in the heart.

God reveals what's in the heart.


This is one of the chapters in the Bible that most of us are very familiar with. A lot of questions swirl around this story: Why would God ask Abraham to sacrifice his son? And why in the world would Abraham do it, even without asking a single question? Regardless of the possible answers to these questions, I think this chapter tells us something very important about God that is easy to overlook: He knows what’s in the heart, and He knows how to reveal it.

God doesn't demand perfection.

God doesn't demand perfection.


Abraham, friend and prophet of God, was apparently a slow learner. It hadn’t been that long since he and Sarah lived in Egypt, and here he is, once again, telling the same lies to Abimelech, king of Gerar!

I was genuinely puzzled by this chapter of the Bible. I mean, Abraham already went through this in Egypt with Pharaoh. He told the lie about Sarah because he was afraid of what would happen to him, and it ended up looking like God dealt more severely with Pharaoh instead of dealing with Abraham, who told the lies in the first place.

God is funny.

God is funny.


There are so many things I could write about God from this chapter of Genesis, but I’ve just got to write about God’s sense of humor. Are you sometimes lulled into thinking that God is a stern, distant Deity who frowns over you as you trudge through life? Even if you picture Him as one who wants to have a relationship with you, are you tempted to think that He is more like a harsh, exacting parent who keeps a watchful eye on His children, lest He see any hint of indiscretion?

God sees you.

God sees you.


At the beginning of today's blog, I just need to say that things always go badly when we try to fulfill God’s promises for Him! I think this might be why God doesn’t fill me in on anything that’s happening in my life until it happens...because He knows that if I knew about anything ahead of time, my inner Abraham would probably rise up in me, and I’d try to make God's promises come to pass instead of just letting Him do His thing in His time.

God is a peacemonger.

God is a peacemonger.


Genesis 15 begins with the word of the Lord coming to Abram, and the first thing God says is, "Do not be afraid."

If there was a way to sum up in one, short sentence the overarching message of God to humankind in the Bible, it would have to be this: Do not be afraid. It appears over and over and over again in the Scriptures. It is often, quite literally, the first thing out of the mouth of God or His heavenly messengers when they encounter human beings.

God thinks big.

God thinks big.


Have you ever measured out a cup of sand and tried to count the grains? It might take a while. According to some highly unscientific research I did on the internet, depending on the size of the grain, the number of grains of sand that fit into one cup is anywhere between 2 and 15 million. Wow! Millions of grains of sand in just a single cup. Now imagine how many cups of sand there are in a desert. We can’t even count that high!