Daily Bible Reading

June 3, 2024

Genesis 16:1-16(GNT)

God’s Guiding Word: Promise

June 3

Introduction

Genesis 16:1–16: Abram’s wife, Sarai, remains childless and offers her slave, Hagar, to Abram so that Abram can have an heir. After Hagar becomes pregnant, she looks with contempt on Sarai. Sarai treats her harshly, and Hagar runs away. Hagar encounters an angel of the LORD who tells her to return to her mistress. Hagar bears Abram a son who is named Ishmael.

Today’s Key Verse: Genesis 16:13

Hagar asked herself, “Have I really seen God and lived to tell about it?” So she called the LORD, who had spoken to her, “A God Who Sees.”

Reading

16 Abram’s wife Sarai had not borne him any children. But she had an Egyptian slave woman named Hagar, and so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Why don’t you sleep with my slave? Perhaps she can have a child for me.” Abram agreed with what Sarai said. So she gave Hagar to him to be his concubine. (This happened after Abram had lived in Canaan for ten years.) Abram had intercourse with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When she found out that she was pregnant, she became proud and despised Sarai.

Then Sarai said to Abram, “It’s your fault that Hagar despises me. I myself gave her to you, and ever since she found out that she was pregnant, she has despised me. May the Lord judge which of us is right, you or me!”

Abram answered, “Very well, she is your slave and under your control; do whatever you want with her.” Then Sarai treated Hagar so cruelly that she ran away.

The angel of the Lord met Hagar at a spring in the desert on the road to Shur and said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?”

She answered, “I am running away from my mistress.”

He said, “Go back to her and be her slave.” 10 Then he said, “I will give you so many descendants that no one will be able to count them. 11 You are going to have a son, and you will name him Ishmael, because the Lord has heard your cry of distress. 12 But your son will live like a wild donkey; he will be against everyone, and everyone will be against him. He will live apart from all his relatives.”

13 Hagar asked herself, “Have I really seen God and lived to tell about it?” So she called the Lord, who had spoken to her, “A God Who Sees.” 14 That is why people call the well between Kadesh and Bered “The Well of the Living One Who Sees Me.”

15 Hagar bore Abram a son, and he named him Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old at the time.

Reflect

In the ancient Near East, it was not uncommon for an infertile wife to offer her maidservant to her husband to get an heir. Think about yesterday’s reading (Genesis 15) where God reassures Abram that he will have an heir. How does today’s reading reflect tension between that promise and Sarai’s childlessness? In agreeing to Sarai’s request, do you think Abram exhibits a lack of trust in God’s promise? Why or why not? What does this reading reveal about the relationship between Sarai and Hagar? What is Hagar told concerning the child she is to bear (verses 9–12)?

Pray

Almighty God, you are “A God Who Sees” and all creation is in your care. In faith and with trust, I look to you for guidance. I thank and praise you for nourishing and sustaining me day by day with your precious word. Amen.

And now, join us in praying for the Bible Societies in Israel and Gaza. Lord God, since the war began on October 7, the Palestinian Bible Society in Gaza has been demolished. Two staff members were injured but are recovering well. Bombs have fallen near the Bible Society in Israel, but the offices are currently intact, and no staff were injured. Even though the situation remains complex and uncertain, these Bible Societies continue to work steadfastly to offer Bibles, aid, and spiritual support. Lord God, these two Bible Societies continue to persevere despite war and loss, and we thank Bible-A-Month Partners for their prayerful support. Amen.

Tomorrow’s Reading

Genesis 17:1–27: Circumcision becomes the sign of God’s covenant with Abram.

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