Wednesday, September 30, 2009

God Will Provide For You

By Mary Vee

Genesis 22:8-19
God told Abraham to take Isaac up to a certain place on a mountain. I want to tell you this really cool fact I found before I continue the story. This very place that God told Abraham and Isaac to go was the same place the Temple was built many, many years later. This is the same Temple place Jesus went into as a boy and later as a man. I think it is amazing just how much the Bible is like many puzzle pieces that all come together to tell God's story....HIStory. Now, back to our story.

Abraham and Isaac found the place God told them to go. They gathered rocks and built an altar for their sacrifice to God. Abraham wiped the sweat off his forehead and took a drink of water.

The sky was clear and the air smelled of many flowers. Abraham listened. There wasn't any sound. No small animals scurrying around; no larger animals shifting in the bushes.

Isaac looked around. "There are no animals for the sacrifice."

Abraham nodded. "God has always provided for us."

Isaac tipped his head like he was thinking. Then he gave a little smile. "You're right, He has."

Abraham spoke with Isaac for a few more minutes.

God had told Abraham to sacrifice his son. Abraham knew that God would have a special reason for this command. He believed in God so much that he decided he would do anything God asked. No matter what.

Abraham gently bound Isaac and laid him on the altar. Abraham reached over and pulled out his knife to kill his son like God asked.

Suddenly the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven. "Abraham, Abraham!"

Abraham's hand froze. He took a deep breath. "Here I am."

The Angel of the Lord said, "Don't do anything to Isaac. I now know that you honor me and respect me with all your heart since you have not withheld your son, your only son from Me.

Abraham suddenly saw a ram caught in thick bushes. He sighed then quickly untied Isaac.

"Come help me, Son" Abraham was so happy he laughed as he pulled Issac near him. "Let's get the ram God has provided."

He and Isaac took the ram and offered it as a sacrifice to God. They stood back and watched the sacrifice burn. Abraham turned to Isaac, "I will call this place, Yireh, The-Lord-Will-Provide, for God did provided, just like I knew He would."

Suddenly a voice came from heaven again, "Abraham, because you have done what I asked and have not withheld you son, your only son, I will bless you because you obeyed me."

So Abraham and Isaac hiked back to the place where they left the two men then they all hiked back home. Sometimes Abraham skipped. Sometimes Abraham giggled.

God had provided.

Has God provided for you in a special way? Click on the comment button to share.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Genesis 21-22 Word Puzzle

By Mary Vee


Friday, September 25, 2009

God Gives Tests

By Mary Vee

Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac lived rather well. They had lots of servants, lots of cattle and sheep, and plenty of wells. Who could ask for anything more? When everything is going well for us God wants to know if we still are really thinking about Him. Sometimes God gives us a test like our teachers do at school.

Abraham looked at the stars. "So many stars tonight."

The clear night sky showed thousands of stars. Suddenly Abraham heard a voice.

"Abraham," God said.

Abraham looked around to see where the voice came from. "Here I am."

"I want you to take Isaac up to the mountain which I will tell you and offer him to me as a sacrifice."

Abraham went back to his tent and thought about God's command all that night. Hours later colors from the sunrise peeked through the windows. Abraham sighed. "I can't sleep. May as well get up and get to work."

He put a saddle on his donkey and packed food and water. "I'll get the wood chopped and tied to the donkey then get the others."

When he finished he quietly went to Isaac's bed. "Wake up, Son. We're going up the mountain to offer a sacrifice to God."

Isaac stretched and yawned. "Can't I sleep a few more minutes?"

"No, Son. We have a long journey. Tell you what, you get ready while I wake the two men I've chosen to go with us. Five minutes, OK?"

"Yah, sure, Dad."

The group set out walking to the east. They hiked up mountain trails for two days. On the third day Abraham looked up the mountain trail and saw the place God told him to go.

Abraham stopped for a drink. He untied the wood from the donkey. "You two men stay with the donkey. I want to worship God alone with Isaac. When we're finished, we'll come back to you."

Abraham could hardly breathe. The walk up the mountain made his heart beat faster. Even though he was tired, Abraham decided he would obey God no matter what God asked him to do. But, this...this command was so very difficult.

Isaac looked at Abraham. "Are you well? Here, let me carry the wood."

"Yes, I'm fine. Thank you, I appreciate your help."

Abraham used the rope to tie the wood onto Isaac's back then he led the way up the trail.

As they walked Isaac said, "We have everything for the sacrifice, except the lamb."

In between deep breaths Abraham answered, "God will provide for Himself the right lamb for the sacrifice. Look, over there, we're almost to the place."

What will happen next? We'll finish this story in the next post, on Wednesday. Stories like this are hard to tell because someone might not understand that a great ending is coming. I think this story is going to tell us that God wants us to always remember to show Him we love Him whether we're having a good day or a bad day. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Friends are Kind, Friends Forgive.

By Mary Vee

Abraham is still living near Gerar, a city on the southwest side of the Promised Land. Abimelech is still king. The people who live in the area are called Philistines. Sound familiar?

One day King Abimelech called Phichol, the commander of his army, for a meeting. "Do you remember the man, Abraham, who came to live in our city several years ago?"

"Why yes, my liege. He's prospered here in our land. I've kept an eye on him. His cattle and sheep have increased tremendously, as well as the number of his servants."

"Yes, I've seen the same progress and it concerns me. Clearly his God is with him. What if his servants fight with our people and a war is started. Will his God destroy our people?"

"What would you have me do, my liege?"

"Let's pay him a visit."

They rode out to Abraham's camp and met with him outside his tent. Abimelech looked around the camp. "I've seen proof that your God is with you. You've prospered in our land. Promise me, you'll not cause any harm to me, my officials, or my family. Also promise to treat me as kindly as I've treated you for as long as you live here."

Abraham ran his fingers through his beard. "I promise. You've been very kind to me and I'm grateful. And for this reason, I'd like to tell you about a problem. Not too long ago my servants dug a well. Some of your servants attacked my men and stole the well. They've kept guards around the area to prevent us from taking any water."

"I don't know who's done this thing. This is the first time I've been told!" Abimelech turned to Phichol. "Did you know about this?"

"No, my liege."

Abraham signaled to his servant to bring sheep and oxen. Abraham took the animals and gave them to Abimelech. He set seven of the ewe lambs in front. "King Abimelech accept this gift as a covenant of my friendship. These lambs are set aside as a special gift to show I've dug the well we spoke about."

Abimelech smiled. "I'm thankful for this great gift and believe your word. Let's remain friends in this land. I'll see the well is returned to you."

Abimelech and Phichol returned to the palace. The next day Phichol received word that Abraham planted a new Tamarisk tree at the place they met. The note said Abraham named the tree Beersheba, which means "called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God".

Sometimes friends forget to be kind, sometimes friends need to forgive. Can you think of a time you needed to forgive a friend? Can you think of a time a friend needed to forgive you? How did Abraham's friendship with Abimelech turn out?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Genesis Secret Code Puzzle

By Mary Vee

Scroll down past today's puzzle to see the answer to last week's puzzle.
Directions for today's puzzle: Follow the path leading around Israel to discover "who" did "what". Go to each location only once. Place the letters in the blank along the bottom of the puzzle to learn the secret message.

Here is the solution to last week's puzzle: Elam's Army

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I'm So Thirsty and There is No Water

By Mary Vee

In our last post Abraham hugged and waved goodbye to Ishmael.
Hagar didn't know which direction to go. She started walking to the southeast into the wilderness. A few hours later she and Ishmael stopped for a break.

Ishmael rubbed the sweat from his forehead. "Mom, where are we going?"

"I'm not quite sure." She handed him the water. "Don't drink too much, this is all we have until we find more."

He took a few gulps and swiped his face. "That no good half-brother of mine is going to inherit everything."

Hagar sighed. She gazed at the huge wilderness before them. It was so quiet. She only heard the screech of a vulture. "We better keep moving. Maybe there's a village over the next ridge."

They walked and walked for hours. As the sun set Ishmael gathered wood and made a fire to keep warm. Jackals, hyenas, and wolves called out in the night. Hagar held the last of the bread close to her. She tried to sleep, but couldn't.

Ishmael shouted out in his sleep, "I wish you were never born, Isaac!" He swung his arms as if punching someone. Hagar pressed her hand gently on his shoulder to calm him.

The next morning they each took a small drink before continuing their journey. For two days they suffered in the heat and found no water.

Hagar noticed a shrub up ahead. "We'll rest from the heat over there."

When they arrived, Ishmael collapsed on the ground and tried to wet his lips. "I'm so thirsty."

Hagar turned and walked several feet away. She had nothing to give him. When she cried, no tears dripped from her eyes because she was thirsty too.

Hagar fell to the ground, hid her head in the sand, and shouted, "Why won't anyone help us?"

She took a breath. Suddenly Ishmael spoke, but not to her. "Oh, God of my father Abraham, I've sinned. I hurt baby Isaac, I know I shouldn't have. I have been cruel to him. This is all my fault. Forgive me. Please, forgive me."

Hagar raised her head and gazed at her son.

The angel of God suddenly spoke from heaven. "Hagar what's wrong? Don't be afraid. God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise and take care of him, for I will make him a great nation."

Hagar rubbed her sleeve across her face and blinked. "Ishmael, oh Ishmael, look behind you--a short ways beyond that bush--can you see?" She gathered her skirt and the empty water skin then ran as fast as she could beyond the bush to a well filled with water.

God took care of Hagar and Ishmael throughout their time in the wilderness. Life wasn't easy, but God continued to care for them until Ishmael finally apologized for hurting Isaac. Do you know which story in the New Testament talks about Jesus giving special water? Click on the comment button to tell me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


By Mary Vee

Genesis 21:8-14
In our last story, Sarah saw Ishmael picking on baby Isaac. Ishmael was seventeen-years-old at this time and Isaac was three. Sarah told Abraham what she saw.

"Look, Husband, Ishmael can't be trusted. He could have hurt Isaac. He and his mother must go, they have to go now. I won't have him trying to take away Isaac's inheritance."

"Sarah, my lovely wife, be reasonable. Ishmael is my son."

Sarah went in the tent and refused to speak to Abraham the rest of the night.

While Abraham rested, God spoke to him. "Abraham, don't be sad about sending Ishmael and his mother away. You need to listen to Sarah. My promises to you will come to pass through Isaac. I know how much you love Ishmael. For this reason I will also make a nation from him because he is your son."

The next morning, Abraham awoke before the rooster crowed. He packed bread and water, visited Hagar and then went to Ishmael's tent.

"Ishmael, wake up."


"I must speak with you." Abraham sat on a nearby chair. "I just came from your mother's tent. I told her the message I received from God last night, now I must tell you."

"OK. What is it?"

"Well, you understand how I feel about obeying God's commands." Abraham picked up a stick from the floor and twirled it around in his hand.

"Yes. You obey God because you love Him."

"Very true. God has asked me to send you and your mother away from here." Abraham took a deep breath. "God said he would make a nation from you because you are my son; but I must first send you and your mother away. You must go this morning. Hagar is packing right now."

Suddenly the tent door opened. Hagar pressed her head inside. "Come Ishmael. Time to go."

Abraham hugged Ishmael. "God be with you both."

At times, God asks us to to do difficult things. God asked Abraham to leave his home and travel to a new place. Abraham obeyed. This is another time God asked Abraham to do something difficult. Abraham obeyed. Perhaps God is asking you to do something difficult like being nice to someone who is mean, doing a chore you don't want to do, or something else. What can we do to help us want to obey?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

King Elam's Puzzle

By Mary Vee

King Elam kidnapped Lot. When Uncle Abraham discovered what King Elam did, he took an army of his men and with God's leading and power, conquered King Elam. He saved Lot and the other prisoners from Sodom. Here is the battlefield. You are Abraham. Put each of King Elam's soldiers into his own box by drawing as few straight lines as possible. The lines are allowed to cross. This puzzle can be done with five lines. Do you want the answer? Click on comment and tell me. I won't spoil the game by telling you before you are ready. Have fun:)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Abraham and Ishmael

By Mary Vee

Genesis 21:8,9

Abraham had two sons now. Baby Isaac spent most of his time with his mama, Sarah. She fed him, kept him clean, held him when he cried, and laid him down for naps.

Abraham spent some time with baby Isaac, too. He noticed baby Isaac's first tooth. He yanked his finger away and cried "Ouch!" when Isaac bit him after other teeth came.

But, Abraham liked spending more of his time teaching Ishmael how to care for the sheep and cattle. Now that Ishmael was fourteen years old he understood pieces of the family business.

"Ishmael, take this message to the servants in the field, then bring back firewood."

"Yes, Father."

Abraham nodded. "You're doing a fine job."

When baby Isaac turned three, Abraham and Sarah gave him a special party. The servants came and maybe a few neighbors to celebrate Isaac's birthday.

During the party Ishmael watched for a second when Isaac stood alone.

After the meal, Isaac suddenly shouted, "Bird!" He ran to a tree. "Bird!"

Ishmael glanced around. No one was watching the little boy. He crept over to Isaac and gave him a shove. "Hey, flea. You may think you're important, but you're not. I'm the oldest. I'm the one who will get our father's business. When he dies, I'm going to--"

Abraham called from the other side of the tent. "Ishmael, get our best ram. I want to show him off."

"Yes, Father." Ishmael squinted his eyes at Isaac. "He may have saved you this time, but he's too old to see everything."

Ishmael shoved Isaac one last time then ran to the field, proud of his high position in the family.

Sarah smiled at a guest. "Excuse me, I'll be right back."

She walked over to the tree and hugged Isaac. "What do you see?"

Little Isaac sniffed and rubbed his eye. He pointed up in the tree. "Bird."

"Yes, there is a birdie up there." She held Isaac's hand and walked him back to the party.

That night, Sarah told Abraham what happened.

Have you ever had someone pick on you? We don't often realize that God is watching over us even when others are cruel. God promises to take care of you. Will you share a time when God helped you or someone you know, or someone from the Bible.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

God Likes to Make You Laugh

By Mary Vee

At the end of the last story, Abraham apologized for lying to King Abimelech. He felt happy in his heart that God forgave Him.

Abraham sat outside his tent and stoked the fire. A breeze blew the tall grasses in the fields. Even with his old eyes he could see the mountain where he use to live off in the distance. He took a sip of water and leaned back in his chair. "Ahhhh, life is good. God has blessed my family beyond what I could ever ask."

"Aaaa hem," Sarah cleared her throat. "Husband, I have unusual news for you."


"I'm, going to have a baby."

Abraham blinked his eyes and shook his head. "You're what?"

Sarah giggled then laughed. Her eyes twinkled. "It's true! God said we would have a child, and look, I'm really going to have a baby."

Abraham jumped from his chair and grabbed her arms. He swung her around, dancing to the left and right. He laughed. "Imagine that, a ninety-year old mother and a one-hundred-year old father." He chuckled and swung her around a few more times then they both plopped down in their chairs by the fire.

"Up on that very mountain in the distance the Lord told us we would have a baby in one year from that time." Sarah wiped a tear of joy then giggled. "He kept His promise."

Abraham nodded. "I think we should name him Isaac."

"Isaac means laughter, what a good idea, Husband. I'm sure everyone who hears that we old people are having a baby will burst out laughing." Sarah propped her feet up on a rock.

Abraham chuckled as he leaned over to stir the fire. "Just wait until Lot hears about this....ha, ha, he, he, ho, ho." They both burst out laughing.

God always keeps His promises. Sometimes they surprise us. What promise can you think of that God kept? Click on the comment button

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Genesis People, Places Crossword Puzzle I

By Mary Vee

1. God asked him to go on a boat ride
4. floating house
5. city where Lot lived
6. other city destroyed by God
8. first person killed
10. Noah's oldest son
11. lived in King Abimelech's palace
15. God told him to go, didn't say where
17. Adam and Eve's first home
2. first man
3. Hagar's son
7. Sarah's servant
9. Abraham's nephew
12. Noah's second son
13. Noah's youngest son
14. killed his brother
16. Abraham's mountaintop home

You can find the answers in stories already posted on this site. CLICK COMMENT AND TELL ME IF YOU DID IT....PUHLEEZE. :) <

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Abraham Lied

By Mary Vee

Abraham decided he and Sarah needed to move. No one really knows why. Who wouldn't love a mountain top view? Maybe Abraham felt he didn't need to watch over his nephew Lot anymore. Maybe his servants couldn't find enough pasture for the animals.

He and Sarah moved southwest to a valley with great pastureland called Gerar. After arriving, they set up their tent and gave directions to their workers to arrange the camp. They found the marketplace and planted a garden.

King Abimelech happened to see the new people in town. "Hi! Welcome to Gerar. Tell me who you are."

Abraham felt nervous. He decided to lie. "My name is Abraham and this is Sarah, my sister, and these are our workers."

King Abimelech went back to his palace. After lunch he told his servant. "Sarah is a nice person. She should come live in the palace."

That night, God came to Abimelech in a special dream. "Sarah is Abraham's wife. You will be punished for bringing her to live in the palace."

King Abimelech said, "Wait a minute. I didn't know! He told me she was his sister."
God answered him in the dream, "I realize you didn't know. If you send her back to Abraham you won't be punished."

Early the next morning, King Abimelech sent for Abraham. "Abraham why did you lie to me? I greeted you. I let you stay on my land. Why did you lie?"

Abraham lowered his head, "Well, I thought for a moment and realized the people who live in this land don't love God. They probably will kill me because of my wife Sarah. So I said she is my sister." He took a deep breath. He wondered what the king would say.

King Abimelech sighed. "I guess I can see why you were afraid, but you shouldn't have lied. Here, to pay for any wrong I have done by taking Sarah to the palace to live I will give you sheep, cattle, and money. Please pray to your God to remove any punishment."

Abraham wiped away sweat from his forehead and nodded. "Thank you." He then looked up toward the sky and prayed, "Almighty God. I pray your mercy on King Abimelech. Please bless him and his household for Your sake."

When Abraham didn't know what to do, he chose to lie. His lie caused a big problem, a problem only God could fix. King Abimelech could have put Abraham in prison for lying, but he decided to forgive Abraham.

I have lied, it caused me problems, too. What should Abraham have said to King Abimelech when he met him? Click on the comment button to share your idea.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

God Will Make a Way When There Seems to be No Way

By Mary Vee

Abraham woke up early. Living on top of a mountain let the sun poke its way into his tent before he liked getting up. He stretched and tasted the gunk in his mouth. Sarah snored once and rolled over.

"Guess I'll start the fire. But first, I need to find the water jug."

He gulped some water then stepped out of the tent and gazed at the sky. "Well, Lord, the sky is filled with reds, oranges, and other colors this morning, more than usual."

He took a deep breath of mountain air and smelled something weird. He took a second deep breath. "Hmmmm...smells like smoke."

Suddenly he remembered the Lord's Word when He visited the other day. "Sodom, Lot's family...did God really destroy the city?"

He hiked to a high boulder and climbed to a flat spot. Off to his right he saw black clouds swirling into the air.

Abraham lowered his head. "Not even ten people lived in Sodom who loved God. Didn't they remember only a short time ago when I went on a quest to save their people taken as prisoners by the king of Elam. They knew God helped me conquer the king and bring back those people safely. Couldn't they trust in God? Couldn't they stop their evil ways even to save their own lives?"

"Husband, where are you?"

"Over here Sarah. Look, God has destroyed the wicked city of Sodom."

She climbed up next to him. He pointed toward the smoke.

She pulled her sweater closed and shivered. "Do you think Lot and his family escaped?"

Abraham gazed in her eyes. He saw her concern. "Yes. I do. God needed to punish the wicked people of Sodom, but He also found a way to save our nephew."
Sarah smiled. "I'll make us some breakfast."

A song I learned in church has these words, "God will make a way, when there seems to be no way." Sometimes God's way seems weird or takes a long time in our opinion. I'm thankful that God made a way through blogs to share God's Word. How has God made a way to help you or someone you know or someone from the Bible? Press the comment button and share with me.