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Devotion for the Commemoration of Abraham

Today we commemorate Abraham, the father of nations. We adapt our devotional reading, a chronological timeline of Abraham in the Bible, from From Abraham to Paul: A Biblical Chronology by Andrew E. Steinmann. We take our prayer of the day from A Year in the Old Testament

Devotional Reading

Abraham lived to be 175 years old (Genesis 25:7). Thus, the events of Abraham’s life took place from 2166 to 1991 BC. This means that Abraham lived to see the birth of his grandsons Jacob and Esau (2006 BC) and died when they were fifteen years old. 

Sarah was ten years younger than Abraham. This can be established from comparing Genesis 17:17 with Genesis 17:1, where we are told that God appeared to Abraham when he was 99. At that time God revealed to Abraham that Sarah would bear Isaac at the same time the next year (Genesis 17:21). Since Sarah would be 90 when she bore Isaac (Genesis 17:17), she would have been 89 when God’s conversation with Abraham took place. Thus, Sarah was ten years younger than Abraham, and she was born in 2156 BC. Since Sarah lived 127 years, she died in 2029 BC (Genesis 23:1).

The first datable event in Abraham’s life is his obedience to God’s call to leave Haran, which happened in 2091 BC when he was 75 years old (Genesis 12:4). After ten years in the land of Canaan (2081 BC) Abram married Hagar (Genesis 16:3). Ishmael was born the next year (2080 BC) when Abram was 86 (Genesis 16:16). Ishmael lived 137 years, dying in 1943 BC (Genesis 25:17).

In 2067 BC when Abram was 99, God changed his name to Abraham and promised that Isaac would be born the next year (Genesis 17:1, 21, 24).

Prayer of the Day

Lord God, heavenly Father, You promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, You led him to the land of Canaan, and You sealed Your covenant with him by the shedding of blood. May we see in Jesus, the Seed of Abraham, the promise of the new covenant of Your holy Church, sealed with Jesus’ blood on the cross and given to us now in the cup of the new testament; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who live and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Devotional reading adapted from From Abraham to Paul, page 71. © 2011 Andrew E. Steinmann. Published by Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved. 

Prayer of the day adapted from A Year in the Old Testament, page 340. © 2012 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved. 

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