Women of the Word: Milkah

milkah-wotw

Milkah is not a very well-known Biblical figure, but she is the sister-in-law to quite a popular one – Sarah (formerly called Sarai). Sarah was married to Abraham (formerly called Abram), who also had a brother who was not very well-known. This brother was Nahor. When Abraham and Sarah married, Nahor and Milkah also married. According to Genesis 11:29:

Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah.

Terah was the father of Abraham and Nahor and they also had a third brother called Haran. Haran was the father of Lot, but he later died, so Abraham took Lot into his home. At first, they all lived together in Ur of the Chaldeans, but after Haran’s death, Terah, Abraham, Sarah, Lot, and Haran’s wife left Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. On their way to Canaan, they come to a place called Harran and decide to settle there. While in Harran, Terah dies after living 205 years. God then calls Abraham to leave his country and his people and his father’s household and go to the land of Canaan. He promises to bless Abraham and make of him a great nation. So once again, Abraham, Sarah, and Lot pack up their possessions and set out for Canaan.

Meanwhile, Nahor and Milkah remained in Ur of the Chaldeans. Somehow, across the large expanse of desert and sky, Abraham and Sarah and Nahor and Milkah kept in touch. Genesis 22:2 says,

Some time later Abraham was told, “Milkah is also a mother; she has borne sons to your brother Nahor.”

While Abraham and Sarah waited for years and struggled to have just one child, their brother and sister-in-law had quite a large family. Milkah gave birth to eight sons (!): Uz, Buz, Kemuel, Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel. The youngest son, Bethuel, became the father of Rebekah who years later became the wife of Abraham and Sarah’s long-awaited promised son, Isaac. Milkah is specifically mentioned four other times in the book of Genesis (23; 24:15, 24, 47). Milkah’s youngest son, Bethuel, is also our link to what we can learn from her life. Continue reading

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Review: “Climbing With Abraham” by David Ramos

climbing-with-abraham

I recently had the opportunity to read Climbing With Abraham by David Ramos. Like many people, the first time I heard the story of Abraham was when I was a kid. I’ve heard it and read it several more times since then, but Ramos’ book has given me a fresh look at Abraham’s life, legacy, and faith. It has also given me a better understanding of the promises of God and how they are fulfilled in our lives.

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Women of the Word: Sarah

sarah-wotw

We often hear of the fathers of the faith, the “patriarchs” of Judaism, but we don’t hear so much about the “matriarchs” – the mothers of the faith. Sarah, first called Sarai, was the faithful wife of Abraham and the mother of Isaac. This makes her the mother of the Jewish people and a s(hero) to both Christians and Jews. Sarah was an amazing lady! Her story is found throughout the book of Genesis. She is also listed in Hebrews 11 Hall of Faith and mentioned in Isaiah 51:2, Romans 4:19, Romans 9:9 and 1 Peter 3:6. Here are three things we can learn from Sarah:

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Women of the Word: Hagar

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In Genesis 16 and Genesis 21:8-21, we come across the story of Hagar. Hagar was the slave girl of Sarai (later Sarah), who was the wife of Abram (later Abraham). God had promised Abraham and Sarah that they would have a child and He would make of them a great nation. But they were very, very old and not quite sure they could bear a baby. Abraham and Sarah believed God but their faith sometimes wavered and doubt often clouded their hope. After a long time of waiting, their promised child had still not arrived and Sarah decided to take matters into her own hands. She told her husband to take Hagar and have a baby by her. As soon as Hagar became pregnant with her son called Ishmael, Sarah began to treat her badly and Hagar fled from her mistress’ abuse. Alone in the wilderness, Hagar met the Angel of the Lord who encouraged her and gave her strength. Here is what we can learn from Hagar’s story.

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