It is vital that we spend time in God’s Word.
But it’s not always easy.
We read a chapter and we don’t know what to get out of it or even how to start to understand it.
I thought I could try to help you get a little something out of what you are reading by providing you with some questions to ask as you look at the text. Good questions are a good start to understanding. Sometimes there will be more questions, sometimes less. I was giving you questions for three different books of the Bible, but I’ve realized it’s probably not realistic for you to get to all of those everyday. So, I am going to go a little more slowly now and give you questions for just one chapter.
You can do this!
So, get a notebook, a pen, your Bible, and if you would like some help, take some time to answer the questions, and you may be surprised by all God teaches you.
- What happens in verse 2 of this chapter that is surprising?
- Why did it happen according to verse 1?
- What does this tell you about the birth of Isaac? How might this set you up for understanding the story of how God saves?
- Three times in these verses, we are reminded that what happened is what God had promised and what God had spoken. It has taken a long time. It seemed impossible. But what does the author want us to know that God has done here?
- What does Abraham call him? What does that mean? What does Sarah say about this child? What does she make clear this child is by speaking the way she does?
- We fast forward in verse 8 from the birth of Isaac to when? What is Abraham throwing for Isaac? What does Sarah see? What is she doing? How does she respond? Is she happy or angry at this? What is ironic about her response given what she said back up in verse 6?
- What does Abraham think about the way Sarah is responding?
- What has God told Hagar already would happen to Ishmael in 16:11 and 12? How is this a fulfillment of that?
- In chapter 16, Hagar had wandered away and she learns that God sees her in her trouble. Here she wanders and cries out and what does she learn? What does verse 17 say God did? God sees and God hears those who cry out to Him.
- After providing for Ishmael, Abimelech comes to Abraham with the commander of his army. What does he say to him about God? And what promise does he ask Abraham to make? Now, God has promised Abraham land. But the fact that he is living among these pagans tells us what about that promise? Has it been fulfilled yet or not? And yet, even though it hasn’t been fulfilled, God is still staying faithful to protect Abraham in impossible situations. How might this provide encouragement to us now?