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To Bethlehem

A sheep, not the boy.

Abraham loved God. Abraham and Sarah were very old when God promised them a baby. They laughed at the seeming impossibility. But so it was that Isaac was born. When Isaac was a bit older, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son as a test of faith. At the last minute God stopped him and a sheep was provided for the offering. Abraham had shown that he feared and trusted God by being obedient, and so God promised that his descendants would be as many as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. 

 

Genesis 17-26

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The not-so-hairy one.

Isaac and his wife Rebekah had twin boys, Jacob and Esau. Esau loved the outdoors and to hunt, whereas Jacob was much happier to stay close to home. Isaac liked to eat the meat Esau caught and so he loved him more, but Rebekah loved Jacob. 

 

When Isaac was old he asked Esau to go hunting and then make him a stew with what he caught. After he had eaten, he would give him his blessing. Rebekah overheard this and instead prepared a meal for Jacob to give to his father so he could receive the blessing. 

 

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Isaac had weak eyes but Jacob was worried that if his father touched him he would realise he was Jacob, and not Esau who was actually big and hairy. So Rebekah covered the smooth parts of Jacob’s neck and arms with goat skins and dressed him in Esau’s best clothes. 

 

And so it was that Isaac gave the blessing to Jacob, and when Esau returned home he was very angry and said he would kill Jacob after his father died. But Rebekah heard and instead she had Jacob sent to her brother’s house where he could find a wife and remain safe until Esau had calmed down.

Genesis 26-28

A saga....which one?

Judah had three sons. His eldest son married Tamar, but died shortly after. Judah gave his second to Tamar, but he also died. Judah was afraid for his third son in case he also died so he asked Tamar to return to her family until his youngest son was old enough to marry. 

Tamar waited. And waited. One day she heard Judah was coming nearby to tend to his sheep. She pretended to be someone else so she could see him. Judah did not recognise her. He promised her a goat so Tamar asked him to give her his cord and seal as proof he would send the goat. Judah went home and sent the goat to Tamar with his servant but she was not there. No one knew who she was. 

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Some time later Tamar discovered she was pregnant. Judah was very angry but Tamar said the father was the owner of the seal and cord Judah himself had given her. 

Judah was very sorry for his actions. He had not given her his third son as he should have. It was his own fault that Tamar had chosen to trick him. Judah married Tamar and she gave birth to twin boys.

Genesis 38

The Bathtub Dilema

The shepherd boy who played harp and defeated a giant with a single stone, grew up to become a great king who wrote many Psalms. King David wasn’t perfect and when he saw a beautiful woman, Bathsheba, taking a bath one day, he really wanted her to be his wife. But she was already married, and after he had spent time with her, he sent her husband to the front line of the battlefield where he was killed. King David married Bathsheba and they had a son.

However, what King David had done wasn’t right and God was not happy with him. A prophet came to tell the king that his son would die, and soon enough the baby became sick. King David was very sad and angry, and had pleaded with God to let the baby live. But he died, and King David knew he had done something terribly wrong before God. Bathsheba was also very sad and cried with David. They were sorry for their mistake. God then blessed them with another baby, Solomon.

2 Samuel 11&12

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