New Evidence from Underground radio interview

Are the stories of the Bible history, or mythology? The science of archaeology can help to provide the answer. On January 30, 2016, Kevin Conover of the Educate for Life radio program interviewed Dr. Scott Stripling and Dr. Bryant Wood of Associates for Bible Research (ABR).

Sermon on John 6:32-59, the Bread of Life

This sermon was delivered by Pastor Chris Duke on 16/10/2016. This article is from notes I made so is not completely in keeping with what Pastor Chris said though I’ve tried to be as accurate as possible.

There’s only one thing better than the smell of freshly baked bread and that’s eating fresh bread. There’s a multitude of different breads that one can purchase – over 200 different types on Wikipedia. Bread has been a significant part of our lives for centuries.

In the gospels, Jesus fed the multitudes. He then makes a controversial statement in verses 32, 33 and 48 of John 6:

32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

48 I am that bread of life.

He uses the name of God, Yahweh, in the first of seven “I am’s” where He takes God’s name. In other passages Jesus tells us:

Jesus is saying it is I, and I alone, from who you can receive eternal life.

We shall next look at the divine provision of the bread, following this up with human appropriation of the bread. Concerning divine provision, remember how Jesus responded to Satan’s temptation in the wilderness? He said, “Man shall not live by bread alone” (Matthew 4:4, Luke 4:4). In other words, He is saying, I am your soul food.

Jesus affirms again and again the existence of a pre-incarnate person. How did John begin his gospel – the Word was co-existent and self existent with God eternally (see John 1:14 and John 3:13):

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14)

13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
(John 3:13)

According to verse 46 in today’s passage, the only one who has given us a message from heaven is Jesus:

46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.
(John 6:46)

John 8:42 cements this fact as Jesus declares that God sent Him:

42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
(john 8:42)

He then existed in the presence of God for all eternity. Jesus isn’t a created being who came into existence like you and I. Verse 32 to 33 of today’s passage make it clear that there was a divine purpose in the bread of life:

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
(John 6:32-33)

Jesus tells us that His Father sends the bread of life. Verse 38 confirms this:

38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

There was a divine purpose in the Father sending the Son then. In verses 37 to 40 we start to see God’s plan, of redemption.

37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
(John 6:37-40)

There is a plan to complete the glorification of those the Father draws. We see divine election at work here, Christ keeps them and raises them up at the last day. Christ even quotes Isaiah 54:13 in John 6:45:

45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
(John 6:45)

13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children.
(Isaiah 54:13)

The Father, then, is the true teacher and instructor of the heart and mind of the person being saved.

So why do we want this bread? What does this bread do for us? Verse 33 in today’s passage reads:

33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

In the original Greek, the word “life” that is used means spiritual life. The following passages are instructive, showing that Jesus’ true followers receive the bread of life, for eternal life, and will live forever:

35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
(John 6:35)

40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
(John 6:40)

51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
(John 6:51)

So we come to rest in real union with Christ. As it is written in Galatians 2:20, we are one in Christ:

20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

This union is not just when you die but you can be united in Christ now. No-one can break this union. Our salvation is dependent on our union in Christ. Being a Christian isn’t just following the teachings of a man, it’s having His life in you.

So what’s our responsibility in this divine transaction? We are commanded to appropriate the bread of life. In verse 34 of today’s passage, the Jews said, “Lord, evermore give us this bread.” They wanted bread that would satisfy their physical hunger, yet in verse 35 Jesus plainly declares that He is their spiritual sustenance.

Our responsibilities are as follows:

  1. Come to Jesus. Verse 37 clarifies this for us.
  2. None of us knows who is chosen so the message of the gospel is to be preached far and wide.
  3. Look at me, gaze at me carefully and thoughtfully and see who I am. Receive His words.
  4. We are held accountable to come, to see, to believe.

Verse 53 of today’s passage reminds us that we have no life unless we appropriate the Word of God for ourselves:

53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
(John 6:53)

The word “blood” is used, reminding us of His death. You can never be saved unless you believe in His sacrificial death. Jesus is the lamb of God, who came as an atoning sacrifice, who satisfied the wrath of God. Eating is a response to hunger from a heart that’s empty (this is the work of the Holy Spirit as He starts to draw us to faith in Christ). If you eat the bread of life you will live forever. What bread are you going to eat from now on? Jesus is the bread of life. Amen.

He made me this offer…

A beautiful post from VW Woods that I am sharing for your edification and comfort as well as mine. God bless you.


God: covers us with comfort….

Matthew 11:8-29  (KJV) “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls”.

AN invitation to give up what is taking the living breathing life out of our bodies is one that many of us grasp and apply to our lives for deliverance sake. In our lives today, the stress level and the oppression factor also is something we all deal with: Jesus gave us an offer.

He has invited us to come to unto Him; cast our cares upon Him: all invitation to align our lives, our bodies, our souls and everything that pertain to us, into His care.

His promise is that our cares and struggles becomes His and there…

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Wisdom Wednesday

Beholding Him Ministries


Blessings today! It is Wisdom Wednesday and it is a great day to not look at the Israelites but look at myself through the Spirit and the Word. Just how grateful am I?
The Lord has led me to the following Scriptures and quotes to help me see the me He knows.
You might want to join in this exercise with me.🙂

gratitude-1 Gratitude 1

gratitude-2 Gratitude 2

“This is the day that the Lord has made;let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

gratitude-3 Gratitude 3

gratitude-4 Gratitude 4

David’s Prayer of Gratitude: “Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?” 2 Samuel 7:18

gratitude-6 Gratitude 5

gratitude-7 Gratitude 6

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all…

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Sermon on Mark 8:1-13 – Seeing is Believing

This sermon was delivered by Pastor Chris Duke on 02/10/2016. This article is from notes I made so is not completely in keeping with what Pastor Chris said though I’ve tried to be as accurate as possible.

Today’s passage is Mark 8:1-13, which reads as follows:

8 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, 2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: 3 and if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far. 4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness? 5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven. 6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. 7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. 8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. 9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

10 And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha. 11 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him. 12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation. 13 And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.

Jesus and His disciples came to Capernaum. As well as being a fishing village, this was an area where the Romans collected taxes from those travelling through that region. And immediately we see the Pharisees come to question Jesus, to test Him.

With the phrase “seeing is believing”, the title of today’s sermon, a high degree of skepticism is implied. Many people who say this and yet see a genuine miracle would still doubt it and find reasons to continue in their unbelief. All the miracles that Jesus had performed, including the feeding of the four thousand that we saw in today’s passage, should have highlighted that Jesus was divine, the Son of God. Yet man’s condition is such that he is often in spiritual blindness, living with no light at all upon the things of God. This is certainly true of all religions apart from Christianity, none can give you spiritual light. Jesus promised in John 8:12:

…I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Jesus performed many miracles yet the Pharisees still gave Him a hard time, choosing to walk on in darkness. Matthew 16 parallels today’s scripture reading, stating that the Sadducees were present too, this being the Lord’s final conflict with them. Up until this point, Jesus had always given invitations to both groups to believe in Him. He was to do this no more in the gospels, becoming instead Israel’s rejected leader. In fact we see that the Pharisees were foolish enough to want to kill Him.

What of Jesus’ disciples? Those who were following Him knew that they were making a break with their religion, and with their religious leaders. They were following Jesus because He is the Christ, the Messiah. He had dispelled their darkness and was continuing to do so day by day and even beyond the Cross when He rose again.

Yet now we see Jesus face to face with those who hated Him, those whose major sin was hypocrisy. If you remember Mark 7, Jesus left Galilee and went to Tyre and Sidon, which were Gentile cities. He then went to Decapolis (so named because it consisted of ten cities), which was a Gentile area also. By this Jesus showed His disciples that the gospel was for all mankind, not just the Jewish people.

In Decapolis Jesus fed 4,000 men plus women and children. Then in the tenth verse of today’s passage we see Him enter Jewish territory again. And then in verse 11, the Pharisees were on the attack against Him. They hated the Light, with His message of repentance, faith and grace. What they loved instead was religious ceremony and trying (unsuccessfully) to redeem themselves. In Mark 3:22 they even accused Jesus of being demon possessed:

22 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.

They gave no credit at all to Jesus for the miracles they saw Him performing.

Verses 11 to 13 of today’s passage highlight three characteristics of people who are spiritually blind:

  1. They are comfortable with others who are also blind, even if those are enemies to them. They hate the truth, and thereby hate Christianity. All false religions are like this.
  2. They are consigned to deeper blindness.
  3. They are condemned to terminal blindness.

In today’s passage the Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign. It’s important to realise that in doing so they were not asking for a miracle but a sign from heaven that would give Godly authority to His message. They believed demons could perform earthly miracles but only God could do heavenly ones (remember the magicians with Pharaoh in Exodus 7-9?). They wanted Jesus to perform acts such as stopping the sun, eclipsing the moon, or starting and stopping a storm. They did this to tempt Him. And yet we know they had seen enough already to believe in Him, as per Nicodemus’s testimony in John 3:2:

2 the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

These people were no different from Pharaoh back in Exodus. He saw miracles too yet hardened his heart, until eventually the Lord passed judgement and hardened it for him:

But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.
(Exodus 8:15)

And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.
(Exodus 8:32)

And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants.
(Exodus 9:34)

And the Lord said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him:
(Exodus 10:1)

And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.
(Exodus 11:10)

The more light was shone on Pharaoh, the deeper his spiritual darkness became. Unbelief always finds a way to reject the truth and in verse 12 of today’s passage we see Jesus recognising this with anguish:

And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.

Jesus’ sighing is described as deep and compounded. His heart was breaking over their spiritual blindness. This isn’t the only time we see the Lord grieving. In Luke 19 and John 11 He wept over the fate of Jerusalem, who had rejected Him as Messiah, and over the grave of Lazarus, when He saw the power of sin leading to physical death. He laments those who reject Him due to wilful ignorance, as is highlighted so aptly in Deuteronomy:

And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.
(Deuteronomy 32:20)

In today’s passage, Jesus is strongly resolute: no more signs are to be given. He essentially says, “May I die if I do.” His judgement on the Pharisees is pronounced in other passages such as Matthew 15:14 and Matthew 16:4:

Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

So one more sign would be given, the sign of Jonah. We know the story of Jonah. He was three days in the belly of a large fish, a whale, then was released from it.

What happens when Jesus is raised again? Matthew 28:11-15 shows the religious leaders’ reaction:

11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. 12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, 13 saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. 14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. 15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

So they bribed the soldiers to lie about the resurrection. The Pharisees and Sadducees were at this stage in fixed darkness spiritually, they were still denying the Lord’s rising even after it had happened. Mark 8:13 gives the Lord’s preceding judgement, where He simply left them to their hardheartedness and error:

13 And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.

The latter part of Romans 1 speaks of God’s wrath in giving people up to sinful desires:

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
(Romans 1:28-32)

This is a warning for us. When the gospel is preached, we should give our full attention to it. We should feel privileged to hear God’s good news and respond to it. There are the blind who never see the truth: our prayer is for our loved ones, neighbours and friends to be lead out of darkness into His glorious light:

God bless you all.

Sermon on Mark 6:30-44

This sermon was delivered by Pastor Chris Duke on 25/09/2016. This article is from notes I made so is not completely in keeping with what Pastor Chris said though I’ve tried to be as accurate as possible.

I’m sure you’ve prepared a large dinner for people. In Jesus’ ministry, people are becoming used to seeing divine power coming from Him. The area we’re dealing with today concerns a miracle Jesus performed near a small village in Galilee. Galilee itself was a very tiny province, covered by water. It had around 200 small villages and towns, being an agricultural area, and was therefore densely populated.

Jesus had earlier multiplied Himself by His disciples in Mark 3:14-15, sending them forth to preach and have power to heal sicknesses and cast out devils. He thus multiplied Himself twelve times. Significantly, eleven of the twelve were from Galilee (Judas Iscariot being the exception to this).

Yet feeding five thousand was way beyond any miracle Jesus did. Matthew says that could have been up to 10,000 people in total, including women and children (see Matthew 14:21). So this was a huge crowd. It was near Passover, in the springtime, as Mark notes the company of people sat down on “green grass” (Mark 6:39). This was Jesus’ final miracle in Galilee. After this, His focus narrowed to smaller crowds as He became concerned with training the twelve more than on public ministry. Jesus is here putting Himself on display in all His glory and magnificence. We are reminded that as you read the Old Testament, it points to Christ. As you read the New Testament, it reveals Christ. And that salvation is being drawn to Christ.

John 6:14-15 describes the aftermath of Jesus’ miracle: people tried to make Him a King. They wanted the ultimate welfare state with free food provided along with demons being cast out, etc. They also wanted freedom of rule from the Roman army. With this miracle we see Jesus as Jehovah-jireh, the Lord who provides, as He did with faithful Abraham:

13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.
(Genesis 22:13-14)

Jesus is the incarnation of Jehovah-jireh.

In Mark 6:7-11 we see that Jesus sent the disciples out into the countryside. They were told to preach the Kingdom of God and repentance towards God. In verse 31 Jesus’ first task as Jehovah-jireh, the provider, is revealed, as He says effectively, “Get some rest.” This was the first provision that He made for them. Luke 9:10 mentions that He took them to Bethsaida:

10 And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.

This was a fishing village on the sea of Galilee. They went near the village but not into it as the crowd was too heavily populated and wouldn’t have fitted. The village, incidentally, was where Peter and Andrew both grew up:

44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
(John 1:44)

Christ later had something damning to say about this village after the miracle of the fishes and loaves was performed:

Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
(Matthew 11:21)

Sadly, the people of Bethsaida didn’t worship the Lord even after His miracles. We would do well at this stage to remember the old saying, “To whom much is given, much is required”:

48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
(Luke 12:48)

The only rest the disciples got was on the boat with Jesus as the people followed them across the northern part of the lake, on foot. And they arrived earlier than the disciples having completed a walk of approximately ten kilometers. Rest is important but the truth is more important. Why were they following Him? John 6:2 provides the answer: they saw the signs He performed in healing the sick, and they were fascinated by His power:

2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.

Yet Jesus wasn’t irritated by the people’s neediness but “moved with compassion toward them.” Luke 9:11 records that He spoke to them of the Kingdom of God and healed them:

11 And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.

Jesus called them to repent and believe in Him as the Son of God and their Messiah, so that they could receive the Kingdom of God. He recognized that they were sheep and it is a known fact that sheep without a shepherd will die. They cannot get onto their feet again if they fall on their backs, they must be cleaned up, cared for, provided for. Numbers 27:17b simply states that “the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd.” Jesus’ teachings, then, would lead them to eternal safety in the fold. Matthew 14:14 shows Jesus healing the sick, being moved because human suffering made Him suffer too:

14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

Yet the Lord was concerned that they had spiritual rest as well as physical rest and healing. Verses 35-44 of today’s passage show the Lord’s provision of food for the disciples and people. This is an example of God’s common grace, where the goodness of God is given without discrimination. Jesus is good to His enemies, even to people who hate and reject Him:

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
(Luke 6:35)

The following day is reported in John 6. Here, Jesus tells the people that He Himself is the bread of life, that they are to “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed” (John 6:27).

In verse 37 of today’s passage, Christ says effectively, “You give them something to eat.” Jesus had delegated His power to the disciples earlier but they didn’t yet have the faith to perform this miracle. They had forgotten about the widow and her jar of oil in 1 Kings 17:16:

And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.

Another gospel says that a boy had five loaves and two fishes on his person. Why was this the case? It was clearly his lunch, being the Middle Eastern equivalent of five crackers and a little bit of protein.

In verse 39, Jesus orders the crowd. Verse 41 shows Him distributing the food after giving thanks to the Father. The disciples became the waiters and just kept giving out food. This would have been the only uncursed banquet these people had ever gone to, it was like eating in the garden of Eden. You’d have liked these fish too regardless of whether or not you liked fish.

Verse 43 is significant because it shows that Jesus ordered the meal with perfect precision. Twelve baskets of broken pieces of meat and bread were taken up, one for each of the disciples. This was divinely controlled with no waste. Was there a real spiritual awakening after the miraculous feeding of the five thousand? No, not really. The crowds were waiting the next day for food again but Jesus said simply, “No, you need spiritual meat.” John 6:66 then records that at this point even some of His disciples left Him:

From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

But the twelve stayed faithful, Peter simply stating, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

Today’s health, wealth and prosperity gospel echoes the attitudes of the faithless disciples and the people of Bethsaida. Sadly, those who have known the way of righteousness yet have turned from it will come under severer judgement:

For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
(2 Peter 2:21)

If you don’t yet know the Lord Jesus as your personal Saviour, may I encourage you to read the following article:

May the Lord Jesus bless you always.

Nothing is too Wonderful

Amen to this:

God has made wonderful promises to us, too. All the promises have their “Yes” in Christ (II Corinthians 1:20). But like Sarah the wait wears us down. Do you, like me, have prayers unanswered? Do you wonder if God hears? HE DOES. So let’s encourage and remind one another: “Nothing is too hard, nothing too wonderful for God to accomplish.”

Jean Fleming: Live the Mystery


The story is familiar and moving. A couple longs for a child. They try and try again. Year after year. They pray. This prayer percolates up, bubbling to their vocal chords. The wife wakes with the prayer already in her mouth. Her prayer catches the rhythm as she kneads bread or stirs the pot. The prayer lies heavy on her chest before she falls asleep. Leaden. Futile? An exercise so well established that she can’t give it up. But hope ebbs. Too long hope is deferred. Prayer unanswered.

This is how I imagine Sarah, now old, past child-bearing, worn out by the wait.

God has promised a son. In fact, a nation. The promises God made lit up the sky and lay in the sand at their feet. Promises too great. Promises so expansive and glittering. Promises so wonderful—and impossible.

Time had run out for them. She was past child-bearing…

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