Bible studies for writers

Bible studies for writers | Genesis 21

God brings Abraham and Sarah baby Isaac – and laughter. What once got Sarah and Abraham in a little trouble, now they celebrate. Laughter. Happiness. Joy. We sometimes forget God brings us these things, and also that he has a sense of humor. I think he and Sarah had a moment when she said, “God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me.” And then she gave God a wink, wink and burst into tears of joy through the most glorious laughter. That’s what revelation feels like. That’s a moment you cling to when your faith is shaken and God doesn’t feel so near. In that moment of laughter with God, Sarah was forever a believer in the miraculous hand of the almighty.

But while Sarah was laughing with God, Hagar was grieving with Him. I don’t know why Abraham just sent them off in the wilderness that way. Maybe he sent them in the direction of a nearby town, but they got lost? Maybe he though that at age 14, Ishmael, the “wild man,” was ready to fend for himself and his mother? Maybe he was just really mean? Jk. 😁 I don’t know, but God was with Hagar and Ishmael. He saved them, and reminded her again that he would make Ishmael a great nation. Apparently, that happened due to a unity with a woman from Egypt, and so begins the great divide.

So, Abraham has just sent one son packing, and he’s celebrating the birth of another son when Abimelech of Gerar, who gave Abraham the land he’s living on, comes rolling into town to give his congrats and asks once again for a pact. Abraham agrees, and the two men make their first diplomatic trade. Abraham says, “Sure, I promise I’ll never deceive you again, thereby keeping you safe from God’s wrath, if you’ll do me the favor of getting my peoples’ well back from your people. Here are some animals, plus seven special lady lambs to show how serious I am about this. Peace. Thank you.” Politics have been around a long, long time, folks.

Writing prompt: laughter through tears

I’m a softie when it comes to the movie Steel Magnolias. One of my favorite lines is when Dolly Parton says, “Ah, shoot, laughter through tears is one of my favorite emotions.” I’d never thought about it until I heard that line – until some brilliant mind wrote that down in a script – and boy, is it true. When was the last time you experienced laughter through tears. Try to sum it up in less than 500 words and really let God know how thankful you are to have experienced such joy through disbelief and sorrow.


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