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BIBLE STUDY # 111

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  • Ramzy S Labib
    Dear fathers, sisters and brothers Today SMOF is posting Bible Characters, ABRAHAM , part 3. BIBLE STUDY # 110 was posted in Feb. 13. Its subject was
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2004
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      Dear fathers, sisters and brothers

      Today SMOF is posting  Bible Characters, "ABRAHAM",  part 3.  BIBLE STUDY # 110 was posted in Feb. 13.  Its subject was  Bible Character # 9 "ABRAHAM" part 2.  As usual "Bible Characters" alternate with "Short Notes on the Bible".  Currently, Bible characters from Genesis and Short Notes on the Book of Acts are being discussed.

      Please, notice the announcements posted after the end of the study.

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        BIBLE CHARACTERS
         ****************
                      -9-

                ABRAHAM
         And The Life Of Faith
       *********************

            Part 3 of 6 parts

       The dimness of faith:
       *****************
      "and he went out, not knowing where he was to go" (Heb 11:8).

       Many people believe that faith is a heavenly light that illuminates the path for believers to pursue in full confidence and courage, and this gives them a feeling of security for the present and the future. But what we learn from the Scriptures and from the sayings of Church Fathers is quite different. The greatest two prophets of the OT, Moses and Elijah, were able by faith to get water from a rock and bring forth fire from the sky, but even those prophets were not without human weaknesses, which happened while they were at the peak of their mission and power, then their service ended (Nu 20:1-13, 1 Kings 19:1-16).

       Abraham was just the opposite of that. It is true that God performed miraculous things in his life, but Abraham was not a man led by miracles in his daily life. He suffered want, exile, and the death of his wife while in a foreign land. When his nephew Lot was taken prisoner at war, Abraham had to plan and attack the victorious enemies, pursuing them unto Dan (Gen 14:14,15) to free Lot and his family. Abraham enjoyed an internal faith and trust in God; this was noticeable during crises but without being displayed in extraordinary deeds. Since the beginning of the journey of faith in Abraham's life we read:

      "and he went out, not knowing where he was to go" (Heb 11:8);
      "By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents" (Heb 11:9);
      "As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abraham, and lo, a dread and great darkness fell upon him ...When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces" (Gen 15:12,17).

       God had promised Abraham to show him the land he would take, and to make him a great nation, and bless him (Gen 12:1,2). But God did not specify the direction Abraham was to take, nor the location of that land. This delayed his movement from Haran, and his travel in Canaan from place to place seeking grassland, and becoming a sojourner in Egypt and Gerar, thus endangering the life of his wife Sarah. When he died, his property in Canaan was no more than the field of Ephron and the cave of Machpelah in Hebron where he and Sarah were buried. The epistle to the Hebrews draws the curtain on the story of Abraham, his children and grandchildren, with a sad note: "These all died in faith, not having received what was promised," (Heb 11:13).

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      Please notice:

      As previously noted, these studies are only guidelines to help everyone who wants to start a systematic reading of the Holy Bible.  A hard copy version of this "Short Notes on the Bible", or "Bible Characters" is distributed by ordinary mail by "Saint Mark's Orthodox Fellowship".

      To read these studies in ARABIC LANGUAGE, please register in Yahoo group: SMOFellowship, (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SMOFellowship/) then check the Arabic files on that site.

      If you have access to the WWW, you can see the html version of all previous "Short Notes on the Bible" and "Bible Characters" (In English, updated 2/15/04), and you can print them, if you visit:

      1- <http://www.SMOFonLine.org>

      You may also like to check these ITEMS on this web site:

      A- ILLUSTRATIONS link to:

      1- ILLUSTRATED COLOR MAP of EXODUS,

      2- MAPS FOR THE LIFE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ON EARTH.

      3- MAPS ON THE BOOK OF ACTS 

      Also, you can read each event in the LIFE OF OUR LORD from ALL GOSPELS at the same time (different colors).

      B- Report on the Orthodox Unity III Conference in Toronto, Canada, with links to Photos. Click on "Past Conferences" (posted 10/17/03).

      And report on SMOF 8th Annual Conference "Salvation: An Orthodox Perspective" , with links to photos. Click on "Past Conferences" (posted 12/18/03).

      C- Select Links to web sites of particular interest such as Orthodoxy, Oriental and Eastern ...(updated 12/27/03)

      D- "The Word of Life", Bible study magazine, vol.3 issue #3 "Click on Publications" (Posted 12/28/03)

      E- Lectures in Patrology, a new series sponsored by SMOF Canadian Chapter in Churches of Toronto. Click on "Upcoming Events" for the event, and "SMOF Canada" for the CD * (Updated 2/8/04).

      Saint Mark's Orthodox Fellowship (SMOF) urges you to study the Bible and encourage others to do the same.  Please feel free to make any copies (electronic files by downloading, or hard copies by printing and photocopying) from these notes and distribute them to your Sunday School students (youth), acquaintances, relatives and friends.  The fellowship welcomes any questions, comments or additional references, whether for publication in these "Short Notes" or in private correspondence.  Write to us: PO Box 6192, Columbia, MD 21045, or e-mail to RSLabib@..., or post it on this group's e-mail (reply) if you want it to be shared by all members.  In the latter case, please post under the subject: "Re. Bible Study".

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