Last night's reading took a little over an hour. I think that we paused in the middle for something, but that still isn't all that long.
In last night's reading my wife pointed out something interesting. We were reading in chapter 17 and just finished this passage:
And God said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her."
Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, "Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?" And Abraham said to God, "Oh that Ishmael might live before you!"
God said, "No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year."At this point my wife interrupted and made an interesting observation. She said something like, "How is it that when other people, like Moses, see God, they are trembling and falling on their face in fear, but here Abraham has the audacity to laugh after God makes this pronouncement. He fell on his face and laughed.
My first observation was that it doesn't seem that Abraham is actually laughing at God, it is more at the thought of these two old people having a baby. He finds it to be exceptionally funny. Second, I noticed that God doesn't reprimand Abraham for laughing. Did God laugh with him? I don't know, it doesn't say. Notice that Abraham simply goes on to try to recommend Ishmael, as in, "You don't have to do that, Ishmael is already born, he's a good kid, just let it be him!" But God says, "No, that isn't what I am going to do."
I don't have any great, insightful applications of this passage. I just found it interesting. It gave me a snapshot of God; of how He interacted with this man Abraham.