On the face of it this isn’t the most uplifting of episodes. Desperation and doubt, failure and fear: all lead to a series of poor and at times quite hideous decisions. We’ve just seen how absolute God’s judgment is. And yet here, as everyone tries to get on with life in the aftermath of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, we see how low life can get without Him. Ordinarily both God’s presence and His absence is a fearful thing, albeit for very different reasons. But in Christ, we can know Him in all holiness and beauty, both intimately and safely. And then life has a purity and purpose again. There is one character in this episode who foretells something of the promises of life in all its fulness that we find in Jesus; it’s joys and hopes despite our circumstances. For Sarah her dreams are about to come true, albeit in the context of being badly let down by her husband again!



Day One – Genesis 11 v 27-30

Bible Reading

27This is the account of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28While his father, Terah, was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29Abram and Nahor were both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah. 30Now Sarai was barren; she had no children. 31Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.


From the very outset of Abraham’s story the Bible makes it very clear that his was just an ordinary family like any other, regardless of time or culture. They enjoyed the celebrations of births and marriages, and suffered the pains of death and barrenness. This is therefore to be a fascinating and hugely relevant tale of how God can impact a real-life family. The only way this story can be irrelevant to you and your family, is if you choose to let it be so, by not letting it impact your life. As long as faith remains theoretical, and we don’t give our Father access to the realities of the joys and pains of our lives, then the Bible will not impact us. So make a decision now, not just to open your Bible, but to open your life too.

Reflections and Prayer

What are your joys and your pains? What hurts and disappointments do you carry? Have you laid these before your Father and given Him permission to speak into them? Why not do so now?

Going Deeper

  • Abram is named first in the list of sons, but probably wasn’t the eldest. The Bible probably just focuses on him as the key character in the story.
  • Abram married his half sister, and Nahor married his brother’s daughter. This was customary for the time.
  • Sarai’s barrenness would have been a major cause of heartache for both Abram and Sarai. However there is no indication Abram sought another bride as would have been common at the time and in the culture. This could say much about the man, and the relationship he enjoyed with Sarai.

The aftermath of God’s judgment on Sodom was desperate. Lot was broken by it. And Abraham sets out on the road again, with more tragic consequences. Was he running away? Well you couldn’t blame him. All he could see was what lay in front of him and it was awful. I’m reminded once more, as so often with Abraham’s story, of the cross of Christ. How terrible was the darkness the morning after Christ’s crucifixion. Again the scene of God’s judgment, this time focused on His Son. The horror, confusion, and utter abject loss. Never was a darkness quite so dark. And yet it was not the end. Light would shine in darkness, hope would spring again and eternally. In fact it is in walking through the valley of death that we know and learn to appreciate His presence. As the hymn writer says t is as we trace the rainbow through the rain, we know the promise is not vain: that morn shall tearless be. You can find free daily bible reading notes on the story of Abraham at biblenovels.com

If you’re listening from a western context at least, you’re likely to find this podcast pretty counter-cultural. It deals with God’s judgment on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and we’re simply not used to judgment these days. To judge is to imply you and your opinions are superior to others and you have the right to impose them upon others. This we see as arrogant and presumptuous. We judge those who judge severely! And yet, the Christian gospel is one of judgment. It tells of a holy God who demands perfection. Our failure to live up to expectations is punished most severely. And yet our God of perfect holiness is also the God of perfect love, and He takes that punishment on Himself so we can go free, forgiven, absolved absolutely.  To miss or underplay this truth is to cut the very heart out of the gospel and it’s glorious impact upon our lives. To understand it fully, we need to read and reflect upon passages like this. It is though our privilege to do so through the lens of the cross of Christ, and in so doing the we grasp that bit more of the wonder of the cross of Christ. biblenovels.com

This is one of a handful of really tough episodes in the story of Abraham and his family. I simply can’t empathise with a man who offers his daughters up to be gang raped. And yet the story is here in the Bible, and that I suppose is one of the reasons I love scripture. It is real. It doesn’t read like a fairy tale. Awful things happen and it doesn’t always turn out well. The Bible often leaves us with more questions than answers, and as frustrating as that sometimes is, it reminds me this isn’t a book made up to tell a quaint myth, but rather it is inspired to tell of life in the raw, and how to find a real God in the midst of it all. I feel I should apologise for the content of this podcast, but that would be to apologise for the Bible story, and I can’t do that. As the dark underbelly of our humanity is exposed, the glory of our holy God shines brightest. Around the world children are exposed to trafficking, sexual exploitation and abuse. It is a vile fact. And yet through some heroes of faith, the power of God reaches out, rescues, brings healing and restoration. One reason I’m offering these podcasts for free is to make known these modern day stories of redemption. There are many Sodoms around the world but the church is wonderfully at work in these hellholes. Visit www.biblenovels.com to find out more and do tell others of this podcast.

It’s time to catch up with how Lot is doing. And sadly it’s not well. I find Lot’s story probably the saddest of them all. Of course I don’t know if I’m being fair to him by casting him as a somewhat superficial man of the moment. Although his choice of Sodom as a home would suggest this was the case. But his story lurches from one crisis to another, be that capture by a foreign king, attack by threatening neighbours, flight from the city and loss of his wife, or fear finally forcing him to live alone in the mountains. And sadly it even manages to get worse from there. He ends up a pitiful wretch of a man. But still at this moment in time, remarkably he is still considered righteous by God. And that gives us all hope. The downward spiral is never inevitable, never irremediable. Not with God in the equation. This isn’t obviously the most inspirational of episodes and the next one is even worse. But in the darkness there is hope. www.biblenovels.com 

This is a glorious episode in the story of Abraham. It explores the mystery of prayer, reveals the red hot passion, wrath and mercy of God’s nature, and then suggests the unthinkable. I loved reflecting upon it, writing it and recording it. It filled me with a sense of awe for God, and energy for life. I pray it does the same for you. Do check out biblenovels.com or the Facebook group: Biblenovels.


Although called Patriarch, this is as much Sarah’s story as Abraham’s. And in this short episode we meet a woman battered by life, it’s expectations and apparently broken promises. A woman whose laugh is no longer carefree but cynical, who hides away in tents, awkward in social engagement and lost in faith. But a woman who the Lord knows, seeks out and believes in. A woman who was beginning a new journey of hope and fulfilled dreams. It may be a short podcast but it’s not a bad one!!



What’s it like to encounter God! Sometimes the Biblical accounts don’t help because they tell the whole story. Sure, they tell of the encounter themselves but we have to work out the state of mind of the people involved in the lead up and the context in which the supernatural invaded the natural. I’m not sure renaissance art helps either, beautiful though it is. My hunch is when Abraham met with the three supernatural visitors, it was just another hot lazy early afternoon. I guess by this time too, Sarah at least had grown tired and probably cynical in her faith. She  would be truly remarkable not to have done so. And it is into the familiar, the mundane, the questioning, the pain, God loves to appear. It was true in 2000 BC, it was true in 0AD and it is true today. For you and me. So before you give up, give this podcast a listen. biblenovels.com F: Bible novels



Here’s the dream. What if our identity can be shaped by an intimate encounter with the Lord of Heaven and Earth, and our destiny be worked out in response to His call and direction. That is life in all its fulness. This episode of the story of Abraham tells how a life can be shaped and empowered by such an encounter. It isn’t in the Bible to tease us. The writer to the Hebrews when retelling the story of Abraham wraps up by saying: “God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they [the old Testament saints] be made perfect.” (11v40). Dare you believe this is true? Listen with open ears and open hearts, and see!