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Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
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January 4, 2023 9:00 am


Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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January 4, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah talks about the doubts that both Abram and Sarai had and how God did exactly as he promised.  

If you like this content and want to support the show you can visit us at Don't forget to rate and review our show! To learn more about us, visit us at If you have any questions or would like to contact us, email us at or text us at 252-582-5028. See you tomorrow on Clearview Today!

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Welcome back, everyone.

Today is Wednesday, January the 4th. I'm Ryan Hill. I'm John Galantis. And you're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Omkay.

It's okay. Let's just keep going. Welcome back, everyone. Today is Wednesday, January the 4th. I'm Ryan Hill.

I'm John Galantis. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can find us online at, or if you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028. You can also email us at contact at

That's right. And you guys can help us keep this conversation alive by supporting the podcast, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Audible, anywhere that you get podcasts from. We're going to leave a link in the description so you guys can do that. We want to set you up for success.

So hopefully you can set us up for success. Amen. I really wish the camera had panned over to you while I was talking and you were mouthing along with what I was saying.

Well, if you had a switcher operator who knew what he was doing, who used a little bit of intuition. Hey, hey, hey. I just was joking. Be nice. Shout out to my friend Nicholas in the back.

He does a good job. I was just kidding. I was goofing. You want to read the verse of the day? I think maybe you should read the verse of the day.

I think I need it. Because you need the word of the Lord after being mean to Nicholas. That's right. Psalm 62 in verse seven says, in God is my salvation and my glory. The rock of my strength and my refuge is in God. Wow. Yeah. It's crazy because I think who we are and what we become in life, ultimately, even though I like to pretend that that's my doing, it's ultimately God. It's all in God's hand. You know, I can't achieve any honor for myself or I can't achieve any accolades or any achievement in life without his blessing in my life.

Yeah. The achievement, everything is driving for us being better or getting more or being more successful. But really the way that we are successful, the way that we understand that as believers is by surrender. It's by letting God lead, letting him be our refuge, letting him be our strength. And in that, like the Bible says, when we're weak, then we're strong because it's his strength, not ours.

That's right. Speaking of strength, we got to unload. We got to take some time. This may be a little bit longer of an intro because we got to figure this out. So I've been trying to get up at six o'clock and go in the morning.

That's difficult for me. So I came up with a plan, an ingenious plan. I thought a very clever plan where everybody wins. I went to David, who's our engineer on the, we really should have had a camera for this episode. And I said, Hey, I have an idea.

It's kind of a big ask, but let me know what you think of it. Why don't you come to my house in the mornings and just call me and say, Hey, I'm outside. And then I'm, I'm not going to send you away. So I have to get up and we'll ride to the gym together. Right. He was like, yeah, I can do that.

Cause the gym is four minutes from my house, four minutes. So I was like, this is great. So we did it.

Worked great. The first day started talking about it at work. You, I'm not going to mention who else, but a few other people went ballistic saying that it was out of David's way. Then I talked to David's mom about it.

She didn't like that one bit. Can I interject something very quickly and then I'll let you yeah, sure. Sure. So, and David, if you want to turn your mic on, when this information was presented to me, it was not presented in this like, Hey David, I'm going to ask this of you. Oh look, Nicholas put a cam.

That's cool. Nick, you got the camera on, uh, David. Good job. All right, David, give me your cause cause I'll say one more thing. And then, and then cut to David. I talked to David's mom because just to make sure I'm not crazy. That's where you made it critically. I should not have done that. But then I called my mom, someone who I know is going to be on my side no matter what she didn't like it. Right. So I said, I threw my hands up and said, I I'm done.

I must be wrong. All right, David, go ahead. I don't know where everything went wrong because I was like, this is, this is a fun arrangement. Like I'm going to the gym with my friend, right. You know, getting up early. There's some, uh, there's some motivation and some, um, accountability for me so that, you know, I have to be up at this time because I have to be at John's house at this time. So I was like, you know, this isn't a bad arrangement and we're only going to do it what, twice a week, Thursday and Friday, Thursday and Friday hops. So I was all for it.

And none of that information was presented in the beginning of this discussion in the office. It was, it was, it's, I think what it is is people knew that you drove past the gym to come to my house and then had to drive back, which I'm fine. And then, and then drive back to drop you off and then drive home and then drive home. No, no, no, I'm not driving back home. You come here to the church.

I come here to the church to start the workday, sweaty, nasty. It is what it is. Um, but I'm saying that's not true. It was, it is a little out of the way. I, the premise was never, it's not going to be out of the way. The premise was, are you cool with it? David was cool with it, but everyone else's opinion, including my own mother was, he's not really cool with it. He's just saying that he's cool with it. Right.

So I need to know. So now everybody, we ever, we, it all calmed down. I was like, look, we're just not going to do it anymore. Then David and I talked and we're like, we're going to do it. Just keep it on the down low. Don't bring it up again.

Right. So now we're going to talk about it on the radio. Now I'm bringing it up on national radio and on iTunes, because I want to know if ever, if ever you guys were going to text in your opinions, I need it to be today.

I need it to be today. I need someone to be on my side with this because nobody is. I'm I am not, not on your side. It is a crazy thing to ask of someone in my opinion, however, hard disagree, four minutes out of the way. However, two days a week, however, if David is fine with it and you are fine with it and there's sort of a mutual thing, like you're like, Hey, I'll, you know, I'll buy your gas or like maybe we'll drive my car sometimes. What, whatever. If there's kind of a mutual arrangement, then we'll do whatever you want to.

That's fine. But the, but that all of that rational argument was not presented in the underlying discussion as I've heard it is that David is not okay with it. He's scared of me or he's intimidated by me. Hey David, are you scared of me?

But no, I don't like that answer, but it does help me. I don't know, man. I just, this, this is messed with me. This is really messed with my head. Cause I was like, am I asking a lot?

Am I really, am I out of line on this? It's, it's an unusual thing to ask. Yeah. We're not just coworkers. We're, we're pals. We're boys. And we, you know, we're family. Sometimes we do things for one another.

And if David was like, Hey, could you come to my house and wake me up at six? Probably not. No, thank you very much. I'll help in some other way.

I'll pray for you. Well guys, we've got a great topic for you guys today. Great discussion. We're going to grab Dr. Shah in just a few minutes. And we're going to talk about Abraham and Sarah. We've discussed them a little bit and how we can kind of trace God's faithfulness through their life. But we're going to talk specifically about the promise of Isaac and the laughter that ensued, where it's coming from Sarah, what that laughter looks like and what it means.

But if you have any questions or suggestions for, for new topics, text us at 252-582-5028, or visit us online at We're going to get Dr. Shah and we'll be right back. Hey there listeners.

My name is John and I'm David. And we just want to take a second and talk to you about Dr. Shah and Nicole's new book, 30 Days to a New Beginning, Daily Devotionals to help you move forward. No matter who you are or where you are in life, you're going to get stuck.

You're going to have goals that you just can't seem to reach. And you're going to be looking for some new way to start over. Unfortunately, life does not have a restart button, but here's the good news. God's mercy is new every day, right? And so that means every day is a new chance for you to start over. Now, Dr. Shah and his wife Nicole have written a new 30-day devotional in their 30-day series designed to give you practical tools for starting over.

No matter where you are in life's journey or what pitfalls you've encountered, this devotional is going to help you move forward, refocus your mind on God's truth and meditate on his word. And you guys can pick up a copy right this second on Unless you're driving.

Yeah, don't shop and drive, unless you're driving. In which case, wait till you get home. But we're going to leave a link for you right here in the description of this podcast.

So it'll be waiting for you when you get home. That's 30 days to a new beginning, daily devotionals to help you move forward. For the remainder of November and all through December, we'll be sending a free copy to anyone who supports the podcast by visiting us online and donating to the show at

That is a very, very good incentive gang. That's 30 days to a new beginning, daily devotions to help you move forward by Abaddon and Nicole Shaw. Thank you guys so much for listening. David, you want to jump back into the show? Let's go.

All right. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abaddon Shaw, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at

Or if you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028. Dr. Shaw, welcome to the studio today. How are you today? I'm doing very well. I hope you guys are doing well.

Doing very well. This is Wednesday. It's hump day. Hump day. The first Wednesday of 2023.

That's crazy, man. First Wednesday. A lot of firsts. It's going to go down in history as the greatest Wednesday ever, because there's a lot of people listening right now who have never heard this show before.

This is your first time ever listening to it. So if you're unfamiliar with Dr. Shaw and his work, Dr. Abaddon Shaw is a PhD, New Testament textual criticism professor at Carolina University. Author. Pastor. Full-time pastor. Host of today's show. The reason I laughed is because David gave me a suggestion yesterday to end it with author, pastor, and my best friend.

And I was thinking of doing it, and then I cracked myself up before I could get it out. And my best friend. And my best friend. But if you guys want to follow his work, you can do so at his website. That's No, I'm just kidding.

It's Well, maybe not. So today we are talking about Abraham and Sarah. We talked about this last week on the show, which is really last year on the show.

That's crazy to even say that out loud. But we talked about Abraham and Sarah, and we were talking about their lives, especially as we were going through the series Man of Promise in our Sunday sermons. Dr. Shaw, you've been highlighting different instances in Abraham and Sarah's lives where we can trace God's faithfulness. And today we want to look at the account where God promised Sarah a child, and she has a very interesting response. She laughs.

She laughs. She gets that promise of a baby, which would be overjoyous or rejoicing. I don't know what that word is. Overjoicing is weird. I know, I just made it up.

Oh, okay. Overjoyed. Overjoyed. Yeah, she's overjoyed. She's overjoyed and rejoicing. She's overjoying. There you go.

It works. But she laughs. What is the source of the laughter?

What's significant there? Well, just like what we just did. I mean, you know, there are reasons why people laugh. You laugh because you were trying to cover up a mistake. As the words were leaving your mouth, you could tell us like, please get me out of this thing.

But what did you do? You laughed to cover it up. I laughed because I felt superior to you because I know what words.

Get him, Dr. Shah, get him. But I am sitting in a position where I'm not like, have like 15 things running through my head, like all the work I have to do or Christmas is coming up or how do I now navigate the show to get to pitch this softball, this really nice toss so that he can hit it out of the park. So all this is going through your head.

My head is clean, ready to go. And so I laughed at you. Which is the natural response.

And I think it's correct. It's the laugh of superiority. I have no idea why John laughed.

I mean, maybe he laughed because maybe superiority as well. I'm also just trying to stoke the chaos. I feel like chaos is good for radio. So just keep it. Oh, I got it. It's psychoanalytical.

I think so. It's a psychoanalytical reasons why he was laughing. Just crazy.

Yeah, just absolutely insane. By the way, very quickly, where am I going with this? Patricia Keats-Spiegel. She has been quoted often by different writers, comedy writers through the years. And she's like 83 some years of age now. But she was one of the first ones to give the reasons why we laugh.

Okay. Now, other people have done studies on this as well. But she was the one who gave like really clear reasons. And most writers kind of go to her when it comes to, okay, so why are the reasons people laugh? And she gave eight, to be exact.

Wow. Eight different reasons? Eight different reasons. The first one is biological. That's just the way God has designed us.

Now, I don't know if she says God or not, but it's just biological. Second is superiority. What I just shared with you, you know, I feel superior to you because you're fumbling over there.

I feel great. So I'm laughing. Incongruity, which is uncommon mixtures of relations. So here, I'm a straight-laced person, right? But if I were to put on a clown suit or a clown nose, immediately it'll make you laugh. Like these two things don't go together.

What's going on here? Now, if a clown were to walk in, kids will laugh, but the adults will just kind of sit there. But for a person who typically doesn't do that to put it on, maybe they will think he's creepy, but, or, and then they'll laugh.

Yeah. And then there is ambivalence or the laughter that covers up our guilt or foolish errors. Like you were laughing. Surprise with a shock and unexpectedness. Release, which is a voluntary reduction of stress and tension. So we laugh in moments where you would go like, that's the last thing you want to do is laugh right now, but that's a way to release or you'll go crazy. And then, and then configurational, which is we laugh when we understand how something works.

Okay. So like I'm trying to pop this jar open and I can't do it because I'm going about it wrongly. And then my son comes around or somebody else who knows how that, that, that job, that, that, that jar or that instrument or whatever works. And they just, just like this. And then we laugh because it's like, Oh, that's how it works. Right.

And then of course, psychoanalytical. Jon, you want to say anything about that? Yeah. It's just kind of like the joker, you know, like just, I'm just going to laugh just to, I think, just create some chaos, just sow seeds of discord. Yeah. Just be crazy. Just chaotic evil type.

No, I actually don't know what psychoanalytical is. I mean, that's pretty much, you know, it's like a kind of a weird sort of way of why people laugh. So the reason I share that is because today we're going to learn about how laughter was, you know, both in how do I say this condemned in a way, you know, chastised and then also encouraged in the life of Abram and Sarah, who became Abraham and Sarah.

Yeah. So they, they, there is this moment of laughter. There's actually several instances of laughter within that story, within them receiving the promise. And there's a different heart behind each one of them.

It was a different, a different approach that results in that laughter. Right. And the first one of course is with Abraham himself. But he is still Abram at this point. Name change hasn't happened, but it's about to happen in Genesis 17, where God comes to see him and he is 99 years of age. And God, once again, reaffirms his covenant with him and promises him that he will be a father of many nations and gives him a name change. So he goes from Abram to Abraham. Now Abram kind of meant someone of a noble birth. He's exalted as to his father or the father is exalted. So Tara was kind of a royal person.

Right. And so Abraham is like his father, a royalty. But Abraham, when God changed that name and brought in that ha, it, it became father of a multitude of nations. Now, let me just clarify etymologically, right? The meaning of the words Abraham is not father of a multitude of nations. It's simply father of a multitude.

But then it's connected to another name of Hamon, which means father of a multitude of nations. The reason we cover these things is because we're just giving tools to believers, you know, Bible students and disciples, so that if somebody tomorrow says something to you like, that's not what it means, at least, you know, and say, well, wait, wait, I've heard something about that before. Right.

So you're not caught off guard. Our show is also in a sense apologetic. I mean, I think so. That was sort of the heart behind doing it was to equip believers with mind and heart equipness, I guess.

It's to equip you not only with food for the heart, but for the mind as well. Yeah. Did you have the laughter of superiority?

I did. I had a chuckle of superiority. Yeah. When someone fumbles a word, that's kind of funny. Yeah. It was really, I was really like solidarity.

Like I'm not alone now. Laughter of how it works. So the point is, the name has changed. And so Abraham is fine with that. God, once again, promises him that kings and nations will come from you.

No problem. I go along with that. But then when in verse 15, God says to Abraham, as for Sarah, your wife, you shall not call her name Sarah, but Sarah shall be her name. Sarah meant my princess.

Sarah means the princess. At that point, Abraham, verse 17, fell on his face and laughed. What do you guys think? Why is he laughing? I would say probably the, I don't know, maybe the incongruity of it.

Maybe it's like the, I don't see these two things as being real at the same time. There's this old, how old is she at this point? 89. She's 89.

So he's like, yeah, this is someone who's supposed to be the princess, like the mother of nations, but she's 89 years old. This doesn't even make any sense. This is so absurd. It's humorous.

Right. That's why he laughs. And he fell on his face and laughed. So maybe he was bowing to God, or was he rolling over with laughter?

I don't know. Chuckling on the way down. And said in his heart, shall a child be born to a man who is 100 years old and shall Sarah, and shall Sarah, who is 90 years old, bear a child. I think he was laughing more about Sarah because when God told him that, he's like, oh yeah, okay.

I can do that. But when it says Sarah, he's like, I don't know how you can work this one out, Lord. I don't see it. That's a laughter of incongruity, as John said, but I would say laughter of unbelief. And then he even tried to help God out by saying, why not Ishmael? Can we just bless Ishmael?

Forget about Sarah. I forgot Ishmael had already been born at this point. Yeah.

That's why he was okay with the father of many nations. He's thinking, yeah. That makes sense. That makes sense. But Sarah, why are you bringing her back into this?

It's a joke. And I love the way that you continually brought it back in your messages. The covenant, the promise was to Abraham and Sarah. It was to both of them. It wasn't just one or the other. It was them together as a couple as God's chosen.

That's right. And it's for some reason, he just did not get it up until this point. And then, you know, the laughter comes back again, but this time not Abraham, but it's Sarah. Because in Genesis 18, God comes to visit them in the heat of the day. He's actually headed to Sodom and Gomorrah.

You know, the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, by the way, which is has been, always will be homosexuality. Cannot alter that, folks. Cannot make it something other than it is.

And if you're working so hard to do that, maybe you just step back and go, hmm. Yeah. That's what it is. That's what it is. That is what it is. Right? Occam's razor.

Let's just stick with the simplest solution instead of making it so complicated. So he's headed there, but he makes a detour. He makes a stop along the way by the Tirbint trees or the oak trees of Mamre to Abraham and Sarah's settlement. And where is Abraham?

What does the Bible say? He's sitting- He's sitting at the tent door. He's sitting at the tent door. Why is he not sitting inside? I don't know. Maybe it's too tense inside.

Sarah is inside. Yeah, that's true. Stuff ain't happening the way I want it to happen. Yeah. For 13 years, there's been tension in this home ever since he went along with Sarah's plan to sleep with Hagar. Now there's a child.

That's a little bit of tension, I would assume. I'm going to just chill outside. Yeah.

I was going to sit by the tent door. So he's got a little bit of shade, but he's almost like outdoors. Yeah.

Almost in the doghouse sort of thing. And it's heat of the day, which means people are not out. I grew up in India where from 1230 to about four, you don't go outside.

Wow. In the summertime is what I'm talking about. May, June, don't go outside. That was like a culturally understood thing. You just don't go outside in that heat. Yeah.

People just knew. And if you had to go, you better put some hat on, put an onion in your pocket. An onion in your pocket? An onion in your pocket. Put an onion in your pocket to combat the heat? Yeah.

No, it's like, it's an old wife's tale, I guess, but it keeps you safe. Did you walk around? Did you have a, did you walk around with that?

You did? Oh yeah. Until I became a teenager and I was like, I'm not taking this with me. So you would go to walk outside and they'd be like, make sure you take your onion. Yeah.

You just put it in your pocket. Did your pants stink? But it was not onion cut open. Oh, it was just a whole onion.

Whole onion. Okay. So you just walk around with it in your pocket and they say that it protects you from the sun. Wow. Wow.

I've never heard that. Yeah. Yeah. That's, that's kind of crazy. It is. What's the incongruity? Like there's an onion here and then there's sunscreen over here, but I'm going to take the onion and put it in my pocket. So, so it's kind of funny, but he's sitting there.

Nobody's supposed to be out. So these people are not ordinary human beings. And later on we find out two of them are angels and one is the Lord.

And I would say the pre-incarnate Jesus. Wow. Wow. And they come and Abraham immediately recognizes something is up. So he rushes.

He's rushing. How old is he? Uh, he's a hundred at this point. Oh yeah. 99.

99. He's rushing everywhere, which means he knows something is happening. The wheels are turning. God is doing something. And you know, and that's something I want to stop there for a moment. Even though we're talking about laughter, I think this, this connects with laughter. When there's hope in your heart, you cannot help but laugh, right?

You cannot but help have a, you know, a spring in your step. If you're struggling today, if you're just down is because you've lost hope, lost hope about a relationship with your family member, lost hope because of some situation that took place that you cannot undo or cannot be undone. And it leaves us with hopelessness. And I want to say it as clearly as possible.

Hopelessness comes from the enemy and he wants to, he wants you to believe that there is no better day coming. This is as good as it gets. Yeah. Endure through life. Just get through it.

This is all there is to it. And when you have that, of course you're going to move slower. But in Abraham's case, seeing those three, even though they're not directly coming for him, they're headed to Sodom and Gomorrah, but their detour brings hope in his heart and he is moving fast. I mean, he is running here, running there, telling Sarah, bake some cakes and telling the young man in the house, get a lamb, quickly slaughter it, quickly cook it, quickly put in places in front of the people and they sit under a tree because it's cooler there. And he doesn't sit down and say, all right, let's eat. No, he's standing very expectantly to what's about to be said. And then of course, the angels asked the question, where is Sarah your wife?

And he says here in the tent. And again, it tells us they were old. This is Genesis 18, 11, well advanced in age. And Sarah had passed the age of childbearing and then Sarah laughed. She laughs, but this time it's a laughter, I would say more of ambivalence in the sense that she's covering up her guilt because when God confronts her and says, why did you laugh? Oh, I didn't laugh. Yeah.

Yeah. She was laughing because too much had happened in this home. Too many bad things had happened and she had made some bad decisions. And so her laughter is more a laughter of cynicism and pessimism.

Wow. Kind of a bitterness too. She laughs, but it's not because she's joyous or there's no happiness behind that.

It's almost mocking. Abraham laughed earlier, but it was more of unbelief. Her laughter is more of just, she is angry and God confronts her and she rejects it. But then the third laughter comes.

This is very important. In Genesis 21, when the Lord visited Sarah and the Lord did for Sarah as he had spoken and she bore a son and it says in verse six, this is Genesis 21, six and Sarah said, God has made me laugh. And all who hear will laugh with me.

She also said, who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children for I have born him a son in his old age. I mean, this is a different laughter. It's a laughter, of course, of incongruity, but also a surprise and shock and release and configuration, which is this is how it works. Yeah. Wow. Now I want to point out something very quickly. The word for laughter in Hebrew is Yitzchak.

And when God told them to name their newborn son, it was going to be Yitzchak, Isaac. Yeah. Wow. That is so beautiful.

Yeah. That is really cool. I love that. And especially what you pointed out in verse six and Sarah said, God has made me laugh. Like God has given, given that laughter to me in a sense, like she's talking about her ability to laugh and her joy, but also laughter is the name of my son.

He laughs. That's Isaac. That's so beautiful. And God does that for us. You know, he takes our messes and turns them into blessings. So what was a mess, laughter of unbelief and incongruity and surprise and all that now becomes a child.

So every time they call him, it reminds them of God's faithfulness. That's beautiful. That is awesome. Well, if you guys enjoyed today's episode, or you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028.

You can also visit us online at and you can support us financially in the same place. We really want to encourage you to partner with us, especially at the start of the new year, make this the year of generosity, the year of giving the year of obedience to the life that God has called you to, partnering with us to reach the nations with the gospel of Jesus Christ. John, this question actually was submitted for you today. It was submitted by another John, John D. And he wants to know, what is your favorite worship song?

Well, I mean, it changes so often. Right now, Hallelujah for the Cross. Chris McFarney, yes. I love Hallelujah. I'm not going to lie. We really sing it a lot. But I mean, it's so, I think anything cross centered is going to be strong. That's strong worship.

And I don't know, Hallelujah for the Cross just gets me. It's a great song. Maybe we can maybe spend another episode and just kind of talk about why that song is so great. But for now, that's a hundred percent. That's my favorite. Absolutely. If you haven't heard it, go listen to it. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clear Read Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-04 15:39:08 / 2023-01-04 15:52:30 / 13

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