I've come full circle in my annual read through scripture. Each time as I reopen Genesis, I must wonder what new revelation can possibly occur. I am never disappointed.
This week I began to sense a need to focus on the integrity and wholeness of the man, Abraham, though not without his own fears as demonstrated each time he entered new territory, given his beautiful though quite aged Sarah. Thats quite a story in itself, though for another day.
My interest peaked when as a Realtor, I read the story of Abraham's negotiation for the tomb of his beloved wife once she had finally
past. He never expected anything from anyone, even when offered. He priced the property fairly as indicated by the owner, then refused a free gift, paying full price so unlike his culture, at least today. I assume if it had cost him nothing, then perhaps he had failed to honor his beloved.
The story then moves on with his dear Isaac, though as you know, one earlier not witheld from potential sacrifice. My thoughts here that this was more God's way of weaning Abraham from the false god's of his forefathers, while foreshadowing what would be necessary thousands of years later when God became flesh. God so countered what man made religion had become, that those most devoted killed The Christ. Too many stories in these few chapters.
The peak of my read was to hear Abraham's assignment to his servant when he apparently was too old to travel. He was to take Isaac back to Nahor's family in search of a bride. One must recall how beloved Isaac was in order to fully grasp the trust required for Abraham to tell his servant, if no bride agrees, don't bring him back. This reminded me as well of his deep trust in the Lord when the younger Isaac had much earlier inquired of his dad, "The wood I see, but where is the sacrifice?" Abraham's reply, "The Lord will provide." He fully intended to see his son again.
Then there is the servant himself, so influenced by this old saint that he could be entrusted with Abraham's greatest living treasure.
We all know the outcome of the servant's visit to the well and the beautiful daughter of Bethuel who providentially showed up, a full descendant of his father Terah, Rebekah. In fact, listening to the story as retold to Rebekah's family, one can sense how intentional the servant was in fulfilling his assignment.
My takeaways were many: a challenge to withhold nothing from God, yet knowing that my journey's every need will be supplied (my life experience surelyverifies); always honor my wife, while expecting nothing from others and fair in my dealings; raising my children and grandchildren in such a way that they too will pattern their lives accordingly; mentoring others such that when a life altering task is required, they can be entrusted to serve in my stead with no Kingdom loss.
Now in my fourth quarter, all are critical points to understand.