Home > Bible Journal > January 21st, Genesis 22-24: Abraham is tested, Isaac gets married

January 21st, Genesis 22-24: Abraham is tested, Isaac gets married

February 9, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Could you sacrifice your own children? Such is what God asked of Abraham.

God told Abraham to take his only son Isaac to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him as a burnt offering, said the Lord.

Early the next morning Abraham saddled up with Isaac and two of his servants. On the third day Abraham saw the place and told his servants to stay with the donkeys and he and Isaac made the offering.

Isaac asked Abraham where the lamb for the sacrifice was, to which Abraham replied that the Lord will provide. At the place God told him about, Abraham bound Isaac and put him on the altar for sacrifice. [Ed. note: Could you imagine the fear and confusion Isaac was going through?]

But as he was about the slice open Isaac with his knife, Abraham heard an angel call out to him. Do not lay a hand on the boy, the angel said. Now I know you fear God. It was then that Abraham saw a ram in a thicket, so he took the ram and used it to replace Isaac for the sacrifice. So Abraham called that place “The LORD Will Provide.”

The angel of the LORD called out a second time to confirm the covenant between Abraham and God. He then returned to his servants and set off for Beersheba.

Some indeterminate time later, Abraham was told that Milcah had borne sons to his brother Nahor. One of them, Bethuel, became the father of Rebekah. Nahor’s concubine Reumah also had four sons.

Sarah died at the age of 127 (meaning Abraham was 137 when she died). She died at Kiriath Arba (that is Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and weep over her.

Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites about obtaining a burial site for Sarah. The Hittites replied that they would gladly give land over. Abraham wanted a cave owned by Ephron, son of Zoar. Ephron the Hittite was willing to give Abraham the land, but Abraham insisted on buying it. So Ephron and Abraham agreed on a price of four hundred shekels of silver.

So Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre (which is at Hebron). The field and the cave in it were deeded to Abraham by the Hittites as a burial site.

Abraham now was advanced in his years, and the Lord had blessed in him in every way. He told his chief servant to make sure Isaac did not marry any daughters of the Canaanites, but someone from his country and relatives.

What if the woman is unwilling to come with me to this land? asked the servant. Shall I take your son back to the country you came from?

Abraham implored his servant to make sure Isaac did not go back. If the woman is unwilling to go, the servant is released from the oath but he still must make sure Isaac does not go back to the country from which Abraham came. So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.

Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and all kinds of good things. He set out for Aram Naharaim and made his way to the town of Nahor. He had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town, as it was evening the women would go out to draw water.

The servant prayed that the LORD would give him a sign. If he asks for his water, and the girl gives it to him and draws water for his camels, then he would know.

Before he finished praying, Rebekah the daughter of Bethuel, son of Milcah came to the well to draw water. The girl was very beautiful, a virgin. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again.

The servant hurried to meet her and asked for water from her jar. Drink my lord, she replied, and lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink.

After she had given him a drink, she drew water for the servants camels as well. Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn if his prayer and been answered.

When the camels had finished drinking, the servant took out a gold nose ring weaing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels. Then he asked about her family and a room for the night. Rebekah replied she was the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah bore to Nahor. There was plenty of straw and fodder for the camels, and a room for him to stay in.

The servant bowed down and worshiped the LORD, thanking God for leading him to the house of his master’s relatives. The girl ran and told her mother’s household about these things.

Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he hurried out to the servant at the spring. He found out what happened and invited the man back to the house.

The camels were unloaded, and straw and fodder were brought for the camels, and water for the servant and his men to wash their feet. Food was set before him, but before that the servant would not eat before he had his say.

The servant relayed the fact that Abraham wanted his son to marry someone from the country he came from. And so Rebekah was the answer to his prayer.

Laban and Bethuel answered that this was from the LORD, they could say nothing one way or the other. They gave Rebekah to the servant, to be married to Abraham’s son as the LORD directed.

When Abraham’s servant heard what they said, he bowed down before the LORD. The servant then brought out gold and silver jewelry and clothing and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave costly gifts to her brother and mother. THen he and his men ate and drank and spent the night there.

When the got up the next morning, the servant asked to be sent to his master. But Rebekah’s brother and mother replied that they wanted the girl to stay ten days before she left to marry Isaac.

But he replied that they should not detain him. So they left it up to Rebekah, who agreed to go with the servant. So they sent Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and maids.

Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw the servant’s caravan approaching. Rebekah looked up and saw Isaac, asking the servant who that was. That would be his master. So Rebekah took her veil and covered herself.

Genesis 24:66-67 says:
66 Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. 67 Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

Questions: How have your experiences being tested by God gone? Have you ever paid someone for something they were willing to give you for free?

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