At first I didn’t want to admit the calling of the bride for Isaac was a type of calling out the Bride of Christ, the Church, from the world. I thought it might be a bit too spiritually minded, perhaps a little too religious to be practical, especially as the analogy applies to the Holy Spirit, but I am unable to deny the symbolism I see here in Genesis 24. All types, if carried too far, will fail, but this does not negate the fact that the type is real. For example, all animal sacrifices point to the sacrifice of Christ, yet none of the animal sacrifices or all of them considered together could take away anyone’s sinfulness, as the sacrifice of Christ has done. Therefore, the type is real even if it is not equal in every way. Read the rest of this entry »
Although certain aspects of God’s will seemed obvious to Abraham, the actual choice of a bride for Isaac wasn’t fully known. What was her name, and what would she be like? Such questions simply are not known as one steps out to do God’s will. One hardly ever knows the end from the beginning. God alone is aware of such knowledge. Mankind lives in the moment and is aware only of present circumstances. The future holds his hopes for the fulfillment of his present labor, but nothing is guaranteed, or is it? Read the rest of this entry »
After Sarah’s death, Abraham decided that he needed to choose a wife for Isaac, but how should this be done, and from where should the selection be made? It was decided that Isaac’s wife should be chosen from his own kindred and not from the Canaanites in whose land Isaac lived. No doubt Abraham had heard of the fate of his grandnieces’ prospective mates when God judged Sodom. Therefore, Isaac’s mate should not be among those whom God has placed under judgment. Neither should Isaac’s bride be among the Canaanites whose destiny it was to disinherit the land. From where then should Isaac’s mate be brought (Genesis 24:1-3)? Read the rest of this entry »
Our principles are not tested by how eloquently we speak of them or embrace them in the good times. Rather they are tested in evil times, when we are asked to choose between a principle and reputation, between a principle and honor or between a principle and comfort, peace or fair treatment. Abraham confessed that he was a pilgrim in the land of Canaan. In other words he didn’t identify himself with the Canaanites. However great or small their mutual respect went, Abraham had separated himself from them (cp. Genesis 17:10, 14), and this is the key to understanding Abraham’s desire to bury Sarah, his wife, in the land that was promised to him by God. Read the rest of this entry »
We’ve already seen that Abraham testified that he did not consider himself to be as those with whom he dwelt. In other words he was not a citizen of the land of Canaan, but a pilgrim dwelling in their land. Moreover, by seeking to purchase a piece of that land for a burial plot, he showed he no longer considered either Ur or Haran his home. Rather he looked for a land he did not yet possess. Knowing this, what can we say about the details of this purchase of Sarah’s burial plot, which turns out to be the first business transaction recorded in the Bible? It may be interesting to see how such mundane matters can be turned into one’s testimony of faith. Read the rest of this entry »
Why does it take Moses twenty verses to say that Sarah died and was buried? This seems quite odd, but, as we prayerfully look deeper, we begin to see more of the things hidden from a cursory read as well as the secrets they hold for us. Sarah is the only woman whose age is recorded at her death, and only she, above all other women, is given as a model for the New Testament Church (1Peter 3:5-6).
God called Abraham first out of the land of Ur (Acts 7:3) and then out of Haran to come into the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:1-4). I don’t believe Abraham made a firm decision to embrace the Lord until he reached Shechem, where he built his first altar. Later, Joshua would lead Israel here, to Shechem; it was a place of memorial where Israel made a firm commitment to receive the Lord as their God and consecrate themselves to him alone. Similarly, this was where Abraham consecrated himself to the Lord by putting away the gods he once served (cp. Joshua 24:1-2) and received the Lord as his God (Genesis 12:6-7). Moreover, after Jacob returned from Haran where he served his father-in-law, Laban, for 20 years, he came to this very place, where he caused his family to give him their foreign gods, and he buried them here, at Shechem (Genesis 35:4). The altar at Shechem stands as a memorial for Abraham’s repudiation of the gods he once served and his receiving, as his God, the Lord who took him out of the land of Ur. Read the rest of this entry »