ABRAHAM PT. 5
  Sarah was one hundred and twenty seven years old and she died in Kirjatharba which is Hebron. Abraham mourns and asks the sons of Heth for a burying place. They offer him his choice of burying places. He asks for the cave of Mechpelah which belongs to Ephron the son of Zohar. Ephron offers to give him the field and the cave but Abraham insists on buying it, which he does for four hundred shekels of silver. Abraham then buried Sarah in his cave.
    When Abraham is old and Isaac is of marrying age Abraham makes his eldest servant swear to go to his (Abraham's) relatives to seek a wife for him. The servant asks whether he should take Isaac with him in the event that the woman would be unwilling to leave her native land to marry someone sight unseen. Abraham tells him no but that the Lord would send His angel before him and if the woman refused to come, he would be free from his oath. I have heard teaching before that compared Abraham's servant to the Holy Spirit being sent to seek us as the bride of Jesus. While this picture painted by the Master compares well with that similitude (Hosea 12;10) it seems to me that Abraham's servant better represents us as stewards in God's house, the Holy Spirit being represented by the angel of the Lord who goes before to prepare the way and works with us and through us to do that which we are unable to do. While the church is the bride of Christ only the wedding in Revelations 19, which does not occur until after the judgment of the great whore of chapters 17 and 18, will reveal who is truly a member of that church. Abraham knew there was a good chance of finding his son a wife among his relatives because he had been told news about them in Gen. chapter 22;20-24. So Abraham's servant loads 10 camels and leaves for Mesopotamia, the city of Nahor, Abraham's brother. He gets to the well outside the city at the time of the evening when women go out to draw water and prays this prayer "O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham. Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast showed kindness unto my master." Verse 15 "And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder." She was a beautiful virgin (how he knew that i don't have a clue but can only assume there was some cultural dress code or other way to tell) and she filled her pitcher and came up. The wells of their day were not like the wells of our day. They had no pump and probably didn't let a bucket down by a rope but rather dug the well large enough to make a stair way down to the water. So it was a little bit more of a chore than we might think. The servant approaches and asks for a drink, which she gives to him. When he is done she offers to give water his camels until they are full.
                                                                             
Abraham's servant held his peace until she was done and then took a large golden earring two bracelets and ten shekels of gold and gives them to her. He then asks who she is and if there is room at her fathers house for him and his camels to stay. She tells him who she is and that they have room for him and his camels. The servant bowed his head and worshipped the Lord and said. Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master's brethren. Rebekah ran to her mother's house and tells them and her brother Laban runs out to meet him and invites him back to the house. They set a meal before him and he refuses to eat until he tells them why he is there. The servant then tells them about Sarah and Abraham and how they have Isaac in their old age. He tells them about his errand and how the Lord had answered His prayer at the well before he was through speaking it. (Imagine that, not an unusual thing for a servant of the Lord but always amazing when it happens.) He then presses the issue, to know whether they were willing to let her go. They reply, "The thing proceedeth from the Lord: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. Behold Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife, as the Lord hath spoken." Abraham's servant then bowed himself to the earth and worshipped the Lord. He then brought out gifts for Rebekah and her brother and ate. The next morning he asks them to let he and Rebekah return to Abraham and Isaac. They protest and want her to stay a few more days and they finally decide to let her decide. Rebekah says she is ready to go so they bless her and she and her damsels ride back on the camels.  When they get back Isaac is meditating in the field. When Rebekah sees him she asks if this is her husband to be. When Abraham's servant says yes she gets off the camel and covers herself with a vail. Abraham's servant then tells Isaac everything and Isaac takes her for his wife. This probably happened soon after Sarah died because they live in Sarah's tent which is still set up, and the text says Isaac was comforted concerning his mothers death.
   Abraham then took an additional wife and had six sons by her among them Midian. Chapter 25 verse 5,6 "And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. But unto the son's of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country."
   Abraham lived 175 years and when he died Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave which he had bought to bury Sarah which is in Hebron to this day.

  Abraham is called the father of faith. While i won't dispute that claim, there were others who believed God before Abraham, Noah, just to name one, but this is the first record that survived of someone's on going relationship with the Lord. It should be noted that Abraham received promises from God that were unrivaled at least until David. Abraham is also the first to receive this testimony from God "And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness." Chapter 15 verse 6. In fact it is interesting to study what the Lord said about Abraham in other places as well. Abraham was a man who believed God but had many things to learn about God and himself. He learned much in his lifetime among strangers. I believe he learned to trust as well as believe God and that he taught these lessons to Isaac. A curious point to close Abraham's story. The bible says nothing about Abraham blessing Isaac before his death But when Isaac is near death he blesses Jacob and also Esau and when Jacob was near death he made Joseph put his hand under his thigh and swear to bury him in the cave at Hebron Gen. 47; 29,30. Jacob then blesses and prophesies over his sons. Remember that Abraham made his servant put his hand under his thigh and swear in Gen.24;2.
   As a personal note i would like to say that Abraham's life is a walk of discovery as much as faith. Probably many of us can relate to much of his story. All of us have preconceived notions about God and need have our minds renewed by His word and experience and Abraham's story shows us that God is able to keep us and teach us if we will let Him. Abraham also had flaws of character most of which he no doubt learned from relatives but once God got him relatively alone, he was able through time and patience (Luke 8;15) to deal with and, i think, overcome. Sometime when you are tired and don't think you will ever "make it", remember how long God had patience with Abraham, even when Abraham tried to help God and got Ishmael. Most of us have our own "Ishmaels" of one kind or another, though i doubt that any have as much impact on history as Abraham's.
So, when you read Abraham's story, pay attention to the relationship he had with God, and how precious and fearful that was to him, and how God so wonderfully took care of his friend.
   Then remember what Jesus said in Matt. 11;11 "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." Are you in the kingdom of heaven? If you are not sure, please follow my advise, there is nothing in this life that will fill that empty spot in your soul except the living God that created it for Him to live in. No pleasure or goal, no philosophy or endeavor will ever be enough because the only one that can tell you WHY, is the God that made you. Get real with God and He will make Himself real to you. Accept His son Jesus and you will be born again and if you follow on to know the Lord by reading His word and obeying what you understand, He will show you things beyond your imagination. There will be times when the devil will test you and times when you will want to give up. If your like me there will be times when you will think you have messed it up so bad He could never forgive. There was a time (several years) when i thought it was over, i had blown it and nothing could be done about it, until i began reading His word again and came across Daniel 11;35 "And some of them of understanding shall fall, TO TRY THEM, and to PURGE, and to make them WHITE, EVEN to the time of the end:" also 1st Peter 4;12 "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you :". If you believe God and put your trust in Jesus, i may never meet you until heaven but i will leave you with this advice. Read the bible, pray, trust God, and live it out. Read the bible, pray, trust God, and live it out. NEVER GIVE UP ON HIM BECAUSE HE WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON YOU AND THE WORST THAT MAN CAN DO TO YOU IS PROMOTE YOU TO MARTYR IF YOU REMAIN FAITHFUL.
   God bless you until we meet, in this life or the next.
4/30/01
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