Genesis 23-24

Summary

In Genesis chapter 23, The age and death of Sarah. The purchase of the field and cave of Machpelah; where Sarah is buried.

In Genesis chapter 24, Abraham swears his servant. The servant’s journey, prayer and sign. Rebekah meets him; fulfils his sign; receives jewels; shows her kindred; and invites him home. The servant blesses God. Laban entertains him. The servant shows his message. Laban and Bethuel approve it. Rebekah consents to go, and departs. Isaac meets and marries her.

Prayers and Insight

The Bible says, “There is a time to weep” (Eccl. 3:4). Abraham had spent most of his adult life with Sarah, then she died first. He appropriately mourned (inwardly) and wept (outwardly), which is only natural. Some mistakenly say that when a loved one dies, we should trust God and not mourn or weep. But when that special person who is a part of our life is gone, we’re left with a hole. It’s all right to weep and mourn, as Abraham did.

  • Lord, when I weep at funerals, it’s because of my human love for that person. It doesn’t mean I don’t trust You to have taken them to heaven, nor does it mean I don’t trust You to work through the details after their death. I have great confidence in death because I know only You determine the date when any of us will die. Amen.

After a time of mourning and weeping, “Abraham stood up from before his dead” (23:3, KJV). You can’t mourn and weep forever; you can’t stay in the cemetery forever. You must turn your back to the grave and walk away to face your life. Life goes on, and so must you. That doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally visit their grave-you can-but they are with the Lord (John 14:1-3). So, live in the present without them, knowing God who controls the hour of our death, took them at the right time.

  • Lord, I will look beyond the grave to the challenge of my life. I will serve You as diligently after their death as I did before when they were alive. Amen.

The servant who was sent to find a wife for Isaac was probably Eliezer. He had an almost impossible task to find a girl from the right family, when he didn’t know anyone in northern Syria, and he had to find the right girl to be the mother of God’s people. Eliezer prayed that God would guide him in this matter. In the same way we should pray for God’s guidance when we have special tasks, especially tasks when we don’t know how or where to get the task done.

  • Lord, guide me when I don’t know where to go. Even before I get lost, find a correct path for me to go even when I don’t know what to do; help me solve my problems. I trust You to be my guide. Amen.

Similar to Gideon putting out a fleece (Judg. 6), Eliezer put out a “fleece” by praying that if he asked a young virgin girl for water she would volunteer to water his camels. Some say we can put conditions on our prayers to prove that God is answering our requests. Others say we can’t use a fleece because God guides us through Scripture. Also, they say a fleece is tempting God (Jer. 1:13). The answer happened just as Eliezer prayed.

  • Lord, when I pray for guidance, I will trust You to lead me. Show me what to do and go before me to guide me to the right path I should take. Amen.

Sources

  • Bible Summary – Adapted from The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge by R. A. Torrey
  • Insights and Prayers – Adapted from The Prayer Bible