Bible Study, Genesis, The Word

Genesis 23-24

Sarah dies. She’s old. She’s had a full life. She dies, and Abraham has to find a place to bury his beloved wife in the land where they don’t really belong. His negotiations for her burial place are recorded in detail, but I’m not sure why. It’s interesting, but I don’t think God included events in the scriptures simply because they’d make good reading. I’m trying to figure out why the details of these negotiations are important in God’s eyes. Why does He want us to know who Abraham bartered with and how much he paid?

After Sarah is buried, Abraham decides it’s time for Isaac to take a wife. Not one of the local women, though. He wants Isaac to have a wife from the old country, so he sends his servant back home to find a wife for the young man (at least I assume he’s young.) The servant worried about whether he can get a young woman to leave everything she knows to come back with him, so Abraham tells him to go. Do his best. If he fails, that’s fine, but he has to try. I think I understand why God wants us to hear that. It’s not always about the results, but about the process. It’s the going, the doing, the obeying that’s important.

So off goes the servant to find a wife for Isaac. He prays for guidance and asks the Lord to let him find Isaac’s future wife in a specific way. She’ll come to the well, she’ll offer him water, and she’ll offer to feed his camels as well. Along comes Rebekah who does exactly that. The servant returns home with Rebekah and recounts the whole thing (in detail) to the men who are going to make the decision.

The thing is, in this chapter, we hear the story in detail three times. Three. Once when the servant prays for it. Once when it happens, and again when the servant is telling about it.

If this were a novel written today, I’d say it was bad writing. Once is enough. But this is the Bible. This is God’s Word. If He included the details three times, one right after another, He must have a reason. So today I’m pondering what’s so important in the details of this event and I’m praying for insight. I don’t think that God just wanted to make the point that the servant prayed, it happened, and then he testified about it because we wouldn’t need the details recounted three times to establish that. I think there’s something specific in the details that God wants us to understand.

I just don’t know what it is.  

If you have any insight into this question, I’d love to hear it!

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