Friday, April 09, 2010

Bible Study: As It Was In The Beginning - Genesis - Chapter 23

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Genesis. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses you through this material.


Take a few minutes to savor Genesis Chapter 23. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

22:1-2 – What is your "personal Isaac"? What do you love so much that others might question you love it more than God?

22:1 – “Here I am” – Abraham heard God because he was listening for God.

Faith isn’t faith until it’s tested.

22:2 – Wait! Isaac isn’t Abraham’s only son! “Isaac was the only son of the promise.” (NIVSB)

You want me to what!?!?!?! God has never called for human sacrifice!

Moriah – where David bought the threshing floor and worshiped God.

22:3 – “Early the next morning” - Abraham didn’t hesitate! He did keep busy by making the preparations himself rather than delegating tasks to his servants.

22:5 – we will come back – Abraham believed God could raise Isaac from the dead. See Hebrews 11:19. But he wouldn’t have a real frame of reference for resurrection. Perhaps he wanted to deceive Isaac and the servants? Probably not.

22:6 – Isaac carried the wood for his own burnt offering just as Christ carried the wooden crossbeam for His own cross of execution.

22:7 – Isaac knew how this worked. He was smart enough to ask about the sacrifice.

22:8 – God will provide the lamb – and He did! see John 1:29.

God did provide the sacrifice: He promised Isaac would be born and He sent the ram to take Isaac’s place (and He ultimately sent Christ). There is nothing recorded that Isaac questioned further. He trusted his father’s answer. So should we.

22:9-18 – “God never leaves obedience unblessed or rebellion unpunished.” (Explore the Bible, Winter 2007-2008, Genesis 1-27)

22:9 – Abraham built the altar and arranged the wood. Isaac probably helped. Did Abraham surprise Isaac to bind him? Knock him out? Was Isaac just too shocked to fight back? Whatever the specific events, Abraham bound Isaac and laid him on the wood.

22:10 – Imagine the tears that were falling at this moment.

22:12 – Abraham demonstrated his great love for God by not withholding his only son from Him. God demonstrates His great love for us by not withholding His only Son!

22:13-14 – Abraham looked up – the bushes there were relatively small. Was he looking up because he’d fallen on his knees before God?

The ram was caught by his horns in the thicket. Genesis 3:17-18 tells us that thorns are evidence of sin’s curse on the earth. see Luke 1:68-75 for a reference to the horn of our salvation.

22:14 – Jehovah-Jireh – The Lord will provide.

22:15-16 – Why would this promise need to be repeated? See 13:6 and 15:5. Is the Lord simply reminding Abraham as an incentive to stay on task?

22:20-24 – Is this bit of genealogy being introduced now because we will soon have a vested interest in Rebekah?

23:1-20 – Abraham bought the first piece of the promised land for 200 sheckels of silver. When Sarah died, Abraham approached the Hittites to ask Ephron, son of Zohar, to sell him a field in Macpelah near Mamre to bury her.

The Hittites tried to give Abraham the land, but he refused to accept it as a gift. He knew he must own the land to bury his beloved. He knew that he must not owe the Hittites anything! I wish I could say that I would have done the same thing, but if God had promised me the land, I probably would have accepted the gift from the Hittites thinking it the providence of God. And in accepting that “gift”, the Hittites would have owned me!

I recall another who gave a tomb to bury the dead. Joseph of Arimathea gave his own tomb to bury Jesus in Matthew 27:50-60. Jesus’ followers were distraught, so I’m not sure if anyone even thought to offer to pay for the tomb. But I see at least a couple of differences in the two tales.

First, Jesus’ death is payment enough to anyone for anything we can possibly give Him! Joseph received payment several times over because Jesus died for his sins as well, making a permanent place of rest for him (and for us) in heaven!

Second, Jesus only borrowed the tomb for a few days! Hallelujah!!!!! God’s power filled Christ with life everlasting, conquering death for us all, raising Him from the dead and rolling that stone away from the tomb’s entrance so the rightful owner could use it, himself. Do you think Joseph of Arimathea was buried in that tomb? Would you have wanted to be buried in the place where the Savior’s body laid? I would accept that gift in a heartbeat! Oh, wait, I already did…and Jesus owns every bit of me! He paid for me IN FULL!!!

23:2 – “A eulogy says more than a birth announcement.” See Proverbs 12:4 – Sarah was a beloved wife, a noble wife. (Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible – Higgs)

23:3-20 – After Sarah’s death, Abraham approached the Hittites to purchase a field near Mamre to bury her. This land is within the border of the land God promised to Abraham and his descendants.

23:14-16 – Abraham buys the first piece of the land promised to him.

23:17 – Mamre – this is where Abraham settled after he and Lot separated following their detour into Egypt. (See 13:18) Abraham already had an altar built to the Lord there.

What attributes of God have you observed in your study today? How will this change your relationship with Him?

1 comment:

ChaChaneen said...

Greetings, stumbled on your blog today! Looking forward to getting to read your post here.... I'll be back after I put on a pot of tea!