1-16 – Abraham was unwilling to accept a burial spot for Sarah as a gift from the Hittites. He insisted on paying. Like in the story where he was asked to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham knew and believed that all his blessings were from God. He could not allow someone’s gift to disrupt that.
1-4 – It was important to God, and thus Abraham as well, that Isaac not inter-marry with a Canaanite, which would have been easy since that was the land they lived in.
14 – Watering camels was a long, laborious job since camels drink so rarely, but when they do it’s in high volume. Offering to water someone else’s camels would have been a big commitment.
10-33 – In this society, meeting at wells often led to marriage. Laban was pleased that his sister had met a man at a well for this reason.
This section is filled with 3 healing stories. It is important to notice when anything in the Bible comes in 3s. This means it is being emphasized.
Note that of the three healings, one is a leper, who is considered unclean and is often outcast, another is a centurion, who is a gentile’s, servant.
10-13 – Israelites, because of their covenant with God, sometimes considered themselves above others. Jesus is explaining that this man, though not part of the chosen people, would be with Jesus because of his faith, while some Israelites were banking on their heritage.
There are several terms like “Higgaion” and “Selah” whose meanings are not certain. They are presumed to be some sort of musical term since the Psalms often have instructions such as that they are “for the choirmaster”.
3 – In Deuteronomy chapter 6, Moses encourages the Israelites to bind God’s word around their head and wrists and to write it on their hearts. This is a similar command and purposely mirrors that of Moses.
5-6 – Familiar, encouraging verses reminding us to trust in God first and we will be rewarded with straight paths.
1-18 – Once again, Abraham almost gets someone in trouble by telling them Sarah is his sister. God intervenes and protects Abraham, Sarah, and Abimelech. Though Abimelech may have lived in a land that did not fear God prior to this episode, now he is willing to make accommodations and offer blessings to God’s prophet, Abraham.
1-7 – What is impossible for man is still possible for God. This story reminds us that God’s promises are true. They may not happen right when we expect or want, but God will be true to his promises.
15-21 – Though Ishmael was not the son through which the covenant would be fulfilled, he was still Abraham’s child and God provided for him.
1 – “Here I am” is the response given by many biblical characters when called specifically by God: Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, etc. This is a sign of willingness and openness to God’s call.
2-12 – God tested Abraham’s faithfulness. Clearly Abraham saw everything he had as a blessing from God and would give anything that God asked for. He even, in verse 8, explains that he trusted God to provide.
13-14 – In many stories in Scripture characters name locations after the way God showed up in that place. This place was called “Jehoveh-Jireh” or “The Lord Provides” because God did not actually require Abraham to sacrifice his son. He provided the sacrifice for him.
15-20 – This is a good tip on how you can recognize if someone is for good and for God or not. Are they bearing the fruit that God provides: love, joy, peace, etc.?
24-27 – We are capable of all kinds of great things, but if our foundation is not built on God, it’s all for naught.
28-29 – This specifically contrasts the scribes’ authority with the authority of Christ meaning that the scribes were not leading through God.
9-10 – Confirmation that when we seek God, he will be faithful to meet us. He does not hide from or forsake us.
20-22 – We often try to ignore the consequences of our actions assuming they won’t catch up to us. These verses remind us that there are consequences for wicked actions. It is not because of cruelty from God that we are cut off. It is because of our own wickedness.