- What light do we get from this passage on the kind of man Isaac was?
See 24:63-67; 25:28.
- Contrast Jacob and Esau, as described in 25:27-34, in their habits, character and spiritual outlook.
What lesson is drawn in Heb.
12:14-17 from Esau’s conduct in regard to his birthright?
- Review Abraham’s life.
What gives him an outstanding place in world history and makes him a conspicuous example to us all?
Cf. Is.14:8; Gal. 3:9, 29.
- What can we learn from the attitude of Abraham’s servant in his relation to:
(a) his master, and
(b) the task given to him?
What were his confidence and concern?
Cf. Col. 3:22-24.
- Examine the manner in which the servant made his choice, and the test he employed.
Of what did he become particularly conscious?
Can we learn from this about choosing a life-partner?
- What picture do we get of Rebekah?
- What features in Abraham’s character does the story of this chapter bring out?
With verse 4 cf. Heb. 11:9, 10, 13-16.
What can we learn from his example concerning the right way to face both life and death?
- What is Sarah’s character as shown in Genesis?
Cf. Heb. 11:11; 1 Pet. 3:5, 6.
How many wives today become what the Bible calls’ her daughters’?
- 22. In what ways was the command of verse 2 a most severe test of Abraham’s faith I God?
Note the significance of the comment in Heb. 11:17, 18.
From where did Abraham expect to get, and where did he expect to find, the answer to the questions that he could not answer?
How did his faith express itself?
Cf. Jas. 2:20-24.
- 21:22-34. What was it about Abraham that made Abimelech believe that a covenant between them that would be kept was a serious possibility?
Do we seek similar evidences in our lives that will make other trust us and reverence our God?
Cf. Matt. 5:16; 1 Pet. 2:12.
- What may we learn from Gen.
20 of the weakness of human nature, even in a believer, and of God’s protecting care and saving grace?
Cf. Ps. 94:18; Mark 14:38; 1 Cor. 10:12; 2 Tim. 2:13.
- 21:1-7. ‘Isaac’ means ‘laughter’. What is the difference between Sarah’s laughter in 18:12 and in 21:6?
How was the change brought about?
See also 17:17-19. To what two complementary truths did the name Isaac thus bear witness?
Cf. Matt. 19:26.
- 21:8-21. From what was Ishmael cast out, and why?
Cf. Rom. 9:6-9; Gal. 4:28-30. Why did God nevertheless hear Ishmael’s voice, and grant him his blessing and his presence?
Note. 20:18. The use here of God’s covenant name ‘Lord’ or ‘Jehovah’ is significant. It was he who intervened to preserve Sarah as the intended mother of the promised son. Contrast 21:17-20, where we read that ‘God’, not ‘the Lord’, heard Ishmael’s voice, etc.
- What is revealed in this chapter about:
(a) the evil latent in the heart of man,
(b) the certainty of divine judgment,
(c) the priority of divine mercy, and
(d) the urgency of immediate action while there is time to escape?
Luke 17:23-32; 2 Pet. 2:6; Jude 7.
- What did Lot gain for himself and his family by his association with Sodom? In what ways should he be a warning to us
- Let us learn from Abraham’s example how it is possible to receive the Lord as our guest, to enjoy fellowship with him, to become those whom he calls his friends.
Heb. 13:2; Rev. 3:20; John 15:13-15.
What were the fruits of this fellowship in Abraham’s experience?
What enrichment, in consequence, did Abraham gain for himself, and was able to bring to others?
- Verse 22-33. What are the chief characteristics of Abraham’s intercession?
Make a list of those that should also mark our praying.
Note the effect of Abraham’s intercession. Cf. Gen. 19:9.
Note. Verses 23-25. In praying for Lot and for Sodom, Abraham appealed not to God’s special covenant mercy of faithfulness, but to his universal righteous judgment.