1.In Genesis 24:12 we read where Abraham’s servant prayed about the tasks before him. We see him invoking the name of Abraham when he prays to G-d. He asked for chesed (loving kindness) toward Abraham. He was basically praying in Avraham’s name.  Why would he do that? We as believers usually end our prayers with, “In the name of Yeshua.” Why do we do that? Is it just something we do? Is it important to pray that way? Do we have scriptural bases for praying that way?

The servant did not attempt to persuade God to hear him on his merit alone. He invoked the name of Abraham and reminded the Almighty of His obligations to Abraham. He prayed in Abraham’s name. 

Prayer in Yeshua’s name has a rich meaning. When we pray in His name, we remind the Father of His chesed or loving kindness toward His Son, and we remind Him that we are associated with the Son. We ask to be answered not on our own merit but on His merit.

Our Heavenly Father Himself delights to answer the prayers of Yeshua’s disciples. Disciples of Yeshua beseech the Father through the Son. We address our prayers to the Father in the authority of Yeshua’s name. He taught us to pray to the Father in the name of the Son, “Our Father Who art in heaven …”

Scriptural basis for how we pray: John 16:23-24  “In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”

It is more than just a way to end a prayer. It reminds us and reminds G-d of who we are.

2.If you continue reading Gen 24 Abraham sent his servant away to look for a bride for his son Isaac. Why did he not want Isaac to marry a local girl? Both groups of people would be idol worshipers. His only requirement was that she not be local. 

What happens when you marry? You get more than a wife. You get her family too. Your destiny is wrapped up in her and her family. 

Abraham knew that the time would come when his descendants would displace the Canaanites in Israel. This would be very difficult if not impossible if they were relatives. 

Abraham took this step to protect his descendants from an entanglement that would have serious consequences in the future. So, he sent his servant back to his own family to find a bride for Isaac.

3.We find the servant’s conditions the girl must meet in Genesis 24:12-14. What stands out to you about his plan? What quality was he looking for? 

Kindness seemed to be top of his list of qualities for this girl. As we have already mentioned the Hebrew word for kindness is Chesed  

How was this kindness to be expressed? She was not only supposed to offer the servant water but also to water his camels until they had finished drinking. Think about that. He had 10 camels with him. Each camel could drink gallons of water. This would be no easy task for the girl. 

Chesed means kindness but on a much deeper level. Many times we see it translated as loving kindness as in Proverbs 31 in the prayer, Eshet Hiel where the husband thanks G-d for this quality in his wife.

 It is applied to a person who emulates G-d in the kindness He shows to us. It is kindness that looks for a way to bless someone. Kindness not based on if the person is someone we like or approve of but kindness that knows no distinction of people. 

That is what the servant saw here in this girl. He didn’t base his choice on whether she was the most beautiful or if she even was a believer in G-d. I think this is a strong lesson today for us all, for our country and each of us tonight. G-d looks at the heart. He looks at who we are inside, how we relate to His world.

4.In 18:11 it says, “Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age.” It would seem redundant to add the last four words. If they were old it goes without saying that they were well advanced in age. Torah is very sparing with words so there must be a message here. If we look at the Hebrew words they were Ba’im Bayamim, which translated means, they entered in the days. What picture might this give you, rather than the English, “well advanced in age?”

If we look at the Hebrew words they are Ba’im Bayamim, which translated means, they entered into their days. Every moment is precious, a gift of G-d. So it follows that our use of time is important. 

This Hebrew phrase, “enter in the days,” carries that idea. It tells us that Abraham and Sarah entered each day connecting with each moment and embracing it. They were always “there,” whenever and wherever they were. 

So the last part of Genesis 18:11 tells us the manner in which they lived their years. Remember it was not all roses for them. They lived through hardships and trials yet even in those they embraced the moment for there was something to learn from it. 

I read a quote this week that I thought was great. It is about dealing with life. “Ignoring a moment’s call is to ignore the caller.” Saying that even in those difficult maybe even scary moments we must look and live our days with our spirit attuned to what G-d is teaching us and telling us especially in the difficult times. This verse 18:11, tells us these two did just that. They entered each day looking for and expecting to see G-d’s hand in their life, to live our life in anticipation of what G-d is going to do today.

Even in those difficult days is to live as Sarah and Abraham. In Genesis 24:1 we see these words repeated again about Abraham. This was after he buried Sarah and time had passed. Yet even here he was still described as entering his days. 

Right to the end he was filled with expectations of what each day brought from G-d. Some time we become so busy with stuff, making a living, doing, that we forget to live and just to be at peace in what G-d does in our life each day. Passing time does not mean time lived. Every hour every second is heaven knocking on our door.

5.How would you state the most obvious trait of Abraham’s spiritual life? 

I would think Abraham had an unshakable faith in G-d and the promises of G-d. 

How did this faith affect his life? Mainly I think we could say he was active in his faith as a partner with G-d.  

G-d had promised him the land of Israel. He could have gone through his life saying, “I will just sit back and watch what G-d does.” Did he do that? I think we have a couple of things here that show that was not the case. 

First in chapter 23 we read about him buying a burial place for his family. Why buy it?   G-d had already promised it to him. No, he knew his faith was strong but G-d expected him to work at bringing about the promise. As James tells us in the Messianic Scripture, James 2:18 our faith requires work. “But someone will say, You have faith and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

We could look at it like a partnership. G-d does not expect us to just sit back and wait for things to roll in. No, we work. We do what we can do with full faith in G-d and working with Him to bring those promises to fruition.  Abraham, through faith, knew the time would come when the right to the land would be questioned like it is today. Here and at Joseph’s tomb and the Temple Mount, land was bought and the sale recognized.

6.In Genesis 25:1 we see that Avraham married Keturah and she bore a son named Midian. Where do we see the descendants of Midian mentioned later in scripture? 

We meet Midianites later in the account of Moshe (Moses). His wife Zipporah came from Midian, and her father, Yitro (Jethro), was “the priest of Midian” (Ex. 2:163:118:1).

Midianite women were used to seduce the men of Israel away from God. Numbers 25:6-9 Then an Israelite man brought into the camp a Midianite woman right before the eyes of Moses and the whole assembly of Israel while they were weeping at the entrance to the tent of meeting. When Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, saw this, he left the assembly, took a spear in his hand and followed the Israelite into the tent. He drove the spear into both of them, right through the Israelite man and into the woman’s stomach. Then the plague against the Israelites was stopped; but those who died in the plague numbered 24,000.

Sometimes there are far reaching consequences to our decisions. When Avraham married Keturah he probably did not realize how that decision would impact generations to come.

 NOTE: Deuteronomy 23:3-6. Here, it says that the Moabites wanted to curse Israel but they had to hire Balaam, a Midianite, to do it for them. The Moabites descended from Moab a son of Lot. Midianites descended from Midian, a son of Abraham and Keturah.