Summary: Abraham and Abimelech. Issac is born and Abraham sends Hagar and Ishmael away. Abraham and Abimelech make a treaty. Abraham takes Issac to sacrifice him, but the Angel of the Lord provides a sacrifice. Abraham sends his servant to get Issac a wife. Rebekah returned with the servant and became Issac's wife. Abraham dies and his offspring are accounted for in the text. Jacob and Esau are born. Issac has a similiar experience with Abimelech. Jacob gets Issac's blessing instead of Esau. Jacob flees to Laban when he finds out that Esau wants to kill him. Jacob has a dream and then goes to Paddam Aram. There he falls in love with Rachel, but is tricked to marry Leah. He ends up having both of them for wives. Leah gives him several offspring, and eventually so does Rachel. Jacob's flock also increases.
Response: Two different situations with Abilemech, once with Abraham and once with Issac, don't make sense to me. I understand what happens but it is hard for me to grasp the deeper meaning. Why is this in the Bible? What was God's purpose for this? I love the story of Hagar. God shows his amazing love and protection through the story of Hagar. He hears her cries and provides for her. With the story of Abraham preparing to sacrifice Issac, I have always wondered if there was a struggle between them. Obviously it would have been a shock to Issac when his father asked him to lay on the offering altar. This story is such a beautiful picutre of what Christ did for us. He provided a sacrifice for us. A minor observation that I thought was cool was when Abraham servant says "Before I finished praying in my heart". (24:45) There are times that I wonder if God really hears my non-verbal prayers, and this just confirms that he does. It is all a matter of the heart. I think Jacob's dream is so amazing. After what he did to his brother, God still speaks to him in a divine dream. Jacob was confident in the Lord and the Lord used him despite his flaws. One other minor observation is that Rachel was a shepherdess. I did not that such a thing existed! I just thought men were the shepherds.