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Genesis 21:22-34

Talks for Growing Christians

Abraham and Abimelech Make a Covenant

Genesis 21:22-34

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Lesson Number 46

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Believers should try to live peaceably with unbelievers.
  2. Believers should not jettison justice for the sake of peace.

Practical Application

  1. Do your non-Christian friends have to say, “Don’t deal falsely with me?”
  2. Do you know God as El-Olam (the God of Eternity)?

Questions

  1. Why did Abimelech desire to make a peace treaty with Abraham?
  2. What is the Hebrew meaning of Beersheba?
  3. Read Romans 12:18 and Hebrews 12:14. What do these verses tell us about the way we should live?
  4. How did Abraham practice doctrinal point #1?
  5. How did Abraham practice doctrinal point #2?
  6. Why did Abimelech say to Abraham, “Don’t deal falsely with me?”

Answers

  1. Abimelech wanted to make a covenant with Abraham because he (Abraham) had become wealthy and powerful. Abimelech desired to insure a peaceful co-existence with a future by making this treaty. Abraham agreed, and in accordance with the customs of that day they cut a covenant.
  2. In Hebrew Beersheba means “well of the oath”, or “well of the seven” (after the seven ewe lambs). Beersheba became well known in biblical history. In fact, the land of Israel is still referred to as the land from Dan to Beersheba.
  3. Believers should try to live peaceably with unbelievers.
  4. Rather than pick a fight over the well that Abimelech’s servants had seized, Abraham made it a part of the peace treaty.
  5. Abimelech’s servants had wrongly seized the well that belonged to Abraham. Abraham sought to right this wrong. As part of the treaty, Abraham included seven extra ewe lambs to insure Abraham’s exclusive right to the well which he had dug at Beersheba.
  6. It was obvious to Abimelech that God was blessing Abraham, but Abraham had lied to Abimelech in the past, so there was an element of distrust.

Discuss/Consider

  1. As believers, why is it important that we live peaceably with our neighbors and unbelieving co-workers? Recall instances when you have violated this peace or were indifferent to maintaining peaceable relationships. How could (should) you have handled these situations to honor God and maintain an honest testimony?
  2. God revealed Himself to Abraham as El-Olam, the everlasting God, or the God of Eternity. How has God revealed Himself to you as El-Olam, the God who does not change?

Challenge

  1. Do your non-Christian friends have to say, “Don’t deal falsely with me?” Do you have a consistent Christian testimony?

Key Verses

  • “Abimelech said to Abraham, ‘God is with you in all that you do.’“ Genesis 21:22
  • “Do not deal falsely with me.” Genesis 21:23
  • “He called the place Beersheba (the Oath or Well of Seven).” Genesis 21:31

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