Proper 9, Year A, Old Testament Lesson
Scripture: Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67
The Book of Genesis provides the foundational stories of our faith, God’s calling of a people, and their often-failed responses to God and God’s steadfast love throughout. The Abraham Saga tells of the formation of the nation of Israel, beginning with the faithfulness of its patriarch Abraham. Although disillusioned with the wickedness of humanity, God separates out one family line to bring divine blessing to all subsequent families of the world. Abraham, the model of absolute faithfulness, trust, and obedience is symbolic of Israel’s idealized self. At the request of God, Abraham has left his homeland to travel to a promised land. Abraham has entertained angels unaware and trusted God’s promise of him an heir even at the advanced old age of he and his wife Sarah. Abraham trusted in God and made the sacrifices God asked of him. God kept the promise of making a great nation from Abraham. Abraham and Sarah’s son grew up and it was time for Isaac to get married. Abraham makes his servant swear an oath that he will not find a wife for Isaac from the Canaanite people (who had corrupt religious practices), but from one of Abraham’s relatives. So the servant sets out with gifts and camels to the city of Nahor to seek a wife for Isaac. Before he leaves he seeks God’s guidance and blessing on his mission.