Summary of passage: Abimelech makes a treaty with Abraham probably because he doesn’t trust him. Abraham said that some of Abimelech’s servants had seized a well. Abraham gifted sheep and cattle to Abimelech and set aside 7 ewe lambs to prove he dug the well. The place was called Beersheba. Abimelech returned to Philistine and Abraham planted a tree and called upon the name of the Lord. Abraham stayed here a long time.
12a) Personal Question. My answer: Outwardly, Abraham has accomplished things only God could. He rescued Lot and defeated the 4 kings. He has prospered materially with all his herds of sheep and cattle and other signs of wealth. He seems to have dealt with everyone with integrity, which we all admire in people.
And I’m sure when you looked at Abraham you could see a contentment, a peace, a security that only God can bring. I’m stopping short of saying the Holy Spirit because that was only after Jesus died did we receive the Holy Spirit but something similar I would wager.
b) Personal Question. My answer: Others see whether you live by God or by the world. Your actions show it. A God-centered life is abundant indeed. I learn to be cognizant of this and try to reflect God wherever I go.
13a) Abraham swore by God. Abraham offers up lambs as proof of his work so he backs up his words with action. Abraham planted a tree as a sign he called upon the Lord.
b) Personal Question. My answer: This is a hard one because I don’t trust other people so I’m sure I come off as untrustworthy myself. And part of me doesn’t care if others trust me or not or even if I am trustworthy because I don’t care what others think most of the time. But I can pray about it and be more like Jesus.
Conclusions: Easy lesson with no right or wrong answers since they are all opinion questions. Abraham got along with his neighbors and treated them fairly and rightly as Jesus would do. And others recognized this in him. Seems like something we should all strive for.
End Note: The Abimelech in Genesis 21 is NOT the same Abimelech in Genesis 20. Abimelech was a generic title for ruler amongst the Canaanites and is not a specific name.
Simple Map of Beersheba: http://www.keyway.ca/htm2002/beersheb.htm