Bible studies for writers

Bible studies for writers | Genesis 23

I meant to mention Nahor from the last chapter, but I forgot. Chapter 22 just kind of jumps to Abraham’s brother, Nahor, and wraps up with that. I thought it was strange, but it’s there for some reason, so let’s keep our radars on for any mentions of Nahor in the future. This paragraph also reminds me of the random little paragraphs I find in my own short stories sometimes. They usually are the ones that get edited out, but they also are the ones my daughter seems to love and remember the most. She has been transcribing some handwritten stories for me, and it’s been fun hearing her feedback. She reminds me of things I forgot I even wrote about. I’m consistently asking the same question: “Did I write that?” Apparently, though, those are the stories that stick, and I thought of them for a reason, so I like that even the writers of the Bible did it often, too.

Onto Abraham and Sarah, who has just died in a land where she is a stranger. Yet, Abraham once again has favor. How does he keep pulling this off? Wink, wink. I noticed that twice in this chapter he bows before the people. It sounds as though the guys are in somewhat of a city council meeting, and that Abraham has gotten to know the community well enough that he 1) knows people by name, 2) knows where they live and exactly which land they own (down at the end of his field. Ha! I love it. Reminds me of home.) and 3) has gained their trust and honor enough that the city elders were going to gift him one of their own tombs! This would have been a “city-owned” tomb, I’m guessing, since this appears to be some sort of government setup. As I learned from my dad who was the local cemetery sexton, burial plots are treasured pieces of land!

I know the lesson here normally is centered on Ephron’s subtle hint of how much the land is worth, and I hope you don’t skim over that part, but this community Abraham wound up in, plus a story I just read on Facebook, has really got me to thinking about my little hometown. Despite Ephron’s questionable answer, Hebron obviously was a tight-knit community, and they worked things out civilly. They seem to have a pretty level-headed group of elders leading them. Abraham got right in there and by showing respect, received respect. This is what I always saw from the leaders in my hometown, particularly at city council meetings. Neighbors often showed up to complain about the other, but I’d often see them shaking hands by the end. That’s just how it works in a small town. I just read a sweet story on Facebook about a guy who moved to our town and not only received a cool nickname but also a warm welcome. He had been bullied in the town he’d lived in before, and my hometown peeps turned his perspective about himself and other people around. I’ve heard a lot of people say that about Cherokee, Oklahoma. I took that for granted A LOT, but I’m realizing now that Cherokee was a pretty awesome place to grow up.

Writing prompt: community

Even if you didn’t grow up in a town of 1,500 people, you still have a community. Even in Bangkok, I notice that we have developed a community, and the city seems a lot smaller now. Write about your community, in whatever way community means to you.

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