Abraham is said to be a friend to God. I always thought that was a really great thing to be said of anyone and so I definitely wanted to get to know Abraham better. Abraham has an interesting relationship with Almighty God that is in some ways more casual and personal than anyone other than Moses. Moses is also said to be someone very special to the Lord, though in a much different way than Abraham and it’s no wonder with all the years they spent together in the wilderness. Forty years is plenty of time to get to know someone very well and we see plenty of signs of the close relationship between Angel-YHWH (the LORD) and Moses. That will have to wait for another time though.
Concerning Abraham, we can piece together the special relationship he shared with the Lord, God, and then follow it through with what is not written but surely took place as we do have some hints of it here and there in Scripture. Nowadays most people are so far removed from the nomadic lifestyle of the Patriarchs that we probably don’t give much, if any, thought to the everyday happenings within a large troupe of migrant shepherds. The dynamics of the interaction between Abraham’s family and his servants was no doubt so much closer than any of us share even with our extended families today. They were probably together pretty much 24-7, 365 days a year! Plenty of time to sit around the camp fire and exchange stories. Lots and lots of stories were told and re-told throughout the generations of all their families. That’s how information was stored. People remembered the telling of events and they kept the stories alive from one generation to the next. It would’ve been like having a walking, talking data bank of information concerning each other that was passed on to the next generation and added to and some maybe left off with time. I wouldn’t think any stories as awesome as Abraham’s were would be left out for ages to come. I’m thinking maybe after about 400 yrs. the interest and memories would wane and begin to fade somewhat with maybe only a handful of people left who told the old stories still. Probably only the elderly passed them around and kept them alive for posterity. That’s why they’re respected, after all, because they store all the information, wisdom and memories needed for the next generation to succeed. They retained their identity as Israelites through the efforts of the elders.
The Patriarchs of Israel, I believe, were some of the most important elders in the world–on second thought, they were “the” most important. They have their own revelation of God to tell of, 400 years before Mt. Sinai.