The book of Genesis spends a lot of time covering the lives of the patriarchs and matriarchs. A lot of words. Numerous commentators including some prominent Kabbalists (such as Nachmanides for example) pay very careful attention to any seemingly out of place words and letters. Hence there are entire libraries worths of books written over the past couple of millenia on just the book of Genesis.
With that in mind, a simple question is: why were the matriarchs and patriarchs put through so many trials?
What it boils down to is that the partriarchs and matriarchs had to go through a number of trials in order to purify their character which would be the spiritual basis upon which the entire Israelite nation was built. Any flaws in those initial blocks would ripple upwards and outwards through all the generations since then.
So the take away message is... always look at the foundation stones. Who was/were the founding members of a movement, religion or magical order? How succesful were they in life and more importantly how refined was their character? Because if you follow in their footsteps, you are building on whatever flaws lie bried in the foundation stones.