"Give Thanks To Jehovah, For He is Good"
Psalm 106:1
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Monday, August 2, 2010

Isaac Gets a Wife.

Genesis Chapter 24

In Abraham's day it was customary for the parents to select a mate for their children. This was an important selection as a marriage affected not only the family but also the entire tribe. And in Isaac's case the promised seed would come through him. Yes, Abraham would need to make a good choice in a wife for Isaac. This would be challenging. Why? The local Canaanite women did not worship Abraham's God, Jehovah therefore, they would not make a suitable wife. Abraham's relatives lived hundreds of miles away in northern Mesopotamia. In the first four verses of Genesis chapter 24, we read about Abraham asking his faithful servant to make the long trip to Abraham's relatives in search of a wife for Isaac. Abraham made this servant, "the oldest one of his household" promise that he would find a suitable mate, from among Abraham's relatives.

(Click on map to make it bigger.)

After recieving detailed instructions, this faithful servant makes the long trip, when he finally arrives, he rests by the well. In order to accomplish his assignment, it is noteworthy to see he does not lean on his own choice, but immediately prays to God for direction saying in prayer, "The young woman to whom I shall say, 'Let your water jar down, please, that I may take a drink," and who will indeed say, 'Take a drink, and I shall also water your camels,' this is the one you must assign to your servant, to Isaac; and by this let me know that you have performed loyal love with my master." -Genesis 24:14. (verses 10-14)

While he is still in prayer, an attractive young woman, named Rebekah comes to the well. The servant asks her, "Please, a little sip of water from your jar." Rebekah shares some of her water with this old man, then said: "For your camels too I shall draw water until they are done drinking." This was no small offer, in fact this would be a strenuous chore! How much can a camel drink? A thirsty camel can drink up to 25 gallons of water in just 10 minutes. Yes, Rebekah shows her unselfishness and industriousness in this loving offer. (verses 15-21)

The faithful servant rewards Rebekah with a gold nose ring and two gold bracelets. When he learns that she is indeed from the house of Abraham's relatives, this servant gives thanks to Jehovah God. (verses 22-27) Rebekah runs home to tell her family and her brother brings the servant and all those traveling with him into their house. The servant though, does not accept a meal until first he explains his business there. (Verses 28-33) And so, he relates in detail to Rebekah's brother, Laban and her father, Bethuel all that happened to him. (verses 34-48)

What will be the answer? Laban and Bethuel recognise Jehovah's hand in this matter and agree to this marriage arrangement. (verses 49-51) Again the faithful servant thanks Jehovah and brings out gifts of precious gold and silver and beautiful fine garments for Rebekah and her family. Then, they all eat together. This transaction, constituted an honorable marriage contract between the parents, according to custom. After, spending a restful night, the servant now awakens in the morning eager to take his leave. (verses 52-54)

Rebekah's mother and brother ask for at least 10 more days, before saying good bye. But the servant is anxious to finish his assignment. They ask Rebekah what she would like to do. Rebekah is willing to leave right away (verses 55-58)

And so, Rebekah, her nurse, and her lady attendants left their home. They must have wondered what would be in store for them, traveling so far away. In those days traveling on a camel's back such a long distance was not easy, in fact it was difficult. These women left willingly, with faith in their God, knowing they would probably never see their family again. (verses 59-61)

As they finally arrived in Negeb, they saw Isaac in the field walking, no doubt he was meditating on his future, including his new wife. Rebekah swings down from her camel, when discovering that the man she sees is her betrothed, she modestly covers herself with a veil, signifying her modesty and subjection to her husbandly head. The faithful servant related his experiences on this trip in detail to Isaac. Then Isaac, took Rebekah as his wife. While this was an arranged marriage it was not a loveless one. As both Rebekah and Isaac, loved Jehovah and trusted their Heavenly Father, they naturally came to love and respect one another.

What did you learn about our Creator in this Bible account? One thing that stood out to me, was that Jehovah does not force people to do his will. Rebekah accepted the opportunity Jehovah held out to her. She willingly accepted Isaac and her new living arrangements.

Also, the servant put out much effort to do things God's way. He although being old, did not take short-cuts but traveled all the way to Mesopotamia, then back down to Negeb, probably near Kadesh, just as he was instructed. Today, we may find that conforming to God's standards is not always easy. Some examples, may have to do with finding a suitable job that while providing for our family does not interfere with theocratic activity, such as, time for Bible study, prayer, regular meeting attendance, teaching our children, and our ministry. Also, finding a mate that is God-fearing, or associates that are upbuilding and finding entertainment that is not debasing. (Regarding entertainment compare: Philippians 4:8) Yes, just as our Heavenly Father sustained the faithful servant and blessed Rebekah for her efforts, He can sustain those who refuse to compromise Bible principles. The Bible promises: "Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight." -Proverbs 3:5, 6.

1 comment:

sandyseashells said...

I think arranged marriages might be a good idea.