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“Here Comes the Bride” – A Wife for Isaac (Genesis 24)
Scripture reading – Genesis 24
Faithful to His promises, God blessed Sarah in her old age. At 90, she gave Abraham a son when he was 100. Yet, incredibly, she lived to be a “hundred and seven and twenty years old” (Genesis 23:1), meaning Isaac was 37 at the time of his mother’s death.
An Urgency to Find a Suitable Wife for Isaac (Genesis 24:1-9)
We read, “Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things” (24:1). Three years passed since Sarah’s death (25:20). Abraham was impressed with the urgency to prepare his son to become not only the master of the household, but also the heir of God’s covenant for Abraham’s lineage. An essential part of that preparation was choosing a wife for Isaac.
Burdened that Isaac would have a fitting wife, Abraham summoned his eldest servant (24:2) and charged him that Isaac “shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites [a heathen, idolatrous people], among whom I dwell: 4 But thou shalt go unto my country [the country out of which God had called him, Genesis 12:1-3], and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac” (24:3-4).
The servant questioned Abraham concerning the considerations for choosing Isaac’s wife and was admonished that, should a young woman be unwilling to return with him to Canaan (24:5), he must not permit Isaac to leave the land God had given him as an inheritance (24:6-9).
The Search for Isaac’s Wife (Genesis 24:10-67)
A caravan of ten camels, servants, and supplies accompanied Abraham’s trusted servant for the 500-mile journey across the desert from Canaan to the city of Nahor in Mesopotamia (24:10).
Arriving at the well in Nahor in the evening, the servant was aware that the young women of the households would come to the well for water, and there he compelled the camels to kneel (24:11-13). Abraham’s servant made a passionate plea to the LORD to guide him (24:11-14), and “before he had done speaking…Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder” (24:14).
Rebekah was God’s answer to the servant’s prayer, for she was “very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up” (24:16). Beautiful, chaste (24:16), considerate (24:18), diligent in serving (24:19-20), and of a household that called on Jehovah (24:31a), the servant lifted his voice in praise and thanksgiving, testifying, “I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s brethren” (24:27).
Rewarding Rebekah with “a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold” (24:22), she invited Abraham’s servant to her family’s household where he would meet Laban, Rebekah’s brother (24:23-29).
The servant refused to be comforted by food or shelter until he stated his mission and testified of God’s providence in leading him to their home (24:30-50). Upon declaring, “I am Abraham’s servant” (24:34), he shared how God had blessed his master with great wealth (24:35) and a son who would be his heir (24:36).
Hearing God had providentially led the servant to Rebekah, her brother, and her father offered their blessing for her to become Isaac’s wife (24:50-56). When Rebekah was requested to give her consent to depart with Abraham’s servant and to be the wife of Isaac, she consented and said, “I will go” (24:58). With the blessing of her family (24:59-60), Rebekah departed with her attendant. She journeyed with Abraham’s servant to Canaan (24:61).
As they neared their journey’s end, they spotted Isaac approaching them (24:62-63). Rebekah then covered herself with a veil, expressing modesty and humility (24:64). Isaac listened to the servant’s report and how the LORD led him to Rebekah (24:66). Then, “Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent… and she became his wife; and he loved her” (24:67).
Closing thoughts – Though their marriage was not always a picture of peace and happiness, Isaac and Rebekah’s union has served as an enduring testimony of God’s interest in our lives and His providential leadership in our marriages and families.
Oh, that we might choose to walk in righteousness and say with Abraham’s servant, “I being in the way, the LORD led me” (24:27).
Challenge – Do Right, and you will not only do the will of the LORD, but also be confident in it!
Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith
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