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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

February 10, 2016

Genesis 24:22-67

  1. Introduction. On last week we focused on how the servant of Abraham had made a journey to find Abraham’s son Isaac a wife. From the beginning I don’t want you to miss the theological significance of this story. The story is about a servant who is sent to look for a bride for their master’s son. In scripture the church is often called the bride of Christ (Revelations 19:7-10, 2nd Corinthians 11:2, Eph 5:22-32). In this text we are supposed to see ourselves like this servant. We too are sent on a mission to find a bride for the Son. Our mission might be long, but we have been given everything we need to accomplish our mission. We have been given gifts that will help us do what the master wants us to do.

  2. Verses 22-25. We ended our study last week with the servant examining closely the young lady who willingly offered to water his ten camels. I hope you realize as Rebekah represents the church, we too should be found working hard and being helpful servants to those in need. Rebekah was, indeed, the right woman for Isaac. She was the daughter of Bethuel, Abraham’s nephew. Beyond this, she was a beautiful woman who had maintained her sexual purity. Another reminder that the church is to be holy and devoted to the Lord like a virgin waiting for her future husband. She was the first to appear and the only woman there at the moment. Not until the camels were thoroughly cared for did the servant speak up. While the woman’s evident beauty may have satisfied the standards of lesser men, the test to see if she would water the camels was to be allowed to run its course. Once the servant realizes she is the one he adorns the woman with golden gifts, the servant proceeded to determine her ancestry. He finds out she is of Abraham’s kin folks. When this qualification was satisfied, the servant bowed in worship, giving the glory to God for His guidance and blessing.

  3. Verses 26-31. While the servant worshipped, Rebekah ran on ahead to report what had happened and to begin preparations for the guests that would be coming. Rebekah’s brother Laban is introduced to us here. Laban sees the gold on his sister and quickly goes to see who this person is. Abraham was smart to send his servant with so many gifts. Laban, who we will meet later in the book of Genesis, tells the servant to come on inside and they will prepare a place for him to rest.

  4. Verses 32-33. As the family is trying to make the servant of Abraham and his men comfortable, the servant informs the family of Rebekah that he will not eat until he informs them of his mission. The servant knows what his mission is and he is not about to let anything slow him down and distract him from his work. It is important that we as servants of the most high not get too distracted with the things of this world. Laban will represent the things in the world that seem to want to hinder the people of God. Laban is only really interested in getting something from this servant. Laban is not really interested in giving his sister away as he is with the gold. And beloved there are still people that are more interested in the gold than the mission of Christ.

  5. Verses 34-51. Having found the woman who should be Isaac’s wife, the servant now had to convince the family that Abraham’s son Isaac was the right man for Rebekah. The fact that Rebekah would need to move far away was an obstacle which must be overcome. This delicate task was skillfully handled by the servant. The servant details how God has led him to this family, He shares that God’s hand of favor had guided him to Rebekah. The urgency of his mission was indicated by his refusal to eat until the purpose of his journey was explained. First, the servant identified himself as a representative of Abraham, Bethuel’s uncle (verse 34). This would have set aside many objections of these relatives. Then the success of Abraham was reported. Abraham had not been foolish to leave Haran, for God had prospered him greatly. By sharing of Abraham’s success this testified to Isaac’s ability to provide abundantly for the needs of Rebekah. Isaac was said to be the sole heir of Abraham’s wealth (verse 36). The most compelling argument he could possibly provide was evidence that it was the will of God for Rebekah to become the wife of Isaac. He accomplished this by recounting all that took place from his commissioning by Abraham to the conclusion of his search at the spring. The forcefulness of the servant’s presentation was not missed. Laban and his father responded:”... This is from the LORD; so we cannot speak to you bad or good. Here is Rebekah, take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the LORD has spoken” (Genesis 24:50-51).

  6. Verses 52-60. Again the servant acknowledged the hand of God in these affairs and worshipped Him gratefully. With permission granted for Rebekah to marry Isaac, the wedding gifts were brought forth and presented to the members of the family. With these matters disposed of, they ate and drank, and the servant and his party spent the night. In the morning when the servant expressed his desire to be on his way back to his master, Rebekah’s mother and brother expressed their wish to delay her departure. No doubt they knew that they might never see Rebekah again, and so they wished to have some time to say their farewells. The servant, however, pressed them to let her go immediately. This is symbolic of our need to quickly follow the Lord once we have heard the call of Christ. Many times the call of Christ forces us to leave friends and family to fulfill the mission God has on our lives. Rebekah was consulted on the matter. Since she was willing to leave without delay, they sent her off with a blessing. This blessing, combined with the response to the servant’s claim that God had led him to Rebekah, helps me to understand why Abraham insisted that Isaac’s wife be obtained from his close relatives in Mesopotamia. To some extent Bethuel and his household must have shared a faith in the God of Abraham. They quickly responded to the evidence of divine guidance as recounted by the servant (verses 37-49, 50-51).

  7. Verses 61-67. The mission had been accomplished, and now Rebekah walks in the steps of her great uncle Abraham. She, like he, was led by God to leave her homeland and relatives to go to the land of Canaan. Isaac had been in the field meditating as the evening hours approached. We don’t know why Isaac was praying or what he was praying for, but it can be assumed that he might have been praying for the servant and his trip. The text I believe is hinting in that direction. Notice how it seems that Isaac prayer is answered in quick fashion as the servant’s prayer was in verse 15. The picture is of Isaac getting the answer to his prayer while he is praying. While praying he looks up and saw the caravan coming. Rebekah looked with interest upon the man who was approaching them. She asked the servant about him and learned that this man was her future husband. Appropriately, she covered herself with her veil. The servant’s report, while not repeated, must have been almost identical to the one recorded in verses 37-48. We know from verse 67 that Isaac was assured that Rebekah was God’s good and perfect gift for him. Much is compressed into the final verse of this chapter. Isaac took Rebekah into his mother’s tent, and she became his wife. His love for her blossomed and continued to grow. His marriage gave Isaac consolation for the death of his mother.

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