Genesis 24 = Rebekah + Isaac
Bible Background: Genesis 24 is a detailed story about how Abraham sends his servant back to the homeland to find a wife for Isaac, and how the servant asks for-and receives-God’s guidance in finding Rebekah, who is willing to go along with this arranged marriage.
Digging Deeper: 1. Sarah has died, and in the story, it’s time to see what becomes of the next generation. Isaac needs a wife (if there are to be children!) Abraham sends his most trusted servant on a mission to acquire a bride for Isaac. (We are not told how Isaac feels about this!) The servant promises to do just that, and goes bearing substantial gifts to the “city of Nahor”, Abraham’s brother. The motive seems to be that Isaac not marry one of the Canaanites, but marry in the extended family. Rebekah turns out to be Abraham’s great-niece.
2. As the servant goes, he prays for God’s guidance and intervention in this mission of finding a bride! God provides it! Right away, he meets Rebekah. She is drawing water from the well. She is “fair to look upon, a virgin” who shows wonderful hospitality to the servant. He asks if he and his entourage can stay the night. Rebekah and family roll out the welcome mat! The servant showers them with gifts.
3. The servant tells Rebekah’s dad (Bethuel) and brother (Laban) how God led him here, and helped him find Rebekah. They respond “The thing comes from the LORD…Let Rebekah be the wife of your master’s son, as the LORD has spoken.” Rebekah is consulted later, if she is willing to go with Abraham’s servant. But in that culture, marriages were typically arranged. She consents and goes, with her maids.
4. When they arrive at the land of Canaan, Isaac took Rebekah as his wife “and he loved her!” And Isaac is comforted (by Rebekah) after his mother’s death.
5. This may sound like a ‘match made in heaven’, and Isaac and Rebekah will be blessed with twin sons. We will soon learn this is far from the ideal marriage or family! Yet God will continue to unfold God’s promises in their less-than-perfect lives! How is that good news for people like us?
6. This makes for an interesting story: the servant faithfully carries out his mission. Rebekah faithfully shows hospitality and goes along with what seems like God’s plan. God is making sure the next generation thrives! When have you prayed for God’s guidance? When have you experienced such guidance? When have you not? God’s presence-behind the scenes-is a wonderful gift in our lives!