By Derek Westmoreland
Senior Pastor, Hopewell Baptist Church, Savannah
Focal Passage: Genesis 24:1-17
God had provided the son of promise (Isaac) that was to make Abraham the father of multitudes. However, when we arrive at chapter 24, Sarah, Abraham’s wife is now deceased and Isaac his son is 40 years old with no wife and no children.
The expectation of Abraham. Abraham, now in his old age and with a great amount of accumulated wealth (v. 1), determines that it is time to find Isaac a wife. Abraham makes his oldest servant take an oath that he will not allow Isaac to marry a Canaanite woman (vv. 2-3). No doubt, there were beautiful Canaanite women that would have been willing to marry Isaac and enjoy his wealth; but Abraham would not have it for Canaanites worshiped false gods rather than the one true God. The wife of Isaac must come from God’s people!
God had given Abraham a specific promise that his seed would inherit the Promised Land; therefore it was imperative that his son live with his wife where Abraham currently resided. Abraham’s priority was twofold: to keep Isaac from marrying a Canaanite woman and to have Isaac marry a woman from his native land (vv. 6-8).
The faithfulness of the servant. In response to the oath given, the servant faithfully prepared and went in search of Isaac’s bride and ended up in the city of Nahor (v. 10). The servant’s task was extraordinary considering he would be asking a lady to leave her homeland, her family, her friends, and travel to a faraway land to marry a man she had not met. Upon arriving in Abraham’s native land, the servant demonstrated wisdom for he went to a place where women would be seen (v. 11). The application here is clear: God’s will is fulfilled through obedience and wisdom. The servant went in obedience to Abraham’s command and thus fulfilled the Lord’s will. The servant also demonstrated wisdom by appearing at the well at the opportune time of day to cross paths with women. After arriving at the well, the servant began to pray for God to reveal the woman chosen to become Isaac’s wife (v. 12). The servant had done his part to place himself in a position to find a bride for Isaac but the servant also realized his limitations. After requesting that the Lord reveal the lady, the servant then stated what he would say to the woman and the response the chosen woman would have in return. We read of his plan in verses 13-14. The response of the woman would reveal that she was one that would go beyond what was asked of her. Her response would reveal her to be a lady of thoughtfulness and service. The Christian life is not about doing enough to get by; it is about sacrificial service unto the Lord. Isaac’s wife would be one of godly character. She would sacrifice in demonstrating kindness to another.
The character of the lady. Verses 15-17 tell us about Rebekah. The verses that follow reveal that Rebekah was the one who was intended to be the wife of Isaac. Some would say it was coincidence that the servant who traveled such a long distance found the right woman for Isaac, but those who know the Lord know full well that it was divine providence that brought the servant to Rebekah. The angel that Abraham spoke of had led the servant to the future wife of Isaac. God is faithful. Abraham, as a father, demanded a woman of faith and high standards for his son. God provided!
What He promises He brings to pass!