The Book of Genesis
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note: all scripture is from the NKJV unless noted otherwise
Last week we ended with verse 21, which read.
Gen 24:21 And the man, wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not.
This man was Abraham's servant who's name we don't know. We only know that he was Abraham's oldest servant in years of service to him, and his mission (which he choose to accept) was to find a wife for Abraham's son Isaac. This woman had to be from Abraham's family line, because if a wife were chosen from the Canaanites then there would have been the possibility of Isaac and/or his family serving other false gods. This servant also asked a sign from God to help in his search for this woman, and we know from last week's study that Rebekah did what the servant asked for in the sign, and this is the woman he was wondering about in verse 21.
So let's get started on this week's study to see if this woman (named Rebekah) is to be Isaac's wife.
Gen 24:22 So it was, when the camels had finished drinking, that the man took a golden nose ring weighing half a shekel, and two bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels of gold,
So was the servant paying Rebekah for her work here? Possibly, but if so then how much did he pay her?
A Shekel is about a ½ ounce by weight. So the nose ring was ¼ ounce of gold and the two bracelets weighed about 5 ounces in gold. So by today's prices it would be about $133 for the nose ring and $1,335 for the bracelets, talk about payment (send in the camels).
But we must remember that Rebekah did not do it for the money, but rather, because she had a servant's heart.
When the servant gave her the jewelry he also said to her:
Gen 24:23 and said, "Whose daughter are you? Tell me, please, is there room in your father's house for us to lodge?"
Although God have given the sign to the servant he stilled asked, "Whose daughter are you?"
Was this wrong for him to ask, does it show that he didn't trust God?
I don't think it was a matter of trust in God, but rather verifying God's blessing to him.
Rebekah's reply was:
Gen 24:24-25 24 So she said to him, "I am the daughter of Bethuel, Milcah's son, whom she bore to Nahor." 25 Moreover she said to him, "We have both straw and feed enough, and room to lodge."
So who were Bethuel and Milcah? We need to look back to chapters 11 and 22 to see.
Gen 11:29 (NLT) Meanwhile, Abram married Sarai, and his brother Nahor married Milcah, the daughter of their brother Haran. (Milcah had a sister named Iscah.)
Gen 22:20-23 (NLT) 20 Soon after this, Abraham heard that Milcah, his brother Nahor's wife, had borne Nahor eight sons. 21 The oldest was named Uz, the next oldest was Buz, followed by Kemuel (the father of Aram), 22 Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel. 23 Bethuel became the father of Rebekah.
Milcah was Rebekah's grandmother, which was Abraham's sister-in-law who married Abraham's brother Nahor.
They had eight son's one of who is Bethuel (which seems to be the youngest of the eight), which would make him Abraham's nephew.
Once again we see Rebekah with a heart of compassion, because she did offer room and board (including food for the camels) to the servant.
The servant's reply was:
Gen 24:26-27 26 Then the man bowed down his head and worshiped the LORD. 27 And he said, "Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master. As for me, being on the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren."
Or as it says in the NLT:
Gen 24:26-27 (NLT) 26 The man fell down to the ground and worshiped the LORD. 27 "Praise be to the LORD, the God of my master, Abraham," he said. "The LORD has been so kind and faithful to Abraham, for he has led me straight to my master's relatives."
We need to stop right here for a minute and think about this.
Here is a man who knew of God because of Abraham's witness to him, and even though he wasn't from the lineage of Abraham, but may have even been an Egyptian, he still worships and praises God.
The world today usually damn's God and wrongfully blames Him for the bad things that happen. But they also know a miracle when they see one, and they will acknowledge God for it, even if it is for a short time.
Yes many will say to you that they don't believe in God, but deep down inside they do.
There is evidence of this when something bad happens. Why, because they pray. They may not know whom they are praying to, but when someone prays, they are more or less saying, "Yes there is a God and only He can help me." And when they do that, they are opening the door for the Lord to really speak to them.
But I believe that the servant was not only observing that there is a God in heaven, but I believe that he believed in God also. Why, because he worshipped God! But he may not have realized that he also could have a relationship with God just as his master Abraham did.
Just like the world does not realize that, because they will come to you and ask you to pray for them or a certain situation.
But they can talk to God; He is waiting for them to. But they're afraid, they think God will pounce on them or hit them with a bolt of lightning if they do.
But that will not happen; God loves them just as He loves us. God sent His Son Jesus to die for them, just as He did for us.
The servant also acknowledged that God directed his path because he says, "For he has led me straight to my master's relatives".
But we must also remember that the servant asked God to direct him to the right woman.
He didn't just pick Rebekah out of a bunch of women, but God laid upon his heart which woman to choose.
Do you have an important decision to make? Have you asked God to direct your path or your choice?
If not then give God a chance to bless you in His way.
Remember that the servant could have chosen any woman based on who he thought was right, but rather he let God do the choosing.
We need to do the same thing also. When you rely on God you wont be disappointed with what He blesses you with.
I know from just this past weekend; I was out looking for a particular item. And as I went out I asked the Lord to help me find what I needed at the right price. Guess what I ended up with? Nothing, that's right nothing at all. But you know what, I wasn't disappointed, because I left it in the Lord's hands, and if He says that what I wanted isn't ready yet, or even that I don't really need it, then fine, God knows best and only gives me His best.
Prov 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
No matter how big or small the item or situation is, trust God. Has He ever really let you down?
And what was Rebekah's response to all this?
Gen 24:28-29 28 So the young woman ran and told her mother's household these things. 29 Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban, and Laban ran out to the man by the well.
Who is this Laban? This is the first time we read about him, but he will be a part of this whole ordeal of giving Rebekah to Isaac to marry.
Laban also plays a part in the creation of the 12 tribes of Israel, which we will see in chapter 29. But a little something to remember (or go ahead to chapter 29 and read the story) is that Jacob was the son of Isaac. Jacob also had two wives, which were both daughters of Laban (Rebekah's brother). Through these two wives, Jacob had 12 male children. God named Jacob Israel; hence we have the 12 tribes of Israel. But I'm getting ahead in Genesis.
So Rebekah ran and told her brother Laban and his response was.
Gen 24:30-31 30 So it came to pass, when he saw the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister's wrists, and when he heard the words of his sister Rebekah, saying, "Thus the man spoke to me," that he went to the man. And there he stood by the camels at the well. 31 And he said, "Come in, O blessed of the LORD! Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels."
Reading this we see that Laban was a greedy man, (you can also see it in chapter 29 and how he manipulates Jacob). Notice the first thing it says about Laban is he looked at the nose ring and bracelets. I bet there were dollar signs in his eyes. Can't you just hear him buttering up Abraham's servant as he spoke to him? Read it again.
And he said, "Come in, O blessed of the LORD! Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels."
So what does the servant do?
Gen 24:32-33 32 Then the man came to the house. And he unloaded the camels, and provided straw and feed for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33 Food was set before him to eat, but he said, "I will not eat until I have told about my errand." And he said, "Speak on."
Notice why he is called a servant, and not just any servant, but Abraham's best servant?
Notice that he takes care of his men and the animals, then when it's time for him to eat, he refuses until he has accomplished his task.
This man wouldn't fit in very well with today's "ME" generation.
So the servant tells the story of how this all came about.
Gen 24:34-49 34 So he said, "I am Abraham's servant. 35 "The LORD has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great; and He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36 "And Sarah my master's wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and to him he has given all that he has. 37 "Now my master made me swear, saying, 'You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell; 38 'but you shall go to my father's house and to my family, and take a wife for my son.' 39 "And I said to my master, 'Perhaps the woman will not follow me.' 40 "But he said to me, 'The LORD, before whom I walk, will send His angel with you and prosper your way; and you shall take a wife for my son from my family and from my father's house. 41 'You will be clear from this oath when you arrive among my family; for if they will not give her to you, then you will be released from my oath.'
42 "And this day I came to the well and said, 'O LORD God of my master Abraham, if You will now prosper the way in which I go, 43 'behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass that when the virgin comes out to draw water, and I say to her, "Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink," 44 'and she says to me, "Drink, and I will draw for your camels also,"--let her be the woman whom the LORD has appointed for my master's son.'
45 "But before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah, coming out with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down to the well and drew water. And I said to her, 'Please let me drink.' 46 "And she made haste and let her pitcher down from her shoulder, and said, 'Drink, and I will give your camels a drink also.' So I drank, and she gave the camels a drink also. 47 "Then I asked her, and said, 'Whose daughter are you?' And she said, 'The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bore to him.' So I put the nose ring on her nose and the bracelets on her wrists. 48 "And I bowed my head and worshiped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the way of truth to take the daughter of my master's brother for his son. 49 "Now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me. And if not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand or to the left."
Sounds just like we have been reading about it. Once again the servant is giving all the glory to the Lord and not on his own judgment.
Then Bethuel (Rebekah's father) and Laban (Rebekah's brother) answer him.
Gen 24:50-51 50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, "The thing comes from the LORD; we cannot speak to you either bad or good. 51 "Here is Rebekah before you; take her and go, and let her be your master's son's wife, as the LORD has spoken."
Good answer, if the Lord is in charge of it, who can be against it?
Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
When others come against you when you are doing the Lord's will, they are not really against you, but God.
Acts 5:38-39 38 "And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; 39 "but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it--lest you even be found to fight against God."
Who in their right mind would fight against God? It's really hard to understand, but many do and think they are winning, But in the end they will lose. The battle is not ours but the Lord's. Let Him fight the battle, because He did and it has already been won on the cross.
So the servant replies with.
Gen 24:52 And it came to pass, when Abraham's servant heard their words, that he worshiped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth.
Once again the servant worships the Lord, and he shares that joy with others.
Heb 13:15-16 15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
God doesn't bless us so we can keep the blessing for ourselves. No God wants us to share these blessings with others so that they will praise the Lord also.
We see the servant sharing in the next verses.
Gen 24:53-54 53 Then the servant brought out jewelry of silver, jewelry of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother. 54 And he and the men who were with him ate and drank and stayed all night. Then they arose in the morning, and he said, "Send me away to my master."
So there was a celebration together because of God's blessings.
The next morning after the celebration, the servant say, OK, it's time for us to go.
But the response from the brother Laban and their mother was.
Gen 24:55 But her brother and her mother said, "Let the young woman stay with us a few days, at least ten; after that she may go."
Oh no, the servant may be thinking, did I celebrate to soon? It seems they don't really want her to go. What should I do?
We'll find out next week, or read ahead if you can't stand the suspense.
Gen 24:20 Then she quickly emptied her pitcher into the trough, ran back to the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels