The Book of Genesis
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note: all scripture is from the NKJV unless noted otherwise
You may be reading this weeks study and thinking, "Steve, this is really taking a while to get through this choosing of a wife for Isaac. This is the third week and Isaac isn't married yet and we are still in the same chapter. Why is this taking so long?"
I wont apologize for this, because marriage is a very important part of anyone's life. It's not something you just run into, it takes time to make sure you are in God's will in regards to the person you are going to marry.
To be honest, I know this from personal experience where I have jumped into marriage at the age of 18, thinking I knew what I was doing, only to discover that I was a typical teenager who knew nothing.
I also didn't have a personal relationship with the Lord, so I didn't pray about it. The sad, end result was divorce.
I know God hates divorce, but I also know that God is a sovereign and forgiving God.
I'm in NO WAY condoning divorce. If you are married and made that choice before you were a Christian, and now you are a Christian and you think you made the wrong decision, don't throw in the towel and give up on your marriage, or God.
If you're not a Christian but still have a bad marriage, divorce is still not the answer. Only the Lord can heal your marriage, but you need to let Him start by healing and forgiving you.
"But Steve, you don't know what he/she has done, God wouldn't want me to stay married to him/her."
Show me in the bible where God doesn't want you to stay married.
We are so quick to point the blame on our spouse or someone else, when we really need to look at ourselves and see the real problem.
I remember a story I heard about a wealthy couple, with the wife wanting to divorce her wealthy husband. Now this woman was angry and had hatred for her husband. So she went to a lawyer and said, "I don't just want to divorce him, but I want to hurt him when I do it."
Her lawyer's response was, "I'll tell you what to do. Go home and start praising him for anything he does. Don't let him think anything is wrong, and when you finally spring the divorce on him, he won't expect it and he will be shattered."
So the woman agreed do start praising her husband and actually went home and did it.
A few months later, the lawyer called the woman and asked how things were going, since he hadn't heard from her.
Her response was, "Oh things are going great. I started doing what you said, and my marriage has never been better. In fact, next week we are going on a second honeymoon. I won't be needing your services after all."
This can go either way, maybe you're the husband and you need to praise and love your wife as Jesus loves the church. After all, that's what the bible tells us to do.
We must remember whether you're a man or a woman, that we are to love all as Jesus loves, that includes your spouse, even if things seem like they are just too impossible. Remember that nothing is impossible with God. But you must give it to Him and let Him do a miracle, in His time and His way.
"But Steve, I thought you said that you got a divorce. If you can do it why can't I? Won't God forgive me too?"
In the bible we see many men messing up bad. Look at Abraham, the man of faith. But still he lied to save his own skin, and took a second wife while still being married to Sarah. What about King David who committed adultery and then killed the woman's husband to hide his sin?
We could go on and on. But the point is that many people have sinned and been forgiven by God. But they also had to pay the consequences of their sins. We see that even today with Israel and Palestine always fighting. This was a result of Abraham's sin with a child that was not the child of God's promise to him and Sarah, but was a child born out of his additional wife.
King David's family was a mess also with even his own son trying to take David's thrown, and one of his sons sleeping with his wives in public.
Yes we are forgiven, but we pay the consequences, so even though I blew it as a young man and I am forgiven, I still pay the consequences. Which is something I don't want you to have to go through. And I'm sure if you could talk to these men in the bible they would tell you the same thing.
God doesn't show us these things so we could see how bad these men were. But to warn us of what the result of our sins are.
So let's see if we can get through this courtship and marriage of Isaac this week.
Last week we ended on this cliffhanger. Just when we thought the right woman was chosen for Isaac, his brother and mother threw a wrench in the whole situation.
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."
What will the servant do? Will he just throw his hands in the air and say, "Oh well, I guess it wasn't God's will after all."
Let's look at the servant's response.
Gen 24:56 And he said to them, "Do not hinder me, since the LORD has prospered my way; send me away so that I may go to my master."
Basically he was saying, hey, this is the Lord's doing, please don't stand in the way of what the Lord is doing. Their response was.
Gen 24:57-59 57 So they said, "We will call the young woman and ask her personally." 58 Then they called Rebekah and said to her, "Will you go with this man?" And she said, "I will go." 59 So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham's servant and his men.
They asked Rebekah if she was ready to go, and her response was in so many words, "You bet I am."
Now you can blame her decision on a childish whim. But seeing her heart in past studies, I believe she knew that this was from the Lord and she was being obedient to the Lords calling in her life. And that calling was to be the wife of Isaac.
She had no idea what Isaac looked like. She knew his father had money, but did Isaac have anything? She didn't know, and it really didn't matter to her, because if it's the Lord's will, then it's the right thing.
So Rebekah's family said to her.
Gen 24:60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her:
"Our sister, may you become
The mother of thousands of ten thousands;
And may your descendants possess
The gates of those who hate them."
I wonder if this was a prophecy from the Lord, because we know that Isaac and Rebekah did become parents of thousands of ten thousands which we know as Israel.
Gen 24:61 Then Rebekah and her maids arose, and they rode on the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed.
So they finally leave to go meet Isaac. The cool thing is what Isaac was doing this whole time.
Gen 24:62-63 62 Now Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he dwelt in the South. 63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming.
Where was Isaac and where did he go?
Let's look at the NLT, which will help us to understand.
Gen 24:62 (NLT) Meanwhile, Isaac, whose home was in the Negev, had returned from Beer-lahairoi.
Does that name sound familiar? We read about it back in chapter 16.
Gen 16:7-8 & 13-14 7 Now the Angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. 8 And He said, "Hagar, Sarai's maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?" She said, "I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai."
13 Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, "Have I also here seen Him who sees me?" 14 Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; observe, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
But really the cool part is in the first half of verse 63
And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening;
Isaac wasn't sitting around waiting for his future wife to show up. He was about his normal business, and spending time with the Lord.
How many times do we get anxious about something instead of really putting our trust in the Lord?
When we get anxious, we make mistakes like Abraham and Sarah did by not waiting on the Lord's promise of a son to them. Remember when Hagar was given to Abraham by Sarah to bear children. But the promise was for Abraham and Sarah. But they couldn't wait because they got anxious and couldn't wait on the Lord. And the results we see even today with the fighting between Israel and Palestine.
Has the Lord told you something? Maybe it was in the past studies when we were studying about Abraham and Sarah. Are you getting anxious, getting tired of waiting on the Lord? Are you tempted to help God out with His promise to you?
God's word says this about being anxious.
Luke 12:29-30 29 "And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 "For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.
Phil 4:6-7 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
God knows what we need even before we ask Him. God also knows when He will give you what you have asked for, or even if He will give it to you at all.
Being anxious and worrying about it will not speed God up. He's not sitting in heaven saying, "Oh no, they need this now. I don't know what they will do if I don't give it to them. I better do it now so they don't hate Me."
We can act like spoiled brats and throw temper tantrums until we get what we want. But you know what. It won't make God give in. God is not embarrassed at the way we act in a store crying out and whining. No, in the long run we are the ones embarrassed because we ALWAYS find out that God is right!
So let's start being like Isaac's, just leaving it in God's hands, going about our business, and spending time with Him.
Gen 24:64-65 64 Then Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from her camel; 65 for she had said to the servant, "Who is this man walking in the field to meet us?" The servant said, "It is my master." So she took a veil and covered herself.
There are two customs that Rebekah did here. The first is she got off the camel. One commentary says:
If Isaac were walking, it would have been most unmannerly for her (Rebekah) to have continued seated; an inferior, if riding, always alights in presence of a person of rank, no exception being made for women.
Basically, if someone with a higher status enters the scene walking, you don't continue to ride because if you do you are saying that you are better then him or her.
The second is she covered her face with a veil after she found out who he was. Once again a commentary says:
The veil is an essential part of female dress. In country places it is often thrown aside, but on the appearance of a stranger, it is drawn over the face, as to conceal all but the eyes. In a bride it was a token of her reverence and subjection to her husband.
We also see this obedience referenced in the New Testament.
Eph 5:24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
1 Cor 11:10 So a woman should wear a covering on her head as a sign of authority because the angels are watching.
Some say that this kind of thinking is chauvinistic. But we must remember that this is from the bible.
Men we must remember that woman was taken from man's side to be his helpmate or helper. Not from the head to rule over man, and not from the foot for man to walk on. She is a blessing to you from God!
And women you must also remember that your husband is head of the household in all matters. If he is not teaching, loving and taking care of his family the way he should, then God will deal with him. But you must also allow God to work in your husband's life the way God sees fit, not the way you think God should.
So finally the servant, Rebekah and the whole traveling party make it to Isaac.
Gen 24:66 And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done.
The servant most likely told Isaac how he had prayed to God as he was searching out Isaac's future wife. I'm sure he told Isaac about the moment at the well and how God had answered his prayers. The servant was not boasting of himself or how he had chosen a wife for Isaac, but rather he boasted of God and how God had prospered his way and made the choice.
Gen 24:67 Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
The final golden moment we have been waiting for. Finally we have a marriage.
Notice one little line in the middle of this verse.
"and he loved her"
Talk about love at first sight. This is confirmation that Rebekah was chosen by God. If it had been a choice by the servant, I doubt it would say that Isaac loved her. This was not just a lustful love because she was beautiful, but this was a love between a husband and a wife.
The original Hebrew word for this love is:
'ahab (aw-hab)' or 'aheb (aw-habe)'
Human love for another includes family, and sexual.
Human appetite for objects such as food, drink, sleep, wisdom.
Human love for or to God.
Act of being a friend.
God's love toward man.
Love and desire for someone, both sexually and as a family including the love of friendship.
These are all characteristics of a good marriage.
You should be physically attractive to one another, and desire to look good for your spouse, and desire one another sexually, which is not a sin in marriage.
You should desire to spend the rest of your life with them and have a family.
Also you should be friends.
Finally Isaac was comforted about Sarah's death. Sarah died about three years prior to this time. Does this mean he was a mama's boy?
No, it means he loved his family very much and that they were a close family. It doesn't mean that Rebekah was a replacement for Isaac's mother Sarah. I'm sure he still missed her and loved her. But now he found a new kind of love between a man and a woman blessed by God.
Isaac now had new responsibilities to his wife and his future children.
But there will also be another wedding next week in the beginning of chapter 25.
I wonder who it will be?
Read ahead in chapter 25 to find out, or come back next week.
Or why don't you do both?
Gen 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.