Getting to know God and His Story will help you understand your own story.
This chapter of the story is about Isaac, the only son of Abraham and Sarah.
Abraham and Sarah were an Old Testament power couple for 127 years, but as Genesis chapter 23 opens, Sarah dies. I wonder if they took time to look back on their life together before she passed.
They had been through so much together: A road trip across the country without a GPS or an actual destination. (see Genesis 12) A difficult choice to separate from family, to live in the country while Abraham’s nephew got tangled up in the city life. (see Genesis 13 & 14) A challenging season of barrenness and the excruciating wait to become parents.
I wonder if they could look back and laugh about it.
37 years ago their lives were turned upside down when Isaac (his name means laughter) was born against all odds to this elderly couple; Abraham was 100, and Sarah was 90. (see Genesis 21)
37 years is all she got to spend with her son. I bet she cherished every diaper change, every late night feeding, every tumble as he learned to walk, every crack in his voice as he grew into a man, and every bit of stubble that grew on his precious chin.
37 years old, but Isaac wasn’t married. No mother-son conversation is captured on the pages of scripture, but I bet she had some sweet final words to say to her son about how to choose a bride. I bet she wanted him to find someone he could love deeply. I bet she wanted to be at his wedding. I bet she was dreaming of holding her grand babies while she held onto the two men she loved most.
Abraham and Isaac stood together at home while their trusted friend, a life-long servant, left in search of a wife for Isaac.
“Abraham was now old and well advanced in years, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. He said to the chief servant in his household…” keep reading (Genesis 24:2-23)
The trusted servant did exactly what Abraham and Sarah would have done if they’d been able to go themselves: He prayed for wisdom and success, he expected God to answer his prayer, and he watched to be sure Rebekah was the one.
If you’re a parent, this chapter will someday become a part of your story. Your child will probably choose his future mate on his own, but you can start teaching him now that there’s wisdom in watching someone’s character unfold. You can start praying now for his success in choosing a godly wife, and you can wait expectantly for God to answer your prayers.
Scripture tells us that the servant took time to get to know the family and to ask Rebekah if she was willing and ready to go with him to marry Isaac. (Genesis 24:57-61)
Between verses 61 and 62, the days must have dragged on as Isaac waited for the servant to return. I bet he was out in the field star-gazing and meditating (dreaming!) about what his bride might be like.
“He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching.” Genesis 24:63
He looked up…..then she looked up.
Genesis 24:64 “Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac.”
Scripture doesn’t fill in all the details, but as I put myself in the story and consider the feelings of a young woman leaving home to marry a man she’s never met, I have to believe that she asked lots of questions on the journey to her new home: What’s Isaac like? How tall is he? Is he attractive? What does he do for work? Does he want children? Do you think he will love me?
Asking lots of questions is a good way to interact with scripture, to get to know God, to see yourself on the pages of scripture.
Did you have someone in your life who told you about Jesus before you met Him? Maybe you had questions, and they had answers. Because of what your friend told you about Jesus, you were ready to meet Him and to give your life to Him just as Rebekah was ready to give her life to Isaac.
When you get to know God and understand His Story, you can better understand your own story.
The servant told Rebekah all about Isaac, so when they finally saw each other… “she took her veil and covered herself.” (vs. 65)
It was marriage at first sight.
Genesis 24:67 “Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.”
Loving others can fill up the empty places that loss leaves behind. Loving Jesus, knowing just how much He loves you, can bring real comfort to your soul!
Isaac & Rebekah’s story continues in Genesis 25.
Keep reading. Keep asking questions.