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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

2018.06.06 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 24:28-49

Questions for Littles: Where, now, do we see Rebekah running in v28? Whom is she telling about Abraham’s servant’s outpouring of praise, “Blessed be Yahweh… etc.”? Who responded quickly (v29)? What had Laban seen that motivated his quick/diligent response (v30)? What had he heard, that formed the type of response? What does he say to the servant in v31? What was given to the servant in vv32-33? What did he refuse to do at first and why? How does the servant summarize Abraham’s life for the last 60 years or so (v34-36)? What assignment does he tell them about in v37-38? What does he bring up as a possibility of how she might respond in v39, or how the family might respond in v41? What extraordinary event does he tell them about in vv42-46? What major question does he now put to them in v49.
In the passage for this week’s Old Testament reading, we have the recounting of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness. What a life Abraham has had since last Nahor’s family had seen him! And Abraham’s servant tells the story the right way: it is all about God’s blessing, God’s steadfast love, God’s faithfulness.

This is the primary reason, after all, for coming all this way to seek a wife for Isaac: allegiance to this God who had loved Abraham and taken his entire household as His special people was the first and greatest consideration for choosing a wife.

This, of course, did not mean that the wife had no choice in the matter. The servant plainly presents the possibility of her giving a veto, and then also of the family giving a veto. There is no mechanically forced submission to the mystical here.

And it did not mean that the wife choice was “by sign alone.” The sign itself was designed to discover kindness and diligence. And the method of presentation was designed to bring out of them a religious response of worship and submission to Yahweh. All of these are important factors.

But, ultimately, the great question that the servant puts is this: “Yahweh be praised for His perfect steadfast love and faithfulness! Now, will you also be loving/loyal and faithful?” His question in v49 literally asks, “Now if you will distribute kessed (steadfast love) and emmet (faithfulness) to my master, tell me.”

Of course, we smell trouble when we observe Laban carefully. The name of Yahweh may be on his lips, but there are dollar signs in his eyes. How easily the love of money sneaks into our hearts and lives and robs us of sincerity in our consecration unto the Lord! But the problem with Laban will not manifest itself fully until later with Jacob.

Even then, however, in the hint of treachery to come, doesn’t this give us a stronger reminder of the difference between God and men? Like the black felt background to the diamond of God’s character, Laban’s sliminess announces, “Look at how perfectly loving and faithful the Lord is with His people!”

As we approach marriage choices for the next generation of believers, let it be our great desire that the outcome would announce unto all: “Look at the perfect love and faithfulness of my God!!
List some ways God has been loving and faithful to you. What would God being "loving and faithful" to you look like in a spouse search?
Suggested songs: ARP45B “Daughter, Incline Your Ear” or HB106 “The King of Love My Shepherd Is”

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