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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

2018.06.13 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 24:50-67

Questions for Littles: Who answered Abraham’s servant in v50? What did they say (50-51)? How did Abraham’s servant respond (v52)? Who received what in v53? What did the servant and his men do that night (v54)? What did he say in the morning? What did her brother and mother want (v55)? But how does he respond (v56)? Whom do they decide to ask (v57)? What does she say (v58)? What blessing do they give her as she departs (v60)? How do Rebekah and her maids travel (v61)? What does Isaac do in the evening (v63)? What does Rebekah ask (v65)? What does the servant tell Isaac in v66? Where does Isaac take Rebekah (v67)? What does she become? What effect does this have on Isaac after his mother’s death?
In the passage for this week’s Old Testament reading, we find something that isn’t all that unusual: a believer’s wedding becomes an occasion for unbelievers to get some exposure to the gospel.

First, there’s Laban (and Bethuel). We’re almost surprised that Behtuel is alive when he says something in v50. Laban seems to have been running everything up until this point. But of course, Laban has been studying how to talk to Abraham’s servant ever since Rebekah recounted her experience as well.

Now, “Come in, blessed of Yahweh!!!!” has turned into “The thing comes from Yahweh!!!!”… all the while with at least one eye firmly focused on the stash of goodies that Abraham’s servant still hasn’t yet distributed.

Then there’s the family’s blessing in v60. They obviously have heard the promise about Abraham having innumerable descendants and possessing the gate of his enemies. This last promise was one that we heard about for the first time after the almost-sacrifice in Genesis 22:17, so we have good reason to believe that the house of Bethuel has heard more than just the amazing story of Yahweh prospering the servant’s journey. Indeed, they have heard about the Lord’s sacrificial substitute.

The whole thing seems to have gotten Rebekah pretty nervous. All of a sudden, she’s betrothed, and her family is singing Messianic war songs about her! It’s a bit more than she bargained for in her good deed at the city well. Perhaps this is behind her decision in v58, which seems to have surprised her family. Then, in v64, the English translations give us the rather tidy “dismounted” in place of the Hebrew’s rather clumsy “fell off.” There are other words to use for dismounting. This seems to have a bit of nervous-bride written all over it. You’ve heard of being nervous for a blind date… what about a blind marriage?

Well… what about that blind marriage? It is working out pretty well for Isaac, considering the quality of woman that Abraham’s servant has secured. And v63 has us thinking that it is working out pretty well for Rebekah too. Oh that all our covenant daughters would have husbands who are in the habit of meditating (on the Lord) in the evening! It will serve her well, when she comes to need 20 years of prayer for barrenness.
When distant relatives intersect your life, do they necessarily find it about the Lord and His gospel? What such occasion do you have coming up? What can you say or do at that time to make it so?
Suggested songs: ARP45B “Daughter, Incline Your Ear” or HB106 “The King of Love My Shepherd Is”

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