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Monday, December 9, 2019

2019.12.09 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 24:1-9

Questions from the Scripture text: What does Genesis 24:1 tell us about Abraham, to introduce this incident? How does the second half of the verse summarize Abraham’s condition/ circumstance? To whom does Abraham speak in Genesis 24:2? What does Abraham tell him to do? By whom must he swear (Genesis 24:3)? What must he swear not to do? Where must he go (Genesis 24:4)? To whom must he go? What must he get from them? What hypothetical problem does the servant propose in Genesis 24:5? What does he ask that he should do in such a case? What does Abraham strictly forbid him to do in Genesis 24:6? What has Yahweh done to Abraham (Genesis 24:7)? What has Yahweh promised to Abraham? What is Abraham confident that Yahweh will do? But what does Abraham say to do, even if this does not happen (Genesis 24:8)? What does the servant do in Genesis 24:9?
Scripture presents marriage to us as a wonderful thing. It was invented by God for the imaging of God (cf. Genesis 1:27), for the comfort and joy of man (Genesis 24:67, cf. Genesis 2:18), for the multiplication of godly offspring (cf. Genesis 1:28Genesis 2:18, Malachi 2:14-15), and even for the display of how Christ is with His church (cf. Ephesians 5:31-32). But what happens when we’re not directed by the Lord in our view and practice of marriage?

We’ve had one dreadful example of that already in Genesis 6. There, the promising godly line of Seth, who called upon the name of Yahweh (or perhaps better translated “were called by the name of Yahweh,” cf. Genesis 4:26) married not according to these purposes, but according to their own whim and their own idea of pleasure. “the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.”

So, Abraham comes up with a way to find Isaac a wife that goes along with all that God has told him. The Canaanites are wicked and under God’s curse, but also Abraham and his descendants must remain sojourners, which means that they cannot return to their family’s land (Genesis 24:7, cf. Genesis 15:13-21).

Thankfully, Abraham’s faith about marriage is not only that it would be directed by God, but that it would also be dependent upon God. He trusts that God will direct the servant’s way and work the situation out (Genesis 24:7), but also that God is wise enough to have His own plan that Abraham has not anticipated (Genesis 24:8). We can also see the implication that he is trusting that God has been doing a work of grace in a young lady’s heart somewhere for his son—and indeed we will soon see some of the fruit of that work when the servant meets Rebekah. God providentially works in our circumstances, just as He also works in our hearts by His grace. This is what frees Abraham to keep his instructions to his servant so laser-focused upon doing this according to the direction of God. The servant wants to know what to do if it doesn’t work out (Genesis 24:5), but the idea that it won’t ultimately work out isn’t even on Abraham’s radar. Just obedience is.

And ultimately, this is because our marriages, like everything else that there is, exist to glorify God. He is “Yahweh, the God of heaven and the God of the earth” (Genesis 24:3). He is “Yahweh God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house, etc.” (Genesis 24:7). He will be glorified in what occurs, but will we be devoting ourselves to and delighting ourselves in His glory? This is a question that can be applied to any situation—how necessary, then, that it would be the primary question when it comes to something to which He has given such an important place as marriage!
What does God want out of your future or present marriage? Even if you never marry, how can you participate in other believers’ pursuing marriage in God’s way? What aspect of your life have you been approaching as existing primarily to please you?
Suggested Songs: ARP45B “Daughter, Incline Your Ear” or TPH128B “Blest the Man That Fears Jehovah”

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