Wednesday, May 30, 2018

2018.05.30 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 24:1-27

Questions for Littles: In what condition do we find Abraham in v1? Whom does Abraham call, and what does he make him swear not to do (v2-3)? What does he make him swear to do (v4)? What possible problem does the servant ask about in v5? Whom does Abraham say will provide this wife? How many camels does the servant take? What does he ask to be the sign of the right woman for Isaac’s wife? When does Rebekah arrive (v15)? How does she look (v16)? What does the servant do (v17)? How does she respond? For how many camels is she drawing water? Even though his sign had been exactly fulfilled, what was the servant still observing in v21? What gifts did the man produce in v22? What questions did he ask in v23? What action does the man take when he custody of another (v24-27)?
In the passage for this week’s Old Testament reading, there’s a problem. Abraham is old, well advanced in age, and Yahweh has blessed Abraham in all things. That doesn’t sound like a problem, except…. His heir is unmarried. Isaac needs a wife!

Now, it cannot be just any wife. We saw what happened in Genesis 6 when the godly married from the wrong people! But the nearest approved relative is way out in Mesopotamia. Abraham cannot go there. So he sends a servant.

The Lord shows His great mercy, to Isaac, to Abraham and to the servant by directing the servant right to the spot where he needed to be.

Then the servant asks for the sign… that if he asked the girl for water, she would offer to draw water for the camels also. That may just sound polite to you, but here’s a foreigner with ten camels—it would be no small effort!

Isn’t it interesting, though, that even after the girl says this, the servant still watches and remains silent “so as to know whether Yahweh had prospered his journey or not”? For Abraham’s servant the fulfilment of a sign was no substitute for good character.

But there she was, not only beautiful but running back and forth with those pitchers of water until each of those ten camels had completely replenished its water supply! Not only that, she was willing to extend hospitality to him as well.

There is much to be admired in Rebekah’s character. And we would do well to raise daughters to be such as she appears to be in this text, and to encourage our sons to marry women with character like this.

However, let us not miss the main point, as promised earlier in the passage by Abraham, and repeated by the servant now in v27. “Blessed by Yahweh, God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His steadfast love and faithfulness toward my master.”

This, ultimately, is from where come good marriages and the preservation of covenant families across generations: the faithful love of our covenant God! Do you have children whom you hope to see grow godly and marry godly? Train them well, but look to and hope in the Lord for them!
To whose faithfulness do you look for your good marriage? What are you doing to pursue it?
Suggested songs: ARP45B “Daughter, Incline Your Ear” or HB106 “The King of Love My Shepherd Is”

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