Isaac Marries Rebekah
“Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother and took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death”- Genesis 24:62–67
In today’s passage, Abraham’s servant returns to Isaac with his bride-to-be (Gen. 24:62–63). Once Rebekah learns Isaac’s identity, she veils her face (a symbol of betrothal in that era; vv. 64–65). Importantly, Abraham is absent from the narrative. He is still alive; Isaac married Rebekah when his father was 140 years old (21:5; 25:20), and Abraham died at age 175 (v. 7). But Moses passes over him because he is showing that Isaac takes Abraham’s place as patriarch for the next generation of God’s people. Going into Sarah’s tent reveals Rebekah as the covenant community’s new matriarch (24:66–67).
Genesis 24 has reminded us to expect the Lord’s guidance and success when we fulfill our covenant obligations. Abraham’s servant kept covenant, faithfully executing the task entrusted to him. God providentially answered his many prayers along the way because he looked for a woman fit to bear more kingly descendants for Abraham — one who was hard-working, faithful, noble and beautiful. As we obey the Lord’s will today, we can also expect His guidance.
The Creator’s providence was clear to the servant because he was furthering God’s program. Finding the right wife for Isaac was essential if the promise of descendants to Abraham was going to come true (Gen. 22:17). Likewise, we should expect the Lord to show us the way as we are about the work of the kingdom. In all our major decisions we should not be asking which option will make us happy but which one will further God’s kingdom on earth. Taking marriage as an example, we should not only be asking, “Is Suzy pretty enough to satisfy me?” or “Does Jim make enough money to support my desired lifestyle?” We should also be asking, “Will marrying Jim enable me to serve Christ more faithfully and passionately?” or “Does Suzy have the qualities that will help further my sanctification?”
Whether we are choosing a spouse, a new job, a new place to live, how many kids to have (infertility notwithstanding), let us be focused on God’s kingdom, so we can expect the Spirit to lead us.
Isaac was meditating in the field alone in today’s passage (Gen. 24:63). Matthew Henry comments, “Meditation and prayer ought to be both our business and our delight when we are alone.” In light of our discussion on decision making, we cannot expect God to guide us if we do not meet with Him in prayer like Isaac and the servant did in chapter 24. Find a day in the next month when you can devote several hours to solitary prayer and meditation.
Passages for Further Study
- Neh. 1:1–2:8
- Eccl. 12:13–14
- John 4:34
- Acts 16:6–10
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