Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Genesis Bible Study notes- Chapter 24

Chapter 24-

-Abraham was now old, and knew that it was time to select a good wife for his son Isaac according to the promise of God to increase his descendants as the stars of the sky and the sand of the seashore.

-He did not want Isaac to marry from the girls of the Canaanites, so he sent his servant to the city of Nahor of Mesopotamia to his relatives’ house in his original country.

-He makes his servant take an oath in this matter of finding a wife from his relatives, and his servant goes to find Isaac a wife with ten camels and a variety of good things to his destination.

-As he came to Nahor, he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well at the watering time when the women of the city would go out to draw water. He prayed to the LORD for success in finding the right girl for Isaac, which would show lovingkindness to his master Abraham. He speaks with the LORD in his heart and decides the girl who offers drink for him and also his camels is the one whom God has chosen to be Isaac’s wife.

-Before he was even finished speaking with the LORD Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel the son Milcah, the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor, came out with her water jar on her shoulder. She was very beautiful and was a virgin having no relations with any man. The servant approached her for a drink of the spring water; she also offered to water the camels just as God had shown. The servant gazed at her in silence knowing this was the one, but not knowing if she would accept the marriage proposal and make the trip successful for Abraham and Isaac. He adorns her with jewelry upon completion of the watering and questions her further concerning her relatives and a possible place to lodge.

-Rebekah identifies herself and was very hospitable to the servant in offering him lodging and food for the camels. The servant bowed low before the LORD at this point and blessed Him for His lovingkindness and His truth toward Abraham his master and His guidance to this place of his master’s brothers. Then Rebekah ran and told her family about these things.

-Laban, her brother, came out to greet the servant at the spring and invited him in to their house. It is then that the servant updated them as to who he was as Abraham’s servant and how the LORD had blessed Abraham with wealth and a son in his old age. He also described to them the purpose of his mission to them and what had transpired with Rebekah. Laban and Bethuel (Rebekah’s father) conclude rightly that this matter came from the LORD and release Rebekah to go with him back to Canaan and be Isaac’s wife. They are rewarded by the servant with a variety of silver and gold and garments by the servant. It was a time of blessing and thanksgiving to the LORD!

-The servant was ready to head on back the next day, but of course the family wanted a few more days with Rebekah, probably to say their good-byes and prepare her for her journey and new life. It is now at the point of asking her if she will go with the servant back to Canaan for the purpose of marriage to Isaac, and she agrees to go. This then is a free will decision on the part of Rebekah. She, much like her relative Abraham, is willing to leave her old life behind and venture out into God’s preferred future for her life. Following God’s way also produces blessing!

-After their good-byes and blessing from the family, they venture off with her maids toward Canaan. As they arrived, Isaac had come from going to Beer-lahai-roi; for he was living in the south country of the Negev. He went out to meditate in the field toward evening (was he praying for his future and God’s direction for his life and family at this point? The text doesn’t say). As he lifted up his eyes he saw the camels coming with Rebekah. Rebekah lifted up her eyes and saw Isaac and dismounted from the camel and inquired of the servant who the man was that was walking toward them. When she knew it was his master Isaac, she covered herself with her veil.

-Upon their meeting, the servant told Isaac all the things that had happened. Then Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent taking her as his wife and he loved her! This comforted Isaac’s grief after his mother’s death.

-This is a beautiful love story that again shows the magnificence of an Almighty and Sovereign God in directing His chosen people’s paths even within their own free will choices. The servant had a choice to go and fulfill his duty or not. No doubt he had been given much for the trip, and a dishonest man would have run away and vacated on such a long and arduous venture of this nature for his own freedom and pleasure. This servant is to be commended for his loyalty, devotions, and faithfulness. The family also had the choice of giving up their daughter and sister. This must have been a difficult decision because of the love they had for her, but in the end they knew that God was in this and that He would ultimately take care of her. Rebekah had to make the tough choice of leaving her family, but she was willing to do the LORD’s will and she received the blessing. Even in the case of Isaac we see a willing spirit to his father’s wishes in regard to a marriage partner. Isaac could have been rebellious and gone after Canaanite women, but he chose the better way of obedience. In the end he was blessed with this great affection and love for his beautiful and treasured wife.

-Today we should evaluate our choices and see if they concur with what the LORD truly desires for our lives. His blessings and assurances follow our trust and obedience to Him.

Verse to Memorize: Genesis 24:67

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