The story of Isaac obtaining a wife – as recorded in Genesis 24 – is very interesting and enlightening. Everyone who participated in this was under the Lord’s leading, one with His will, and they cooperated with the Lord for Rebekah to be released and be married to Isaac.
Abraham was one with the Lord in sending his oldest servant to find a wife for his son. The servant was trusting in the Lord for every step of the way, praying and giving the Lord every detail concerning finding the right wife for Isaac.
Rebekah was kind, chaste, and diligent in giving water to the servant and to all his ten camels; she was also absolute in taking the decision to marry Isaac and she was submissive to Isaac. Laban and Bethuel were in the fear of the Lord, very hospitable and accommodating toward Abraham’s servant, and they allowed their sister to go and marry Isaac.
Isaac was seeking the Lord and meditating in the field, and he simply accepted and received what his father has prepared and done for him.
You could say that this is a very lovely romantic story where Isaac is seeking the Lord and the Lord Himself through all the people around him prepare the right person and brings her to Isaac to marry him.
Of course, this is a portrait of the church marrying Christ, but at the same time in Genesis 24 we see many people who lived in a practical oneness with the Lord, having a living that issued in the fulfillment of God’s purpose.
Isaac and Rebekah’s marriage issued in the bringing forth of Christ (later down the genealogy line); they had a marriage that was not merely for their own human living but for the fulfillment of God’s purpose and the producing of the kingdom of God.
Our Christian life, church life, work life, and family life needs to be not merely for our own human living but for the fulfillment of God’s purpose and for the bringing in of God’s kingdom.
Rebekah Cooperated with God for the Fulfillment of His Purpose
The Lord prepared Rebekah for Isaac, making her the proper person with an excellent humanity to follow the Lord where He wants her to go. She was chaste, a virgin, very beautiful, not having known any man – she was for Isaac (Gen. 24:18-20).
When Isaac’s servant asked her for a drink, she immediately gave him a drink and offered to give a drink to his camels also. She was kind and diligent: she watered not only the thirsty traveller but also his ten camels (which must have needed a lot of water to drink!).
It is commendable that a young sister who desires to get married would be first of all chaste, then kind and diligent, willing to help others and even go beyond what others ask so that she would take care of them.
Rebekah was also absolute (see Gen. 24:57-58, 61) – even though she never saw Isaac nor did she “correspond by mail” with him, she was willing to go and marry him without any hesitation. Her brother and mother were hesitating, but she said, I will go! She was following the Lord by faith and she was absolute.
When she met Isaac, she was submissive to him (she took her veil and covered herself, Gen. 24:64-65). She realized that Isaac is her head and she submitted to him; thus, the Lord blessed their marriage for His purpose.
The Bible tells us that the husband is the head of the wife, and the wife needs to have her head covered. The wife that obeys God’s word before the Lord and her husband is blessed by God, and their marriage contributes to the fulfillment of God’s purpose and the advance of God’s kingdom.
What a pattern Rebekah was to us all in being chaste, pure, kind, diligent, absolute, and submissive! She was definitely the right person prepared by God for Isaac that they would have a marriage life for God’s purpose.
Laban and Bethuel were in the Fear of the Lord and Hospitable
If you read later in Genesis you will see that Laban was not necessarily a positive person; he changed Jacob’s wages ten times (most likely for the worse all the time) and cheated him with giving him Leah and not Rachel as his wife, thus forcing Jacob to work for him for many years.
But here in Genesis 24 Laban and Bethuel are a positive example: they received Abraham’s servant into their house, and they were very hospitable. They even took in his ten camels and all that the servant of Abraham came with. Laban and Bethuel were in the fear of the Lord and very hospitable (Gen. 24:29-33). Thus, they gained God’s blessing, even though they had to let go of Rebekah.
Hospitality often brings in the greatest blessing, and when we offer hospitality to the ones the Lord sends to us, we gain more of God and we build up the Body of Christ more.
Even though Laban and Bethuel were reluctant to let Rebekah go with Abraham’s servant, thinking to have him stay with them for at least ten days, eventually they accepted God’s sovereignty and said, “The matter comes from Jehovah; we cannot speak to you bad or good” (Gen. 24:50-51, 55-60). They recognized that this matter is of the Lord and they had no right to say anything about it.
As you read Genesis 24 you will see an atmosphere of people living before the Lord and in oneness with Him, all of them cooperating with God for this wonderful union in marriage. They may have had a different opinion or feeling, but they saw that God is working here, and this matter is of Him – so they let Rebekah go.
Isaac was Seeking the Lord, being One with Him to Accept Rebekah as His WifeEveryone around Isaac was “working hard” to make this marriage happen, but Isaac himself was not doing much – he wasn’t “a man of action”. He was living by the well, drinking the living water, under the tamarisk tree.
In Gen. 24:63 we see that he went out to meditate in the field toward the evening….when he saw the camels approaching. Isaac was meditating in the field to seek the Lord, and the Lord provided the best wife for him! Isaac accepted what his father did for him and took Rebekah as his wife; he was one with the Lord so that His purpose would be fulfilled in their marriage.
In a very real sense, speaking from my own testimony and how I got married, if we seek the Lord and care for His business, the Lord Himself will work in our environment and operate in many people to arrange, in His way and in His time, for “Rebekah” to come to us and be joined to us in marriage for the fulfillment of God’s purpose.
Every young man and woman needs to get married; however, how do we go about this and make this happen? According to Isaac’s pattern, we should seek the Lord, drink the living water from the well at Beer-Sheba, eat the tree of life, and care for the Lord’s business.
Our marriage is from the Lord, through the Lord, and for the Lord, and the Lord is faithful to prepare “Rebekah” and bring her to us that we may have a marriage life for the fulfillment of God’s purpose. Isaac’s marriage fulfilled God’s purpose (see Gen. 21:12; 22:17-18), being not merely for his human living but for the fulfillment of God’s promise for a seed, which ultimately is Christ and the church.
In our marriage life we live not merely for our satisfaction or pleasure but for God’s purpose, for Christ to be brought forth and lived out in us, and for the church to be edified and built up. May the Lord gain many marriages who have Christ as their center and the church as their living so that God’s purpose may be fulfilled and His kingdom would advance on earth.
Lord, may our marriage life be for the fulfillment of Your purpose! Release many engagements and marriages in the church life that follow the pattern of Isaac and Rebekah. May all the young brothers keep enjoying You, drinking You, eating You, and spending time with You to take care of Your needs, being fully immersed in the church life at Beer-Sheba. Lord, prepare many Rebekah’s in the church life, those who live before You and in oneness with You, the chaste, kind, diligent, absolute, and submissive sisters that follow Your leading and marry the brothers You choose for them! Lord, gain many couples and marriages for the fulfillment of Your purpose! May our family life be for the fulfillment of Your purpose and the advance of Your kingdom!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. Ed Marks’ sharing in the message for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Genesis (msg. 60), as quoted in, the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Genesis (2), week 12 / msg 12, A Practical Living in Oneness with the Lord and a Type of Christ Marrying the Church (you can buy this morning revival book here).
- Hymns on this topic:
# So he took the fair Rebekah, / Dressed in jewels rich and rare, / Quickly to her waiting bridegroom far away. / Where Rebekah loved her Isaac, / And he loved Rebekah fair; / Oh, it must have been a happy wedding day. (Hymns #1318)
# My soul, be silent, wait upon the Lord! / First let Him speak to thee, then speak to Him; / True prayer in thee the Lord initiates, / Thou but a channel art expressing Him. (Hymns #793)
# Remember your Creator / While you are young, / As a child, know the Scriptures / And seek out God’s truth. / Oh, remember your Creator / While you are young, / And let Him have a way / In the days of your youth. (Hymn on Seeking God)