Genesis 24 is a long chapter with many details concerning Abraham sending his most trustworthy servant to find a wife for his son Isaac from among Abraham’s relatives. In the spiritual application of this type we see Christ marrying the church – the great mystery, Christ and the church.
However, the primary point in Genesis 24 is NOT the type concerning Christ marrying the church; the primary point in Genesis 24 is the practical living in oneness with the Lord for the fulfillment of His purpose. Abraham lived in oneness with the Lord and, without asking for God’s advice and without having any charge directly from the Lord, he sent his servant to get a wife for his son.
All the details of this story including Abraham’s sending, the servant’s going, his choosing, his calling of Rebekah, her being let by her uncle to go, her coming with the servant to Isaac, and Isaac taking her as a wife – everything shows that all the people involved in this were living in oneness with the Lord.
Abraham knew God’s heart and he knew that God doesn’t want him to get a wife from among the Canaanites for his son; so, without asking God about this, he took the initiative to send his servant to get a wife for Isaac – and God blessed this. Abraham was one with God and he was living in a practical way in oneness with Jehovah. He knew that in order for God to have a seed that would multiply and be a blessing to all the nations, Isaac needed a wife, so he took care of this – in oneness with the Lord.
Today as believers in Christ we need to walk in the steps of our father Abraham’s faith and imitate Paul, who was one with the Lord by forgiving a brother in the index of the Lord’s eyes (2 Cor. 2:10). The Lord wants us to have a day-by-day practical living in oneness with Him for the fulfillment of His purpose.
Abraham’s Living was a Practical Living in Oneness with the Lord for the Fulfilling of God’s Purpose
We need to look to the Lord for a fresh new revelation concerning what the record in Gen. 24 says primarily. The primary matter here is the practical living in oneness with the Lord for the fulfilling of God’s purpose.
Although there’s no record of God telling Abraham to take a wife for Isaac from his own country, Abraham knew God and he knew that this is what He wanted him to do. Abraham lived according to God’s concept and he practically lived in oneness with God, so he knew God’s will and mind and acted according to what God’s inner feeling was (Gen. 24:1-6, 40).
He knew that in order for God’s promise concerning the seed to be fulfilled (Gen. 22:17-18), his son Isaac needed a wife. Isaac needed a wife NOT merely for his human living and satisfaction but for the fulfillment of God’s purpose.
And Abraham knew that God would not accept an Egyptian or a Canaanite woman to be Isaac’s wife and the mother of the seed. God didn’t tell Abraham this, but he was living in such a oneness with the Lord that he had this understanding within.
As human beings we also need a spouse, but if we live in oneness with the Lord in a practical way, our prayer will be,
Lord, I want to live a life in oneness with You. May my wife be the one that You choose for me, the one You want for me to live a life in a deeper oneness with You for the fulfillment of Your purpose. May my future marriage be for Your economy!
I personally prayed such a prayer many times – both personally and together with some companions, and the Lord was faithful to provide someone for me that, I firmly believe, is a companion to help me enjoy the Lord more, live in oneness with Him, and have a life for the fulfillment of His purpose together with her.
May the Lord gain many more marriages for His economy in the church life. May all the marriages in the church life be for the fulfillment of His purpose. May all the husbands and wives help one another live a life in oneness with the Lord in a practical way so that His purpose may be fulfilled!
We all need to learn from Abraham to live our daily life with its daily activities in a practical oneness with the Lord for the fulfillment of His purpose.
Having a Practical Living in Oneness with the Lord for His Purpose
The Lord Jesus, the seed of Abraham was the One who lived a daily life in oneness with the Father. The Apostle Paul also lived such a life, being one with the Lord in the practical things of his living and work. He forgave the brother in Corinth in the index of the Lord’s eyes; he was intently looking at the Lord’s face, enjoying the Lord’s look, and in this look of Christ he forgave the brother, having God’s inward thoughts and feelings infused into him.
Paul encouraged us that Christ’s mind may be in us (Phil. 2:5) so that our mind may contain the thoughts of God. He testified that he longed for the saints in the inward parts of Christ Jesus (Phil. 1:8), having Christ’s emotions and innermost feelings as his. Lastly, he encouraged us that it is God who operates in us both the willing and the working for His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13) – God’s will is imparted into us.
In order for us to live in a practical way a life in oneness with the Lord we need to live by the spirit and walk by the spirit (Gal. 5:25; Rom. 8:4). We need to be renewed in the spirit of our mind (Eph. 4:23), allowing the Spirit with our spirit to spread into our mind to become the spirit of our mind.
The most practical way to have God’s thoughts, concepts, feelings, opinions, ways, and mind be ours is by pray-reading the Bible. By reading the word of God in a prayerful way, we get rid of our old concepts and we are renewed by the teachings of the Scriptures with the enlightening of the Holy Spirit.
When our being is governed, controlled, and ruled by God’s word, spontaneously we have God’s concept, His will, His mind, and His inner feeling. We will love the Lord and we will live in oneness with Him, and whatever we say and do will be in accordance to His likes and dislikes.
If we live in oneness with the Lord, He will not need to “tell us what He wants us to do” because we shall already know His inner feeling by being one with Him. How we need to have such a living for the fulfillment of God’s purpose today in the church life!
I was very much enlightened by footnote 1 in 1 Sam. 4:3 in the Recovery Version concerning what happened when Israel brought out the ark on the battlefield in the time of Eli, even though God didn’t tell them to do it,
In their degradation Israel was foolish because they did not trust in God directly. Rather, they trusted in the systems ordained by God. In their situation they should have repented, made a thorough confession, and returned to God from their idols, and they should have inquired of God as to what He wanted them to do. Instead, having no heart for God’s desire or for His eternal economy, they exercised their superstition to trust in the Ark based on the past victories they had experienced through the move of the Ark (Num. 10:35; Josh. 6). But this time their situation was not right. In their degradation they offended God to the uttermost, and God left them. Eventually, instead of the Ark saving Israel, the Ark itself was captured (v. 11a).
The Ark typifies Christ as the embodiment of God (see note 10 – 1 in Exo. 25). It also signifies Christ as the presence of the Triune God with His people for the carrying out of His economy to establish His kingdom on earth. To bring out the Ark was to bring out the presence of God (v. 4). The move of the Ark was a picture of God’s move on the earth in Christ as His embodiment (Num. 10:33-36; see note 1 – 1 in Psa. 68). During Israel’s fighting with the Philistines, God did not intend to move. The children of Israel had no thought of or concern for God’s economy, and their bringing out the Ark indicated that they were usurping God, even forcing Him to go out with them for their safety, peace, rest, and profit. In principle, we do the same thing whenever we pray for our prosperity without any consideration of God’s economy. Instead of usurping God, we should pray, live, and be persons according to God’s heart and for His economy. (1 Sam. 4:3, footnote 1)
May we be those who walk in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham and not usurp the Lord’s presence. May we be those living a life practically according to God’s heart and for His economy.
Lord, we don’t want to usurp Your presence or try to force Your hand to bless us for our own prosperity and good – yet without having any concern for Your economy! Make us those who live according to Your heart and for Your economy. Make us persons who live in Your presence day by day, enjoying You and speaking to You constantly, so that we would have a practical living according to Your heart and for Your economy. We want to live one spirit with You today. We want to live and walk according to the spirit so that Your purpose may be fulfilled in us!
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:
# Jesus Lord, my best love Thou art, / Ne’er again from Thee I’d depart; / Never hide Thy dear, smiling face from me. / To none else I’d cling, Lord, but Thee. / To Thee, Lord, my all I outpour, / How Thy love my heart deeply fills, / My eternal portion, most precious Lord, / None but Thee I want evermore. (Hymn on Being One with the Lord)
# As I’m loving You and enjoying You, Lord, / You become in me the rhema word. / Here I’ll pray in You as You pray in me. / You’ll bear fruit in me, Lord, abundantly. / As I dwell in You, Lord You’re flowing through. / Lord, You’re filling me, overflowing too. / Here we all are one and expressing You. / Here our joy is full as we dwell in You. (Hymn on loving the Lord and His word)
# Now we’re learning to turn to our spirit, / Now we’re learning to take Christ as life; / Now we’re learning to feed upon Jesus / And be freed from all struggling and strife. (Hymns #1141)
# Lord, I thank You for another new day to live You; / Another day for me to practise being one spirit with You. / Remind me this whole day to reject my self, / Not to trust myself, / And not to live by myself. / Strengthen me to live by You. / Make this a day for me to live You out. / Taking You as my everything, / Abiding in You as a branch in the vine. (Hymn on Living One with the Lord)