We’re looking at Genesis 24:52-67 today.
One of the cool things about WordPress is that we see how many people come onto the site every day and where they are in the world. This month we have had visitors to the site from the USA, Greece, Norway, Cameroon, Jersey, Zambia, Philippines and Singapore. It still amazes me that we can communicate with people all across the world over the internet.
It’s difficult to keep pace with the speed of development and it’s difficult to imagine a time when communication over large distances was almost non-existent; before we had the internet or phones or even a postal service. For Rebekah getting married to Isaac was a big deal, marriage always is, but she would be out of contact with her family and married to a man she had never met.
People often have ‘cold feet’ before a wedding but it’s usually the bride or groom and not the bride’s family! The servant could see God at work and he wisely decided to go along for God’s leading. The family had been keen as well but in the morning they wanted to slow things down. The servant wanted to leave immediately while the family wanted a delay when someone came up with the radical idea of asking the girl herself. It seems to have come from the family and from what we will learn later about Laban, I suspect he thought ‘the girl’ would want to stay for an extra ten days. If he did, he was wrong, we have already seen that Rebekah was a young woman who was kind and generous but now find that she is resolved to travel to Canaan and marry Isaac. The servant knew God was at work (24:7), the family acknowledged it (24:50) and now we find that Rebekah was convinced.
“So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”
“I will go,” she said.” (24:58)
That long journey must have been interesting. Rebekah would surely have asked the servant about Isaac. The servant must have told her the story of Isaac’s birth, of Abraham being prepared to sacrifice Isaac and perhaps Isaac’s willingness to obey through the trial. The journey has been compared to the relationship between the church and the Holy Spirit. His ministry is to reveal Christ. As we journey through life, the Spirit teaches us about him until one day we will see him face to face.
It’s a beautiful picture. There are so many things to say but I’ll limit myself to pointing out three words; ‘he loved her’. It is brilliant story telling of course and after such a journey, we need a happy ending. But it’s more than that isn’t it. The same words could be used of Christ and the church;
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25)
It’s easy to become disheartened and even cynical about the church; it’s full of imperfect people after all but ‘Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her’. If you are a Christian you are part of his church so that means he loves you and amazingly, me as well. We aren’t perfect, we are works in progress but Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Many days have come and gone since my Lord spoke to me
And He opened up the archives of my mind so I could see
Said His love had got no end and He’d always be my friend
And I don’t feel quite so home here any more
But I know the day will come when I will look upon His face
And He’ll take me home to distant lands
Yes I know the day will come when I will look upon His face
And I’ll see the nail prints in His hands
Yes I’ll see the nail prints in His hands (Len Magee)