Summary: Isaac’s Marriage is a type of our own journey to build the bride of Christ (The church) through evangelism.
After this morning’s message ("Why shouldn’t Happy People Get married") I thought it a good idea to switch back to marriages that are good and right for this evening. I’d like to took at a marriage made in heaven, but not every marriage made in heaven has a Hollywood existence and ends with (Or rather continues with) "And they lived happily ever after."
I can think of a few marriages in the Bible that needed some serious counseling:
Hosea’s marriage was a match made in heaven but his wife was a prostitute! (Hosea 1:1-3). Their marital history like many marriages was full of heartbreak and yet taught a powerful lesson about sacrificial love, obedience, redemption, grace and mercy. Not a bad record for a marriage after all is it?
But there are also love stories in the Bible that start happy and end well. Tonight we’ll look at the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah, so roll back to Genesis 24 with me and we’ll prepare to read the chapter together. Most of the story isn’t about Isaac and Rebekah but rather about God’s faithfulness to his covenant and About God’s faithfulness to answer the Prayer of Faith. In fact the Marriage of Isaac and Rebekah teaches us a lot about prayer - which is very much like our own marriages sometimes.
Throughout this chapter though we discover that while God’s plan is large, He still relies upon our prayers to do His work. More than 50 years prior to this time, God met with Abraham - called him out of Ur of the Chaldees and promised Abraham descendants more numerous than the grains of sand in the sea or the stars in the sky. Now Abraham senses that his time is drawing to a close and he is eager to see God’s faithfulness continued.
The story is rather straightforward and it revolves around Five people. Abraham and his son Isaac, Laban and his sister Rebekah, and Abraham’s unnamed servant - who though unknown to us was guided by God to bring about the next chapter in His master plan of redemption.
< Read Genesis 24>
Gen 24 as the first verse introduces it is about what God is doing as he exhibits his faithfulness to Abraham. Part of that faithfulness was fulfilling his word to Abraham to make him the father of many nations, which demands more than a son but a wife for that son as well. There’s no indication here that God had told Abraham it was time to act, we can only assume because nothing is said to the contrary that Abraham was finally walking in God’s will by preparing for his son’s future.
It was a monumental task, traveling 500 miles to an unknown location hoping to find someone - But This servant was given encouragement by Abraham’s words that God has always guided him, and will now guide his servant. Abraham’s promise that God’s angel would go before him preparing the way (v7), gave the servant the confidence to commit to the task (v.9).
Several things happen in this chapter which we’re told happen as a result of God going before the servant to pave the way. What the rest of the world might name "coincidences" is clearly portrayed as being God’s providential rule in every day life. The same God who went before this unnamed servant is the God who goes before us. So that the lessons we learn from this chapter are lessons that can directly apply to us. This servant was given an impossible task or rather a God Sized Task. Because God is involved in it’s completion everything works out as it should.
God was providentially involved in directing the servant to fulfill his work. Did the servant KNOW that everything was going to work out? No. Did he really know HOW things would work out at all? No - but he had a promise from Abraham that strengthened him to try. I love reading this servant’s prayer: there is both a desperation and a faith in his prayers, and still yet surprise in his rejoicing at the fulfillment of prayers. The personal application to life is that neither do we know if or rather, HOW everything might work out - and because we don’t know and yet so much depends on the results there is a desperation wrapped amidst the faith in our earnest prayers. But because God is sovereign and because God is good we can trust Him.
1. I want you to notice first however that Because God went ahead of this servant HE ARRIVED PRECISELY ON TIME.
(v11). He wasn’t early and he wasn’t late. He got there when it was time for Rebekah to come get water. He got there before she got married off somewhere else. I suppose there were a number of things that could have gone wrong and didn’t. But because Abraham and this unnamed servant trusted God and because God went ahead of him preparing the way - he got there when he needed to be there. If we’re listening to God I believe He will guide us - even in our timing.