Summary: Let’s take a look at the right way to surrender important life choices to God and to be as certain as possible that we are in God’s will.
Well, folks today we’re going to talk about how Abraham let God choose a spouse for his son Isaac, but this young man’s idea was probably not quite what God had in mind. Let’s take a look at the right way to surrender important life choices to God and to be as certain as possible that we are in God’s will. First we see:
I. The Importance of an Oath (vv 1-9)
An oath is a promise, and from the beginning of humanity until today God has made promises to us that are dependable. As we have travelled through the book of Genesis we‘ve seen many oaths, covenants, agreements, whatever you want to call them. Today we see another between Abraham and the servant he trusted more than any other person in the world.
The text says that Abraham had put his oldest servant in charge of all that he had. Now that’s trust because Abraham had a lot. Then we see this rather odd ritual of the time, which goes way beyond shaking hands. Abraham says put your hand under my thigh and swear by the Lord that you will find my son a wife from my own people in my homeland.
Abraham trusts this guy so much he’s willing to let him choose the woman who would become the mother of this multitude of offspring through the promised son Isaac. When he says she must be from my own people, he’s basically saying that this woman must be a follower of God, not a Canaanite woman. The Old Testament forbid marrying non-believing spouses and the New Testament also discourages it in first and second Corinthians.
The servant makes sure he clarifies all the possibilities and details because he wants to make sure he does it right. Abraham tells him if she doesn’t come with you, you’re off the hook, and whatever you do, don’t take Isaac with you.
Not only does Abraham not want Isaac to marry a Canaanite idol worshipper and be lured away from worshipping God, he also wants to ensure that Isaac stays in Canaan, the Promised Land. If he were to go, he might want to stay where the wife lived to make it easier on her. As it turns out, Isaac never leaves Canaan for his entire lifetime.
The servant knew how important this assignment was, the entire future of God’s people was potentially at stake by this choice, and the servant demonstrates:
II. The Importance of Surrender (vv 10-14)
He goes immediately with ten camels, lots of gifts, and probably a few other trustworthy servants, to the town of Nahor. This is where his brother’s family that was listed at the end of chapter 22 lives, and Abraham knew there was a granddaughter there named Rebekah. I have a feeling Abraham may have had a revelation from God about her when he heard about his brother’s family a couple chapters ago. I’m not sure.
Not only is this servant completely surrendered to Abraham’s will, we see here that he’s also surrendered to God. Remember Abraham said God would send his angel before you, and so great was the servant’s faith that he literally believed this.