Summary: Abraham chooses the right wife for Isaac
Gems From Genesis - The right wife for Isaac
Summary so far:
We have spend the last four Mondays following the life of Abraham
In the first week, we looked at the call of Abraham to leave Ur of the Chaldees travel 2000 miles to the Promised Land.
In the second week we saw him hijacked from the Promised Land to Egypt and how he came back to Canaan
The following week we saw how God promised him a son and what happened when Abraham and Sarah tried to give God a helping hand
Last week we read how Abraham faced the Ultimate test and passed with flying colours.
This week we see Abraham making sure that his son Isaac has the right wife to enable Isaac to continue with his walk with God. As he approaches the end of his life, Abraham provides for Isaac’s future when he is gone.
The Right Wife for Isaac
How wisely the Teacher in the book of Ecclesiastes said
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Eccl. 4:9-12)
And of course in a Christian marriage the third strand is God.
This evening’s passage is the story of Abraham’s choice of Isaac’s wife.
Read: Genesis 24: 1-57
We have seen how Abraham’s faith has grown and how he has come through the various trials with a stronger faith
Abraham has had a special relationship with his son Isaac. He is the special promise of God.
1. What do we know about Isaac?
1. 1. His faith in God
Last week, we saw how Isaac must have adopted Abraham’s faith in God for himself because he was willing to submit to the Ultimate Test that Abraham had to go through.
Abraham is concerned to provide the right helper for Isaac who will help to keep Isaac walking with God, when Abraham has gone.
1.2. His trust in his Father
And Isaac is prepared to trust his father in that big decision of life.
We don’t read of Isaac telling Abraham that he will find his own bride – thank you very much.
Compare this to Isaac’s son Esau who brought Rebecca and Isaac much grief by marrying Canaanite women.
After our commitment to God, the second most important decision we make is our choice of partner
Abraham sends his servant as the Scripture records
"to Abraham’s country and relatives to find a wife for Isaac (Gen 24: 4) and makes him promise to find a wife for Isaac from Abraham’s own family.
Quite rightly, the servant asks Abraham, what if the girl who he finds will not come to Canaan. After all there is no running water in the toilets in Canaan!
What should he do if she refuses to come to Canaan? Should he take Isaac back there?
Abraham’s response is emphatic:
”Beware lest you take my son back there. The Lord the God of heaven who took me from my father’s house and the land of my birth and who spoke to me and swore saying: To your descendants I will give this land He will send an Angel before you and you will take a wife for my son from there. If the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from my oath, only do not take my son back there.” (Gen 24: 7-8)
2. Why was Abraham so emphatic in his instructions?
2.1 The need for the wife to share her husband’s vision
Isaac’s wife had to buy into God’s vision for herself. And God’s call for Isaac and therefore his wife was in Canaan and not back in Haran (I guess that is where “Abraham’s country and kindred were” - though the Scripture does not say).
Surprisingly Bethuel, Rebecca’s father and her brother actually give her a choice in the matter: “Will you go with this man.” (they asked) and she said: I will (Gen 24:58).
Story: My call to the ministry: Maddy had to not only agree but also have her own calling from God for my call to go into the Church to be confirmed.
2. 2 The wife too had to leave the idolatrous background that Abraham left
There is no evidence that Bethuel and Laban shared the same values as Abraham. In fact the way that Laban cheated Jacob later on would certainly support this.
Rebecca had to break family ties to start a new one: