Summary: This sermon on Genesis 24 covers the story of finding a bride for Isaac. The application focuses on learning to follow God in all our decision making, especially when looking for a mate.
A. Once there was a young couple who decided to get married.
1. As the big day approached, they grew apprehensive, because each of them had a problem they had never before shared with anyone, not even each other.
2. The groom-to-be decided to ask his father for advice about his problem.
a. “Father,” he said, “I am deeply concerned about the success of my future marriage. I love my fiancée, very much, but you see, I have very smelly feet, and I’m afraid that my future wife will be put off by them.”
b. “No problem,” said dad, “All you have to do is wash your feet as often as possible, and always wear socks, even to bed.”
c. This seemed to him like a workable solution.
3. The bride-to-be decided to take her problem up with her mother.
a. “Mom,” she said, “When I wake up in the morning my breath is truly awful and I’m afraid my future husband will be put off by it.”
b. “Honey,” her mother consoled her, “everyone has bad breath in the morning, but you might try this: In the morning, get straight out of bed, and head for the bathroom and brush your teeth. The key is, not to say a word until you’ve brushed your teeth. Not a word.”
c. This seemed to her like a good approach.
4. The young couple was finally married in a beautiful ceremony.
a. Not forgetting the advice each had received, he with his perpetual socks and she with her morning silence, they managed quite well - that is, until about six months later.
5. Shortly before dawn one day, the husband awoke suddenly and discovered that one of his socks had come off during the night.
a. Fearful of the consequences, he frantically searched the bed.
b. This, of course, woke his bride, who, asked immediately, “What on earth are you doing?”
c. “Oh, no!” he gasped in shock, “You’ve swallowed my sock!”
B. Many of us are suckers for a good love story that is full of romance, which leads to commitment, and then ends with a happily ever after.
1. In our last sermon from our series on Abraham, we witnessed the conclusion of a love story that lasted over 100 years between Abraham and Sarah.
2. In our sermon today, we will witness the beginning of a new romance – the love story of Isaac and Rebekah.
C. As we move through the story today, we will notice that the way we go about finding a mate in our time and culture is very different from the way it was in Abraham’s time and culture.
1. In our 21st century Western culture, we begin the process of looking for a mate by dating.
a. Dating can lead to an ongoing courtship, which can lead to a formal engagement, which can culminate in a marriage.
b. Those who get married in our society remain in charge of who they marry and when.
2. But this is not the case in other parts of the world, even in the 21st century.
a. In many Eastern cultures, parents make the majority of the decisions for their children.
b. Often the young man and young woman participate in the arrangement process, and some societies allow them to decline a proposal they don’t prefer.
c. But it’s the parents who guide the matchmaking process.
d. This time-honored custom has helped stabilize entire civilizations.
3. In biblical times, parental matchmaking was the norm.
4. So when it came time for Isaac to marry, it was up to Abraham to find a suitable woman.
D. You will recall that Abraham was 75 years old when God called him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and promised He would make him into a great nation.
1. That promise began to be fulfilled 25 years later when Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah.
2. Thirty-seven years after that, Sarah died.
3. Three years after Sarah’s death, Abraham realized the years had slipped by and it was likely past time for Isaac to get married, he was now 40 years old.
4. Even though it was past time for him to have a bride, just any bride wouldn’t do.
5. Socrates, the Greek philosopher, reportedly told his male students: “By all means marry. If you get a good wife, twice blessed you will be. If you get a bad wife, you will become a philosopher.” (the same could be said for good or bad husbands, right ladies?)
a. So according to Socrates, who you marry s not important, because the end results will be good either way.
6. But, as we will see, Abraham’s godly approach did not follow that pattern.
a. Unlike Socrates, Abraham’s careful approach reflects the value he placed on obtaining the right kind of marriage partner for his son.