Summary: What brings Isaac and Rebekah together is what will keep them together - and what bonds our marriages today - devotion - to God and one another.

From the Very Start

A Look at the Ancient Text of Genesis that speaks with Amazing Present-day Relevance

Love’s Hidden Partner

Ann Landers received a letter from a reader that went like this:

Dear Ann Landers: Why would any husband adore a lazy, messy, addlebrained wife? Her house looks as if they’d moved in yesterday. She never cooks a meal. Everything is in cans or frozen. Her kids eat sent-in food. Yet this slob’s husband treats her like a Dresden doll. He calls her “Poopsie” and “Pet,” and covers the telephone with a blanket when he goes to work so she can get her rest. On weekends he does the laundry and the marketing.

I get up at 6 a.m. and fix my husband’s breakfast. I make his shirts because the ones in the stores “don’t fit right.” If my husband ever emptied a wastebasket, I’d faint. Once when I phoned him at work and asked him to pick up a loaf of bread on his way home, he swore at me for five minutes. The more you do for a man, the less he appreciates you. I feel like an unpaid housekeeper, not a wife. What goes on anyway? —The Moose (That’s what he calls me.)

Ann’s response is classic. She responded:

A marriage license is not a guarantee that the marriage is going to work, any more than a fishing license assures that you’ll catch fish. It merely gives you the legal right to try.

Genesis 24

- near the end of the Abraham story in Genesis

- Sarah has passed away

- Abraham knows he needs to get a wife for Isaac.

[24:1] “Abraham was now old and well advanced in years, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. [2] He said to the chief servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, "Put your hand under my thigh. [3] I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, [4] but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac."

[5] The servant asked him, "What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?"

[6] "Make sure that you do not take my son back there," Abraham said. [7] "The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ’To your offspring I will give this land’--he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. [8] If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there." [9] So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.” Genesis 24:1-9 [NIV]

Abraham demonstrates…

* cultural responsibility to Isaac

o We also have a cultural responsibility to help our children find mates. We teach our children how to find a mate by…

§ Our personal life

§ Our teaching

§ Our practice of marriage

* covenant responsibility to God.

o Abraham knows that he must remain faithful and loyal to the covenant he has with God. This includes the life his son will lead, where his son will live and who his son will marry. We too have a covenant with God. That’s what the baby dedication in January was all about – we entered into a covenant with God to raise these children as His – given over to him in every moment of life.

The servant is committed to…

* Abraham’s purpose

[10] Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and left, taking with him all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim and made his way to the town of Nahor. Genesis 24:10 [NIV]

Call me twisted, but the mere fact that servant actually made the long journey and looked for the right woman is a wonderful testimony to me of his commitment to his master’s purpose. I mean, he could have taken the loot and ran. He could have taken all the jewelry, gone to some desert oasis for a few weeks and kicked back – then returned to Abraham and made up a story of giving the dowry to some girl who refused to come home. But he is too committed to Abraham to do such things. He rides the camels through the desert to fulfill Abraham’s purpose.

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