Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Genesis 24 - God Finds a Wife for Isaac

LINK: Genesis 24


BACKGROUND


Today we begin our transition from study of the life of Abraham to the study of the life of Isaac. I will not go into too much background today because it is a pretty simple narrative story.


The servant was probably Eliezer who is mentioned by Abraham in 15:1.


Abraham asked for Eliezer to put his hand under his thigh. The typical oath would be to cut the animals and walk between the pieces; but in this case, Abraham was asking for a oath near his place of "seed" or reproductive organ since this was an oath that involves his "seed," Isaac, and the future of his descendants.


Abraham specifically wanted a wife from his homeland and not from the women of Canaan. Canaan was cursed (15:16) through the line of Ham. Yet, he wanted to make sure that Isaac did not go back to Mesopotamia to marry. This is important because Abraham knew that his new home was in Canaan because of the promise of the land.


I wanted to save the genealogy of Genesis 22:20-24 until now because it indicates Rebekah's family line. Milcah, Lot's sister, married her uncle Nahor and had eight children, one of whom was Bethuel who became the father of Rebekah. Her father, Bethuel, and Isaac were first cousins. You might like to try drawing out this family tree. 


The Scarlet Thread of Redemption


Some interpreters do find typology in this chapter. Eliezer, the faithful servant, who is doing the will of his master, sought out a bride and gave this bride his master's message. Jesus was the faithful servant of God who did the master's will by going to the bride and gave us the message of God's salvation through the servant!


REFLECTION


I love this simple story of dependence on God by Eliezer. I love his response when he discovered that God had led him straight to the woman that God had appointed for Isaac:
Then the man bowed low and worshiped the LORD.
And he said, 'Blessed be the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His lovingkindness and His truth toward my master; as for me, the LORD has guided me in the way of the house of my master's brothers.'" (24:26-27)
God is a God of guidance. He will show us the way that we should go as we humbly depend on Him because He loves us!


APPLICATION


What have you learned about God through your study of the life of Abraham? It might help to review chapters 12-24 and write down everything you learned about God. I have a "Journal of God" that I started keeping on the book of Genesis, and I plan on continuing it throughout the whole Bible!


As a start, here is Genesis 12:1-3:

He is a God who communicates with us (LORD said to Abram) 
He is a God who guides us (I will show you) 
He is a God who accomplishes things for us (I will make you a great nation, bless . . .) 
He is a God who exalts us as He chooses (I will make your name great) 
He is a God who protects us (I will curse the one who curses you)
Let this be a springboard for a time of praise before your God!


PRAYER


Lord, I praise You that You are a God who guides us in the path that we should choose just as You guided Eliezer toward Rachel. Lord, may we have the heart of humble submission that Eliezer had as You send us out to do Your will and work. In the name of Jesus, AMEN
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