Year 2 Day 243
Read - Genesis 24
Message - Scott Woodburn
Abraham was entering the final years of his life and yet he was still resolutely focused on the fulfilment of God’s covenant. Abraham would soon die but he knew his son Isaac would carry forward his Gospel hope and so like all good parents he started to make plans for his son’s future.
The promise of God was centred around a child who would come to destroy the works of the devil. He would come in the line of Abraham and in order for this to prove a reality, Isaac was going to need a wife. Abraham had two conditions for his son’s bride. Firstly, she was not to be a Caananite (v3). The line of promise was not to be tarnished by those who had no regard for the Lord. The Canaanites would one day be judged and so Isaac’s wife should come from Abraham’s home in Mesopotamia and not Canaan. Secondly, although Isaac’s wife should be from Mesopotamia, Isaac should not return to that place (v6). Abraham wanted his son to remain in the land of promise and not to be making his life elsewhere.
Abraham’s servant promised his master that he would strive to fulfil his wishes (v9) and soon the servant travelled to the land of Mesopotamia (v10). But how does someone go about finding a wife? The servant was no fool and turned to the means of prayer. He said “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Let the young woman to whom I shall say, ‘Please let down your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.” (v12-14)
The Lord God would indeed show steadfast love to Abraham, his hopes for his son Isaac would come to pass. Almost like she had been dropped from heaven itself, before the servant had even finished praying, a beautiful young girl called Rebekah appeared carrying water (v15). She served Abraham’s servant (v18) and gave his camels water to drink (v20) and soon it was clear to all involved that Rebekah was to be the wife of Isaac. She received her father’s blessing (v50-51) and made it clear that she would leave Mesopotamia and follow Abraham’s servant to Caanan. Later as Rebekah’s journey neared its end she saw Isaac meditating in a field (v63-64). Soon their introduction was made and Rebekah became Isaac’s wife and quite fittingly we are told that “he loved her” (v67)
I’m challenged by this passage to broaden my horizons past the immediate concerns of the day and to consider more than 2021. Let me ask, what do you wish for your children? To pass their exams? To get a job? To settle down? These are all good things and we should pray for them to come to pass. Yet Abraham’s concerns were greater. He was mindful of the promises of God and longed for his son’s marriage so that the Gospel would not fail.
How then should we pray for our children? Let me suggest that we are faithful in praying that they would know Christ and love His church. That they would marry in the Lord and raise Godly children. That they would give their time, money and talents to the work of furthering the Gospel and that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren and the next generations who we will never know or see would trust Christ and proclaim His name. May our prayers go beyond the horizon of 2021 “for the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 100v5)
Q11 What are God’s works of providence? God’s works of providence are, his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions.