A Divine Love Story

52 When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the earth before the Lord. 53 And the servant brought out jewelry of silver and of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave to her brother and to her mother costly ornaments. 54 And he and the men who were with him ate and drank, and they spent the night there. When they arose in the morning, he said, “Send me away to my master.” 55 Her brother and her mother said, “Let the young woman remain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go.” 56 But he said to them, “Do not delay me, since the Lord has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.” 57 They said, “Let us call the young woman and ask her.” 58 And they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go.” 59 So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,

“Our sister, may you become
    thousands of ten thousands,
and may your offspring possess
    the gate of those who hate him!”

61 Then Rebekah and her young women arose and rode on the camels and followed the man. Thus the servant took Rebekah and went his way.

62 Now Isaac had returned from Beer-lahai-roi and was dwelling in the Negeb. 63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening. And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, there were camels coming. 64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from the camel 65 and said to the servant, “Who is that man, walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, “It is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself. 66 And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67 Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother and took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.  Genesis 24:52-67 ESV

Having received a warm welcome from Laban and a positive response from Rebekah’s father concerning her betrothal to Isaac, Abraham’s servant worshiped Yahweh once again. He was deeply grateful for the way God had interceded on his behalf and orchestrated this picture-perfect outcome. Everything had turned out better than he could have ever imagined. And having thanked Yahweh for His divine assistance, the servant dispensed the treasures he had carried all the way from Hebron. First, he lavished the bride to be with additional gifts of jewelry and clothing. Then he handed out the gifts that Abraham had included for Rebekah’s family members.

What followed next was a celebration. With the agreement reached and sealed by the giving of gifts, the servant and his men enjoyed a feast put on by the father of the bride. But the next morning, having completed his assignment, Abraham’s servant was ready to begin the long journey home. He couldn’t wait to tell Abraham all that had happened and see the look on Isaac’s face when he saw his future wife for the very first time.

But when Bethuel and Milcah heard that the servant was making plans to leave right away, they tried to buy time, and that is understandable. Their daughter was about to walk out the door and there was a good chance they might never see her again. So, they tried to delay her departure for ten days. But the servant resisted their impassioned pleas.

“Don’t delay me. The Lord has made my mission successful; now send me back so I can return to my master.” – Genesis 24:56 NLT

One can almost sense the servant’s fear that something might go horribly wrong. He seemed bent on accelerating their departure so no one would have time for to change their mind. And Rebekah’s parents, overcome with sadness at the thought of losing their daughter, decided to leave the decision up to her.  And she simply replied, “Yes, I will go” (Genesis 24:58 NLT).

Rebekah was loaded onto one of the camels and, accompanied by her childhood nurse, she began the long journey to Canaan and to her uncertain future as the wife of a man she had never laid eyes on.  Moses does not reveal Rebekah’s age but this departure from her family and her homeland had to have been difficult. She was willingly entering into a marriage covenant with a complete stranger who lived in a foreign land. She was leaving everything she had ever known behind her and venturing into uncharted territory. And perhaps sensing her reticence and fear, her family pronounced a blessing upon her.

“Our sister, may you become
    thousands of ten thousands,
and may your offspring possess
    the gate of those who hate him!” – Genesis 24:60 ESV

Little did they know that their blessing coincided with the promise that God had expressed to Abraham more than 37 years earlier.

“As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” – Genesis 17:15-16 ESV

“Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. – Genesis 17:19 ESV

Young Rebekah was the chosen instrument through whom God would fulfill His promise. She had been preordained by God to become the wife of Isaac and the future mother of Jacob. And all the events surrounding her encounter with the servant of Abraham reveal the sovereign hand of God. This was literally a marriage made in heaven.

The caravan slowly made its way back to Canaan, and it appears that Abraham’s servant had set his final destination as the Negeb, where Isaac was living, It’s interesting to note that he didn’t make his way to his master’s home, but instead, chose to deliver Rebekah directly to Isaac. Moses indicates that Isaac looked up and saw a caravan headed his way. As he made his way to intercept the travelers, Rebekah him from a distance and inquired who this stranger might be. The servant announced, “It is my master” (Genesis 24:65 ESV). 

Rebekah, realizing that she was about to meet her future husband, took her veil and covered her face. Meanwhile, the servant eagerly informed Isaac of all that had taken place in Haran. He was beside himself with excitement as he shared the miraculous nature of the journey and how God had provided just the right woman for Isaac.

Having heard the details surrounding Rebekah’s divine selection, Isaac, “brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent, and she became his wife. He loved her deeply, and she was a special comfort to him after the death of his mother” (Genesis 24:67 NLT). Still mourning the loss of his mother, Isaac was comforted by the knowledge that God had provided him with a wife and a means for fulfilling the covenant promises made to Abraham. Rebekah would take the place of Sarah and become the mother of a great nation. Through she and Isaac the nations of the world would be blessed.

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

New English Translation (NET)NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

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