A Wife for Isaac
Sarah lived to be 127, then she died (Genesis 23:1). Meanwhile Isaac grew up, and Abraham grew old. Abraham realized that it was time for his son to be married. The custom at that time was for parents to arrange marriages for their children. Abraham did not want to risk the chance that Isaac might marry a Canaanite woman who would tempt him and his offspring to worship pagan gods, so he decided to look for one in the country he had come from—someone from his own family. But at his age, he was not sure he would survive the 900-mile round trip on a camel. So he sent his most trusted servant instead. What an intimidating task! How could Abraham’s servant ever be certain he had found exactly the right wife for his boss’s son? In addition to being part of Abraham’s extended family and a worshiper of God, the young lady had to be willing to leave everything and everyone behind and move to Canaan. Abraham and his servant knew that Isaac could not leave the land God had provided without losing all the blessings He had promised. Isaac’s new bride had to be willing to come to him. This was a divine mission. It was vital to the existence of the new nation that God was forming. From this nation the promised Messiah would come—God’s own Son who would die for the sins of the whole world (see #4). Abraham was confident that God’s angel would lead his servant to the right bride. So Abraham’s servant set off on the journey with ten camels loaded with gifts for the bride-to-be and her family. When he finally arrived, he had the camels kneel down to rest at a well just outside of town. He knew that at evening time, the women from the town would come to draw water. Then he kneeled down to pray. He asked God to provide a specific sign when the right young woman arrived. He requested that God would have her give him a drink and then offer to get enough water for his ten camels, too. (This would not be an easy task since camels are capable of drinking more than twenty gallons each!) The servant was not in search of beauty or intelligence or wealth. He was focused on character. He was looking for someone who was kind, generous, and hard-working. God honored the servant’s prayer. Before he had even finished praying, Rebekah showed up. Besides being willing to give him a drink and water his ten thirsty camels, she was from the right family, she was pure, AND she was beautiful. The next day Rebekah was willing to leave everything and everyone behind and travel 450 miles away from home to marry Isaac. Isaac immediately fell in love with her!
When you face a difficult situation, is prayer your first impulse or your last resort? Do you consistently communicate with God and allow Him to lead you to the right places? Do you have other people who pray for you? (Abraham, no doubt, prayed for his servant’s success every day.)