Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 24:63-65, 67

63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.

64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.

65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a veil, and covered herself.

67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

This story is a metaphor for the work of bringing souls to Christ. Consider the final exchange between Rebekah and the servant.

“What man is this?”

“It is my master.”

First Rebekah was converted to the idea of joining herself to Isaac by the servant. Then she was shown the road to reach him, and when they arrived the servant introduced her. Finally, the servant exited the story, leaving Rebekah to his master’s care. Is that not the same as bringing souls to Christ? We preach of him, we lead those that are willing to his presence, we introduce them to the master, and we leave them in his care.

And for his part, Isaac is comforted by Rebekah’s presence. He loves her and he will be devoted to her, just as our Savior loves and is devoted to us.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 24:59-60

59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant, and his men.

60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.

I wonder if Laban and Rebekah’s mother realized how appropriate the blessing they gave to Rebekah was. I wouldn’t be surprised if “be thou the mother of thousands of millions” was a generic wish given to every new bride, but in her case it actually became a reality.

Abraham was promised to be a father of many nations, but that covenant only passed on to a single son, Isaac. Thus Isaac and Rebekah bear the full weight of the blessing as well, destined to be the progenitors of an entire nation. Actually, two nations. From Rebekah would come both the Israelite branch and the Edomite, though the covenant heritage would only pass through the former.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 24:50-52, 55-56, 58

50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the Lord: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.

51 Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the Lord hath spoken.

52 And it came to pass, that, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he worshipped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth.

55 And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go.

56 And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the Lord hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master.

58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.

Rebekah’s brother and mother heard the story of Abraham’s servant and saw the hand of the Lord in all that had transpired. Their personal opinions don’t matter. Even if they were opposed (which they don’t seem to be) this is the will of their Lord, and so they would not try to stand against it. Rebekah’s destiny has come calling, and they will faithfully comply.

Of course, they are sad to see her go, and they want her to stay a while before departing. The servant has no interest in procrastinating his duty, though. His attitude reminds me of Jesus’s injunction that “no man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). When one is being led by the hand of the Lord–as he clearly is–it does not feel right to delay.

And when Rebekah is questioned on the matter she is of the same mind. The rest of her life lays before her, and every delay is only more time wasted. She goes with the man immediately.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 24:29, 31-33, 49

29 And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well.

31 And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the Lord; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels.

32 And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men’s feet that were with him.

33 And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on.

49 And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.

The servant is graciously received into the home of Rebekah’s brother, Laban. His camels are unburdened and given feed, his feet are washed, and food is set before him to eat.

But while everything was done to set the servant at ease, he is not going to let himself relax until his charge has been fulfilled. He is here for a purpose, and while its success appears imminent, it is not yet made sure.

So, he tells his hosts about Abraham and Isaac, he tells of his commission to find a spouse for his master, and he tells the events that led him to their home. Then, in verse 49, he says that he must have an answer of them, and if their answer is to not allow Rebekah to return with him, then he must leave this table of food, put his sandals back on his feet, rouse his camels, and set right back to work on his given task! The man has the burden of duty upon him, and he isn’t going to relax until that has been taken care of. He isn’t going to waste his master’s time in vain pursuits.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 24:23-24, 26-27

23 And said, Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father’s house for us to lodge in?

24 And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor.

26 And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the Lord.

27 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren.

The servant had marveled when he first met Rebekah. She seemed such a perfect match for Isaac, and everything was going according to plan. All that remained was the matter of her heritage, and now he discovers that everything is right in that regard as well. In all this land the very first young lady he happened upon was the very one he was looking for!

So now he bows and worships. Technically he has not gained the approval of Rebekah or her parents yet, but at this point he is convinced that this path was prepared before him by God, and so he is sure of success at the end of it.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 24:15, 17-21

15 And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.

17 And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher.

18 And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink.

19 And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking.

20 And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.

21 And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not.

It is a wonderful little detail that Rebekah appeared on the scene before the servant had even finished his prayer. That means she had been well on her way before he voiced his request of God. God had already sent the answer before the petition came, thus the servant’s prayer wasn’t necessary to convince God to send Rebekah to him, it was necessary for the servant to be ready to receive her.

By taking the time to think through all the qualities that he was looking for in Isaac’s companion, the servant was bringing his focus into alignment with the woman that Rebekah already was. He had an image in his thoughts so clear that he wouldn’t be able to mistake her when she arrived.

We often approach our prayers like we are trying to convince God to be in harmony with us, but as we see in the example of the servant’s prayer, he was the one coming into harmony with what God had already laid out. Abraham foretold that God’s angel would prepare the way before the servant and now we see that he was right.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 24:10-14

10 And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor.

11 And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water.

12 And he said, O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham.

13 Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water:

14 And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.

Abraham’s servant takes an impressive show of wealth with him, including ten camels and, as we will find out later, precious gifts and jewelry. He travels to Nahor, which was both the name of Abraham’s brother and his grandfather. So perhaps this city is named after one of these individuals. Perhaps the brother, given that his son Bethuel and grand-daughter Rebekah now live there.

And when the servant arrives at the outskirts of the city he comes up with a test. He petitions God, asking that the first woman to follow a certain procedure will also be the one who is meant to marry Isaac. The procedure is not random, though, it is a way meant to identify a good and worthy woman.

For starters he is looking for a woman who is diligently serving the needs of her household, coming down to the well to draw water. Then he is looking for one who is kind, willing to give water to him when he asks. Finally he is looking for one who is generous and industrious, who goes the extra mile by offering to also draw water for each of his camels. And while I’m not an expert on camels, it said that he brought ten of them, which sounds like an exorbitant amount of large animals to be drawing water for!

A woman who has each of these qualities would make a wonderful companion indeed, but then there would be the matter of whether she was an eligible member of Abraham’s kin. The servant’s prayer is that she would be.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 24:5-9

5 And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?

6 And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.

7 The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.

8 And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again.

9 And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.

There is a natural hesitation in us when asked to make a pledge that depends on elements not under our control. What if we simply can’t fulfill that promise? Of course it is good to have faith in the face of the unknown, but faith is a muscle that is strengthened over time, and sometimes we lack the faith that the moment requires.

To the servant’s credit, he tries to find a solution to help bolster his commitment. He asks if he should just bring Isaac back to the land of Ur of the Chaldees if he fails in the first attempt to find a wife. He is ready to commit to try and to keep trying, he’s just not so sure on guaranteeing success.

Abraham absolutely does not want his son brought back to that land, so he turns down the servant’s idea, but then he does two things to help inspire and alleviate his servant. The first is that he encourages the man by saying that this is the will of God. God was the one who made a solemn covenant to Abraham that a righteous nation would be raised through Isaac, so God is actively interested in Isaac finding a righteous companion, and He will prepare the way for the servant’s success. The servant has nothing to fear.

However, in the case that the servant does still fear, Abraham then tells him that if he is unable to find a wife for Isaac then he is free of any obligation. That would, of course, leave Abraham without a solution to his problem, but Abraham isn’t concerned about that. Unlike the servant, he has sufficient faith in this plan that he does not require a backup. Thus Abraham is extending his own faith to cover the lack of his servant’s in this instance.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 24:1-4

1 And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.

2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:

3 And I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:

4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.

I mentioned in the previous chapter that the purchase of Sarah’s tomb would be the last duty that Abraham personally fulfilled. Here we see him concerned about whom his son will marry, but he is too old to handle the matter on his own. So he calls his eldest servant and solemnly charges him to find a worthy wife in Abraham’s place.

The land that Abraham instructed his servant to search was the one where his brother Nahor had lived. Nahor had not come to Canaan with Terah, Abraham, and Lot. He had parted ways with them many decades ago. But Abraham had received word that Nahor’s household had grown, with eight new sons and grandchildren. Grandchildren who had never met Abraham or seen the land of Canaan. Was there a daughter among them who would be willing to throw in with a people and a place that were entirely unknown to her?