World English Institute
ISAAC AND REBEKAH
Abraham had a servant who was in charge of everything he owned. One day, Abraham called this servant to him and said, "Go back to my country and to my own people. There find a wife for my son Isaac and bring her here to him."
So the servant took ten of Abraham's camels and loaded them with gifts. Then he went to Haran, the city of Abraham's brother Nahor.
Upon arriving at Haran, the servant went to the water well outside the city. It was evening--the time of day when the women came out to get water. Near the well, Abraham's servant made the camels kneel down.
THE SERVANT'S PRAYER
The servant prayed, "Lord, you are the God of my master Abraham. Allow me to find a wife for his son Isaac today. Please show this kindness to my master Abraham. Here I am, standing by this well of water, and the young women from the city are coming out to get water. I am waiting for a special sign so that I will know who is the right young woman for Isaac. This is the special sign: I will say to the girl, `Please put your jar down so I can drink.' I will know if she is the right young woman for Isaac if she says, `Drink, and I will also give water to your camels.' If that happens, then you will have proved that she is the right young woman for Isaac."
THE SERVANT'S PRAYER IS ANSWERED
Before the servant finished praying, a young woman named Rebekah came to the well. Rebekah was the daughter of Bethuel. Bethuel was the son of Milcah and Nahor (Abraham's brother). Rebekah came to the well with her water jar on her shoulder. She was very pretty. She was a virgin; she had never slept with a man. Rebekah went down to the well and filled her jar.
The servant ran to her and said, "Please give me a little water from your jar."
Rebekah quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and gave him a drink saying, "Drink this, Sir." As soon as she finished giving him something to drink, she said, "I will also pour some water for your camels." So Rebekah poured all the water from her jar into the drinking trough. Then she ran to the well to get more water, and she gave water to all the camels.
After the camels finished drinking, the servant gave Rebekah a gold ring and two gold arm bracelets. He asked, "Who is your father? And is there a place in your father's house for me and my group to sleep?"
Rebekah answered, "My father is Bethuel, the son of Milcah and Nahor. And yes, we have straw for your camels and a place for you to sleep."
The servant bowed and worshiped the Lord saying, "Blessed is the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. The Lord has been kind and loyal to my master. The Lord has led me to the right girl for my master's son."
Then Rebekah ran and told her family about these things.
LABAN INVITES THE SERVANT INSIDE
Rebekah had a brother named Laban. He was listening as Rebekah told her father about the things the servant had said to her. Seeing the rings, and the bracelets on his sister's arms, Laban ran out to the well.
Laban said to Abraham's servant, "Sir, you are welcome to come in! You don't have to stand outside here. I have prepared a room for you to sleep in, and a place for your camels."
So Abraham's servant went into the house. Laban helped him with his camels and gave him straw for the camels to eat. Laban gave him water so he and the other men with him could wash their feet. But when Laban offered him food, the servant refused to eat. He said, "I will not eat until I have told you why I came."
Laban said, "Then tell us."
THE SERVANT ASKS FOR REBEKAH
The servant said, "I am Abraham's servant. The Lord has greatly blessed my master and has made him a great man. The Lord has given Abraham many flocks of sheep and herds of cattle. Abraham has much silver and gold and many servants, camels, and donkeys. Sarah was my master's wife, and when she was very old, she gave birth to a son. And my master has given everything he owns to his son."
The servant explained how Abraham had sent him to Haran to find a wife for Isaac, and how God had led him to Rebekah. Finally, the servant said, "Now, tell me what you will do. Will you be kind and loyal to my master and give your daughter to him? Or will you refuse to give him your daughter? Tell me, so that I will know what I shall do."
REBEKAH'S FAMILY GIVES A PARTY
Then Laban and Bethuel answered, "We see that you are from the Lord. We can't change what must happen. Rebekah is yours. Take her and go. Let her marry your master's son. This is what the Lord wants." Rebekah also agreed to these arrangements.
When Abraham's servant heard these things, he bowed to the ground before the Lord. Then he gave Rebekah the gifts he had brought--gold and silver, jewelry, and many beautiful clothes. He also gave expensive gifts to her brother and her mother.
The servant and the men with him stayed there that night and had a party. The next morning they arose and the servant said, "Now we will go back to my master."
Bethuel and Laban allowed Rebekah to go with Abraham's servant and his men. Rebekah's nurse also went with them. So the servant took Rebekah and left on his long journey home.
REBEKAH MARRIES ISAAC
At this time, Isaac was living in the Negev, a desert region south of Hebron. One evening Isaac went out into the field to think. Isaac's mother, Sarah, had died and his heart still ached for her. Isaac looked up and saw the camels coming.
Rebekah looked and saw Isaac. Then she jumped down from her camel and asked the servant, "Who is that man walking in the field to meet us?"
The servant said, "That is my master's son." So Rebekah covered her face with her veil.
The servant told Isaac about all the things that had happened. Then Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother's tent and Rebekah became his wife that day. Isaac loved her very much. So Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
ABRAHAM DIES AND IS BURIED
At the age of 175, Abraham grew weak and died. His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah beside his beloved wife Sarah.
GOD ANSWERS ISAAC'S PRAYER
Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, but for nineteen years Rebekah could not have children. Finally, Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife Rebekah, and the Lord heard Isaac's prayer. After twenty years of marriage, Rebekah became the mother of twin boys.
GOD MAKES AN AGREEMENT WITH ISAAC
One day God said to Isaac, "I will do what I promised to Abraham your father. I will make your family as many as the stars of heaven, and I will give all these lands to your family. All the nations of the earth will be blessed because of your family." After this, Isaac continued living in the Negev south of Hebron, and God blessed him in everything he did.
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
1. Abraham's servant prayed in faith. Abraham sent his servant to Haran to find a wife for his son Isaac. Abraham's servant sincerely believed that God would lead him to the right girl. Upon arriving in Haran, the servant prayed that God would show him which girl he had chosen. He gave God a sign by which the Lord could make his choice known. Such faith is amazing.
2. God answers prayers. We are not surprised that a rich and powerful man like Abraham could talk with God. The interesting thing is that God also answered the prayers of Abraham's servant. God's ears are open to everyone who prays in faith--rich and poor, young and old, powerful and powerless. A person's position in society has nothing to do with the way God answers his or her prayers. In the eyes of God, everyone is important and worthy of attention.
If God listened to the prayer of Abraham's servant, he will surely listen to the prayers of his children today. He knows our needs, and he is waiting to bless our lives. The powerful God who is above and beyond us is also the loving God who is with and for us. When we pray to him in faith, he listens because he cares.
3. Rebekah's pregnancy was a blessing from God. Isaac could have divorced Rebekah and married another woman when he found out that she could not have children. Having a male heir was very important in those days. In some places, the law actually required a man to divorce his wife if she was not able to give him a son.
Instead of divorcing Rebekah, however, Isaac prayed for her. He prayed that God would enable her to have children. God heard Isaac's prayer, and Rebekah became a mother. God did something for her that nature had failed to do. Rebekah's pregnancy was supernatural.
4. God's plan of salvation unfolds. The plan of salvation that God announced in the Garden of Eden is unfolding before our eyes. Now we know that a descendant of Eve is coming to crush Satan's head. A descendant of Abraham is coming to bless all nations. That descendant will come through one of the sons of Isaac and Rebekah.
Scripture References: Genesis 23-26.
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