Tag Archives: Genesis 24

Morning Thoughts (Genesis 24:67)

Genesis 24:67, "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 morning, people fail to grasp certain concepts since they are ignorant as to the source or root cause of them.  For example, many today get confused about the Bible since they fail to grasp that God breathed the Book into existence.  Failing to understand the Divine Inspiration of Holy Scriptures, one will never arrive at the correct conclusion that it is infallible.  Another example that crops up so often in the world today is the subject of the state of the earth and the universe in general.  They look at a groaning universe and attribute things such as "global warming" or other causes to prove why the natural world seems to be "wearing out.”  However, failing to understand that the root Cause and Source of the world is the Creator Himself, they do not grasp that He declared its perpetual existence with the patterns that He set forth until the day that He burns it up Himself. (II Peter 3)

One of the most misunderstood subjects today is the subject of love.  Love today is promoted in Hollywood as the feelings of desire between two individuals.  Love is promoted in society at large as some kind of nebulous feeling that "trumps" anything else – even truth – as people are encouraged to drop everything else in the name of love.  True love – as the Bible describes it – is always built upon sacrifice and self-less activity.  The greatest form of love comes from the ultimate sacrifice of laying down your life for someone else. (John 15:13) Yet, one of the most interesting studies that we can glean from the Bible is the study of "first usages."  Where does something appear the first time?  What is the situation and significance of it?  Our study verse is the first usage of the word "love" or "loved" in all of Holy Writ.

Our verse finishes the large and rich passage of Abraham's servant going to find a wife for Isaac (at Abraham's command) and bringing Rebekah back to Isaac as his wife.  While we will pass from most of the discussion of the context, I believe the context shows a beautiful picture of a minister informing the bride about her Husband Jesus Christ that she does not yet know that she has.  The end of the passage is the culmination and consummation of the relationship between the husband and wife: in our passage being Isaac and Rebekah, but in spiritual application being Christ and His chosen.  Let us focus the remainder of our thoughts upon the love of Isaac for Rebekah and the thought of first usage of principles.

Did Adam love his wife Eve?  What about Abraham and Sarah?  Did Eve love Abel?  Did the righteous man Enoch love his son Methuselah?  In each of these cases, I think we could probably surmise that there was a familial love between man and wife and even parent and child.  However, God did not see fit to describe the relationship in that way.  Even in the story of Abraham and Sarah – conceiving a child in their old age- there is no mention of Abraham loving her.  Later there is no mention of Abraham loving Isaac.  In all these previous cases, we believe that righteous individuals showed love upon their family, but the word does not appear.  Is that significant?  I believe it to be.

What is the source and root of love?  We see the word appear here as the first source of usage.  However, what is the original root and source of love?  Where does it ultimately stem from?  John tells us that any love we have for God comes as a result of Him first loving us. (I John 4:19) However, John also declares not just the source of love but the "real love" that is missed today.  John says that love is shown and seen best not in us loving God but in Him loving us. (I John 4:9-11) Many today seem to be looking for "real love" or "true love."  John tells us where it is.  It is found in God's love to us.  God's love is real love and true love.

Since God's love is real love and true love, we see that anything else must be measured against the standard of Him and His love.  How does one measure His love?  To answer that question (though we cannot comprehend the love of God in its fulness), we must look at what He has done.  Remember, love is not some squishy emotion or feeling.  Love is built upon sacrifice and self-less action.  God certainly has manifested the greatest self-less action and sacrifice in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ.  When Christ stepped down from His throne in glory and entered this world as a man, that action alone was condescension beyond compare.  Yet, He humbled and sacrificed Himself further to be put to the test by men and devils in the hardest trials that anyone could imagine facing and thereby facing everything we could possibly be tempted with. (Hebrews 4:15) Further still, He humbled Himself in self-less sacrifice by taking the punishment due us and enduring it Himself on our behalf. (Philippians 2:5-10)

Such a great and gracious series of actions!  Everything from laying aside glory and leaving heaven to going through the cruel torments of the cross and death were joyfully endured by our Master, Friend, and Husband Jesus Christ.  Consider Him!  What does all of that action show?  It shows His love for us dear friends.  His mettle was tested and He successfully dealt with everything that was before Him and upon Him.  However, it was not done as a simple exercise.  He did not do it because He was bored or needed to pass the time.  Rather, He did it on purpose and specifically for those that He loves.  He did it for them so that they would dwell with Him forever where He is.

Why does Isaac's relationship with Rebekah warrant Scriptures to employ the word "loved" for the first time?  Friends, Isaac's love for his bride points to our Isaac's love for His people.  Our Isaac did not have the death of His mother to need comfort in.  Rather, for us to be with Him in His abode, He Himself had to die.  He is comforted dear ones at His own death by our presence with Him.  Nothing that He suffered was in vain for even one single person.  Everything He suffered successfully and victoriously secured the final abode for every heir that He loves. (Isaiah 53:9-10) Should someone not make it to be with Christ that He loves and sacrificed for, then He would not receive comfort from His death as it was not effectual for all intended.  However, friends there will be no problem in heaven.  When Christ views His dear ones, He will be comforted from His own death, for the culmination of His sacrificial love will be there in plain sight.

Isaac's love for Rebekah merits the usage of this word for it points to the real source of love.  A discussion about love cannot be absent of God, for He is love.  Without Him, there is no love.  Yet, our Isaac – God's own Son – has loved us with an everlasting love, set that love upon us, showed it in His sacrifice, and will one day have it in real fulness and complete perfection in the glorious abode above where He is.  I can only imagine what tenderness and deep commitment that Isaac had for Rebekah when he brought her to his home.  Friends I cannot even imagine accurately what tenderness and commitment  that Christ has for us when He brings us home to glory some sweet day.  Doubtless, Isaac's heart was mended somewhat with Rebekah's presence though his mother Sarah was no longer there.  Friends, our presence will comfort and cheer the heart of the Saviour when we arrive in glory, for He will see the reward of His own suffering standing before Him.

In Hope,

Bro Philip

Morning Thoughts (Genesis 24:6)

Genesis 24:6, "And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again."

This morning, much of life varies from one's perspective.  Two people can look at an identical object (like a painting) and walk away with completely different ideas of what they saw and how to describe it.  Sometimes, the description or report of what they experienced do not contradict one another but focus on a particular aspect that stood out to them.  However, even though the complexity of people's personalities can lead to varied perspectives, there are some subjects that do not allow for variance of perspective.  This intolerance of perspective on subjects stems from the fact that God has uttered "His perspective" if you will.  For instance, debate today rages over issues like homosexuality, divorce, abortion, and other modern social "questions."  Yet, God has plainly stated that these subjects are not a matter of perspective.  Rather, He calls homosexuality an abomination (Leviticus 18:22), states His hatred for divorce (Malachi 2:16), and declares the sanctity of life beginning in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 51:5).  These social debates should not be considered a matter of perspective.  They are a matter of moral purity, and God has clearly laid the commandments forth for us to follow.

Our study verse sits in the midst of one of the richest Old Testament chapters for types, shadows, and pictures.  The story of Genesis 24 is Abraham sending his eldest servant to the "old home country" to find a wife for his son Isaac.  This servant eventually finds Rebekah at the well, meets her brother Laban and the rest of the family, presents Rebekah with gifts, and delivers her back to Canaan.  The end of the chapter is a beautiful scene of Isaac and Rebekah being joined together as man and wife and the beginning of what the Bible describes as a very loving marriage.  While there are many rich pictures set within this chapter, for the sake of time, we will briefly mention the overarching them and move into the application of our verse.  The overarching theme of this story is the purpose, direction, and providence of the Lord in sending out His gospel servants to search for the bride.  Unlike the story, the bride of Christ is already His and will be with Him without the aid of the gospel minister, but the minister's burden is to seek her out to invite her to come unto her Husband in Canaan's Land to visit with Him, abide with Him, and rest with Him.

One of the greatest challenges of the gospel minister in his functions is to answer the question, "Am I going the right way?"  We may ask that question about what we are to preach from week to week, where we are to go when invited, or even where we should be labouring in a pastoral way.  Every duty that a minister has, there can be that nagging question, "Am I doing it right?  Is this the right course?"  Many times, we petition the Lord, "What wilt Thou have me to do?"  We ask in prayer for guidance for the sermon to preach, the people to preach to, and the right way to go about it. 

The servant on this occasion asks Abraham a question about the task before him.  He is being charged with one of the gravest responsibilities that a servant could have (finding the master's son's wife), and he wants to fully know how far his responsibility lies.  The question is, "What if she won't come?  Do I bring Isaac to her?"  Abraham's response is the verse before us.  The short version is unequivocally "no, that is not an option."  Under no circumstances was Isaac to be taken out of Canaan to Ur of the Chaldees or the region of Mesopotamia.  It is that thought that should charge the minister today in his duties before his Master in heaven.

Notice that Abraham's response includes the word "again" in it.  He tells the servant not to bring Isaac there "again."  That statement says that Isaac has been there before but is not to be there anymore.  Under no circumstances was the servant given liberty to affect such a thing.  Later in verse 8, Abraham clearly states that the woman's unwillingness to go with him cleared him in the matter, and he reiterates the point of not bringing Isaac to that place again.  So, the servant's request elicits a strong warning from his master, and the repeated warning shows us the gravity by which Abraham prohibited this action.  What is the point today?  How should such a warning effect the gospel minister in his actions and decisions today?

In the story, Isaac is symbolic and representative of Christ, and the Father (Abraham) has strictly forbidden the ministry from bringing Christ down to the people.  Rather, the minister is to seek to encourage the people up to Christ (in a fellowship way).  He is searching for Rebekah to tell her about the husband that she does not yet know about.  He desires to adorn her with earrings and bracelets from the Husband that she has not yet seen.  Furthermore, he desires leadership by the Spirit to find the woman that is willing to give extra time and service by not only giving him water but also willing to "go the extra mile" (hungering and thirsting after righteousness).

In today's culture, unfortunately, we see far too often the reverse mindset.  Instead of encouraging people to go where their Husband is (Canaan's Land – the church), they are catering Christ to where the people are.  Instead of proclaiming the finished work of Christ with Him triumphantly sitting upon His throne in heaven, they bring Him back down in their preaching – crucifying Him afresh – by declaring an unfinished work of salvation that Christ did not accomplish.  Furthermore, they conform the church's look to however it best pleases the people.  If something will help "draw them in," then they will unflinchingly do it in the name of Christ.  Such behaviour is bringing Christ back down rather than encouraging people up the mountain and through the strait gate to visit with Christ where He is.

So, the perspective by many today is that the doctrine, practice, and order of the church should cater to the people rather than the people honour and obey the dictates of Christ.  Some will even proudly say that they have a "better perspective" on what real Christianity is all about.  Their new way of "the living and fluid church" has finally overtaken that outdated manner of worship that is so dry and dead.  Such behaviour and way of thinking flies contrary to what Abraham told his servant and what the Lord requires of His servants today.  The encouragement of the Lord's people to visit with Christ should be done honestly, fervently, and prayerfully.  However, there is a line that cannot be crossed.  We cannot bring Christ there.  We must go up to Him.  The church – and what she believes and stands for – cannot be handled in "any way that we wish."  We can only obey the command of the Master to search out the wife and bring her to His Son.

Since so often today people are catered to rather than encouraged to obey the Saviour, what would one expect the end product to be?  What happens when parents cater to their children rather than commanding their children to obey them and follow the rules of the house?  The end result is spoiled children that expect their parents to do what they say.  The end result of our scenario is spoiled Christians that expect the church and her ways to revolve around them.  One of the great contagions of our day is that people's schedules are catered to far too often.  People do not bat an eye anymore when a vacation takes them away from the house of God.  People mind less than they did before when matters of life (that do not pertain to health issues and things of that nature) take the place of regular worship in the schedule of life.  Our lives should revolve around our service to God, and since public worship is a must (John 4:22-24), then we must have our lives revolve around church.  Yet, too many have church revolving around their lives.

Abraham considered it unconscionable to bring Isaac to Mesopotamia, and we should consider it unconscionable today to do things that dishonour Christ.  By dishonouring Him, we bring Him down (symbolically) by what we do and say.  Our doctrine should extol the position that He occupies.  Our practice should properly adorn our doctrine and further beautify the position of Christ.  Our order and conduct should show forth that we appreciate His gifts and desire to meet with Him.  Lose any of those things, and we act like a woman that would not have followed the servant back to Isaac.  However, by doing these things, we act honourably like Rebekah and enjoy sweet times with our Husband Jesus in the land of rest.  Contrary to modern man’s thinking, spiritual matters such as these are not a matter of perspective.   God requires them.  May we go to where He is in fellowship, and may every moment with Him be the sweetest times of our lives.

In Hope,

Bro Philip