Three weeks ago we started to look at the story of Isaac with the servant searching for Isaac’s wife. The servant found success through the Lord’s leading and Isaac and Rebekah were married. Then came the passing of Abraham, the hero of the faith. The two brothers, Isaac and Ishmael, were brought together again by the death of their father and could have very well been the last time that they met. Isaac, the chosen son, the one that had received the promises of God, and Ishmael, the wild donkey of a man. Two nations separated by the actions of God. That leads us to the text we have before us. The passage falls easily into three parts. In the first, we find the Generations of Ishmael in verses 12-18. This is the account of the family of Ishmael. Moses writes this here as he just mentioned Ishmael being present at Abraham’s burial. It closes the book of Ishmael and opens the book of Isaac in verse 19. The book of Isaac opens with Isaac and Rebekah having the same struggles with infertility that Abraham and Sarah had. Again, we find the intervention of God and then the birth of twins which will become Two Peoples Divided. Finally, in verses 27-34 we get a little sneak peek at what is to come in the stories ahead. We get a short story of Jacob and Esau before the story returns to Isaac. In this story, we find a description of Jacob and Esau and it is not a pretty picture of either of them. We find that the twins though very different are very similar in one way; they’re both sinners.
This week we are going to continue looking at the story of the search for a wife for Isaac. We are in the closing years of Abraham and his death is quickly approaching. We have already seen that this final story in the life of Abraham is centered upon his son. The question that is looming is what will happen to the chosen line? How will the promise continue? In Genesis 24:1-9, we saw Abraham giving the command to his servant to go and find a wife for his son. We already know who this woman is because Moses clued us in back in chapter 22 when he told us that Bethuel fathered Rebekah, but of course, Abraham and his servant, did not know that yet. In verses 10 through 27 we saw the description of the servant’s trip to find that wife. We heard the prayers of the faithful servant and we saw the providence of God. Rebekah “just happened” to be the first young woman to arrive at the well when the servant arrived. If you stop and think about how many events that transpired over the length of the servant’s journey, even just the day of their meeting, that had to align, it staggers the mind. This week we have three more sections to study. In verses 28-53 we find the servant’s interaction with Rebekah’s family as he recounts everything that has just happened. The response from everyone is: This is from the Lord. The second part in 54-58 the servant asks to return home with Rebekah immediately. Her response is: I will go. Finally, in verses 59-67 we find the description of Isaac and Rebekah’s meeting and marriage. The blessing of Rebekah’s family is: May you become thousands of ten thousands. As we continue through this story, there are several things that we need to keep in mind. First, this is not just a story about some Middle Eastern man looking to arrange a marriage for his bachelor son. Ultimately, this is a story of how the promise of God to send an offspring of the woman to crush the serpent’s head would come about. This is about the providence of God and how everything is under the governance of the King of Kings. And it is about saving faith, which is a gift of God, so that no one, including Abraham, could boast in himself. God has used trials, tests, important decisions, and pagan kings as tools to grow the faith of Abraham, and not only Abraham’s faith but his servant’s as well.