Friday, May 6, 2011

Genesis 24 The Arranged Marriage

An arranged marriage....Can you imagine? Especially in today's society. Yet let's go back about 4000 years. 

Abraham was old, getting on in years. (Moses had a sense of humor!) He made  his servant swear that he would go to Abraham's relatives to get Isaac and wife. He also made him swear he would not let Isaac return to his relatives. How did they "shake" on it? Well Abraham had his servant put his hand under Abraham's thigh. Weird, but it worked for them.

So you all know the story, the servant left took a lot of gifts and ended up at a well of Abraham's relatives. This is the cool part. He prayed to God asking him to have mercy and favor on his master, Abraham, by sending him a girl for Isaac. He asked God to show him the girl by having her ask to water the camels after she offered him a drink of water.

Rebekah comes along and he asks her for a drink she says, "sure and let me water your camels why you do so" (my paraphrasing). So success! The servant goes with her tells her family all that transpired between him and Abraham, his prayer to God and what Rebekah did. Well then the family said let her stay with us and we will send her in 10 days....the servant was like hold the phone, send her with me now. So they asked Rebekah and she said she would go.

As she was starting to leave the family bestowed upon Rebekah a is found in Genesis 24 verse 60 
They blessed Rebekah, saying to her:

Our sister, may you become
thousands upon ten thousands.
May your offspring possess
the gates of their enemies.

I want to camp on that for a minute. How many fathers or mothers out there, when their child is getting married bestows a blessing upon their child and future spouse? Not many, but it is biblical. So when your children are old enough for marriage, think about bestowing a blessing upon them. Speak life into that marriage and not death. Even if the marriage is not what you want for them and you know it will happen then stop and think that speaking life and praying for them, will change the situation.

Okay, so they all leave to head back to Isaac. (Interesting that Abraham isn't mentioned) So from a distance Rebekah sees a man walking towards them, it is Isaac. He takes Rebekah into his mother's tent and he loves her and he was comforted after his mother's death. Wow, there are several points in this verse. Let's start with how they didn't know each other. If Abraham was adamant about Isaac not going to his relatives land, we know Rebekah had never met this side of her family. So they were strangers. Secondly, he takes Rebekah into his mother's tent. One it has the ewww factor, but also Isaac is telling his servants, friends etc...this woman is my wife and she is your mistress...Third, Isaac loved her. He wouldn't have loved her with the love that we have after dating our spouses for months or years. He loved her with the love of God. He loved her like God loves. I thought at first it might be because she was beautiful, and that might have had a hand in it, but God said Isaac loved her. God doesn't lie, so Isaac loved Rebekah. Fourth, Rebekah must have loved him back because the Bible says that Isaac was comforted after his mother's death. Rebekah was the right woman for Isaac.

So would you choose an arranged marriage for your child? Maybe not, but there is an example here. I think the number one thing is to pray for the spouse of your child. Two, provide for that child. Three, bless that marriage.

As I look ahead to my children's possible marriages, all I can do, especially in today's society is to pray that God sends them a person who loves God, and will love our children as only a God sent spouse can do. I pray He does the same for yours!

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