A BORING LOVE STORY BUT WORTH IT
A BORING LOVE STORY BUT WORTH IT
A BORING LOVE STORY BUT WORTH IT
the love story of isaac and rebekah
Genesis 24 talks about the story of Isaac and Rebekah. It’s not the love story you see in movies that left you daydreaming and wishing yours will be a serendipitous love. Theirs was a boring one, a common tradition of arranged marriage. So why bother sharing it? Well, the Bible is a love book that as we dig deeper, stories such as Isaac and Rebekah, can also be a source of unexpected lessons we can apply to the matters of the heart. God knows we fall in love, and He does not leave that out in His words. It’s for us to seek though and reflect upon.
Note: If you’re not very familiar with the Bible Story or you want an in-depth reading of it, I encourage you to read first Genesis 24. You can also check A Wife for Isaac with illustrations and excerpts. Otherwise, I welcome you to dive right in, I’ve included the needed verses for reference.
HONOR THE GOD-GIVEN AUTHORITY OVER YOU
As singles, the first thing that we need to do is acknowledge the authority over us like our parents and mentors. Sometimes when we fall in love, our rationality goes out of the window, our decision making is impulsive. Ok you’re not irrational, you say, still the wisdom from God-given authority is a blessing. It’s one thing you should not miss.
ABRAHAM, A PARENT WHO CARES
Abraham asked his senior servant to go to his country and get a wife for his son, Isaac.
He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh. I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac. Genesis 24: 2-4
The “put your hand under my thigh” was an action done to show how serious the oath was for the servant to follow.
Parents like Abraham are the most concern people in the world and they want to know the person their son or daughter is marrying. It’s a major decision to make in life, and they hope to be part of it. What a joy it would be that as children, we honor their wisdom and authority.
I’m not talking about parents taking over your life, but be discerning and open when they share their wisdom. The “obey your parents” applies.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1
ASK FOR GOD’S GUIDANCE
the angel before you
The servant asked him, What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from? Genesis 24: 5
Make sure that you do not take my son back there. The LORD, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land’ – he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. Genesis 24: 6
When God gave Abraham the promise to be the “Father of all Nations”, he knew that it’s through Isaac. So he’s confident that God would choose the wife for Isaac, trusting God to orchestrate everything.
GOD'S GUIDANCE IS REAL
If we commit our ways to God including the choosing of a lifetime partner, He will also send “his angel before us…”. His guidance is real, we just have to acknowledge it. The guidance can be that small voice every time you have your quiet time. Or it can be the wisdom coming from God-given authorities. God can just reveal it in mysterious ways. The only way to know is to have a closer walk with Him.
GENESIS 24:8; 24:58
BE WISE IN USING YOUR FREEDOM TO CHOOSE
if rebekah is unwilling
For the servant’s question,
What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land?
If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there. Genesis 24: 8
Also, fast forwarding to Genesis 24: 58
So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”
“I will go,” she said.
rebekah had a choice
The family asked Rebekah if she wanted to go or not. She’s not taken by force. She had a choice. Even Abraham accepted whatever the decision would be, releasing the servant from his oath if Rebekah was unwilling.
the freedom to choose
Isn’t it amazing that as children of God, we have the freedom to choose? But as much as we enjoy that freedom, no matter how much we pray for a husband to be, he also has his freedom to say yes or no.
So we cannot just tell God,
God, I’m praying for this person, I want him to be my husband. You said in your words if I have faith, it will happen…
The thing with a boy-girl relationship, it’s between two people, and one cannot just decide for the other. So it’s not wise to put a very specific person in our prayers to be our husband.
It’s better to pray this way,
God, I’m interested in this person, I want to know him more. I pray for opportunities that I may know him. I pray that You continue to show me confirmation if it may lead to a relationship.
god cares about our desires
What we’re trying to do here is being open and asking God to lead the way. I think most Christians don’t commit their love life to God thinking He’s not interested in knowing our preferences. We think God may just give us someone we don’t like, so we put Him out of the equation. But He’s our Father!
The freedom to choose is God’s way of telling us He cares about our desires.
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
When God gives, sometimes it’s different from what we want, don’t lose heart there, He has our best interest.
So, go ahead, meet people, get to know them and tell God about them. When you meet a potential one, relax, get to know him more.
GENESIS 24:3-4; 24:8
BE FIRM WITH THE NON-NEGOTIABLES
I want us to focus on Abraham’s two big ‘no’s’:
NO to Canaanites ‘…that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living…’ Genesis 24: 3-4
The Canaanites were known for their pervasive ways that they’re doomed to destruction.
NO to bringing back Isaac to Abraham’s country ‘…Make sure that you do not take my son back there…’ Genesis 24:8
no to canaanites = no to unbelievers
The “No to Canaanites” could be “No to unbelievers” today.
It’s one of Abraham’s non-negotiables, and should be also for us.
When we’re getting older and everybody’s pressuring us to look for a husband and get married asap, be still in God’s presence, instead of compromising in marrying an unbeliever.
No to bringing back Isaac to Abraham’s country = No to looking back at our past
I consider Abraham’s country as his past, God already showed him a promise in the land of Canaan, so all he needed to do was to look ahead to the future God declared for him.
Same thing with us. We all have our past: Failed relationships. Failed marriages. Betrayal. Pre-marital sex. Abuse. Death. Abortion.
We can start all over again with God’s forgiveness and grace. Our past doesn’t define us. If we’re blessed with marriage, then let go of the past to receive a new beginning, a new relationship ordained by God.
PRAY FOR SIGNS/CONFIRMATIONS
Then he prayed, “LORD, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink, and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’ – let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master. Genesis 24: 12-14
Have you ever tried praying this way?
When I’ve started reading the Bible from cover to cover starting from the Old Testament, I’ve observed that the ‘asking for signs’ was common, and waiting for God’s confirmation was a prime concern. So, I think this should also be part of our prayer. Let’s not be ridiculous with the signs we want to see, though. The point here is, God can help us see the signs if we seek His direction. God can use ways to let us know. It’s related to Ask for God’s Guidance.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8
ADOPT GODLY STANDARDS
When we talk about Godly standards, the Bible is our ultimate guide. When the servant prayed for a sign, it’s not a shallow one, but it’s a sign that would test character.
“Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and give him a drink. After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. Genesis 24: 18-20
Rebekah went above and beyond, not just offering the servant a drink, but also the 10 camels with him. Note, a typical camel can drink lots of water around 53 gallons. Do the math. Rebekah exemplified great diligence.
So, in choosing our lifetime partner, is it more about us? Most relationships nowadays fail because we’re more into the ‘ME’ culture. We’d rather be served than to serve.
To adopt godly standards, are we willing to go above and beyond, like what Rebekah did, and assure our partner, “I’m here. What do you need?”
PRAISE GOD FOR ANSWERED PRAYERS
Then the man bowed down and worshiped the LORD, saying, “Praise be to the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the LORD has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.” Genesis 24: 26-27
The servant displayed a thankful heart, immediately praising God for answering his prayers.
We are to do the same. Praise God for His answers. Praise God for the ‘yes’, ‘no’, and ‘wait’ answers regarding our relationship status. He knows our future more than we do, so praising Him with His answers is our declaration that we’re allowing Him to be the center of our lives. This helps us see the value of what we have and be grateful about it.
GENESIS 24:50-51; 24:60
RECEIVE THE BLESSING FROM BOTH FAMILIES
Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the LORD; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the LORD has directed.” Genesis 24: 50-51
“Our sister, may you increase to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess the cities of their enemies.” Genesis 24: 60
This goes back to ‘honoring the God-given authority’ over us. If a relationship is both blessed by families, it’s refreshing to the soul. In marriage, it’s not just the bride and groom coming together, but also the two families. So, if no blessing, it will be a tough ride.
GENESIS 24:50-51; 24:60
TRUST IN GOD’S PROCESS
God’s promise to Abraham to be the ‘Father of All Nations’ didn’t happen after a year, it happened after 25 years when Isaac was born.
When the servant offered Rebekah marriage, she didn’t hesitate to say, ‘yes’. She made a choice to trust in God’s process in choosing a husband for her.
When Rebekah’s family saw that the marriage was from the LORD, they obeyed. They allowed Rebekah to travel with a complete stranger, to go to a land unknown to her, and to marry a man she never met.
Trust in God’s process when…
You’re in a long-term relationship, and he is still not proposing.
You’re back in the dating world, not sure how to do it again.
You’re getting married, but with fears and doubts.
You’re turning 40 with the desire to get married and feel like God has forgotten you.
You’re always the bridesmaid to all your friends’ weddings and the pressure is on.
You’re so hurt of your past, it’s hard to start a new relationship.
Trust in God’s process whatever season you are in.
GENESIS 24:62-65; 24:66-67
BE READY TO MEET YOUR MAN
Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?” “He is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself. Genesis 24: 62-65
Isaac was meditating, having his quiet time with God when Rebekah arrived.
Will it be nice also that when you finally meet your man, he’s a strong, mature Christian?
Will you find each other growing spiritually, loving God, seeking God?
Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother, Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. Genesis 24: 66-67
Genesis 24 ended with Isaac marrying Rebekah, the fulfillment of God’s promise for a greater purpose and for His glory.
Let it be our prayer that in choosing our lifetime partner, it will also be for God’s greater purpose and for His glory.