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Sunday, November 10, 2019

GENESIS – An Expositional Overview of the Beginning of God’s Revelation: Chapter TWENTY FOUR


GENESIS – An Expositional Overview of the Beginning of God’s Revelation: Chapter TWENTY FOUR

Contributing commentaries by Sonny Islas and James Fire
Studies by Ray Steadman: GENESIS 24: Here Comes The Bride 

GENESIS 24 – by Sonny Islas - watch the Facebook video on this teaching at ETERNAL LIVING WORD Church, here!
Introduction:
We are now in Genesis 24 the story of Isaac and Rebeka and their providential marriage. This was truly “A Match Made Through Prayer” (and careful selection!). So, the Savior’s story line continues. Abraham’s promised son Isaac is all grown up now and is ready for marriage. God provides him a beautiful young lady named Rebeka – Isaac’s first cousin (not considered incest at this time; the law of GOD prohibiting siblings or close relations intermarrying didn’t come until the Law of Moses; Deut 27:22). Eventually Rebeka gets pregnant and has twins: Esau and Jacob (whose name is changed to Israel; Gen 32:28; 35:10) the ancestor of Jesus Christ. Though we can learn some blessed principles in scripture – the big picture is always JESUS. The whole bible is really Jesus’ story. I hope everyone came prepared for a lengthy lesson!

Genesis 24 – A Bride for Isaac (we are going to read basically verse by verse and I’ll stop and go).

Vs. 1: “Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.”
It must be said that old age in the LORD is a blessing (though some may disagree). Proverbs 16:31 makes this clear “The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.”
The LORD had blessed Abraham in ALL things. “in ALL things”: Spiritual maturity/wisdom, good health, great wealth, property, possessions, children, and long life. Abraham’s greatest blessing was that he were considered a friend of God. I believe that God still greatly blesses those who know and love Him deeply.

Psalm 1 tells us:
blessed is the man [or women] who delights in the law (the Word) of the LORD and meditates in it day and night… Whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he (or she) does shall prosper.” 

I am convinced that the Christian who intentionally delights in the Word of God to obey it, is far more blessed than the Christian who doesn’t. I see this reality in my own life. I am far more blessed now that when I first began in my walk with the LORD.

Vs. 2-4: “So Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, ‘Please, put your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth (notice how Abraham so wisely brings God into the mix), that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac’.”

The “oldest servant” here is Eliezer. We know this because in Genesis 15:2 Abraham mentions him saying, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And this servant “ruled over all that Abraham had.” He was the chief servant.

This points to Eliezer’s great loyalty, trustworthiness and humility because for one, Isaac took his place regarding the inheritance and yet this doesn’t seem to bother Eliezer one bit. He still served both his masters Abraham and Isaac with all his might.
Why were the Canaanite women off limits? Why did Abraham want to keep it all in the family?

For one, Abraham was making sure that both the promise (the land and the coming Messiah) and his people would continue without detour or deviation. He was laying the framework for the next generation.
We as Christian parents are called to do the same. We are called to make sure Christianity continues and we do this by training up our children in the way they should go (Prov 22:6) – because like Abraham we’re getting old and we’re dying and the question is:
Have we faithfully passed the gospel baton to our children so that they would pass it on to their children?
For two, the Canaanites women were off limits because they served false gods and could care less about Yahweh – the One True God.  Abraham knew that Canaanite (or worldly) women would turn Isaac away from God like they later did with Sampson and Solomon* as the story of redemption continues.

·         For a series on “Walking Without Stumbling” check out these TTUF teachings:

Here we find two mate-finding principles: 

1. Christian parents are called to lead the way by teaching their children how to select a spouse biblically. Marla made it easy for me because I just to tell my boys to find a wife like mom. It’s important for Christian parents to pray for their child’s future spouse and to encourage their children to pray for their future spouse

2. He or she must be of the family of God – in the church, not the world.
2 Cor. 6:14 says,
Do not be unequally yoked [paired or united] together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
Read this verse in context here: 2 Cor 6:14-18.

yoke is a wooden tool that is placed on two oxen in order for them to work the field together and make a straight line. Unequally yoked would be an ox (a Christian) paired with a donkey (a non-Christian) who would make crooked lines and walk in circles. If a Christian marries a non-Christian, they will have a hard marriage because one wants to go one way and the other wants to go the other way. One wants Christ and the others wants the world. One wants to go to church and the other wants to go to the night clubs. One wants the Word and the other wants the wine (in excess). One wants to hear God honoring music and the other wants money, power and sex music etc. 

1 Cor. 7:39 says to marry… only in the LORD.”  

Vs. 5-9: “And the servant said to him, ‘Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came?’ (there were no Facebook profiles at this time, so Eliezer thought it best that these gals need to see Isaac’s handsomeness – it’s the only way she’ll leave her land!) But Abraham said to him, “Beware that you do not take my son back there. The Lord God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my family, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I give this land,’ He will send His angel before you(Abraham rightly puts the responsibility in God’s hands and rightly trust in divine providence) and you shall take a wife for my son from there. And if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be released from this oath(if the mission fails, you’re off the hook) only do not take my son back there.’ So, the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter” (At this point Eliezer was worried he would fail his masters, but Abraham calmed his fears).

Vs. 10: “Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, for all his master’s goods were in his hand. And he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor (this was Abraham’s brother’s land).

Eliezer made sure that his entrance would be grand and impressive - 10 camels today would be like rolling up into a city with 10 limousines. This also pointed to Isaac not just being any old hillbilly or hood kid - but a prince because Abraham was something of a king. Also, the trip was approximately 400 miles, which is a months’ worth of travel. I’m sure he also took soldiers with him just in case raiders and bandits attacked. The point is that Eliezer went loaded with strength and goods. He wasn’t about to fail his masters.

Vs. 12-14: “And he made his camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water at evening time, the time when women go out to draw water. Then he said [prayed], ‘O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master’.”

Eliezer strategically positioned himself. First and most importantly, he prayed to the LORD, maybe bowed his head (by the way, as we will soon see this whole match making process was bathed in prayer – Abraham prayed, Eliezer prayed, and we’ll soon find Isaac praying). He asked the LORD for the right woman to show up and second he stood by the well.
Are you single today and desire to marry? Are you faithfully praying, waiting and trusting in the LORD to provide? And second are you looking in the right places? Are you strategically positioned? Like Eliezer who was both praying and standing by the well – where hard working respectable women are found.

Notice Eliezer prayed for what was most important: and that was for character – a hardworking, humble, servant hearted, hospitable woman. One who would show kindness to a stranger and go above and beyond and show kindness to 10 thirsty, stinky camels – this kind of hospitality was uncommon.

He didn’t pray for charm and beauty.
Maybe he had Proverbs 31:30 in mind?
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”

Today I fear that single Christians are too picky and unrealistic and that could be the very reason why many stay single. Eliezer trusted God to control and direct it all – do you?
While Eliezer didn’t pray for beauty as we’ll soon read, she was the whole package for Isaac, beautiful, hardworking, hospitable, humble and pure (virgin).

Vs. 15-21: “And it happened, before he had finished speaking (notice how he was praying – and here we see God’s quick response), that behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. Now the young woman was very beautiful to behold, a virgin; no man had known her. And she went down to the well, filled her pitcher, and came up. And the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your pitcher.” So she said, “Drink, my lord.” Then she quickly let her pitcher down to her hand and gave him a drink. And when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” Then she quickly emptied her pitcher into the trough, ran back to the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels. And the man, wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not.”

Keep in mind that each thirsty camel drank about 20 gallons. So she had to fetch roughly 200 gallons. This is why Eliezer “wondered at her.” She was the original wonder woman (just kidding)!

Be the kind of person that makes others wonder. Wonder at your character. Wonder at the honorable way you carry yourself. The respectful way you speak. Your hard work ethics. Your holy conduct. Make people wonder at what God is doing in and through you! That’s attractive!

Vs. 22-28: “So it was, when the camels had finished drinking, that the man took a golden nose ring weighing half a shekel, and two bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels of gold [he basically put a ring on it for Isaac], and said, “Whose daughter are you? Tell me, please, is there room in your father’s house for us to lodge?” So she said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, Milcah’s son, whom she bore to Nahor.” Moreover she said to him, “We have both straw and feed enough, and room to lodge.” Then the man bowed down his head and worshiped the Lord. And he said, “Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master. As for me, being on the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren.” So the young woman ran and told her mother’s household these things.”

Notice Eliezer’s response to God answering his prayer and blessing his mission. He “bowed down his head and worshiped the LORD.” This is the right way to respond when the LORD has blessed us in any way. This man just keeps praying and acknowledging the LORD through this entire process.

Vs. 29-33: “Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban [Laban will soon be Jacob’s worse nightmare], and Laban ran out to the man by the well. So it came to pass, when he saw the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and when he heard the words of his sister Rebekah, saying, “Thus the man spoke to me,” that he went to the man. And there he stood by the camels at the well. And he said, “Come in, O blessed of the Lord! Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels.” Then the man came to the house. And he unloaded the camels, and provided straw and feed for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. Food was set before him to eat, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told about my errand.” And he said, “Speak on.”

Eliezer was all about his mission. I won’t eat until the mission is complete. Mission above pleasure – tasty food.

Genesis 24:34-36
34 And he said, I am Abraham's servant. 35 And the Lord hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses. 36 And Sarah my master's wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath
.

Think of Eliezer’s audience hearing all of this: not only was Abraham blessed with great wealth and possessions, but also blessed of GOD by providing a miracle baby, born when his mother was old; and it turns out that Abraham’s son is the sole inheritor of his father’s great wealth.

Genesis 24:37-41
37 And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell: 38 But thou shalt go unto my father's house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son. 39 And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me. 40 And he said unto me, The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father's house: 41 Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath
.

Notice how much faith Abraham exercises here, because he knows the LORD as intimately as he does; he knows that the angel (or perhaps “the Spirit”) of the LORD will go before Eliezer and prosper his mission. He knows this because the LORD promised that to him!
Then from Genesis 24:42-62 Eliezer relates what happened when he arrived in the city and met  Rebekah.

Genesis 24:63 
"63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming." Isaac is found praying. Praying for the wife selection process and most likely reminiscing about mom who had recently passed away.

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