Welcome to another podcast of Rizen Fellowship. We’re glad you’re here and we’re going through the book of Genesis. We’ve already studied the first 11 chapters, which is the first section of the book talking about the four great advance of the creation; the fall of man, the flood of Noah, and the rebellion at Babel. Now, we’re into the second portion of the book, the second division of the book and that’s Chapter 12 through chapter 50, and that’s about four great man. We looked at Abraham last week as the first Greg person. Now, we go to his son, Isaac as the second great person.
We studied last week was our last podcast, was Genesis 22, where Abraham took his beloved son Isaac to the mountain that God directing to, was going to sacrifice him. We know that God provided a Ram, and the Ram was a substitute for Isaac’s sacrifice, and Abraham was able to take his beloved son home with him. Chapter 23, Abraham’s wife, Sarah, Isaac’s mother, passed away. But in Chapter 24, we come to where Isaac receives his bride.
So, if we had a title for this podcast, it would be, Here Comes The Bride. Now, I don’t know about you, but as I study through this, it seems a little strange to me that Chapter 24 Genesis is the longest chapter of the 50 chapters of Genesis. And it’s all about how this man got his wife. I know it’s an important and it’s a beautiful story about how the love of Isaac and Rebecca came to be. But it seems a little strange to me that in Chapter one, it talks about the creation of the universe, it’s only 31 verses. And in this one, there are 67 verses to talk about how Rebecca becomes Isaac’s wife.
Now, it’s important because the story really teaches us about the importance of God’s people being separate from the world. The whole deal was is Abraham did not want his son to marry a Canaanite woman. And just as we live in this world today, as believers and followers of Christ, we should always as we’re thinking about making that commitment of marriage, we should be thinking about joining up with someone who is also a believer in Christ, and not joining ourselves to the people of the world.
Now, we may not use all the same principles that Abraham did as he worked to find his wife, for the wife for Isaac, but we can go at it with the same direction that he did. Designed to have God’s will to pray and to seek His guidance, and being willing to obey what God tells us to do. Now, of course, when the groom is Isaac, the beloved son of Abraham and Sarah, this story takes on a greater importance than just maybe anybody else in the world. Because see, Isaac is that living link that’s going to culminate with Messiah, the one that God promised Adam and Eve in the garden as he expelled them, that would be the savior to come and crush the head of the serpent.
So, this chapter goes a lot deeper than just the history of how Rebecca became Isaac’s wife, into theology. Because it’s a foreshadowing of the Heavenly Father preparing a bride for his beloved Son, as we see that in Matthew, Chapter 22. And that bride for the beloved son, for the father is the church. And that’s what we read in II Corinthians Chapter 11, and also in Ephesians, Chapter five. So, during this present age, the Holy Spirit is working to call people out to trust and follow Jesus Christ, and become a part of the church which will be the bride of Christ that will be married to him at the end time.
Now, there’s four elements about Isaac and Rebecca’s marriage that are involved in the marriage of Jesus Christ and His Church. And the first element is simply this, it’s the will of the Father. As you read Chapter 24:1-9,, you will find about that this was the Father’s will was to find the perfect bride for his beloved son. There were three things that Abraham challenged his servant to do in selecting this woman and bringing her back to be Isaac’s bride. Number one, not be a woman of the Canaanites. Number two, that this woman would be chosen from Abraham’s relatives that live 500 miles away. And number three, was that he would be sure not take Isaac back there, but bring the woman back to be Isaac’s wife in the promised land.
Now, this woman would become the mother of the descendants that would become a great multitude, a great nation that God had promised to Abraham. And it was also through this woman that the seed of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent would also come. So, this woman had to be the right one. Just as Abraham wanted a bride for his son, so God the Father wants the perfect bride for his beloved son. And why? Why would the Father in heaven want a bride for his son and be this perfect one? It’s not because Jesus needed anything? Because Jesus is also God. He is self-existent and He is self-sufficient and has need of nothing. But the bride that the Father wants for a son is the love gift to his son.
I think we’re often guilty of thinking how the son is the father’s gift to the world as John 3:16 tells us, but we often neglect to think about how the bride, the church is the father’s loves gift to his son, as John 17 tells us. And it’s in the divine council of the eternal God, that God the Father elected to save lost sinners by His grace. So God, the Son also agreed to die on the cross for the sins of the world, and it’s also God the Holy Spirit agreed to be able to apply that work to the lives of those who would believe and follow Jesus Christ.
Ephesians Chapter One talks about this and talks about how the three persons of the Godhead are all involved in this work of redemption and salvation. God the Father in Chapter one of Ephesians, beginning in verse one says, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, who are the faithful in Christ Jesus. Grace to you, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In law, he predestined us to be adoption to himself through our sons, through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which he is blessed us in the beloved.”
So, that’s how God the Father was working out this redemptive act of salvation. But God the Son picks up in verse seven. When Paul writes, saying, “In Him, we have redemption through his blood. The forgiveness of our trespasses, according to his riches in grace. Which he lavished upon us, and all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which is set forth in Christ as a plan and for the fullest of time, to unite all things in him things at Heaven and things on earth. In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the Councilor’s will.” So, it was the Father’s plan being worked out through the life of the son, but also the Holy Spirit is involved, as we say in verse 12, 13 and 14. So that we who are the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory. And him you also when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation believed in Him were sealed with a promise of the Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it to the praise of the glory.
Notice that the reason for all this activity of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are all for the praise and the glory of God as verse six, verse 12 and verse 14 says. So, when you think about telling people about the wonderful work of God, through Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, remember that yes, you have the privilege of speaking about the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ. You’re literally inviting people to come to a wedding. To be part of the wedding, to become a bride prepared because that’s the will of the Father.
The second element is about the witness of the servant. You see, Abraham sent his servant to this distant land to be able to find the right woman and bring her back. This anonymous servant was completely devoted to Abraham, his master. As a matter of fact, his favorite name for Abraham in this chapter is my master, which is used over 19 times. This servant lived and served only to please his master, which is a good example for us today. As we live, we should follow that to want to live, to obey and to please our master. But how would he fulfill this mission to find the right woman for his master’s son? Well, he acted in faith and he believed in the promise of God, and he trusted in the providence of God to direct his steps. He prayed and he kept his eyes open to see how God would work. He wasn’t impulsive, he simply waited for God to do the right thing at the right time.
But then we have the bride. Little did Rebecca know that by doing a humble task of just getting water for this man’s donkeys and for his camels, for all of his … Getting water for the stranger and his flock would make her ready to be a bride for one of the most wealthy men in the world, and that they would enter into this covenant relationship with God all mighty. She would become the mother of Jacob, who would become the father of the 12 tribes of the 12 sons of Israel.
We need to make every occasion of our lives, any one of them can be a great one, as long as we stay devoted and wanting to do the Father’s Will. Rebecca just simply made herself a servant, she humbled herself, she was kind, she was pleasant, and because she was a hard worker, this attracted the servant to her and realizing that this was the one.
The servant even asked her said, “Whose daughter are you?” And she said, “I am the daughter of my father, Laban.” So, he didn’t speak about himself when he went to meet Laban, he simply told about Isaac, and he was telling Laban about the father of this woman, about the great wealth.
Now, when we look at this, we can see how this servant illustrates the work of the Holy Spirit in the world today. You see, the Holy Spirit doesn’t come to speak to us about himself. He’s speaking about his master, the Father in heaven. And he’s also speaking about the on, our Savior. He’s talking about the riches that are available to us through faith and trust in Jesus Christ, and He lives to witness about Jesus Christ. The servant’s job wasn’t to argue or to bribe someone into becoming a part of that, but simply to tell the truth and to bear witness of the greatness of his master.
He didn’t force Rebecca to want to marry Isaac, he merely gave her the facts about who Isaac was, and the opportunity was there for her to make her decision. Now, there’s nothing wrong with us trying to be urging people to be ready to accept and follow Christ to be saved. But we must be careful to take the row and the place in the Holy Spirit in that witnessing spirit. We do just like the servant, we tell the truth and we allow the Holy Spirit to work in the human heart to make that truth received.
So, we have the will of the Father, we have the witness of the servant, but we also have the willingness of the bride. The family let Rebecca maker choice, do you want to go with this man? Do you want to become the bride of this person that you’ve never met before who’s a part of the family? We don’t know what really motivated Rebecca to make this decision. She simply heard about Isaac, and she believed it. Now, she’d seen some proof of the wealth that he had because the servant shared some of the things that Abraham had gift to him, and saw that not only was the servant, but obviously the master Abraham, was very great, and he’s very generous with the things that he had. She had never met Isaac. But what she had seen, she was convinced that it was time for her to go.
Now, stop and think about this. There could have been lots of arguments to keep her from going. There could have been family members, there could have been friends that said, “What, are you kidding me? You’ve never seen this man. You don’t know who he is. Maybe the servant that’s come to you is a fraud. Maybe you’re getting taken. This is going to be a 500 mile journey that you’re going to take by foot. You may never see your family again, if you leave it.” There have been all kinds of arguments that would have dissuaded her from making this decision. But yet she made her choice to go. And that’s a great example for us today. When people hear the truth about who Jesus Christ is and what Jesus has done for us on the cross, and how we can become a part of his bride and have a place in heaven for eternity. People today must not delay in making their commitments. It’s an urgent plea from the Holy Spirit to know the very truth, not only of eternity but right now.
So, when you hear that truth, it’s time for you to not delay but to be ready like Rebecca and make that commitment right now. The one who delays is risking that the opportunity may not be there forever. Hebrews 3:7 says, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts. Go ahead and make that commitment.” II Corinthians 6:2 says, “Behold, today is the acceptable day of salvation. Behold, today is the day to do it.”
George Truett, the pastor at First Baptist Church in Dallas wrote this. “Satan doesn’t care if men and women come to the house of God, and to the public services such as these. Even if they’re attentive and serious and deeply moved, if only they will let the religious opportunity pass by. And that the highest things of the soul would be lost and forfeited forever.” We can be actively involved in all these things that are going on around us, and never make that commitment, that personal commitment to follow Christ. Rebecca was willing and she did it and was willing to give up everything in her life to follow Christ.
The story makes it clear that God had chosen Rebecca for Isaac, yet Rebecca still had to make her decision to be able to choose to go to Isaac. And that’s showing us that there is the sovereignty of God, but there’s also man’s responsibility of choice. They don’t conflict with one another. And the question for a lot of sinners is not about, am I one of God’s elect? No, for the lost sinner, the question is, what must I do to be saved? And of course, that answer is only one, is believing the Lord Jesus Christ and then trust and follow him.
It’s been said that we make our decisions, and then our decisions make us. Think about how true that is in Rebecca’s life? Had she made the opposite decision to stay in the land where her father was, and not go to where this man was that was going to become her husband, she would have stayed in that area of Mesopotamia, we would have never heard of her.
So, as we see this and look at this, there’s the willingness of the bride to come. But the fourth and final thing we see happening here is the welcome of the bridegroom of his bride. Rebecca comes upon the land and she sees Isaac, and asks the servant, “Who is that?” And the servant says, “That’s my master’s son. That’s Isaac. That’s the one that you are going to marry.” The Scripture tells us that Isaac took Rebecca and married her and took her into the tent of his mother, Sarah, and he was comforted by the presence of a wife now, as his mother had passed away.
Now, Isaac pictured for us the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ in that, it was a long awaited birth. And it was a miraculous birth because Abraham and Sarah were so old when they had him. As Christ came born of a virgin. But he also pictures for us the willingness to obey his father and to give his life as we saw in Chapter 22. Now, we’ve already noted in chapter 21 that Isaac as he came off the mountain, obviously, Abraham and Isaac went back to the land, but we don’t hear any more biblical record of Isaac after the sacrifice, after the ram, until this point when he’s receiving his bride. Which gives us the idea that the next time table in God’s schedule of events that take place on the earth was after Christ died and was buried and ascended into heaven, and is now seated at the right hand of God. The next time we see Him coming into the earthly view is when He returns to Earth to receive His bride to Himself. And when you read this in Chapter 24, you find that it was near evening when Rebecca first saw Isaac, which is very significant to the fact that Isaac met his bride in the evening. Because when Jesus comes back for His church, it’s going to be a time when their spiritual darkness in the world.
But just as a new day is begin to dawn, for Rebecca, as being the wife of Isaac, when Jesus Christ comes back, there’s going to be a dawn of a new day that’s going to step out for all eternity for the church that has prepared for Christ’s return. And it’ll be a joyful wedding occasion as Revelation Chapter 21 talks to us about, but we also know that those that are not ready, it’s going to be a fearful judgment of standing before Almighty God and realizing that they are not prepared for eternity.
Now, was it love at first sight for Isaac? We don’t really know. But when we think about that, is it love at first sight for Jesus with his bride? When you look at us, there’s nothing beautiful about us in the eyes of Jesus. We’re all sinners, there’s no beauty or merit that would make Jesus want to have us, but yet Jesus loved us and died for us in that while we were yet sinners. And He took us being dead in our trespasses to make us alive with Christ.
Rebecca had received only a few gifts from Isaac, but now that she was his bride, all that he owned, she was in possession of. This is more than just an ancient history story of love. It could be your love story today. It could be the story of when Jesus Christ, this one you’ve heard about, could become your bridegroom. You could prepare yourself ready for His return when he comes, to be able to step off this earth and step into eternity with all the riches that he has of being yours.
And I ask you, if you’ve already committed your life to Christ, and you’re following him, have you taken that next step in following Christ to be like the faithful servant that would be willing to go anywhere and tell anyone about the good news of Jesus Christ so that they could too be invited to that eternal wedding feast that’s going to take place when Christ comes back for his own? Are you ready? If you are, are you willing to share the good news of Jesus Christ?
Thank you for tuning in for this podcast. I hope this has challenged you not only about the second of the for great people, Abraham and Isaac. We’ll also look at Jacob and Joseph in the future, hope you’ll join us. If you have any questions or comments please email them to me at Mike@rizen.church. And remember, is spelled R-I-Z-E-N. Thank you and have a great day.