Abraham was now old and well advanced in years, and the LORD had blessed him in every way. He said to the chief 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 24:1-4
This chapter makes a great Valentine’s story.
The main character in this story may surprise you.
He is mentioned seventeen times (even though He never speaks).
He is none other than the Lord Himself!
You may read Genesis 24 here: Bible Gateway.
Why didn’t Abraham want Isaac to marry a Canaanite woman?
Marriage within the family is common and acceptable in this era. The family is also the key educational source (Deut. 6:6-7; Prov. 1:8). Abraham would not compromise intermarriage with a local pagan gal.
Why didn’t Abraham send Isaac back to his home land to find a wife?
Eliezer must have felt the brunt of the odds stacked against this request. Before he takes Abraham’s oath, he asks a valid question: “What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land?” (vs. 5).
It certainly would have been easier for Abraham to send Isaac back to marry a relative. For blind faith would be required from any lady opting to leave her home to marry a stranger in a foreign land.
But according to Abraham, there would be no trial dates here.
For elderly Abraham—forged from fiery tests and experience—clings to God’s promise of abundant descendants and the land. Committed to obedience, he fully trusts God for the arrangement in this seemingly absurd mission.
Eliezer’s trek would entail hundreds of miles—and several months—with his caravan of camels to Mesopotamia.
Upon arrival at a well where the townspeople begin drawing water, Eliezer prays: “. . . . May it be that when I say to a girl, ‘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.”
His request pits more odds against him. Although it was customary for women to offer water to tired travelers, the animals were not their responsibility, especially 10 thirsty camels! In 10 minutes alone a camel can drink up to 25 gallons of water. This would have required many descents into the well while carrying a three-gallon water jar.
But Eliezer counted on God’s guidance for a woman with a servant’s heart.
This story ends on a Cinderella note. Although Rebekah is whisked away on a camel caravan, she receives gold and silver jewelry, nice clothes, and a husband who loves her (vs. 67). Isaac, mourning his mother’s death, finds comfort in his new wife who is beautiful inside and out.
Abraham’s determination for Isaac to settle in the promised land was another demonstration of his trust in God’s promise concerning the future. God sovereignly works through those who act on faith. Is God asking you to do something seemingly absurd and/or impossible?
Eliezer learned firsthand from Abraham: faith, God, and prayer. What do others glean from our lives?
Eliezer’s response to answered prayer was praise and thanksgiving. He also shared his story with Laban and exclaimed God’s goodness. How do we respond to answered prayer? Do we openly share with others what God is doing for us?
God’s fingerprints of faithfulness and divine blessing bathe this chapter:
- Although it was common practice for the parents to choose the son’s wife, Isaac’s wife would be chosen by none other than God Himself.
- God not only directed Eliezer to the right place, but also brought Rebekah out of the well before Eliezer finished his prayer. She fit his request perfectly.
- Rebekah not only showed initiative, but she was also beautiful (vs. 16).
- After Eliezer relayed his mission and prayer to Rebekah and her family, Rebekah courageously leaves with him the next morning instead of waiting the requested 10 day period offered by her family (vs. 55-61).
Finally, a love deeper than Isaac and Rebekah’s calls out to everyone of us.
His love is unmistakable and unshakable. Your Creator longs to fellowship with you. Are you in a relationship with Him?