Marriage is the most sacred covenant that a man can make with a woman. Whom you marry is the second greatest decision that you will ever make in your life (with the first being to trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior). Abraham understood this, which is why he asked his servant to go to such great lengths to find the right wife for Isaac.
When the average man thinks about finding the perfect wife today, he has several things that he may want to check off: her beauty; her intelligence; her sense of humor; her drive and success; her familial relationships; and, above all, her willingness to settle for him!
Yet, Abraham was concerned with none of these things. As we will read in today’s passage, he sends his servant to find a wife for his son with one requirement in mind: she must not jeopardize God’s covenant promises to Abraham’s descendants.
Please read Genesis 24:1-9.
At this point in his life, Abraham is probably about 140 years old. He will live another 35 years, but of course, he doesn’t know this! The most important thing in his life is that his son be provided a godly wife, with whom he will be able to continue the line of Abraham. This is such an important task, that Abraham entrusts only his most trusted and reliable servant, “the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had” (v.2). This was most likely Eliezer, to whom Abraham was earlier willing to leave his entire inheritance, until Isaac was born (15:2).
Abraham requires Eliezer to make a most solemn oath, invoking the name of the Lord, and placing his hand on Abraham’s “thigh” (more accurately: the far upper thigh, near his genitals), which was a customary practice indicating that he was swearing on all of Abraham’s descendants—Abraham was putting all of his eggs in this one basket. But he had faith that his servant would come through, and even greater faith that God would provide. This is why he told Eliezer that God “will send His angel before you” and he will have success.
But we must ask the question: why was this so important? Genesis 24 is the longest chapter in the book. God spends just 31 verses detailing the creation account, but here spends 67 verses telling the story of how Isaac got his wife! Why is this so significant?
Think of the context: at this point, Abraham has not yet become a great nation. God has delivered him to the Promised Land, but he doesn’t have descendants as numerous as stars in the sky or sand on the seashore. The entire plan could be corrupted, humanly speaking, if Isaac were to intermarry with the pagan people of the promised land, assimilate into their culture, and wander away from God.
This has become a theme in my teaching recently, so maybe someone really needs to hear this word from God: God does not want His children to marry non-believers! This is what caused the downfall of Israel in the book of Judges; this is what has caused many Christians to be led astray in their relationships; and this is what Abraham was so worried about with Isaac.
Apparently Abraham thought Isaac was not yet strong in his faith, because he not only didn’t want Isaac to marry an unbeliever from the Promised Land, he also did not want Isaac to leave the Promised Land to go back to his country and find a wife. Isaac must remain in the Promised Land, and his wife must be found for him. This would require an act of faith on the parts of both husband and wife. This act of faith would hopefully lead to a relationship that would be based on faith in God—just like every healthy marriage must be.
Today, if you are blessed by a husband or wife who draws you closer to the Lord, then praise God! But if you are still looking for that godly spouse, then follow Eliezer’s example, which we will read about tomorrow: pray and seek God’s guidance, be willing to obey His instruction, and be alert to what He is doing around you. In this way, you too may find a godly spouse, and enjoy a pure marriage.
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