Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 71
Foundational themes in Genesis – Study 71 (Key verses: Gen 24:29-61)
The wedding supper of the bridegroom, Jesus Christ, and all the preparations the Father is making for that feast, is the most beautiful love story ever told. Finding a wife is indeed a good thing and that opens the favour of God, especially for the bride of Christ, His church (Pro 18:22; 1Co 11:3; Eph 5:31-33). The coming together of Christ and His church fills our hearts with great joy and gladness even through the severe trials we have to endure to get into that elected and faithful initial few:
Mat 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
Mat 22:3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding….
Mat 22:9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
Mat 22:10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
After the death of Sarah, we read in Genesis 24 that Abraham gave specific instructions to His elder servant, which some supposed to be Eliezer of Damascus, to find a wife for Isaac (Gen 24:1-4; Gen 15:1-2). For the purpose of these discussions, Genesis chapter 24 is divided into in four segments:
- Verses 1 to 10: Abraham gives specific instructions to his servant about a wife for Isaac;
- Verses 11 to 28: the servant of Abraham went to find this wife and meet Rebekah;
- Verses 29 to 61: the servant of Abraham meets the family of Rebekah;
- Verses 62 to 68: Isaac meets Rebekah and takes her as his wife.
In this discussion of the foundational theme of faith, we will be focussing on verses 29 to 61 in Chapter 24 of Genesis where this faithful servant of Abraham meets the family of Rebekah. The faith of Christ inspires us to walk a road unknown to us resting in His provisions and directions to bring us to God’s church in Christ (Rom 4:16-22; Gal 2:16; Gal 3:6-9; Php 3:9; Heb 11:8-10):
Gen 24:29 And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well.
Laban is introduced here for the first time in the scriptures, and he will also play an important part in the life of one of his nephews, namely Jacob, who will be born through this union between his sister, Rebekah, and Isaac (Gen 27:43; Gen 28-31). Laban’s heart is revealed to us when he saw these gifts the servant of Abraham presented to Rebekah. Laban’s self-serving attitude and love for material things will be given further detail at a later stage in his dealings with Jacob:
Gen 24:30 And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well.
Gen 24:31 And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the LORD; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels.
This servant of Abraham adorned Rebekah first of all with golden earrings, typifying the ability to hear the words of truth which draw us with loving kindness to our spiritual husband (Jer 31:3; Psa 36:10; Son 1:4; Hos 11:4). He also gave her golden bracelets for her hands as she served without asking questions and with great diligence. Not only did she give water to this chosen servant of Abraham and the men with him, but she also gave water to the ten camels. Rebekah typifies the elect of God being called out of the world not only to render diligent and unconditional service to God’s church initially, but they will also give the waters of spirit life to all in unclean flesh eventually, even as the camel represent an unclean animal (Oba 1:21; 2Co 1:6; Rev 20; Isa 11:9; Lev 11:4). This servant of Abraham is welcomed and here the family relationships between Rebekah and Abraham are confirmed:
Gen 24:32 And the man came into the house: and he [that is Laban, the brother of Rebekah] ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men’s feet that were with him.
Gen 24:33 And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on.
Gen 24:34 And he said, I am Abraham’s servant.
Gen 24:35 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.
Gen 24:36 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.
Abraham left this family several years ago, and to them he must have looked very silly to move to the unknown. But this servant of Abraham actually came to reveal to Abraham’s family that his separation from them has brought enormous blessings on Abraham. We are seen as foolish when we leave physical securities and relationships behind as we respond in obedience to the call of the faith of Christ in our lives:
Mat 6:31 (MKJV) Therefore do not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, With what shall we be clothed?
Mat 6:32 For the nations seek after all these things. For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.
Mat 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
In due time all will see how God indeed blesses His elect far beyond what this world can provide because the faith of Christ helps us to invest in the more important and eternal issues:
Mat 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Mat 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
Mat 19:30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
According to the servant of Abraham Isaac received all that Abraham owed typifying how only Christ was given all things the Father has, even the fullness of His spirit (Gen 25:5):
Col 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him [Christ] should all fulness dwell.
Joh 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
Joh 16:15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Christ is the spiritual Head of the body of believers, and all that belongs to the Head therefore belongs to the church as He distributes to each member to “profit withal” (1Co 12:7):
Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
Col 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
This is what Rebekah and her family is being shown by this servant of Abraham, even as the Father is showing the church what He has prepared for them to function as a body (1Co 12:1-31). But it is only Rebekah who in the end will see this in the proper light when she will make her decisions, as only God’s elect are now given to humbly accept and know their function in His church (Rom 1:20; Eph 1:20-23). Abraham gave the instructions to this servant, and the purpose of his mission is also explained to the family of Rebekah:
Gen 24:37 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:
Gen 24:38 But thou shalt go unto my father’s house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son.
Gen 24:39 And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me.
Gen 24:40 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:
Gen 24:41 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.
Abraham and his family were from Ur in the land of the Chaldeans, also known as the region of Babylon in the scriptures (Isa 47:1; Isa 48:14; Dan 2:1-2; Dan 5:30; Dan 3:8-12; Isa 13:19). Even as our route to the spiritual kingdom of God comes via an evil experience of a physical creation first, so must God’s elect also serve their time in spiritual Babylon (Gen 2:7; Jer 18:4; Rom 8:20; 1Co 15:46). There are no shortcuts in this process as our time of capture in spiritual Babylon provides important aspects in our spiritual growth (Jer 24:5-7). As God’s physical elect, the nation of Israel was taken into captivity by the Chaldeans and taken to Babylon for not keeping the Sabbath years of rest for the land for four hundred and ninety years, so we are taken into spiritual captivity in our time of the symbolic seventy years, also known as the “seventy sevens” in the scripture (2Ch 36:16-21; Jer 25:11-12; Dan 9:24). This is our time when we cannot “measure” the true temple of God and His altar and have not been given the faith of Christ to accept God’s total provision and cease from our works (Eph 2:8-10; Heb 4:1-16). In the first part of that last “week” of the “seventy sevens”, we also do our share in the killing of the Christ while we sincerely believe all the false things being preached about the Father and Jesus (Dan 9:27). In this time we are in the court outside the temple and when we, like Gentiles, tread underfoot the holy things of God (Eph 2:2-3):
Rev 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
Rev 11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
Our obsession with the physical things and miracles which God supplies blinds us to the true Christ after the spirit in this period symbolized by “forty and two months” – also known spiritually as “a thousand two hundred and threescore days” / “three days and an half” / “time, and times, and half a time” (Rev 11:3; Rev 11:9; Rev 12:14). Then we are called out of that mind set to fill up what is lacking of the afflictions of the Christ at the end of the eon of the flesh and carnality in us when we die with Christ outside the camp bearing His reproach (Col 1:24; Gal 2:20; Heb 13:13; 1Co 10:11). The true witnesses of Christ will have to suffer the same affliction of their Head, Jesus Christ, during His time in flesh (Php 1:29; 1Th 3:4; 2Th 1:5; 1Ti 4:10; 2Ti 3:12; 1Jn 4:17):
Rev 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
Rev 11:9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
Through the sufferings, come the rewards (Psa 73:14; Mat 5:10-12; Rom 8:17-18). This is the call of the servants of God typified by this servant of Abraham who is trying to explain to the family of Rebekah why she was chosen by God to leave them and be joined to her bridegroom, Isaac. This servant now confirms the deeper spiritual rewards for Rebekah rather than to concentrate on the physical wealth of his master and his son. Rebekah fulfilled the prayer which this servant prayed to God, and through this godly appointed meeting with Rebekah, the will of God in this regard is slowly being revealed to all present in Rebekah’s family in finer details:
Gen 24:42 And I came this day unto the well, and said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go:
Gen 24:43 Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink;
Gen 24:44 And she say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman whom the LORD hath appointed out for my master’s son.
Gen 24:45 And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the well, and drew water: and I said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee.
Gen 24:46 And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: so I drank, and she made the camels drink also.
Gen 24:47 And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands.
Gen 24:48 And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter unto his son.
Gen 24:49 And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.
But the family of Rebekah could only understand to a certain extent as her brother and father also could see that this was from God and no one can actually resist anything which God ordained to take place:
Gen 24:50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.
Gen 24:51 Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the LORD hath spoken.
Obedience to God’s call always brings great joy and rewards to all involved, even to our loved ones who must stay behind for the time being in spiritual Babylon as we receive mercy because of the unbelief God put on them at this stage (Rom 11:30-33). But God will show mercy through His judgement on all at the appointed time (Isa 26:9; Jas 2:13):
Gen 24:52 And it came to pass, that, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth.
Gen 24:53 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.
But the fleshly attachments will not let go easily and will cling to us as long as possible even when it knows the inevitable separation from earthly concepts and things, including family and friends, is ordained by God:
Gen 24:54 And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master.
Gen 24:55 And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go.
But the call in the heart of God’s elect to be with His chosen “ekklēsia” is the strongest pull known to those who are experiencing that, as it also delivers us from temporary earthly attachments. Through the faith of Christ we rather associate with total strangers in the flesh who become the best spiritual companions we will ever meet. This blessing of true spiritual knowledge and pure doctrine is indeed on those who are drawn from the breast and separated from their physical attachments, as the life of Joseph also typified in this regard (Isa 28:9-11):
Gen 49:26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.
As in the case with Lot and his family, our urgency and obedience to the call of God will be vital to our salvation (Gen 19:15-17). When the scriptures say that the time is at hand, it is talking about those servants of God who are given to see that all the words of God are extremely important and applicable to them here and now (Psa 119:160; Mat 4:4). They hide God’s Word in their hearts and minds all the time as His words are the most valuable treasure to be found (Exo 15:26; Psa 119:11; Mat 6:21; Mat 13:44; Rev 1:3). This is the same attitude displayed by this elder and faithful servant of Abraham:
Gen 24:56 And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the LORD hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master.
There is still a choice to be made, but the choice is not according to a “free” will as many propagate. Naturally we cannot serve God – it is Him who works His will in us to choose His righteous ways (Jos 24:15-19; Rom 9:16). God works in the hearts (the mind or heaven) of men because His will is indeed done in heaven and also on the earth. His will also include Him sending evil spirits to delude and causing us to sin, for those who can receive this (Heb 12:9; Jdg 9:23; 1Sa 16:14; 1Ki 22:19-23; Isa 63:17). But when we are humbled to seek after His righteous ways we indeed ask and pray for those ways of His kingdom to be established in our minds and in our actions in this earthy body:
Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
As God works in the heart or heaven in us, even so will we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling:
Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
We are not stripped of our will as we need to know that we give an account by the way we think, speak and act in fulfilling the supreme will of God:
Rom 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Rom 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
This is what is revealed for us in the heart of Rebekah as the will of Rebekah still played an important part in her decision:
Gen 24:57 And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth.
Gen 24:58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.
As with Rebekah, the church of Christ is indeed blessed to eventually bear “thousands of millions” as their spiritual wombs are now being prepared while in the flesh and riding on camels as God provides even through physical and temporary means to bring us all together in the Christ. The church of God will indeed take up the judgment of this world as they will sit in the gate to possess it, even to help those who hate and revile them now:
Gen 24:59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant, and his men.
Gen 24:60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.
Gen 24:61 And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.
Detailed studies and emails relating to these foundational themes in Scripture are available on the www.iswasandwillbe.com website, including these topics and links:
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