Genesis 24:1-67

Genesis 24 is the record of how Abraham went about finding a wife for his son, Isaac. This chapter is probably one of the most interesting examples of God’s providential sovereignty working on behalf of Abraham and Isaac. However, you must also see the human responsibility of these men in this process of finding Rebekah, and her willingness to become Isaac’s wife. Remember the genealogy given to us at the end of Genesis 22:20-24, was given to inform us of all the children that have been born through Abraham’s brother Nahor. In this list of children, you will find the name of Rebekah. At this time, which was 3 years after the death of his mother Sarah, Isaac was 40 years old (Gen. 25:20). It is also interesting that this is the longest chapter in the book of Genesis, which is entirely devoted to finding a bride for Isaac. Therefore, the record continues, Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 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, 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.’ 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?’ 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, 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; 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” (Gen. 24:1-9).

God’s blessings in all things

At this time, Abraham is “well advanced in age.” He was at this point in his life, 140 years old (Gen. 21:5; 25:20). Abraham would live another 35 years, but with Isaac now 40 years of age, he realized that his son must take a wife for the promises of descendants, as many as the sand of the sea, to be fulfilled. Note in verse 1, that it declared that God had “blessed Abraham in all things.” Just as God had promised so many years before, He has fulfilled His Word to Abraham. Remember God promised him, Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing” (Gen. 12:1-2). God always keeps His Word, just as He will for you, if you will simply walk in faith and obedience as Abraham did. But God’s blessings did not come upon this man because he was perfect and without fault, but because he would always return to the Lord when he failed, and sought God for His guidance (Gen. 13:4; 13:18; 21:11-12). When you fail in your walk of faith, simply return to Him and seek His face, and He will restore and bless you too. This display of God’s grace is always what draws us back to Him.

The oath

Now Abraham charges his eldest servant to go and find a wife for Isaac. Abraham asks his servant to take an oath by putting his hand underneath his thigh. Many who read this request think, This sounds so strange to have someone put their hand under the thigh of another to take an oath. What does this behavior have to do with taking this oath? This manner of oath-taking was a very common practice in ancient times when someone swore an oath. Herodotus, the Greek historian and mathematician, spoke of this practice in his day, as being the custom for how someone would swear an oath. This practice was much like our shaking hands when committing ourselves to a promise. Joseph did this very same thing with his father Jacob in Gen. 47:29-31. Scripture declares, When the time drew near that Israel must die, he called his son Joseph and said to him, ‘Now if I have found favor in your sight, please put your hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me. Please do not bury me in Egypt, but let me lie with my fathers; you shall carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place.’ And he said, ‘I will do as you have said.’ Then he said, ‘Swear to me.’ And he swore to him. So Israel bowed himself on the head of the bed.”

What did this custom mean in regard to an oath? It simply meant that of submission to the one to whom the oath was being made. To be in the position of putting your hand under someone’s thigh who is lying on a bed, a person would have to bow or get on their knees to fulfill this request. Therefore, it was also an acknowledgement of humility to the authority of the request being made. However, in different cultures you will always find different practices. For example, each time I have traveled to India to do pastors conferences, men will come up and ask me to pray for them. They will come and get on their knees before me, and take my hand and put it to their forehead. Then they will take their hand and touch the top of my barefoot. These actions are a sign of their submission and humility before God, but also of their acknowledgement of my authority to pray for them. This is just one of the different customs in different cultures around the world.

The oath concerns 3 things.

There are three things that the servant is asked to swear to in this oath. These are issues that were very important to Abraham. The first request was that he was not to take a wife for Isaac from the Canaanites. This might have been one of the reasons why Isaac was forty years old and had not taken a wife to this point. There might not have been any suitable women for him there in the land where they were, and why Abraham sent his servant back to his family who did believe in the Lord. The second request was that he was to go to his family in Mesopotamia. This was a three-month journey, one way! This is a long way to travel to find a wife. The third request was that he not ever take Isaac back to Mesopotamia. He repeats this request in verse 6 and verse 8. This request was extremely important to Abraham, because he knew that the promises of God were directly connected to the land of Israel. Abraham even quoted a portion of God’s promise in verse 7 revealing his understanding of this fact when he said, “To your descendants I give this land.” Abraham’s descendants have been, and will be, directly connected to the land of Israel all the way through the Millennial reign of Christ.

Why is this oath so important to Abraham?

For what reason were these very specific commands given to Abraham’s servant? It is very simple, Abraham wanted to be completely obedient to God. He did not want a wife for his son to be taken from the idolaters of the land, and he did not want Isaac to ever go back to the land that God had called him out of. If either of these actions would have taken place, this would have ruined God’s plan for Abraham and his descendants. It is important to remember that at the beginning of Abraham’s call to the Land of Promise that he had difficulty being fully obedient to the Lord. He disobeyed by bringing his father and Lot with him. These actions also caused him several unnecessary delays and problems. This is why Abraham was being very intentional about fully obeying God now, in his requests to his servant. He had learned by experience that everything would be better for him, if he simply obeyed God’s Word. Abraham remembered what God said to him after he had obediently offered up Isaac. God told him, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (Gen. 22:18). These are powerful words from God, and I believe Abraham took them to heart.

Likewise, there is no way around the issue of obedience for any of us. Obedience is what proves that you love the Lord. Jesus meant it when He taught His disciples on that last night with them, If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Obedience is also the proof of true discipleship. Jesus said in John 10:27, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Consequently, you must obey the voice of the Lord; this is the bottom line for all Christians. If you want the Lord’s blessings in your life, then you must obey Him. You cannot continually disobey Him and expect to be blessed. It doesn’t work that way. Abraham had to learn this lesson the hard way, and so he wanted his servant to fulfill these requests to the letter.

The second reason why Abraham sent this servant to his homeland and to his family, is because as you read through this chapter, you will realize that his relatives were also believers in Yahweh. His family made this fact very clear when they heard the mission of Abraham’s servant. Scripture declares, Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, ‘The thing comes from the LORD; we cannot speak to you either bad or good. Here is Rebekah before you; take her and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as the LORD has spoken’” (Gen. 24:50-51). Notice that they use the personal name for God, Yahweh, which is revealed in Scripture by the use of the word LORD in all capital letters.

Marrying only another believer

Some Christians question whether it is really that important to marry only another believer. Is that requirement essential? Yes! Marrying a believer is the first biblical requirement you need to follow when making the second most important decision in your life, who to marry. In the New Testament Paul makes this principle clear when he wrote to the Corinthian church. He wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:39, “A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” This is a very clear command that is given. You may choose whomever you wish to marry, but that person must be in the Lord. Note those words, “Only in the Lord.” Please do not disobey this command! I have watched Christians disobey this commandment, and I assure you that they struggle with their choice all of the days of their marriage. You will also have plenty of struggles marrying another Christian, but you will have triple the problems marrying an unbeliever. Why do I say this? Because they look at the fundamental spiritual issues of life differently than you do. This is why you are a believer, and they are not. Their worldview is void of the priorities set out in God’s Word. Please, obey this command and save yourself much heartache.

In the Old Testament in 1 Kings 11, God tells you the reason why He only wants you marrying a believer. God declared, But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites from the nations of whom the LORD had said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.’ Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David.  For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not fully follow the LORD, as did his father David” (1 Kings 11:1-6). What a sad commentary. God warned His people about intermarrying with the idolaters of the land, but then Solomon chose to willfully disobey His command (1 Kings 11:2; Num. 36:6). What a price he paid for this disobedience! The consequence was that these women turned Solomon’s heart away from God. His heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. This is why Abraham sent his servant to find a believing wife from within his own extended family. If you are single, and you want to read an article that I have written on this topic which is entitled, “Issues to Consider Before Choosing a Mate,” follow this link.

Prayer for God’s leading.  Vs. 10-31

Genesis 24:10-31 (NKJV)

“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. 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, ‘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.’ And it happened, before he had finished speaking, 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. 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, 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. Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban, 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.’

God’s providential hand at work.

As you read this account of Abraham’s servant and his obedience, you can’t miss the fact that God had gone before him and ordained all these providential circumstances that he encountered. Never forget that God’s workings always go together with man’s obedience. You need both for the success of any mission. If you want God’s hand working on your behalf, you must be obedient to His commands (Rom. 6:16)!

But, notice what this servant does first when he arrives at the town’s well. He first prays and worships the LORD (Vs. 12-14; 26; 52). This is a very important fact. This is the behavior of a man of faith. Men and women of faith don’t trust their own abilities, strength, or wisdom, they trust God to guide their steps and to direct their path. David declared, The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way” (Ps. 37:23). But why would this man’s steps be ordered by the LORD? Because He delights and is pleased with this man’s faith. Scripture instructs us, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Heb. 11:6). Therefore, if you want God’s providential ordering of your steps, you must also be a man or woman of faith that prays and asks for Him to go before you every day. You must believe that, The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). Look at how much this servant’s prayer availed! If you believe that God hears your prayers, then you will pray, and you will pray often.

Fleece type prayers.

Note that this servant prayed, what I call fleece-type-prayer, which is when you ask God to do things in a very specific way, so you will know His will. This way of praying is very similar to the way Gideon prayed later in Israel’s history. It is very possible that Gideon got the idea for his fleece-prayer from this servant’s prayer here in Genesis. But for Gideon, his fleece-prayer was not a prayer of faith, because God had already told him what to do. As you read the story of Gideon you realize that he prayed his fleece prayer because he was hesitant to do what God had commanded him to do because of unbelief (Judges 6). As you remember, Gideon laid a fleece on the ground and asked God to let there be dew on the fleece in the morning, but leave the ground dry all around it. God did what Gideon asked. But Gideon was still unconvinced because of his fear, so he asked God to allow the ground to be covered with dew the next morning, and to have the fleece dry. God graciously did what Gideon asked again. But was Gideon praying in faith when he made these stipulations in his prayer, or was he attempting to get confirmation for his weak faith? I believe it was the latter. What is important to remember is that God is not obligated to do what you tell Him you want done, just so you can be sure of His will. The Lord may say to you, “I want you to hear My voice, and act in faith.” In this circumstance, God confirmed the faith of Abraham’s servant by giving him exactly what he asked. But for each of us, we must cultivate a heart to hear His voice and obey it.

What is interesting about this specific request.

When Abraham’s servant prayed at the well, notice what he was specifically praying for. He asked the Lord, 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.’” This servant was praying for a woman who was kind and a servant to others. Why would this behavior be such an important thing to see in this prospective wife? Because a kind and willing servant is the sign of someone who will not be self-seeking, but one whose heart is concerned for others. It also revealed a heart of humility, and not one of arrogance.

These attitudes of the heart are very important qualities necessary for a successful marriage.  These attitudes are not only good for a wife, but also for a husband to possess as well. If you are single, these are the character qualities that you should be looking for when considering whether someone you are courting is a suitable person for marriage. These character qualities reveal that a person has truly surrendered and submitted themselves before God. This is why, before Paul talked about the husband-wife relationship in Ephesians 5, he commanded both husbands and wives to have a very specific heart attitude before God. He declared that each husband and wife must be, “Submitting to one another in the fear of God” (Eph. 5:21). The word submitting is in the present tense, which means that this should be the continuous attitude of believers in general toward one another. Why is this attitude so important? Because a submissive attitude demonstrates humility and selflessness. Peter identified this same truth in his first epistle when he commanded, Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (1 Peter 5:5). Note that Peter first commanded the younger to submit to their elders, and then added that all should be submissive one to another, and be clothed with humility. The reason why humility and submission are associated together in this verse, is because you can’t have one without the other. If you have a humble heart, you will also have a submissive attitude toward others, one that is more willing to listen than be heard. If you have a humble heart, you will also have a willingness to serve others. This is the heart that God will pour out His grace upon!

An important question in this regard is, what must you submit? You must submit yourself. This is what true surrender to God looks like. Self and selfishness, self-focus, self-righteousness, are the biggest problems you will struggle with in life. Selfishness is at the root of every marital, relational, and every other problem you will have in this world. The Bible is clear that selfishness is the opposite of love. This is why Paul declared that love, “Does not seek its own” (1 Cor. 13:5). Love and selfishness are always diametrically opposed to one another. This is also why Jesus told His disciples that, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 16:24-25). If you want to deal with your selfishness and the unwillingness to have a submissive attitude toward others, you must focus on denying yourself. This is what it means to take up your cross so you can follow Him. It is a simple choice to choose to save your life in this life, or denying and losing your life for Him. The cross always refers to death. In this context, Jesus wants you to die, and this happens when the Holy Spirit reigns inside of you. If you try to save your life in this world by riding the fence as a Christian, you will lose any hope of finding the life Jesus is offering. Likewise, without denying self your marriage will end up becoming a battle of two people’s self-will. Don’t let this happen! Pray as Abraham’s servant did, to first find someone submitted to Christ, and then make sure you have also submitted yourself to Him. Behaving in this manner will allow your marriage to become the best that it can be!

Apply this truth in your own life!

To those reading this study, Paul declared to you who are married, Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church” (Eph. 5:22-29). For wives the word submit is in the present tense, which means that you are to continually submit yourself to your own husband. For husbands the word love is also in the present tense, which is how you are to continually give yourself to your wife. This is what Jesus did. He gave Himself for the church, by humbling and submitting Himself to death, even the death of the cross (Phil. 2:8). When you as a husband give yourself in this manner, and your wife is giving of herself by submission, you are going to have a great marriage. Not a perfect marriage, but a good marriage, because both of you are dying to self.

Now if there is anyone who should have been served, it was Jesus. He is the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords! By Him humbling Himself, leaving His position in heaven, and giving His life as a ransom for you, He demonstrated forever what true humility looks like. Jesus said, For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Remember this truth when you think you are too important to serve others. As Jesus said, this is true greatness in His kingdom (Matt. 18:4; Matt. 23:11). Service to others is really an essential aspect of any relationship, especially marriage. Ask God to give you this servants heart!

A servant’s heart revealed in other ways in this account.

Rebekah also revealed her servant’s heart not only by being willing to water the servant’s camels, but also by her willingness to quickly serve. The text declared that when Abraham’s servant asked her for a drink, “She quickly let her down pitcher…and gave him a drink” (Gen. 24:18). Then she, “Quickly emptied her pitcher into the trough, ran back to the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels” (Gen. 24:20). After she had watered the camels, then Rebekah, “Ran and told her mother’s household these things” (Gen. 24:28). She was demonstrating her willingness to serve by her readiness to run to her tasks. Rebekah went above and beyond the normal custom of giving a cup of water to a stranger. It is important to remember that even Jesus taught this common courtesy in the New Testament. He said, “Whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward” (Matt. 10:42). This is the simplest and the most basic way to give and to be of service to anyone. But will you go above and beyond to serve and love those in need?

The response of Abraham’s servant.

After all these things take place, what does Abraham’s servant do? In verse 26 it declares that, “He bowed down his head and worshiped the LORD.” I love this! He is so thankful to God for answering his prayer and the prayer of his master Abraham, he only wants to acknowledge the Lord and His graciousness. This is a powerful example for each of us. Do you bow in worship and thanksgiving when God provides or answers your prayers, or do you just take it for granted that He does these things? Worship is an act of acknowledging the Lord and His true position in your life. Worship is also an acknowledgement of your true position as His servant. Humility is what motivates both. Worship and thanksgiving are also an act of faith. Jesus made it clear that He knows who comes back to thank and worship Him. Remember when Jesus healed the ten lepers, and only one returned to give thanks? What did Jesus say? He asked, Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” (Luke 17:17). May Jesus never have to say this about us! May God give each of us a thankful heart for all that He was done for us!

Laban invited Abraham’s servant to declare why he had come.  Vs. 29-48

Laban now ran to meet Abraham’s servant who has given his sister these expensive gifts. Laban then invited him to his house, he unloaded his camels, provided straw and feed for them, and washed the servant’s feet, and the feet of the men who were with him. Food was set before him, but he refused to eat and declared, I will not eat until I have told about my errand” (Gen. 24:33). Laban permitted him to speak, and Abraham’s servant recounted all that Abraham had asked him to do in finding a wife for Isaac. He also made sure to tell of his providential meeting with Rebekah.

The part of this scene that is important not to miss, is the fact the Abraham’s servant would not eat until he had shared why he was there. I believe this demonstrates this servant’s sense of faithfulness to his oath. He wanted to get right to business, and not be distracted from his purpose. May we all have this purpose of heart to be faithful to communicate to others why we are in this world, and our calling as ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:18-20).

The servant asked for a decision.  Vs. 49-53

After the servant recounted to Laban and Bethuel how God had orchestrated this entire meeting with Rebekah, he asked them for a decision. I like this kind of directness. He just wanted them to tell him yes or no, so he would know how to proceed. He told them, Now if you 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” (Gen. 24:49). In other words, he was saying, “Be straight with me, just tell me where you stand on my request, and what you think about what I have just told you.” To communicate with people like this is very commendable, because you are asking for honesty. We are commanded to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). We are not to be evasive with people, or beat around the bush with people, but to answer their questions. Jesus commanded us to let our yes be a yes, and our no be a no (Matt. 5:37). When a person is evasive and doesn’t want to tell you yes or no, you have to assume they are hiding something. Evasive communication is many times a form of lying. Therefore, tell people truthfully what you think. Note that this was exactly the response the servant received.

Laban and Bethuel responded, The thing comes from the LORD; we cannot speak to you either bad or good. Here is Rebekah before you; take her and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as the LORD has spoken” (Gen. 24:50-51). They obviously saw God’s providential hand in this servant’s journey, and his meeting with Rebekah as something God had orchestrated. They both agreed that she should go and become Isaac’s wife.

God’s providence is one of the means by which you can discern God’s will in any given situation. For years, whenever I would discuss decisions that I was about to make with my associate pastor he would always say, “Is this the right person, the right timing, and the right way to do this or that?” Has God providentially brought this person as an answer to our need? Is this the right timing to act on this decision? Is this the right way we should go about this? This is a great principle you should always consider in basic decision making. By doing so you are considering God’s providential direction. The answers to these questions, will sometimes make your decisions obvious. But, on the other hand, if God sets roadblocks in front of you, then you had better question your decision a little further. Let Him direct your paths!

Notice again what Abraham’s servant did at this moment. The Scripture declared, “When Abraham’s servant heard their words, that he worshiped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth. Then the servant brought out jewelry of silver, jewelry of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother. And he and the men who were with him ate and drank and stayed all night” (Gen. 24:52-54). What an awesome example to us that Abraham’s servant would again stop and worship the LORD, bowing himself to the ground. This man was so ready to acknowledge the Lord and His hand in this whole encounter. He wanted to give glory to the Lord for all that had been done. Then the servant gave several expensive gifts to Rebekah and to her family as a dowry.

Abraham’s servant wants to immediately leave for home. Vs. 54-61  

In the morning, Abraham’s servant wanted to immediately begin his journey home, but Rebekah’s mother and brother want her to stay an extra ten days. Note that the decision was left up to Rebekah. They called her, and she decided to go immediately to meet and marry her husband. This was an arranged marriage, but it was still Rebekah’s decision, and her family’s decision if this marriage was to take place. Abraham even acknowledged that if the woman was not willing to go with his servant, then he was free from his oath (Gen. 24:5; 8). The issue of willingness is also an essential decision in staying married as well. Paul explained this principle when he wrote, But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace” (1 Cor. 7:12-15). These verses reveal that both husbands and wives have a decision to make when married to unbelievers. The believer also has a decision to make if their unbelieving spouse chooses to depart from them. Note that they are to let them depart, because God has called them to peace. If you would like to study more on this topic please see my article at:

Rebekah returned with the servant to Abraham and Isaac.  Vs. 59-67

In these last few verses, Rebekah and her nurse departed with Abraham’s servant and his men.  Rebekah’s family then gave her a parting blessing saying, Our sister, may you become the mother of thousands of ten thousands; and may your descendants possess the gates of those who hate them” (Gen. 24:60). Did this blessing come to pass? Oh, yes it did! Rebekah became the mother of tens of millions of descendants over the history of the nation of Israel. The descendants of Isaac and Rebekah did possess the gates of those who have hated them, and they still do to this day possess the gates of their enemies. And they will possess the gates of their enemies even into the Millenium.

After departing, they travelled for at least 3 months on their journey back to the land of Israel. When they arrived back in Israel, Isaac was meditating in the field in the evening when he saw the caravan of camels coming his way. Rebekah saw Isaac coming to meet them, and she covered her face with a veil before meeting her future husband. Isaac immediately took her to his mother’s tent and married her. The most interesting thing in this account is in verse 67, where it declared that Isaac “loved” Rebekah. Now you may think to yourself, How could anyone end up loving a complete stranger in an arranged marriage? But this is the testimony of Scripture! This fact convinces me about something very important concerning marital love. It reveals that love is a choice, and love can be learned. If these two people who had never even met each other could learn to love each another, then I believe anyone can choose to love their spouse. Therefore, if you began your marriage in love, but you have fallen out of love with your mate, take this truth to heart! You can love them again! If Jesus commanded us to love our enemies, then you can choose to love your spouse (Matt. 5:44). To have the marriage you desire, will require both partners choosing to love. Remember, God has chosen to love you, but only when you choose to love Him back will you find the life He has promised. The same truth applies to your marriage. What enables two people to choose to love each other and to grow in love? Both partners must deal with their own selfishness, pride and resentments (James 4:14). When you deal with these issues in your heart, God will kindle or rekindle your love again. I believe this account of Isaac and Rebekah choosing to love each other is in the Scriptures for this reason. Therefore, choose to love, and do your part in the relationship that God has brought into your life.