THE SELECTION OF THE BRIDE
“As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God“ (Romans 8:14).
I Abraham‘s Charge to His Servant
1. Abraham is prospered by God, [Genesis:24:1]; [Psalms:1:1-3].
2. He is concerned for Isaac‘s welfare, [Genesis:24:2-4].
3. He is confident that God will completely fulfil His promise, [Genesis:24:5-7]; [Philippians:1:6].
4. Having left the land of sin and idolatry, he realises there is danger in returning, [Genesis:24:6], [Genesis:24:8]; [1 Peter:2:20]; [1 Peter:3:17].
5. The oath is taken, [Genesis:24:9].
II Abraham‘s Servant Faithful to His Master
1. He is a trusted man, obedient in every detail, [Genesis:24:10]; [1 Samuel:15:22]; [Matthew:7:21]; [Revelation:22:14].
2. He is a man of prayer, acknowledging God, expecting God to direct, [Genesis:24:11-14]; Proverbs 3-6.
3. His dependence upon God is rewarded, [Genesis:24:15-21]; [Psalms:73:24].
III His Reception at the Home of Abraham‘s Relatives
1. Jewels are presented to Rebekah, [Genesis:24:22]; [Revelation:21:2], [Revelation:21:9-10].
2. Abraham‘s servant learns Rebekah‘s identity. She discovers his identity through his worship and praise, [Genesis:24:23-28].
3. A hearty welcome is given the servant of Abraham, [Genesis:24:29-32].
4. The business of his master is given pre-eminence over everything else, [Genesis:24:33]; [John:17:13-14].
Isaac, the Son of Abraham
“In Isaac shall thy seed be called“ [Genesis:21:12]). Isaac was a son of promise, given to Abraham by faith after 25 years of waiting. Isaac was conceived through faith by the power of God. He was heir to the promise that the world should be blessed through him. He was offered as a sacrifice unto God, and, in a figure, was raised from the dead. He was the beloved son of his father, and heir to all he possessed. Where could Abraham find a wife for his son Isaac?
Jesus, the Son of God
However great the honour might be to be the bride of one so miraculously born into this world, greater far is the privilege of being joined with the promised Seed, who was conceived of the Holy Ghost, and “who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist“ [Colossians:1:15-17]). Where can a Bride be found for the royal Son of God who tasted death for all men, and came forth the Conqueror of death, and the power of the grave?
Eliezer, the Servant of Abraham
Before the birth of Isaac, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant born in Abraham‘s house, was his heir. A trusted servant he was, for he ruled over all that Abraham possessed. Now, to some people this man might seem to be but a slave, but let us consider that at one time Abraham armed his trained servants, numbering 318, and subdued four kings. Thus Eliezer must have been a mighty leader and warrior as well as a steward. It was to this eldest servant that Abraham called when he wanted a bride selected for Isaac. “Thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: but thou shalt go unto my country and to my kindred.“
The Holy Ghost
After Christ was received into the heavens above, the Holy Ghost descended upon the 120 in the upper room. These were the disciples of Christ, and they were sanctified in heart, for they were all of one accord. The Holy Ghost was not sent unto the world, but unto the kindred of Christ -- those who were born of God and sanctified wholly. Jesus said: “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you“ [John:14:16-17]). It is true that the Spirit of God is in the world, convicting men of sin; but He dwells with believers, and in those who have received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. To those whose temple He fills, He is a Comforter, Teacher, and Guide. He is not taking a Bride from the worldly-minded throng, but from the Church, the ecclesia, or “called-out“ ones.
“And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest? And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.“ Christ is not coming again in person to this earth to prepare the Bride for Himself. God sent the Holy Spirit for that office work. He speaks to hearts not yielded to Him, bringing the words of Christ to their attention. When Christ comes to meet His Bride, it will not be to walk the earth as once He did, but the Bride will rise to meet Him in the air. Only those who are willing to walk softly, and follow voice of the Spirit will be ready in that day. “Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption“ [Ephesians:4:30]).
“And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath.“ The Spirit of God calls to a life of self-denial, daily consecration, and holiness, but the Bride must be willing. “My spirit shall not always strive . . .“ [Genesis:6:3]). One has but to say, “Go thy way,“ and He will be clear from His oath. But what is this that you so lightly reject? Have you counted the cost?
With the solemnity of his oath upon his mind, and knowing that he must induce a bride to journey a long distance from Mesopotamia back to Canaan, the servant loaded ten camels with choice gifts from his master‘s store. His master was rich, and well loved, and the bride for his son should not be just any maiden, but the fairest and best he could obtain. The servant‘s heart communed with God and proposed that God guide him in the selection of a bride from Abraham‘s kindred, on the basis of willing service. He took the steps that were clear, and did that which he could, then left the rest to God. Before his prayer was ended the answer came, and a damsel appeared at the well. She was a virgin, fair to look upon and willing to serve -- but he asked, “Whose daughter art thou?“.
The New Birth
One may be willing to the extent of giving his body to be burned, and still not be of the kindred of Christ. Works alone cannot suffice; only by the new birth can one belong to Christ. A ruler you may be; but to enter His Kingdom, “ye must be born again.“ Many will say in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not . . . in thy name done many wonderful works?“ only to hear, “I never knew you: depart from me“ [Matthew:7:22-33]). Whose son or daughter art thou? To whom do you belong?
The next thing the servant would know, “Is there room . . .?“ Would we invite another guest when our house is already filled? Solomon said: “Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!“
[2 Chronicles:6:18]). Thus it is with this temple made of clay -- at best it is far too small. The holy Spirit is willing to come into a very humble abode, but it must be clean and empty. Jesus died that He might sanctify and cleanse His Church. The least we can do is to get our self-life out of the way, that the Holy Ghost might have room in which to dwell. Let us empty ourselves of our own ambitions that He may be the Guide. Let us humble ourselves that He may be the Teacher. Let us forget ourselves that He may take the things of Christ and show them unto us.
The earnestness of Abraham‘s servant to fulfil his mission would not permit him to eat until he had told his errand. Do you today realise the earnestness of the Spirit’s call, and the necessity for the Bride to make herself ready?
1. What form of worship was customary in the land where Abraham lived?
2. Why did Abraham not want Isaac to go to Haran to secure a wife?
3. What was Abraham‘s servant‘s attitude toward God?
4. Why do we say this servant is a type of the Holy Spirit?
5. How did Rebekah find out whose servant he was?
6. What authority did Abraham give the servant? and to what extent was he limited as to Abraham‘s possessions?
7. Who was Laban?
8. Did Abraham‘s servant go alone on his errand?
9. What provisions did the family of Rebekah make for their comfort?
10. What are some similarities between Isaac and Christ?