THE SELECTION OF THE BRIDE
"He knoweth the way that I take" (Job 23:10).
Abraham and Isaac
Because of Abraham's obedience, God had promised him that through his family all the nations of the earth should be made happy. Abraham was now 140 years old; his wife, Sarah, was dead; and their son, Isaac, was about 40 years old. The Lord had blessed Abraham and given him flocks, herds, silver, gold, menservants, maidservants, camels, and asses. Isaac was heir to all this. Abraham had a faithful steward in his house, the eldest servant who ruled over all that he had and who is believed to be Eliezer of Damascus.
An Important Mission
One day Abraham called this tried and true servant and asked him to perform a very important duty. "Go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac." Marriage companions were usually selected by parents, as is done in some countries even today.
This was indeed a difficult task for the servant. Perhaps the young woman might be unwilling to break all ties of home and friends to make such a far journey. But his master assured him that the "LORD God of heaven . . . shall send his angel before thee." Abraham feared that if his son married into a Canaanitish family, he might be led away from the true worship of God.
Separation from the World
Those who are following Jesus and have left the world behind are one with God and with Christ. God has sent His Holy Spirit into the earth to go to His "kindred," and take a Bride unto His Son, Jesus Christ. Those who shall make up the Bride of Christ are they who are saved from their sins, and who have been sanctified wholly and have pressed in and received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The people of the world have very little in common with the true children of God. They are not interested in the same things; they do not go to the same places; they do not seek companions among one another. Read II Corinthians:6:14 18, and learn more about the separation of Christians from evil associations and unbelievers.
The Journey Begun
Without further delay Eliezer prepared for his trek across the desert sands. Ten camels laden with provisions comprised the caravan; expensive gifts were among the cargo. When all was in readiness, Eliezer and his men arose and went.
By the Well of Water
At last the Journey of about 500 miles was completed. Tired and thirsty, at evening time, the ten camels kneeled down by the well just outside the city of Nahor, in the land of Mesopotamia. Although it was evening, yet this loyal servant was bent on accomplishing his mission before nightfall. The wells were the places where one would meet the young women who drew water at that time of day.
The Holy Spirit
How typical of today -- God the Father, who is represented by Abraham in this account, has sent the Holy Spirit to seek a Bride for His Son, Jesus Christ. Now, when it is evening for this old world, the Spirit is seeking a Bride just before nightfall. Soon the Spirit will cease to call and the Bride will enter in unto the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. ( See Lesson 342, Junior Course, Book 27> .)
The Prayer and the Answer
Can we not see Eliezer as he bows his head and prays aloud: "O LORD God of my master Abraham, . . . Behold, I stand here by the well of water; . . . and let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master." He wanted a sign that he might know that God was directing him in his quest for a bride for his master's son.
Before the prayer was ended, a beautiful young woman came to the well with a pitcher upon her shoulder. It is said that in Mesopotamia water pitchers are carried upon the shoulder, while in some countries they are carried upon the head. Down to the well she went and filled her pitcher with water. The servant ran to meet her and asked for a drink from her pitcher. Quenching his thirst was not so important to him now as learning whether or not this young woman was the answer to his prayer. Hastily she let down her pitcher upon her hand and courteously gave him a drink. He did not ask for water for the camels, but she volunteered to draw water for them also. Pitcher after pitcher she drew for ten thirsty camels, until they had finished drinking. A camel has a capacity for enough water to last 10 to 15 days.
"Blessed of the LORD"
Amazed and happy, the servant took a golden earring and two golden bracelets for her hands, and said, "Whose daughter art thou? tell me I pray thee: is there room in thy father's house for us to lodge in?" She promptly replied that there was room for him and his men and also for the camels. Then she hurried home to tell her family the strange but wonderful story of all that had happened. Her brother, Laban, went at once to the well and told Eliezer that he had prepared the house, and made room for the camels. "Come in," he said, "thou blessed of the LORD."
Room in the Heart
The Spirit is seeking for you to prepare your heart for the soon return, of the Lord. He wants you to be made ready to be one of the Bride of Christ. Are you resisting the call? or can you say, "Come in; wherefore standest Thou without? I have prepared room in my heart for Thee"?
1. Why did Abraham wish Isaac to marry one of his own kindred?
2. Who had charge of all Abraham's possessions? Was he trustworthy?
3. How did the servant travel through the desert?
4. What prayer did the servant pray?
5. How did he know that his prayer was answered?
6. Tell of the characteristics of Rebekah.
7. Of whom is Eliezer a type? In what way?
8. Give some of the qualifications of the Bride of Christ.
9. Was the servant welcome at the home of Rebekah? What was done for him?