“You shall go… and take a wife for my son Isaac.”
Relationships are a key part of life. Healthy relationships lead to a good life, and unhealthy relationships will make life very difficult. The most important earthly relationship is marriage, and who you marry is one of the most important decision in life (second only to receiving Christ.) Solomon wrote “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22). Genesis 24 tells the story of how Isaac and Rebekah met. Their story is a bit different than most of ours because the marriage was arranged, but there are some vital principles to keep in mind for any relationship.
“But he said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I walk, will send His angel with you and prosper your way; and you shall take a wife for my son from my family and from my father’s house.'”
First, it is important to remember God has a plan for you. Paul wrote, God has foreordained good works for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:10); that includes who we will marry. Long before Abraham’s servant arrived at the well, the angel of the Lord was there preparing the way. To think God has forgotten you is bad theology, and often leads to bad decisions. When we forget God has a plan for us, we get impatient and begin to settle for less. Imagine if Adam had not waited on the Lord, he would have ended up with an ape.
Second, we are told where they met. Abraham was adamant that Isaac’s bride not be selected from the ungodly Canaanites. If Isaac was going to have a good marriage, he must choose a godly wife. As his servant went on the search, he selected a location where the young women gathered to draw water. I have been told, the three most important rules of real estate are location, location, location. The same is true of relationships. If Isaac was going to find a godly wife, he needed to look in the right places. Too often, people become lonely, impatient and discouraged. When they have not found the right someone, they lower their standards, and start looking in the wrong places. Remember, there are certain places that are off limits. Looking for a relationship with an unbeliever – off limits. Looking for a relationship with someone who is married – off limits.
Third, Abraham’s servant had a high standard. He was first taken by the beauty of Rebekah, but that beauty was soon overshadowed by her godliness. She revealed her godliness in her willingness to serve, and her great faith. Having never met Isaac, she was willing to trust the Lord and move forward with the relationship. Solomon wrote,
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
Finally, while the servant is out searching, Isaac is at home waiting on the Lord. This serves as a vivid illustration: Isaac represents the believer waiting on the Lord, and the servant represents the Holy Spirit at work. Isaac finds his bride, not by seeking her, but by seeking the Lord. Jesus said, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). One of the grave mistakes we make is seeking a spouse, instead of seeking the Lord.