Using a swearing ceremony which I am glad we no longer practice, Abraham commissioned his trusted servant and right-hand-man to find a bride for Isaac. I believe the identity of this servant is Eliezer of Damascus (Genesis 15:2).
Abraham showed remarkable confidence in Eliezer, and Eliezer showed remarkable confidence in God.
When Eliezer arrived in the place of his master’s “country and kin” (v.4), he immediately called on the Lord in prayer. Instead of staging a beauty pageant or polling the community for a list of the most desirable bachelorettes, he placed his task in the hands of God. Prayer is always the best first step when tackling a difficult assignment.
Eliezer’s prayer (v.12-14) is one of my favorites. It is an excellent model for how to present a request to the Lord: it was specific, bold, and surrendered to the sovereignty of God. The answer God provided (in the form of the lovely Rebekah) was amazingly quick — according to verse 15 the answer arrived before Eliezer could say, “Amen”!
After some negotiation between Eliezer and Rebekah’s family, normal protocol was dispensed with and she hurried away to meet her husband-to-be.
The scene where Isaac and Rebekah meet is surely one of the most romantic in Scripture. When their eyes met (v.63-64), it was love at first sight. Once again God proved to Abraham and his family that He is faithful, gracious, and committed to His people.
THIS IS THE END OF TODAY’S BLOG. DO NOT READ ON UNLESS YOU REALLY, REALLY WANT TO KNOW ANOTHER WAY TO LOOK AT THIS CHAPTER.
For centuries, many scholars have interpreted this story on two levels. The first level takes the story at face value: this is a factual, historical account of God providing a wife for Isaac.
The second level sees the characters in the story as representative of something greater. This is a kind of Bible interpretation called “typology”: the study of people, objects, and events in the Old Testament as “types” that foreshadow New Testament truths. It can be a very rich and rewarding study.
The traditional typology is that Abraham represents God the Father; Isaac represents God the Son, Jesus Christ; Eliezer represents the Holy Spirit; and Rebekah represents the church. Now review the story with those meanings: Abraham sent Eliezer to bring a bride back for Isaac. Eliezer found a blood-related, virgin-pure, beautiful bride to whom he gave gifts and brought near to Isaac.
Do you see the picture? God the Father sends the Holy Spirit, who draws us to Jesus and gives us spiritual gifts. Jesus possesses the Bride of Christ, the church, and receives us into His family.
Isn’t it amazing that back in the book of Genesis God was foreshadowing His plan? He planned to save us, to receive us into His family, to bless us, and to make us His Bride. He was thinking of us even as He ordained the actual events in the lives of the patriarchs. What a wonderful Savior!