Genesis 24

* Abraham's care for Isaac's marriage. (1-9) The journey of

Abraham's servant to Mesopotamia, His meeting with Rebekah.

(10-28) Rebekah and her relatives consent to her marriage.

(29-53) The happy meeting and marriage of Isaac and rebekah.

(54-67)

1-9 The effect of good example, good teaching, and the worship

of God in a family, will generally appear in the piety,

faithfulness, prudence, and affection of the servants. To live

in such families, or to have such servants, both are blessings

from God which should be highly valued, and thankfully

acknowledged. But no concern in life is of greater importance to

ourselves, to others, or to the church of God, than marriage. It

therefore ought always to be undertaken with much care and

prudence, especially with reference to the will of God, and with

prayer for his direction and blessing. Where good parents are

not consulted and regarded, the blessing of God cannot be

expected. Parents, in disposing of their children, should

carefully consult the welfare of their souls, and their

furtherance in the way to heaven. Observe the charge Abraham

gave to a good servant, one whose conduct, faithfulness, and

affection, to him and his family, he had long known. Observe

also, that Abraham remembers that God had wonderfully brought

him out of the land of his birth, by the call of his grace; and

therefore doubts not but He will prosper his care, not to bring

his son thither again. God will cause that to end in our

comfort, in which we sincerely aim at his glory.
10-28 Abraham's servant devoutly acknowledged God. We have

leave to be particular in recommending our affairs to the care

of Divine providence. He proposes a sign, not that he intended

to proceed no further, if not gratified in it; but it is a

prayer that God would provide a good wife for his young master;

and that was a good prayer. She should be simple, industrious,

humble, cheerful, serviceable, and hospitable. Whatever may be

the fashion, common sense, as well as piety, tells us, these are

the proper qualifications for a wife and mother; for one who is

to be a companion to her husband, the manager of domestic

concerns, and trusted to form the minds of children. When the

steward came to seek a wife for his master, he did not go to

places of amusement and sinful pleasure, and pray that he might

meet one there, but to the well of water, expecting to find one

there employed aright. He prayed that God would please to make

his way in this matter plain and clear before him. Our times are

in God's hand; not only events themselves, but the times of

them. We must take heed of being over-bold in urging what God

should do, lest the event should weaken our faith, rather than

strengthen it. But God owned him by making his way clear.

Rebekah, in all respects, answered the characters he sought for

in the woman that was to be his master's wife. When she came to

the well, she went down and filled her pitcher, and came up to

go home with it. She did not stand to gaze upon the strange man

his camels, but minded her business, and would not have been

diverted from it but by an opportunity of doing good. She did

not curiously or confidently enter into discourse with him, but

answered him modestly. Being satisfied that the Lord had heard

his prayer, he gave the damsel some ornaments worn in eastern

countries; asking at the same time respecting her kindred. On

learning that she was of his master's relations, he bowed down

his head and worshipped, blessing God. His words were addressed

to the Lord, but being spoken in the hearing of Rebekah, she

could perceive who he was, and whence he came.
29-53 The making up of the marriage between Isaac and Rebekah

is told very particularly. We are to notice God's providence in

the common events of human life, and in them to exercise

prudence and other graces. Laban went to ask Abraham's servant

in, but not till he saw the ear-ring, and bracelet upon his

sister's hands. We know Laban's character, by his conduct

afterwards, and may think that he would not have been so free to

entertain him, if he had not hoped to be well rewarded for it.

The servant was intent upon his business. Though he was come off

a journey, and come to a good house, he would not eat till he

had told his errand. The doing our work, and the fulfilling our

trusts, either for God or man, should be preferred by us before

our food: it was our Saviour's meat and drink, #Joh 4:34|. He

tells them the charge his master had given him, with the reason

of it. He relates what had happened at the well, to further the

proposal, plainly showing the finger of God in it. Those events

which to us seem the effect of choice, contrivance, or chance,

are "appointed out" of God. This hinders not, but rather

encourages the use of all proper means. They freely and

cheerfully close with the proposal; and any matter is likely to

be comfortable, when it proceeds from the Lord. Abraham's

servant thankfully acknowledges the good success he had met

with. He was a humble man, and humble men are not ashamed to own

their situation in life, whatever it may be. All our temporal

concerns are sweet if intermixed with godliness.
54-67 Abraham's servant, as one that chose his work before his

pleasure, was for hastening home. Lingering and loitering no way

become a wise and good man who is faithful to his duty. As

children ought not to marry without their parents' consent, so

parents ought not to marry them without their own. Rebekah

consented, not only to go, but to go at once. The goodness of

Rebekah's character shows there was nothing wrong in her answer,

though it be not agreeable to modern customs among us. We may

hope that she had such an idea of the religion and godliness in

the family she was to go to, as made her willing to forget her

own people and her father's house. Her friends dismiss her with

suitable attendants, and with hearty good wishes. They blessed

Rebekah. When our relations are entering into a new condition,

we ought by prayer to commend them to the blessing and grace of

God. Isaac was well employed when he met Rebekah. He went out to

take the advantage of a silent evening, and a solitary place,

for meditation and prayer; those divine exercises by which we

converse with God and our own hearts. Holy souls love

retirement; it will do us good to be often alone, if rightly

employed; and we are never less alone than when alone. Observe

what an affectionate son Isaac was: it was about three years

since his mother died, and yet he was not, till now, comforted.

See also what an affectionate husband he was to his wife.

Dutiful sons promise fair to be affectionate husbands; he that

fills up his first station in life with honour, is likely to do

the same in those that follow.
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