10 Then the servant left, taking with him ten of his master’s camels loaded with all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim and made his way to the town of Nahor. 11 He had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water. 12 Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. 14 May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.” 15 Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. 16 The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again. 17 The servant hurried to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.” 18 “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink. 19 After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. 21 Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful. 22 When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels. 23 Then he asked, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?” 24 She answered him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milkah bore to Nahor.” 25 And she added, “We have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for you to spend the night.” 26 Then the man bowed down and worshiped the Lord, 27 saying, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”
The Old Testament has lots of stories about what God says and how he acts in his world and amongst his people. It has even more stories about what people say and do. How God responds to the sometimes good, but more often foolish or evil things his people do tell us a lot about his character.
The servant’s way of finding a wife for Isaac is his idea and isn’t one to copy. But his faith that God will answer when he calls out for help is. That God does answer in the middle of this crazy match making scheme tells me some important things about God.
It speaks to me about God’s faithfulness. Not only is he faithful in fulfilling his covenant with Abraham to bless all people (including us) through his family and specifically through Isaac, he’s also faithful in speaking into, and intervening in the situations that are just plain too hard for us.
It also says to me that he does care about our families too, including who we marry and how we live in our families. It tells me that taking God with you on the date isn’t an awkward threesome. It’s the key to the richest human relationship of all. God has lots of things to say about how marriages should work well, but I’ve found that sharing a love for God is the key to growing into the marriage and family that has been an enormous blessing to me.
I think it’s significant too, that although Rebekah was “very beautiful”, it was her generosity of spirit that marked her out as the right one. That the servant hurried to meet her perhaps suggest he was hoping it would be her, but he still allowed room for God to say “no”.
Lord, thank you that you care about me and that you care for my family. Be part of all my decisions today – especially part of my foolish plans that need correction.
Written by David Cornell