So, after writing about the death of Sarah and Abraham’s purchase of a field and cave to bury her in I looked up that cave and discovered it is a very important site. I now feel bad the way I wrote about that chapter as filler. I understand that it will be the burying place of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob as well as their wives also, but those are stories still to come. I just find it strange that that site, in what feels like a filler chapter in the Bible, has been the reason for wars from ancient to modern times.
Speaking of the wife of Issac that is the chapter we have tonight, and that one doesn’t feel like filler. It is also a very long chapter. It starts with Abraham instructing a servant to ride back to Abraham’s home to find a wife for his son as he doesn’t want his son to marry a Canaanite.
The servant rides back to where Abraham is from and says that if a woman offers him water and offers to water his camels then that is the wife for Issac and it will prove God’s steadfast love for Abraham. This is the first mention of God as loving that I can recall and it isn’t just regular love it is steadfast love. That is the unconditional love promised by the grace of God that we are used to.
Now when the servant sees Rebekah come out and fill her water jug he asks for a drink and she gives it to him and then offers to water his camels. It is then that he goes and gets all the gifts Abraham has offered to the wife of Issac and presents them to Rebekah and then tells her family what he wishes of her and they agree to let her go and marry Issac.
Now this isn’t a traditional love story or a love story at all. This is a political marriage in many ways. Abraham doesn’t want to tie Issac to Canaan and instead opts to find a woman from his home for his son to marry. Putting all that aside I find the servant’s method of choosing a wife to be lovely.
The servant decides that the right woman to marry Issac is one that gives him water. The one that shows him kindness and then more than showing how kindness shows all his camels kindness as well. That does seem like a good measure of a person. Rebekah helps the servant and his animals. She shows a stranger and someone beneath her social standing kindness and that makes her the right choice to be Issac’s wife.
We could talk a lot more about the treatment of women in the Bible up until this point but my timer has gone off and I am tired.