Isaac and Rebekah
All the families of earth will be blessed because of you. (Genesis 12:3)
The story of Isaac and Rebekah’s arranged marriage can seem strange to our cultural sensibilities. But in traditional societies such as Abraham’s, it was a common practice. Abraham had the duty of arranging a good marriage with someone outside the household but inside the extended family. In this case, extended family is much broader than Westerners tend to think of and could include several households within a village that share a common family origin.
The servant’s bold prayer to “the God of my master Abraham” (Genesis 24:12) shows that the servant was confident God would answer his prayer. He knew that Isaac had a special place in God’s plan. We can be certain that when the issue is the fulfillment of God’s plan for the world, God can be trusted to come through.
And God did come through in leading the servant to find a wife for Isaac.
Rebekah was probably no more than a teenager, which would have been a common age of marriage in that day and culture. The arrangements for the marriage were made through the servant and Rebekah’s male relatives. Again, it may seem odd to us to think that Rebekah did not have a say in her own marriage. But over and over again, the Bible tells us how women adapted to work within a patriarchal society so that they too had a say and sway in events.
The servant’s mission was successful. He returned with
Rebekah, and she married and fell in love with Isaac.
Even more, there was a real sense of a new family being born.
• We can always pray to God.
• God hears our prayers.
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