Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67
Peace be with you!
When two individuals come together in a relationship, bringing their differences in experience, it takes time to evolve into a meaningful connection. Like most adults, I want to have a meaningful connection with a significant other – someone who will see past my disabilities and feed off of my gifts. My boyfriend, Nathan, and I have always had a connection that few people can understand, even growing up. We respond to each other’s moods, even hundreds of miles apart, which still mystifies me. Nathan has a disability where he is not able to move or speak, but somehow we have our own way of communicating. When we reconnected last year, his mom told me Nathan almost died in July 2006, and I remember missing him and crying uncontrollably around that time. Space and time physically separated Nathan and me for a decade, yet I could tell when something was not right.
With a lot of prayer and patience, I got up the nerve to search for Nathan’s mom, Jane, on Facebook. I was so nervous to message her. Would Nathan still even be alive? To my amazement, he was alive and doing well. Nathan had started painting during the same time frame when I had as well: just another way we are connected.
God has creative ways of bringing people together. The Bible story for today features an ancient love story, centered around an arranged marriage. After Rebekah dies, Abraham sends his servant to his homeland to find his son, Isaac, a wife (Genesis 24:37). The servant goes on his way and prays to the Lord. First, the servant thanks the Lord for making his master wealthy with flocks and herds and for giving him a son. Next, the servant asks the Lord to give him a sign as to which young lady is suitable to marry his master’s son by having her draw him and his camels a drink of water (24:42-44). The servant asks the Lord to send the woman who will love and honor Isaac. Isaac is Abraham’s son and he will build the nation of Israel and be responsible for future generations. The woman he marries needs to be strong to help him lead a nation. The servant asks the Lord to send just the right woman.
Prayer takes time and energy. It draws us into the Lord’s arms as we bare our souls. The Lord listens to our prayers and gives us signs. However, we must be alert to notice and understand the signs. Praying is no easy task because the Lord takes his time, which often does not line up with our timing. It can be frustrating when we think our prayers are urgent, but the Lord answers them in his own timing, which is always the right time. Our frustration comes because we do not live according to the Lord’s time. I remember waiting more than a week before Jane wrote me back. The more time passed, the more I worried that Nathan had died and that by messaging Jane I had opened old wounds. A friend encouraged me to write Jane a second time in case my first message got lost in the shuffle. Shortly after I sent the second message, Jane wrote me back and was so excited to tell Nathan I found them on Facebook.
When the Lord sends Rebekah to draw water for the servant and his camels (Genesis 24:45-46), the servant is amazed and tries to discern if this is the one woman the Lord wants Isaac to marry (Genesis 24:47). The servant asks for water, and Rebekah draws water for the camels. Rebekah demonstrates her strength when she draws water for ten camels. This was a lot of water. Each camel would drink twenty to thirty gallons of water. After Rebekah completes the task, the servant asks about her family and she tells him she is Bethuel’s daughter who is Nahor’s son (Genesis 24:47a). The servant adorns Rebekah with jewelry (Genesis 24:47b) and praises the Lord for sending him a strong woman for his master’s kinsman (Genesis 24:48). After receiving her family’s blessing, Rebekah agrees to marry Isaac (Genesis 24:58-59).
When they reach the land where Abraham settled in the Negev, Rebekah asks the servant who is coming to greet them, and the servant answers, “my master” (Genesis 24:65). Rebekah quickly covers herself (Genesis 24:65c), and the servant explains to Isaac all that has transpired (Genesis 24:66). Isaac takes Rebekah as his wife, and she comforts him after his mother’s death (Genesis 24:67).
Love knows no boundaries – time or place. As we will see next devotion, Isaac loves Rebekah very much. The Lord sends people into our lives who will help us through difficult times and rejoice with us. The Lord allowed Nathan and I to reunite after a decade, and although I was nervous going to see him the first time, it was like nothing had changed – we still had an amazing connection.
Thanks be to God!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for sending Rebekah to be Isaac’s wife and a strong leader for future generations. Help us to discern where and when you are leading us to be. Give us the same opportunity to experience a deep love for another person. Thank you for fulfilling your promise to Abraham through Isaac and Rebekah. Amen.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the behavior covenant by commenting on it.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
- What are you currently discerning?
- Where is the Lord sending you?
- Who has the Lord sent you to love?