The continuing study of Finding A Spouse God's Way.
Previous and following parts:
Genesis 24 -- parts 1-5
Page 3 of Study -- parts 10-14
Page 4 of Study -- parts 15-18
Page 5 of Study -- parts 19-22
Page 6 of Study -- parts 23-
Genesis 24:16 And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. 17 And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. 18 And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. 19 And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. 20 And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.
First of all, it is all right for a girl to be fair to look upon, but the point is, what is in her heart, and have those good looks led her into fornication and flirtation; or has she been preserved for the man that she will marry? Proverbs 31:30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. She may be beautiful, and a total fluff head that is mainly interested in being admired. All the good looks in the world cannot make up for not fearing the LORD. In fact, a woman that is good looking and does not fear the Lord enough is likely to get into trouble with those good looks. The same is true for a handsome man that does not fear the Lord.
Also, here is the point that was made earlier. This young lady was not afraid of hard work. She knew what needed to be done and was willing to do it. She had no way of knowing that her good work ethic would win her such a good marriage situation. She did not know who this man was, nor what his errand was. She was just doing what she would normally do and minding her own business. The best way to get in on the blessings God has in store for your tomorrow is to put your hand heartily to the work that you have to do today. Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the repiano coversd of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. Teach this to your kids.
Another thing this brings up, is the subject of whose place it is to do the pursuing. It is the young man's and his father's place to do the pursuing. The young lady should not be doing the courting or trying to start a courtship. She should be minding her own business as much as she can and having a strictly brotherly relationship with the young man until her father's permission has been granted for a courtship and she has been told so by her dad first, and then the young man. There is a lot of "liberation" among Christian woman today that is the world's kind of liberty, not Christ's. It leads to bondage.
When the lady takes the lead in pursuing a husband, there is good reason to believe that she will continue to want to lead throughout the relationship and marriage. When a fellow lets a girl pursue him, he is likely to let her take charge of the relationship and later the home. This all leads to an unbiblical marriage that blasphemes the word of God. Titus 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Added to this is the peril of the young woman's dad pursuing the young man. In one case that I have heard of, a man in a church approached a young man in the assembly wanting him to court his daughter because he felt they were right for each other. Now, as I remember it, he did not approach the fellow's dad, which may have saved some trouble, but the young man himself, who in turn consulted the pastor, as I recall. The fellow courted the girl for 3 years, which was necessary because the girl was too young to marry when they started courting. Eventually, he got called by the Lord to preach, and low-and-behold the girl decided that she did not want to be a preacher's wife! Think of all the sorrow and rotten feelings that could have been avoided if the father of this girl had waited till his daughter was old enough, and for the young man to approach him; or had approached his father instead and merely asked his opinion. Proverbs 19:2 ...he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.
Mothers can fall into this error too, by pushing their daughter at a fellow and by making "helpful" comments to him. Marriage is to be a picture of Christ and the church, and it was Christ that sought us where we were. Messing with this order is perilous to say the least, since it a matter very close to God's heart.
Genesis 24:21 And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not. 22 And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold; 23 And said, Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father's house for us to lodge in? 24 And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor. 25 She said moreover unto him, We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in.
I suppose that in these perilous times which we are living in the reaction of most parents and young people that discover a person that might actually make a good spouse is wonder. "Wow, could it actually, possibly be?" You who have been looking, know what I'm talking about. Folks that know the seriousness of the matter also hold their peace to see what will happen. Is this person as godly as they seem? Will they follow through? What will their family be like? There are dozens of questions at a time like this. Being too hasty can cause real problems. Proverbs 19:2 Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth. Knowledge is essential in this matter.
How many people will leap into marriage as one might decide to go camping? Some are even hastier than this taking little or no thought for finances, mental preparation, or maturity. Love may feel good, but it doesn't pay the bills, put food on the table, know how to change the baby's diapers, or how to check the oil in the car. Sadly, there are parents that are just as foolishly hasty in wanting to see their kids married either for good motives, or because they want them out of their home. What a way to treat your heritage! Psalm 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his repiano coversd.
We visited in one church and, as I recall, there was a young man in the congregation who raised his hand when the pastor asked all who had been saved in the last 6 months or so to raise their hands. If I remember correctly, this was the same young man whom I heard was engaged to an evangelist's daughter after knowing the people only a very short time. This is ridiculous to say the least.
A person that is just saved should not be considered acceptable for marriage until he or she has proven that he/she is going to stay with the Lord and is rooted and grounded in the Lord's love. Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
A young man needs time to grow, learn to walk with the Lord, and find out what He is calling him to do with his life before he starts looking for a wife. Many young men are not taught to be the leaders of their homes these days. They are not taught the Biblical duty of supporting the family without sending the wife to work, and many other things relating to being the real head of the home. A young man needs to learn these things and be sure that he desires and is apiano coverse of what the Lord's will is for him as a husband and father.
A young lady needs to learn to be a godly wife. With the lack of training that many girls get in their homes these days, and the encouragement to pursue a carrier instead, it may take a while for her to be ready to marry and be content with God's will for women.
These are things that take time. Not just 6 months, a year or even two. You should watch them for a good long time to see how things are going to go with them. [Note: Ladies, you have no business trying to encourage someone like that into marriage too soon. I say "Ladies" because of the inclination of some women to "help" young men and women find a spouse regardless of the circumstances or the person's desires.]
In verse 24, the servant says "...Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee..." This is a very important question. This man was interested in her family and history. He did not want just anyone regardless of their background and family connections. He wanted to know about her family. He did not tell her what his intentions were nor what he was there for. He wanted to find out more first.
When people marry, they are marrying each others' families as well in a sense. David understood this. 1Samuel 18:23 And Saul's servants spake those words in the ears of David. And David said, Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a king's son in law, seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed?
That mother or father of the person that you are courting (or that your child is courting) who is such a pain in the neck to you may live in the same home with you someday. Think of that. These things need to be considered.
Some friends of ours have come to a conviction on courtship, but before they did their oldest son went on one chaperoned date. In telling my brother about it he said that the girl's dad was a "jerk" and that he could not have gotten along with him. Later they found out that the girl was just like her dad. He is thankful that the Lord kept him from making a mistake. This is an obvious reason why it is so important to find out what a person's family is like. You may find that you or your family cannot get along with the family and what's more, there is a really good chance that that young man or lady who seems so fine is, or can be, just as rotten as his/her unbearable mother or father. If their parent(s) is a pain in the neck, you better be 100% sure that they have turned from this folly and are trying to walk after Christ Jesus, 1 Peter 2:21.
There are people that are saved out of terrible backgrounds that they abandon completely and who separate from their families almost entirely. 1Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. It still may be that they will find it necessary to care for their parents in their old age, or that their family will become more friendly to the gospel and will want more to do with them. These things need to be considered with much prayer before courtship even begins with someone from a background like this. If you are from this type of family yourself, you will understand a person and their family who shares this type of background much better. Still, spend much in prayer before making the decision to court.
Added to the possibility of family responsibilities is the fact that some people feel a need to "help" their unsaved, reprobate family members get right. The extent of this can be unpleasant at times. One man we knew took in his younger brother who was totally ungodly but pretending to be a Christian. They were living in a vary small house at the time, and it made life uncomfortable for the man's wife since she did not entirely trust her brother-in-law.
Think and pray these things over before courtship! The question for you or your child is not "Do I love him enough to put up with this or that?" Rather, the question is, "Is it the Lord's will for me? Am I really suited to be a help meet for him with this background situation?" "Will he put me in unbiblical situations in order to 'reach' his family or keep peace with them?" (Or the other way around for a son. "Is she suited to be a help meet for my needs?" "Can she overcome these problems from her heritage?" "Will she want to cuddle her unsaved family despite these serious conflicts?") Of course there are many, many more questions that need asking, but there is not time or space to list every possibility here.
Another thing to be considered is if there are mental problems, physical or mental handicaps, or other hereditary problems in the family. These do not necessarily mean that a person is not whom your child (or you) should marry, but these things should be known and taken into consideration.
For example, a person that has hemophilia in their family would be prudent think and pray seriously before marring into a family that has that problem. It would be only increasing the probability of the their sons having this terrible weakness and their daughters passing it on. (See history regarding Queen Victoria and the royals of Europe. Hemophilia was the "royal disease" because of their insistence on keeping their defective blood "pure," to the sorrow of many of them who lost children.)
In some cases a parent's mental problems may be devilish, but if not, then you must consider carefully and prayerfully whether you (your child) is able to handle that kind of mental problem. If it is passed on to their child, as it well could be, you may have to deal with that same problem eventually if you marry their offspring. Ask yourself (or your child) "Am I able to deal with the possibility of having to check him (her) into a mental hospital and raise our kids on my own?" This is not a light question. We know someone that it happened to.
Genesis 24:26 And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD. 27 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren.
Here we see Abraham's servant worshipping the LORD. This man was a believer in the Old Testament sense of the word.
When you see your prayers being answered in regards to finding a spouse for your kids, worship the Lord and give Him the glory. It is really sad when people have to get their hands into God's business and then take the credit for themselves.
I remember visiting in a church that prided themselves on their match-making abilities. One sorry outcome of this match-making "gift" is that people often make such a mess of these things. I was introduced to one young lady who was back visiting that church after having married. I was given to understand they had "made a match" for her. She was in such a sorry situation. Her husband was in the Navy and had not gotten out before marrying. In their short married life they had spent much time apart since he had been off on a ship once already and was again when I met her. On top of that she was living far away from her family. She was miserable. It would have been a shame for them to give the glory to the Lord for the mess they made of her life.
The second point here is that the servant was in the Lord's way. You cannot expect to be led to the right spouse for you kids or yourself if you are not in the Lord's way. He can't lead you where you ought to go if you won't follow Him. 2Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. The flip side of this is that if you are following the Lord, then He knows right where you are in His will and can bring the right person together with you in His time! And, if you are following the things in this verse you will be with the right kind of people where you can find a good spouse, or spouses for you children.
Genesis 24:28 And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother's house these things. 29 And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well. 30 And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well. 31 And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the LORD; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels. 32 And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men's feet that were with him.
First of all notice that Rebekah did not keep this thing a secret. Secret courtships and "romances" are "out." Proverbs 27:5 Open rebuke is better than secret love. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. How many of us like to be rebuked openly? Well, God says that that is better than secret love! That is how much that kind of thing stinks to God! How many young women (or men) have pursued a secret love and gotten kisses from him only to discover later to their great grief that he was really an enemy? And how many of the said young women (or men) had been previously piano coversned about their "sweet heart?"
This a graphic reason why choosing a spouse should be a family matter.
Second, notice again that Rebekah was in the proper place for a young woman. She deferred to her brother to take care of the details that he needed to do. She did not presume to take the responsibility for something that her brother should be and was capable of doing. It has already been pointed out that a young lady (as well as young men) should be in the Biblical place God has given them before they are considered for marriage.
Third, it is likely that the servant was pleased with the response of Laban. Again, as noted before, you can learn about a person from their family. If they are supposed to be Christians and even profess to believe the same as you do, association and observation of the family can tell you a lot.
We visited in one pastor's home and they professed to be narrow way, KJB-Only, soul-winning, Baptists. One son told one of my brothers that they did not observe Hallowe'en. Another son told my other brother that he was going to be "Frankenstein" for Hallowe'en. James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. 1Corinthians 14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? These two stories were what could be called an "uncertain sound" and a fountain giving out bitter and sweet water. Due to this and some other indications and strange doctrines of theirs, we knew that something was seriously wrong and that we could not associate with these people.
Continued on next page:
Page 3 of Genesis 24 Study
background & graphics by mary vannattan
last edited: Dec. 2000