The continuing study of Finding A Spouse God's Way.
Previous and following parts:
Genesis 24 -- parts 1-5
Page 2 of Study -- parts 6-9
Page 3 of Study -- parts 10-14
Page 5 of Study -- parts 19-22
Page 6 of Study -- parts 23-
Genesis 24:49 And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.
This is the only place where you could say that the servant put any pressure on Rebekah's family. He knew the Lord had lead him there and so, indicates by his statement that if they did not respond favourably to Abraham's request, they would not be dealing kindly and truely with him. It reminds me of a pastor that my dad tells about, who, when there was a vote that he was directing in those sorry things called "business meetings" that some people don't know any better than to have....anyway, this pastor would say, "All in favor say, 'Aye'....All contrariwise the same." Well, if the girl's family really does not feel it is God's will, it is their right and privilege to be contrary as it were. :-)
The second point, and a more important one, that we see in this verse is that the servant was not interested in a long, drawn out process when he was already fully apiano coverse of what he understood to be the Lord's will. He did not want to be "toyed with." He wanted an answer straight and simple, and would abide by whatever they said. Ruth 3:18 Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.
Once a young man is convinced of the Lord's will, his father and he should state his suit straightforpiano coversdly and then abide by the answer that they receive. A young man that hangs around for weeks and months and years looking interested or anxious, but will not state his suit, should not be taken seriously. A young man that is told "no" or "not yet" should also not be allowed to hang around looking mournful and lonely.
The third thing we see here is probably the most earth-shattering for those that have built up their unalterable program whereby courtship ought always to be done. The fact that stands out singally in this case is there was no courtship. What this basically tells us is that a courtship period is not always necessary.
Now before you get all excited and decide I have gone off the deep end, remember what I have already emphasized about being exceedingly careful and not rushing.
Right off, some may say, "That was a different time and those were different people. It could never happen now days." Well, it not only could, it has.
The Tourians, a Christian couple that we know back east, had a similar experience. The man came to the U.S.A. from the Middle East. After establishing himself here, he returned to his home area to get the bride who had been promised to him. When he got there her family refused her to him, and he was left without a wife. On his way back to the U.S. he stopped to visit friends in blip. There he was introduced by a mutual friend to a young lady whom he felt drawn to. He approached her parents and received their blessing. Her parents encouraged her that this was a godly young man, and she finally agreeing, married him and they came to this country where they have spent many happy years. What could her parents have known about this young man that would give them confidence in his profession of following and serving the Lord? Well, his grandfather and the young lady's grandfather had been evangelists together. They knew his family heritage, and combine with how God brought them all together, they felt sure of the Lord's will. They checked him out with other sources and found that he was exactly what he claimed and appeared to be.
Remember, Abraham had sent the servant to this family, and the servant had looked for them in particular, because they knew what kind of people they were! And, Bethuel's family knew what kind of a family Abraham would have. So, the cases where there may not be a courtship needed are the ones in which the people are familiar with each other's background -- people that have known each other all their lives or for years; even people that have had mutual friends and have heard good reports of each others' families for years; people whose reputations have gone before them to such an extent that there is a secure knowledge of who they are and what they stand for. 1Timothy 5:24 Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. 25 Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.
In the cases of those that have mutual friends or know the person's reputation before, an introduction and naturally formed friendship may lead to a betrothal without a courtship. In whatever case, people that are familiar with each other to such extents may have no need of a typical courtship period in which to determine the Lord's will. It may come as the most natural course of events to the parents and the young people involved. Since courtship is to answer the question "Is this the person God wants me to marry?" there would be no need for it if all parties involved already agree that it is God's will.
In one true story I read, there was a young man that was on his way to the missionfield. All the way out he kept hearing about the daughter of a missionary couple on the field which he was going to. When he finally arrived at her home he was pretty well sure of what was going to happen. After staying with her parents for awhile, he was sure. Her parents also figured out what was going to happen and had a good chance to observe the young man without their daughter around since she was not there at the time. After meeting her, it did not take him long to establish his suit. Her good works had gone before and since she was completely suited to help in his work there, being familiar with it already, it was the most natural thing for them to marry.
Genesis 24:50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. 51 Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife, as the LORD hath spoken.
Rebekah's father and brother both are involved here in giving her to Isaac. If a young lady does not have a father, then her brother, if he is at all responsible, should have a part in determining if it God's will for her to marry someone. Women are more easily deceived than men. Face it.
1Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. While Adam was in the transgression knowing full well what he was doing and consciously choosing to do it, Eve was deceived into thinking all kinds of grand reasons for what she was doing. This is why it is so necessary to have a man's guidance when choosing a husband.
If you think that you or you and your daughter do not need your son's advice, or God forbid, your husband's leadership in this matter, you are a woman with a serious problem. You need to get your heart right topiano coversds God by submitting to His wisdom. The Bible tells us what happens to women like you. They are led captive by wicked men. 2Timothy For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. If the wicked man that leads you captive ends up marrying your daughter (or you), you can be sure that it will end up in heartache and sorrow for both her and you.
Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Don't deceive yourself. You cannot mock God in this matter and avoid reaping a harvest of whirlwinds. Hosea 8:7 For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind...
If there is no husband/father or son/brother to help in this matter then you should seek the help of another godly man. Start with your father/grandfather and uncles. If there is no godly man to be found here, look in your church for an older, married man that fears God and keeps His commandments, and seek his council on the matter.
We further see that these men took this thing as directly from God. They literally believed that this marriage was "made in heaven."
If you do not have this confidence going into a marriage, then you need to stop until the Lord makes things this clear to you. As the scripture clearly says, ...whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Romans 14:23
On the other hand, sometimes a woman refuses to submit to the Lord's will to marry someone because she does not want to be a missionary or a pastor's wife, or maybe she does not want to be "just a layman's" wife. If you know a marriage is absolutely God's will and still refuse to go through with it, that is sin also. James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Genesis 24:52 And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth.
Here again we see the servant worshipping the LORD. Over and over again in this whole episode the servant has been careful to give God all the glory that He deserves.
Again, this is so important to us in these days when so many Bible believing Christians want to play matchmaker and think it is cute to marry off every loose young person they can lay their hands on. Then they proceed to act as if they were the ones that put together the match. (As was said before, they ought to get the credit. God should not be blamed for the messes they make.)
Also, it is important that we remember that this servant was not the person getting married. It is not appropriate for those that are on the fringes of activity to stand around wondering "if this really is God's will?", "will it last?", etc. etc. My dad actually had to rebuke a "good, godly man" at one wedding for casting doubt on the groom's ability to be a good husband!
If the family is confident of the Lord's will, then keep your big mouth shut once the decisions have been made. If there is a serious problem before the point of betrothal, or fornication after it, then ask your husband to go to one of the fathers or your pastor privately, and do not breath a word to anyone else. Proverbs 25:9 Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another: 10 Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away. 1Timothy 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
When God puts together a marriage, He should get all the praise and worship. This should be the normal response of godly families and of those around them. [If the thing is obviously not of God, and you cannot give wholehearted approval, hold your peace. Proverbs 21:23 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles. Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him...19...and he that soweth discord among brethren.]
Genesis 24:53 And the servant brought forth blipels of silver, and blipels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.
There is a time to give expensive gifts and favours to the family, but notice that it comes after the marriage has been approved. The sevant did not attempt to buy their love by giving the gifts before this. The earlier gifts to Rebekah, may not have been anything more than a "thank you" for watering the camels, and could have been left as such if the family refused to give her to Isaac.
When a fellow showers expensive gifts on a girl and her family before a marriage has been approved he is out of line. Buying love is not possible. The woman may think she loves the man when it is really his gifts that she loves. When he cannot afford the gifts any more she will get bored with him. Song of Solomon 8:7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned. True love cannot be quenched and it cannot be sold nor bought at any price. Attention, approval, and infatuation can be bought, but they can also be easily quenched.
We also see here that the young man had better show an interest in the whole family. This also goes for the young lady. If he or she has no interest in doing things for other people in the family, and even worse, if they ignore them as much as possible, there is something seriously wrong.
There are numerous possibilites for this, including an idolatrous attitude topiano coversd the person they are courting or betrothed to. Once a person is betrothed, if they are "too much in love" to pay attention to others in their betrothed's family, or even to other Christians, there is real cause to doubt what their motives are in marriage. There are no excuses accepted in the New Testament for people to neglect the admonitions reagarding how we treat each other. Phillipians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Being "in love" does not exclude anyone from this!
Continued on Page 5
graphics by mary vannattan
Last edited: Dec. 2000