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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.”—Genesis 24:1 (NKJV)
As we approach the twenty-fourth chapter of Genesis, we come to one of the most remarkable sections of Scripture. Not only is this the longest chapter in Genesis, but it’s also absolutely critical to the continuation of God’s covenant with Abraham.
For in this chapter Isaac’s wife, Rebekah, is introduced; enabling the Lord’s promises to extend beyond Abraham and Sarah to successive generations. And when it’s all said and done, we’re going to see how this chapter is also a prophetic foreshadowing of the gospel! But let’s go ahead and dive in: “So Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had . . . “you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac (Genesis 24:2-4 NKJV).
We see that this chapter begins with Abraham understanding that his son needs a wife. But not just any wife! Remember, Abraham and his family lived as strangers in a strange land. They were surrounded by pagan cultures whose spiritual values were opposite of theirs. Abraham understood his son’s faith in the true and living God and it would be at risk if he were to marry such a person. So, he calls his oldest and most trusted servant to fulfill a mission for him—to go on a journey to Abraham’s people in order to find a suitable wife for Isaac.
Before moving on, we need to recognize something about this servant. Back in Genesis 15:2 Abraham names his head servant as “Eliezer,” who is most probably the same servant here. Now the name “Eliezer” means helper or God is my helper, which is also how Jesus identifies the Holy Spirit in John 14:16, 26. As the story unfolds, we’re going to see a striking connection between this servant and the Holy Spirit.
But for now, let’s recognize and emulate Abraham’s wisdom in understanding how important shared values are in a relationship. It was worth the extra effort to find a wife for Isaac who wasn’t polluted by paganism. We should also examine the relationships we allow in our lives, asking whether they complement or contradict our spiritual convictions. We might be surprised by what we discover and perhaps even inconvenienced by some difficult decisions we need to make. But in the end, it will be worth the extra effort.
DIG: What did Abraham understand and what did he do about it?
DISCOVER: What can you learn from Abraham’s actions?
DO: Take time to reflect on the relationships that influence you most. Are there any that require you to make difficult decisions?
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.