This is the story of Isaac and Rebecca.
Abraham was now very old, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, "Put your hand under my thigh. I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son, Isaac."
The servant asked him, "What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?"
"Make sure that you do not take my son back there," Abraham said. "The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father's household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath saying, "to your offspring, I will give this land" - he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there" So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.
Then the servant left, taking with him ten of his master's camels loaded with all kinds of goods from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim and made his way to the town of Nahor. He had camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water.
Then he prayed, "Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a young woman, 'please let down your jar that I may drink' and she says, 'Drink, and I'll water your camels too' - let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you will show kindness to my master."
Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milka who was the wife of Abraham's brother, Nahor. The woman was very beautiful, a virgin, no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up again.
The servant hurried to meet her and said, "Please give me a little water from your jar."
"Drink my lord," she said and wuickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink.
After she had given him a drink, she said, "I'll draw water for your camels too, until they had enough to drink." So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water and drew enough for all his camels. Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful..."
Then, the man bowed down and worshipped the Lord, saying, "Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master's relatives."
Phew! That story is pretty long. I had to cut it short. You can read the rest if you wish in Genesis 24. BUT...in this story, Abraham was an old man and the Bible says that he was in his last years. He wanted a wife for Isaac who was saved. He wanted to sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac and this servant acknowledged God.
He prayed and wanted a sign. He wanted a good wife and he wanted God's direction to find a good wife for Isaac.
Isaac was pretty much older. He is believed to have been around 37 to 40 years of age. Abraham's actions were based on revelation. God promised to make Abraham a great nation and bless the nations through him. It was the WILL of God for Isaac to be married. God MADE marriage. He thrives in marriage.
Genesis 2:18 - "...it is not good for man to be alone, the Lord shall make him a help meet."
God saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone so he made for him that which was closest to his heart - he made a woman. God saw the need in Adam's heart.
The servant of Abraham committed his mission to prayer. When he found Rebekah, he thanked the Lord and he worshipped the Lord.
What Can We Learn From Isaac and Rebekah?
- Seek a MATE when it is certain that marriage will achieve God's purpose in our lives - which is family and children - Genesis 1:28 - "Then God blessed them and said, 'be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky and all the animals that scurry along the ground."
- Wait on God's Timing - Yes, I know people hate hearing the whole 'wait on God's timing...' but there's nothing you can do.
- Look in the RIGHT places - Abraham told his servant to not go in the land of the Canaanites. Why was that? Well, the Canaanites represent the 'unsaved' people. The Bible says "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers." Why don't you get involved in the life of the church, find somebody with a heart for God and get involved in the work of God. If you start to like somebody, pray about it and seek God first. God will guide you. But be in the context of friendship, ministry, get to know that person
- Seek Godly Qualities - You can date around but it doesn't mean they are the right people. And in your waiting, have you considered your character? Getting marriage is not about your age, it's about your character (Ephesians 5). Are you still selfish? Husbands? Potential husbands? You are supposed to represent Christ. Your decisions will no longer be based on your own merit, but for the betterment of your wives and your children. You are the high priest of the home, the protector of the home and the provider of the home. Strong fathers begin with a strong husband and a strong believer in Christ. Women - are you willing to respect your husband? Respecting him as the provider? As the preacher? Giving him reverence even when he makes mistakes? Are you willing to respect his responsibilities and can you submit? Both of y'all - are you mature enough to submit to one another in the fear of God?
- Listen and HEED to the instructions of OLDER and WISER Christians - do not keep the relationship a secret. There is nothing wrong with getting to know people. But keep it public.
Lastly, you will grow old with the person you will marry. The world may make marriage seem very cumbersome but marriage is a serious step. This is a life partner. If you know it will not be permanent, let that person know sooner and gently and stay friends. Imagine going to heaven and how many people you have to avoid due to the awkwardness.
I also realise that people focus so much on marriage. They make lists about what they want in a mate (which is good, because at least you have standards) but some of these lists are so unrealistic. Why don't you seek first the Kingdom of God because without the character of Christ, you're nothing. Why don't you learn to pray and read the promises of God. Pray for God to change your heart and pray for your future marriage?
Why don't you just relax and not THINK too much about whether the man you're dating is 'the one'? Every guy that comes along, you wonder if he is the one God has sent for you? Why not just go out, befriend people, both men and women and just CHILL?
Prayer - Women, why don't you pray.
Lord, I want in my heart to respect my future husband and honour his leadership. Lord, let my judgement be good, my words to hold weight. Please, let me be a mother that has such an impact on my children and my grandchildren. I believe in You, Lord, for breakthroughs in my fear of commitment and rejection. Lord, you died to make me who I am and who I am meant to be. Father, change me and make me less selfish. Take the treachery out of my heart, let us mean it when we go to your altar and let that be deep within our hearts. Let us mean our vows. Let our love be unconditional. I pray that I lay down my life for that person, to not walk away from that marriage no matter how hard it gets.
In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen?!