Why Abraham Insisted on Finding a God-Fearing Wife for Isaac

7_Wife for Isaac

Scripture Reference: Genesis 24:1-67

Abraham, a man deeply committed to God, desired a wife for his son Isaac who shared the same faith. He knew the significance of marrying someone who worshipped the “true and living God.” Consequently, he dispatched his trusted servant to his relatives’ land to find a suitable partner for Isaac. Rebekah and her family, who faithfully believed in God, answered the call. Despite leaving her home and loved ones, Rebekah embarked on a journey to Canaan to become Isaac’s wife. The couple, united by their devotion to God, built a life together filled with love and obedience.

The Background Story

After many years of following God’s guidance in a nomadic lifestyle, Abraham found himself in a pivotal moment. His beloved wife Sarah had passed away and been buried in Hebron. Now, the time had come to secure a wife for his son, Isaac.

Throughout his time in Canaan, Abraham never regarded it as his true home or considered the Canaanites his people. God had promised him that his descendants would form a great nation. Therefore, it became essential for Isaac to marry someone who would also follow God. This necessitated a journey back to Abraham’s relatives in Haran.

Finding a wife for Isaac was no ordinary task. It held tremendous significance as it would shape the future of generations to come. The Jewish people and the Nation of Israel’s destiny hinged on the commitment of men and women who faithfully served God, forming strong families, and passing down their faith to subsequent generations.

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Abraham entrusted this crucial mission to his chief servant, who was likely “Eliezer of Damascus.” In Genesis 15:1-2, Eliezer is mentioned as a possible candidate. Abraham made him swear an oath to find a wife for Isaac from his relatives rather than from the nearby Canaanites, who worshipped other gods. Interestingly, the unique sealing of this oath, with the placing of the hand on the thigh, would reappear several generations later when Jacob (Israel) asked Joseph to make a similar oath (Genesis 47:29-30).

The events of this chapter not only highlight Abraham’s faith but also the faith of various individuals involved:

  • Abraham’s servant sought God’s guidance in finding Abraham’s relatives, specifically asking for a sign that the chosen girl would offer to water his camels at a well. He faithfully and accurately recounted God’s intervention, giving glory to Him. His account of events, shared with Rebekah’s family and later with Isaac, convinced them of God’s divine plan.
  • Abraham’s relatives, Bethuel (Rebekah’s father) and Laban (Rebekah’s brother), believed the servant’s testimony. In obedience to God’s will, they entrusted Rebekah to him.
  • Rebekah recognized God’s hand in this extraordinary incident. She willingly left her family, embraced a foreign land, and married Isaac.
  • Isaac consented to his father’s choice and married Rebekah, fostering a deep and abiding love between them.

When sharing this story with children, it’s crucial to emphasize that they too will likely marry one day. Discuss the importance of seeking a partner who possesses a strong faith in God.

Introducing the Story

To introduce this lesson, bring wedding photos to class and share them with your students. Highlight the significance of two Christians marrying each other. You may even invite a Christian couple with a strong marriage to bring their wedding photos and share their story. Start by saying, “We’ve been learning about Abraham and his son, Isaac. When Isaac grew up, Abraham wanted him to marry someone who believed in God. In today’s lesson, we’ll discover how Abraham helped his son find a wife.”

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The Story

Abraham was a great man of God. God had promised him that one day he would have grandchildren, who would then have children of their own, and so on. Abraham’s descendants would be countless, just like the stars in the sky. God desired his descendants to love Him as fervently as Abraham did.

However, Isaac, Abraham’s son, remained unmarried. Abraham knew it was time to find the perfect wife for him.

But this wasn’t just any woman. Abraham desired Isaac to marry a woman who had unwavering faith in God. He wanted Isaac and his wife to raise children who would love and serve God just as they did.

Abraham pondered all the women living nearby in Canaan. Unfortunately, they did not share the same devotion to God. They worshipped false gods, bowing down before them. Abraham knew that Isaac marrying a Canaanite woman would not align with God’s plan. He recalled the time he lived in Haran, where many of his relatives still resided. Haran remained a place where people believed in the true and living God. It seemed like the perfect place to seek a wife for Isaac.

So Abraham summoned his most trusted servant and asked him to promise that he would find a suitable wife for Isaac. He set specific instructions: the woman must not be a Canaanite. Instead, the servant must travel to Abraham’s homeland, among his relatives, to find Isaac a wife.

The servant dutifully followed Abraham’s orders. He loaded camels with gifts to offer to the bride’s father. After a long journey, he arrived in Haran, the land of Abraham’s family.

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Once there, the servant decided to station himself near a spring where young women of the city fetched water for their families. He prayed, “O Lord God, show kindness to both me and Abraham today. I will stand here and observe the young women as they come to collect water. If I ask for a drink, and one of them responds, ‘Have a drink, and I will water your camels too,’ let that woman be the one You have chosen for Isaac.”

He had barely finished praying when a kind and beautiful young girl named Rebekah arrived at the well to draw water. The servant approached her and requested a drink.

Rebekah willingly offered her water, saying, “Of course, please have some of my water.”

Upon noticing the servant’s thirsty camels, she selflessly offered to provide them with water as well. As challenging as it was, Rebekah tirelessly ran back and forth to the well, quenching the camels’ thirst. Finally, each camel enjoyed ample refreshment.

The servant was overjoyed! God had answered his prayer, affirming Rebekah as the perfect match for Isaac. As a token of gratitude, the servant gifted her two gold bracelets and a gold nose ring.

Curiosity piqued, the servant asked, “Whose daughter are you? Is there room for me and my camels to lodge at your house overnight?”

Rebekah responded, “I am Bethuel’s daughter, the son of Nahor. There is ample room at our house. Allow me to inform my family.”

Grateful beyond words, the servant realized that, amidst an entire journey, God had led him directly to Abraham’s relatives!

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He accompanied Rebekah to her home, where he shared his identity and the purpose of his visit. Bethuel and Laban, Rebekah’s father and brother, attentively listened to the servant’s testimony. They were astonished and overjoyed, witnessing how God had guided the servant to their doorstep. They marveled at Abraham’s blessings and the love he still held for God, despite his departure from their lives years ago.

The servant then posed a momentous question, “Will you allow Rebekah to accompany me back to Canaan and marry Isaac?”

Believing it to be God’s will, Bethuel and Laban agreed, saying, “Yes.” However, they also sought Rebekah’s opinion before finalizing the decision.

Review Questions:

  1. Why did Abraham object to Isaac marrying a Canaanite woman?

    • Because Canaanites did not believe in the true and living God.
  2. Where did Abraham send his servant to find a wife for Isaac?

    • To Haran, where their relatives resided.
  3. How did Abraham’s servant discern the right woman for Isaac?

    • He prayed that the woman who offered him water and agreed to water his camels would be the one chosen by God.
  4. What was Isaac’s wife’s name?

    • Rebekah

Song Suggestions:

  • Hello Hello Song
  • Love is Something If You Give It Away Song
  • Three Wandering Jews Song

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