Friday after the Second Sunday after the Epiphany of our Lord
Posted on January 25, 2019 byunder
Scripture: Genesis 24:1-28 (NKJV)
24:1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 So Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Please, put your hand under my thigh, 3 and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; 4 but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”
5 And the servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came?”
6 But Abraham said to him, “Beware that you do not take my son back there. 7 The LORD God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my family, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I give this land,’ He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 8 And if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be released from this oath; only do not take my son back there.” 9 So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.
10 Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, for all his master’s goods were in his hand. And he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. 11 And he made his camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water at evening time, the time when women go out to draw water.
12 Then he said, “O LORD God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’—let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”
15 And it happened, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. 16 Now the young woman was very beautiful to behold, a virgin; no man had known her. And she went down to the well, filled her pitcher, and came up.
17 And the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your pitcher.”
18 So she said, “Drink, my lord.” Then she quickly let her pitcher down to her hand, and gave him a drink.
19 And when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” 20 Then she quickly emptied her pitcher into the trough, ran back to the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels. 21 And the man, wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not.
22 So it was, when the camels had finished drinking, that the man took a golden nose ring weighing half a shekel, and two bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels of gold, 23 and said, “Whose daughter are you? Tell me, please, is there room in your father’s house for us to lodge?”
24 So she said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, Milcah’s son, whom she bore to Nahor.” 25 Moreover she said to him, “We have both straw and feed enough, and room to lodge.”
26 Then the man bowed down his head and worshiped the LORD. 27 And he said, “Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master. As for me, being on the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s brethren.”
28 So the young woman ran and told her mother’s household these things.
Finding a wife for Isaac was not simply the fatherly duty of Abraham. God had told Abraham that Isaac was the heir to the Promised Seed, our Savior Jesus Christ who was to come. This marriage was of great religious importance. Isaac would inherit the Promised Land; Abraham’s servant was not to take Isaac to another land, lest he forsake God’s abundant promise.
Like a called and ordained pastor who swears to perform the duties of the pastoral office in accordance with the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions, this oldest servant was bound by an oath to get a wife for Isaac in Abraham’s fatherland. A pastor preaching the Word prays and trusts that the Holy Spirit will grant success to that Word by creating faith in the hearers. Preaching and teaching the Word, we ask the apostolic question, “Do you believe?” We wait in silence to know whether a believer has been created. When the answer is “yes,” then we rejoice and bless the Lord, for He has “not forsaken His mercy and His truth.”
The Church is the Bride and Jesus is the Bridegroom. St. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11:2, “…I have espoused [promised] you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” This happens through the preaching of the Word and administration of the Sacraments as God brings us to faith and we are made members of His Body, the Church.
We pray: Almighty, Gracious Lord, You fulfilled Your promise to Abraham to give him a holy Seed, our Savior. Keep us in the true faith that we may remain faithful to Christ, the Church’s Bridegroom, and enjoy the coming marriage feast of the Lamb which as no end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.