Saturday after the Second Sunday after the Epiphany of our Lord
Posted on January 26, 2019 byunder
Scripture: Genesis 24:29-67 (NKJV)
24:29 Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban, and Laban ran out to the man by the well. 30 So it came to pass, when he saw the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and when he heard the words of his sister Rebekah, saying, “Thus the man spoke to me,” that he went to the man. And there he stood by the camels at the well. 31 And he said, “Come in, O blessed of the LORD! Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels.”
32 Then the man came to the house. And he unloaded the camels, and provided straw and feed for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33 Food was set before him to eat, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told about my errand.”
And he said, “Speak on.”
34 So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35 The LORD has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great; and He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36 And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and to him he has given all that he has. 37 Now my master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell; 38 but you shall go to my father’s house and to my family, and take a wife for my son.’
39 “And I said to my master, ‘Perhaps the woman will not follow me.’
40 “But he said to me, ‘The LORD, before whom I walk, will send His angel with you and prosper your way; and you shall take a wife for my son from my family and from my father’s house. 41 You will be clear from this oath when you arrive among my family; for if they will not give her to you, then you will be released from my oath.’
42 “And this day I came to the well and said, ‘O LORD God of my master Abraham, if You will now prosper the way in which I go, 43 behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass that when the virgin comes out to draw water, and I say to her, “Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink,” 44 and she says to me, “Drink, and I will draw for your camels also,”—let her be the woman whom the LORD has appointed for my master’s son.’
45 “But before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah, coming out with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down to the well and drew water. And I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’
46 “And she made haste and let her pitcher down from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels a drink also.’ So I drank, and she gave the camels a drink also.
47 “Then I asked her, and said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’
“And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’
“So I put the nose ring on her nose and the bracelets on her wrists. 48 And I bowed my head and worshiped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the way of truth to take the daughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49 Now if you 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.”
50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, “The thing comes from the LORD; we cannot speak to you either bad or good. 51 Here is Rebekah before you; take her and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as the LORD has spoken.”
52 And it came to pass, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, that he worshiped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth. 53 Then the servant brought out jewelry of silver, jewelry of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother. 54 And he and the men who were with him ate and drank and stayed all night.
Then they arose in the morning, and he said, “Send me away to my master.”
55 But her brother and her mother said, “Let the young woman stay with us a few days, at least ten; after that she may go.”
56 And he said to them, “Do not hinder me, since the LORD has prospered my way; send me away so that I may go to my master.”
57 So they said, “We will call the young woman and ask her personally.” 58 Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?”
And she said, “I will go.”
59 So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her:
“Our sister, may you become the mother of thousands of ten thousands; And may your descendants possess the gates of those who hate them.”
61 Then Rebekah and her maids arose, and they rode on the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed.
62 Now Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he dwelt in the South. 63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming. 64 Then Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from her camel; 65 for she had said to the servant, “Who is this man walking in the field to meet us?”
The servant said, “It is my master.” So she took a veil and covered herself.
66 And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67 Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
How do you receive the one who is sent to do the Lord’s work? Laban says, “Come in, O blessed of the Lord! Why do you stand outside?” Abraham’s servant is welcomed in and given provisions. When brought to the table, he would not eat until he had discharged his duty to get a bride for the bridegroom. After hearing the Word, Laban and Bethuel respond, “The thing comes from the Lord; we cannot speak to you either bad or good. Here is Rebekah before you; take her and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as the Lord has spoken.”
When a newly called pastor is presented in the Church, the congregation is asked, “You have heard the solemn promise of him called to be your pastor. Will you now receive him, show him that love, honor, and obedience in the Lord which you owe to the shepherd and teacher placed over you in your Lord Jesus Christ, and will you support him by your gifts and pray for him always that in his labors he may retain a cheerful spirit and that his ministry among you may be abundantly blessed?” The congregation responds, “We will with the help of God.”
Our gracious God sent His Servant to atone for our sins, and even now He continues to send out “pastors and teachers…for the work of the ministry” (Eph. 4:11-12) to preach the Word, which creates and strengthens faith in our hearts.
We pray: O Christ, You love the Church and gave Yourself for her; sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word, that she might be presented to You as a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but holy and without blemish (Eph. 5:25-27). Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.