Not? New Beginnings – Genesis24:1-9
Intro: Advent begins! For almost my entire ministry the Sunday that immediately followed thanksgiving was the beginning of the advent season and I would preach with that focus. For the last two months I have been following the narrative of Abraham and Sarah and their journey that has been directed by God. So why would I dare to delay the advent season with an appropriate advent message? In times past Matthew, Luke, Isaiah, even 1 Peter have all been very appropriate for the messages of hope, joy, love and peace. It never ceases to amaze me how God reveals His message to me. I have wrestled with God for the last few days trying to convince myself this narrative from Genesis 24 could never apply to the advent season; and this is when it occurred to me: “Why Not?” Didn’t God make an oath with Abraham and promise him that he would be the father of a multitude and from his descendants a Savior would come? Maybe God’s original plans have everything to do with Marriage, the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and the advent season!
“Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. 13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 (NLT)
Text: Genesis 24:1-9
“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.”
Application: The gift of Christ is the promise God gave us!
1. The Plan: Vs. 1-4
God continues to lay out a plan for the future of Abraham’s descendants and the purpose of marriage and the command for it to be between believers. Being equally yoke has not changed today. “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.” 2 Thessalonians 3:6 (NIV)
Abraham instructs his servant probably Eliezer to find a wife for Isaac from Abraham’s native land of Mesopotamia. Isaac is the promise-bearer. He is the link between Abraham and the future. It is crucial that he should marry within the family of faith, and have a son.
Abraham sends his most trusted servant to find a wife for Isaac from among his relatives. We might think Isaac is weak, to let someone else do his courting. But Abraham is taking no risks. It would be dangerous for Isaac to be attracted to Canaanite women or distracted by their pagan religion. He remembers what happened to Lot.
The servant Eliezer asks God to guide him to the right woman. His prayer is wonderfully answered. He meets the beautiful, youthful Rebekah at a well outside Nahor. She gives him a drink, carries water to his camels—and turns out to be the daughter of Abraham’s nephew.
Rebekah’s father is Nahor, and her brother is Laban. They try to delay the proposed marriage, but the servant handles the situation faithfully and well. Soon he is taking Rebekah home to Isaac, who happily marries her that’s the plan.
Interestingly enough, like Abraham, Rebekah chose to leave her family and land to follow God. Rebekah trusted God with her future and her marriage to Isaac. That was the plan; there is a plan God has for all of us too! We wonder why the Church is so much like the world, because we have allowed the world to have its way in the church, God had a plan and He still implements it!
2. The Problem: Vs. 5-6
Marriage is of critical concern to God. God cares about who we marry. We must seek the will of God about whom we date and marry. If we date and marry the wrong persons, they will bring only trouble and heartache—sometimes terrible problems and severe pain—into our lives. The wrong persons will be combative and selfish, neglecting and ignoring us, putting us way down on their list of priorities. The wrong persons will fill us with deep loneliness, rejection, anger, hostility, and eventually failure. Abraham understood God’s promise so he was very concerned about who his son Isaac would marry and how it would affect the future. Even if Eliezer cannot find a willing bride there, he is not to take Isaac there to live.
No believer should ever forsake God and His promises, not ever, not even to seek for a wife or husband. Abraham, who is the father of all believers, stressed the point: he emphatically repeated the point five times in just nine verses. A wife is not to be taken from the Canaanites, from the worldly and unbelievers of this earth. A wife is to come from believers, those who truly follow God and His promises. A believer is not to leave the Promised Land (God and His promises, the hope of heaven and of the Savior) to seek after a wife or husband. A wife is to come from believers and only from believers. A believer is not to leave the Promised Land, not even for the purpose of seeking a bride or husband.
There is a desperate need within every generation: the need for parents to counsel and guide their children in dating and marriage. The severe pain, trouble, and devastation that falls upon broken marriages and families cry out for the Godly counsel and guidance of parents. That’s part of the problem; parents don’t care anymore if they include God or not in the plans of marriage. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15
The problem is you can’t have both worlds! It’s no wonder why there are as many divorces in the church as there is outside the church. The church has lost its vision of God’s promises.
3. The Promise: Vs. 7-9
Why stop now, every one of these messages over the last two months have been all about the promise.
Vs. 1 “Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.” Abraham was blessed and remembers the Lord’s promise concerning the land of Canaan. Abraham commissions Eliezer his loved and important servant to go and find a wife (believer) from his home land for Isaac. God's promise was clear: God was going to give the Promised Land to Abraham's seed, to those who believed the promises of God and never forsook His promises. God's guidance was assured in seeking a wife for the believer; Abraham's faith guided the servant. Abraham assured the servant: God's angel would lead him to a wife for Isaac. The believer who truly follows God and His promises will be guided by God in seeking a wife or husband. We must, however, be open to God's will and follow His Word in dating, behavior, and marriage. Abraham eased the servant's mind: he would be freed from the oath if the lady refused to marry Isaac. Eliezer took the oath: he swore to seek a wife for Isaac.
The chain doesn’t stop there that’s a promise. Eliezer swears an oath, what plays out in the rest of the chapter is all about God’s Divine Providence. Eliezer prays that he can be obedient to his master’s will. The story of how Eliezer meets Rebekah is nothing short of a miracle.
Conclusion: The focus has been about marriage, God expected Abraham to be obedient in finding a wife (A Christian woman) for his son Isaac. It has been that same providence throughout the history of mankind. Why is marriage still so important today? Because the promise is fulfilled through the Christmas Story. “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11 That is the promise. It comes through a manger, He dies on the cross and on the third day he rises from the grave as the groom who looks for a Godly Bride. The bride is the church who has not: “conformed to this world, but has transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
A Commission was given, God intervened, Rebekah was found by the well and was obedient in marrying Isaac. John 3:16
In : Sermon
Tags: "new beginnings series" "book of genesis"
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