For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. - Jeremiah 29:11
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The following are my notes taken during my pastor's sermon.
First, God is the source of our hope.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. - Romans 15:13Our focal scripture passage is Genesis, chapter 24. At this time, Abraham is about 104 years old. Issac is about 40 years old and is unmarried. YET, God promised a plan.
This is a beautiful story about how God provided a wife for Isaac, but the principles learned throughout the story can be applied to any other situation when you doubt God's plan for our life.
It was he to whom it was said, "In Isaac your descendants shall be called. - Hebrews 11:18Regarding Genesis 24, we find in verses 1-4 that Abraham did not want a wife for Isaac who would turn his heart away from God.
Now Abraham was old, advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in every way. Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he owned, “Please place your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of Heaven and the God of earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live, but you will go to my country and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” - Genesis 24:1-4In verses 5-9, God instructed them not to leave the land He had given them. If Isaac chose to leave the land, it would cause the people to believe that God would not keep His promise.
God's will - His plan - is perfect. We have to trust him.
Yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. - Romans 4:20-21In verses 10-11, Abraham's servant traveled 500 miles on a camel train. A camel train consisted of about 10 camels. They traveled for approximately 20 days, maybe more.
Then the servant took ten camels from the camels of his master, and set out with a variety of good things of his master’s in his hand; and he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at evening time, the time when women go out to draw water. - Genesis 24:10-11Now, here is a very important part. Upon arrival into the city, Abraham's servant prayed.
He said, “O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness to my master Abraham. Behold, I am standing by the spring, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water; now may it be that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar so that I may drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’— may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown lovingkindness to my master.” - Genesis 24:12-14
We never need to be afraid to pray for success for our families, our friends, ourselves, etc.
Make me know Your ways, O Lord;Ask God to show you, to lead you, and to teach you along the way.
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day. - Psalm 25:4-5
Take note that God answered Abraham's servant's prayer before he had even finished speaking.
Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor, came out with her jar on her shoulder. - Genesis 24:15We gain a lot of wisdom from verse 21. We can learn a lot when we are quiet.
Meanwhile, the man was gazing at her in silence, to know whether the Lord had made his journey successful or not. - Genesis 24:21Abraham's servant wanted to make sure he had made the correct choice. He wanted to go to her home before he thanked God.
And said, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room for us to lodge in your father’s house? - Genesis 24:23In verse 26, the servant worshiped and prayed. He told the woman's family the story.
Then the man bowed low and worshiped the Lord. - Genesis 24:26Now, let's fast forward to verse 55. The woman's family asked for her to stay home a few more days.
But her brother and her mother said, “Let the girl stay with us a few days, say ten; afterward she may go.” - Genesis 24:55Abraham's servant said, "No."
In verse 58, the woman, Rebekah, told her family that she would go.
Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.” - Genesis 24:58Did you notice Rebekah's obedience? We can be as confident as Rebekah when we are in the will of God.
In verse 67, we learn that Isaac loved Rebekah.
Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and he took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her; thus Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. - Genesis 24:67Points to Ponder:
1. We need to be determined to do God's will - no matter what.
2. Prayer and God's will are inseparable. The first thing Abraham's servant did was pray. Pray specifically and with expectancy.
Remember that Satan shoves, but God leads. Remember that anything manipulated is not from God. There was no pushing or shoving anything into place by anyone in this story.
3. God's will about marriage is clear and most risky when ignored.
The timing needs to be right. The time for Isaac was right.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. - Proverbs 18:22
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Marry in the faith. Abraham's servant was instructed not to bring home a Canaanite woman.
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? - 2 Corinthians 6:14Marry a person of character.
Marry only with Godly counsel and blessing. The blessing of parents is important.