Friday, May 6, 2011

Genesis 24:1-9

In chapter 23 we looked at the grief of Abraham over the loss of his dear wife, Sarah. However, nothing in the chapter mentions the grief of Isaac. Surely Isaac must have been close to his mother! She must have doted on him as her only son, the treasure of her heart. Well, today’s story just gives a a glimpse into Isaac’s pain, while revealing much about God’s plan.

Abraham was now very old, and the LORD had blessed him in every way. He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh. I want you to swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.” (Gen. 24:1-4)

Interesting that the Abraham is now described as “very old!” Jon Courson says he was about 140 years old! It reminds me of a line in the movie, On Golden Pond, when the frail and aged Henry Fonda mentions to equally old Katherine Hepburn other “middle aged couples like us.” Katherine Hepburn looks at him in disbelief and says, “We are NOT middle aged! People don’t live to be 150!” Well, Abraham is no longer in the prime of his life! God has faithfully blessed him in every way. Abraham left all he ever knew and had to follow God, and God has given him everything he could have ever wanted or needed and more, as we read later in the chapter:

The LORD has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. My master’s wife Sarah has borne him a son in her old age, and he has given him everything he owns. (vs. 35-36)

But Abraham is now concerned about taking care of Isaac and seeing that he is settled with a wife and family. So he calls his servant in and gives him the assignment of finding God’s choice for Isaac. Notice that Abraham has two big qualifications: the wife must NOT be from the Canaanites, but his own family, and the servant must NOT let Isaac go back to the old country. God does NOT want us marrying unbelievers, and He NEVER wants us to return to where He’s saved us from!!! Look at the emphasis Abraham places on this, as he makes his servant swear an oath to obey Abraham’s wishes:

“Make sure that you do not take my son back there,” Abraham said. “The LORD, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land’—he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there. (vs. 6-8)

How intentional are WE when it comes to protecting our own children from those things which will pull them away from God? Satan has an amazing array of activities and enticements to occupy the minds and hearts of our children. We need to have the same passion and commitment to raising our children in God’s kingdom as Abraham shows here! We need to protect them from those things which will pull them away. So why aren’t more of us anxious to work in children’s ministries? This is the most important mission field of the church! Vacation Bible School and Sunday School ministries are recruiting, people. It’s that time of year. Is God calling you to step up?? As a parent how are you working to protect your children or grandchildren? Are you helping them learn how to put on the full armor of God?

There are so many great nuggets in this story! I can’t wait until next week to really get into it!

Have a restful weekend!


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