Genesis 24:50-671NIV New International Version Translations
50 Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. 51 Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.” 52 When Abraham’s servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the Lord. 53 Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother. 54 Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there. When they got up the next morning, he said, “Send me on my way to my master.” 55 But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the young woman remain with us ten days or so; then you may go.” 56 But he said to them, “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.” 57 Then they said, “Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.” 58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?” “I will go,” she said. 59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, “Our sister, may you increase to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess the cities of their enemies.” 61 Then Rebekah and her attendants got ready and mounted the camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left. 62 Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. 63 He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. 64 Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel 65 and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?” “He is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself. 66 Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. 67 Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
Marriages and funerals are the changes of families, and the common news among the inhabitants of the villages. In the chapter 24, we have Abraham burying his wife and marrying his marrying his son to Rebekah. Our lesson focuses on the marriage. These stories concerning his family, with their minute circumstances, are largely related, while the histories of the kingdoms of the world then in being, with their revolutions, are buried in silence; for the Lord knows those that are his. The subjoining of Isaac’s marriage to Sarah’s funeral (with a particular reference to it, Gen. 24:67) shows us that as “one generation passes away another generation comes;” and thus the entail both of the human nature, and of the covenant, is preserved. Here we see:
- Abraham’s care about the marrying of his son, and the charge he gave to his servant about it, Gen. 24:1-9.
- His servant’s journey into Abraham’s country, to seek a wife for his young master among his own relations, Gen. 24:10-14.
- The kind providence which brought him acquainted with Rebekah, whose father was Isaac’s cousin, Gen. 24:15-28.
- The treaty of marriage with her relatives, Gen. 24:29-49.
- Their consent obtained, Gen. 24:50-60.
- The happy meeting and marriage between Isaac and Rebekah, Gen. 24:61-67).
Abraham’s servant thankfully acknowledges the good success he had met with. He was a humble man, and humble men are not ashamed to own their situation in life, whatever it may be. All our temporal concerns are sweet if intermixed with godliness. Abraham’s servant, as one that chose his work before his pleasure, was for hurrying home. Lingering and loitering is no way to become a wise and good man who is faithful to his duty. As children ought not to marry without their parents’ consent, so parents ought not to marry them without their own. Rebekah consented, not only to go, but to go at once. The goodness of Rebekah’s character shows there was nothing wrong in her answer. We may hope that she had such an idea of the religion, customs and godliness in the family she was to go to, that this made her willing to forget her own people and her father’s house. Her friends dismiss her with a suitable fond farewell, and with hearty good wishes. They blessed Rebekah. When our family members are entering into a new environment, we ought by prayer to send them with the blessing and grace of God.
Isaac was doing well by society’s standards when he met Rebekah. He went out to take the advantage of a silent evening, and a solitary place, for meditation and prayer; those divine exercises by which we converse with God and our own hearts. It does us good to be often alone, especially when our lives have been blessed with affluence and filled with daily distractions. Observe what an affectionate son Isaac was:
It was about three years since his mother died, and yet he was not, till now, comforted.
See also what an affectionate husband he was to become for his wife. Dutiful sons promise fair to be affectionate husbands. They fill their marriage with honor. This will no doubt help pass on the children, similar behavior and values.
Items for Discussion
- What are the events that bring your family together – that is when you see those distant relatives that you have not seen for a while?
- Why would God take a story of death and sadness and combine it with love and happiness?
- What type of people do you think Isaac and Rebekah were that they could be promised to each other without knowing each other, yet have a happy relationship as man and wife?
- What do you think about the servant in this passage?
- What is different in today’s marriages?
- Think about the blessing given to Rebekah on verse 60. What is the same, what is different than a blessing given to any bride from any religion?
- How is today’s family unit the same or different than the one we read about in this story?
1 Peter 3:4
4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
Peter, originally named Simon, had his name changed by Jesus (John 1:42). ‘Peter’ means ‘a rock’ or ‘a stone’. Peter wrote this letter in Greek so that the good news about Jesus could spread easily. A man called Silas, sometimes called Silvanus, helped Peter to write the letter (see chapter 5:12). Peter wrote this letter about 30 years after Jesus’ resurrection.
In the first verse, Peter lists 5 countries, most are in Turkey today. On the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) people from three of these countries were visiting the city of Jerusalem. Some of these people may have become Christians there. Perhaps they went home and started new churches so Peter wrote to Jews and Gentiles who had become Christians.
Peter wrote his letter because he wanted to encourage Christians who were suffering for Christ. His message: Although Christians might suffer in this life, they will not suffer for ever. This world is not their real home. Heaven is their real home. One day they will live with God in heaven and share God’s glory.” Peter also wants his readers to understand the grace of God. He wanted them to know all that God has done for them. Peter’s motives were to encourage them to learn more about God.
This letter is very practical and the message simple. When a person becomes a Christian, their life changes. Peter tells his readers how to live a good Christian life, encouraging them to live like Jesus.
While Peter may have been addressing women, this verse is applicable to all people. A woman can make herself beautiful on the outside. Taking care of how one looks is not wrong. However, a Christian should be beautiful in their spirit too. A ‘gentle spirit’ means that they do not insist on being right. A person should not make other people do what they want to do. Christians should not argue or fight. A ‘quiet spirit’ means that we are peaceful in our inward and outward spirit. This helps other people to feel peaceful too. This is what is important to God. 1 Samuel 16:7 says that people decide what other people are like by what they look like on the outside. But God looks at their spirit. Beautiful clothes will wear out. The good things in the spirit of a person will never wear out. Therefore, these verses pertain to all people, men and women. It is not our outward appearance that will define our “beauty” but who we are on the inside. Peter tells us that a person’s beauty is defined by their gentleness, generosity, a willingness to listen and serve others, and their attitude toward others.
Items for Discussion
- How do you judge people you meet?
- What special tips can you offer that you have learned about recognizing good people?
- How does our society interfere with the intent of this verse?
- What are the attributes of a person that make them an effective disciple of Christ?
- How do we assure that every generation understands how to recognize the true beauty of a person?
- 1NIV New International Version Translations