Love, Romance and God
Holy Father, illumine Your Word with the Spirit’s brightness that I may clearly see Your truth and Your will for me.
Read Genesis 24:1-28
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Do we know these old stories too well to understand them properly? We’ll look into the deep truths that lie below their surface this week.
Along with a billion other people, I watched the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Although set in another time and place with different expectations, today’s attractive little story could be in a romantic magazine, well-crafted with human interest and suspense. (Will the servant find a woman? Will she go with him?) The narrator keeps the reader in mind. In good storytelling fashion we know Rebekah’s identity before the servant does (15). Yet the narrative is not trivial: it reveals deep truths about people and God. The narrator places the events in a broad, universal context. For a start, the God of this story is no mere local tribal deity but a God whose influence extends outside Canaan to distant parts of Mesopotamia. This God is involved in events that will become patriarchal: the founding of nations which will descend from Abraham. Beyond that, we know what the narrator did not: these events would reach into a distant future when this God–who would in time describe himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exod. 3:6; 1 Kings 18:36; Mark 12:26)–would bring these stories to their ultimate fulfillment, not only in Abraham’s physical family but in us, his spiritual descendants (Gal. 3:7,29).
The Lord is indeed God of heaven and earth (3), but here he works in the unspectacular events of normal Mesopotamian family life. While we clearly see divine guidance operating in this story, it is too simplistic to read it as if all events were absolutely preordained. Indeed, as the story of Isaac and Jacob unfolds, an important dynamic emerges: human activity can shape the future. God’s ultimate purposes will not be thwarted, but God does not micro-manage the choices people make, nor their consequences.
If you were to choose a spouse for your son or daughter (or niece or nephew), what kind would you choose? Why? How does this passage help?
God of heaven and earth, thank You that You care about me and involve Yourself in my life. Help me make the choices You want me to make each day.
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