Divinely Arranged Marriage Genesis 24:1-67
The Lord said to Abram “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” Genesis 12:1. So Abram left Haran at the age of 75 and came to Canaan and settled there. His father Terah came to Haran from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan but he settled in Haran (Gen.11:27-32).
In Canaan, God blessed Abraham with Isaac at the age of 100. God had blessed him in every way. When Isaac was 40 years old (Gen.25:20), Abraham entrusted his chief servant, Eliezer with the task of finding a wife for Isaac. The condition was that she should not be a Canaanite girl but should be from his country and from his own relatives.(Gen.24:3,4). Abraham believed that God would show the right girl. He will send His angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. Gen.24:7.
So Eliezer started the long journey from Canaan to Haran, with 10 Camels and servants. The most common route was 900 miles or 1450 Kilometers. After reaching Haran, Eliezer prayed to God, asking Him to show the right girl. The condition was that when he said to a girl “Please let down your jar that I may have a drink”, and she says, “Drink, and I will water your Camels too- let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Issac…” Gen.24:14.
Immediately after the prayer, Rebekah came to draw water. When Eliezer asked for water to drink, she not only gave him water who was a complete stranger, but also offered to water all his camels, just as he prayed.
A thirsty camel can drink nearly 200 liters of water in no time. So to water all the 10 camels, how many times, she must have drawn water from the well.
Rebekah was very beautiful, a virgin, no man had ever lain with her. Gen.24:16. She was not only very beautiful, a very moral girl, healthy, humble, industrious, very courteous and charitable even to strangers.
Her willingness to do that much to total strangers without expecting anything in return, was a sign for Eliezer that she was God’s chosen girl for Isaac. Without revealing anything further to her, he gave her golden nose ring and bracelets to her. Afterwards, he realized that she was the grand daughter of Abraham’s brother Nahor.
On hearing the news, Laban, the brother of Rebekah came to the well to invite Eliezer and friends home with the camels. They arranged their stay and food. Before taking food, Eliezer shared the purpose of his mission and how God led him to Rebekah. On asking their opinion, both Laban and his father Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord;…..take her and go…as the Lord has directed.” Gen.24:50,51…
At this point, Eliezer brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to others.
The very next morning, Eliezer wanted to go back with Rebekah….On asking her, “Will you go with this man?”. Her reply was “I will go.” She was willing to go with total strangers to a strange land to be the wife of a person whom she had never seen. Her parents and dear ones allowed her to go because they recognised that this was from the Lord. She also understood the Hand of God in everything.
As Isaac went out to the field one evening to meditate, he saw Eliezer coming with Rebekah. On seeing Isaac from a distance, Rebekah got down from her camel. On recognizing that, that was Isaac, she took her veil and covered herself. The covering with a veil signified chastity, modesty and submission. This was how Rebekah wanted to meet the man she would marry.
Abraham sent the servant with prayer believing in His God to do the needful. Eliezer had also prayed and asked God to show the girl. Her father, brother and others too understood that, this was from the Lord. Rebekah showed a remarkable willingness to leave everything she posses in order to be with a bridegroom she had never seen. Isaac also realized that it is God who arranged it. So Issac married Rebecca. So she became his wife, and he loved her (Gen.24:67)
What are the qualities we look for in our spouses or in our daughter-in-law or son-in-law? What are the methods we adopt to decide ?
Do we trust God and depend on Him, to provide for all our needs?
What is the role of God in all our decision making?