forward to her evening walk to the well. She had already worked a full
day, but the cooling evening air gave her new energy. She hoped for a lively
conversation with other young women as they took turns drawing up water.
Maybe, a traveler would bring news from other places.
As she approached, she noticed a caravan waiting near the spring. She walked down the steps to the well opening and filled her water jar. [Author's dramatized paraphrase. See the full biblical account in Genesis Chapter 24.]
As she carried her water jar away from the well, a man about her grandfather's age hurried towards her and asked, “Please give me a little water from your jar.” (Genesis 24:17)
“Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink. After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels, too, until they have finished drinking.” (Genesis 24:18)
The man asked for lodging with her family when he found out she was Rebekah the granddaughter of his employer's brother. He gave Rebekah some valuable jewelry and she hurried back to her home to tell her exciting news. Her brother Laban was impressed with the expensive gifts, so he hurried to invite this wealthy man to shelter his caravan with him.
The man introduced himself as the servant of Laban’s great-uncle Abraham. He was sent to select a bride for Abraham's sole heir Isaac. The family was thrilled that Rebekah had an offer of marriage from a wealthy family and quickly agreed. But when they heard that Abraham's servant wanted to leave immediately, they tried to get him to stay longer.
Abraham's servant said, “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted me success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.”
Then they said, “Let's call the girl and ask her about it.” So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”
“I will go,” she said.
God had promised Abraham that through his son Isaac, his numerous descendants would receive the land of Canaan and be a source of blessing for all nations. Isaac needed a wife for the promise to be fulfilled. Abraham did not want his son to marry any of the idol-worshipping inhabitants of Canaan. He sent his servant (possible the Eliezer of Genesis 15:2) to find a bride from Abraham's family in the area of Aram Nahariam. Abraham trusted God would “send his angel before you (the servant) so that you can get a wife for my son from there.” (Genesis 24:7)
Is this just an interesting, romantic story? Or, does God expect us to see some prophetic significance in this account which has been “God-breathed” and preserved for us to read and consider? (II Timothy 3:16; I Corinthians 10:6)
In the Revelation of Jesus Christ to John, a prophecy states, “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes let him take the free gift of the water of life.’” (Revelation 1:1; 22:17)
God compares those who love and trust him to a bride. Our human relationships teach us something about God's love for us and how we relate to and respond to God. In some places we are compared to children of God and brothers and sisters of Jesus. The analogies are not intended to carry through in every detail, but do help us understand the God we cannot see. (Ephesians 5:22-23; Matthew 22:1-14; 25:1-13; Isaiah 61:10; 62:5)
Marriage helps us understand the importance
of humility, exclusive devotion, and mutual service for the good of the
whole family. The eagerness of a bride and bridegroom to begin their married
life together illustrates the eagerness with which God and those who love
God wait for the appearing of Jesus to claim his bride and his kingdom.
(II Peter 3:8-15)
For the Scripture References and
related Bible Study Guide, go to Bible
Study Guide: A Wife for My Son.