10. Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 24)Related Media
Main Point: Doing things God’s way leads to many blessings.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. - Proverbs 3:5-6
Props: Hand-held paper windmill; 4 or 5 “gold and silver” costume jewelry bracelets, plastic “gold” coins (one coin per student)
Say: Some things are impossible for us to see. Wind is an example of something we cannot see. The only way that we know that wind exists is to feel it, or see it working. For example, when I blow into the air, I am making a little bit of wind. But you can’t see the wind coming out of my mouth. However, I can PROVE that wind is coming out. Teacher: Hold up your paper windmill, holding it completely still. Then tell the kids to watch as you blow on it. Say: When you see the windmill turn, you see PROOF that I am making wind. Ask: What are some other things we cannot see? Love, anger, air, God. Say: God is Spirit, and we cannot see Him (John 4:24, 1 John 4:20). But He CERTAINLY is real. The Bible tells us that God created everything in the world to give PROOF of His power and greatness. He gave us something we can see to PROVE what we cannot see (Romans 1:20).
Faith is another thing we cannot see. Last week we learned that Abraham PROVED he had faith in God because he was willing to sacrifice his son. Abraham trusted God completely. God had promised that Isaac would one day have children, and Abraham knew that God ALWAYS keeps His promises. Abraham was certain that even if Isaac died, God would bring him back to life. Of course, the Lord stopped Abraham before any harm came to Isaac. Because Abraham obeyed God, we know how much Abraham trusted and respected God. Then God, Himself, provided a ram as a substitute sacrifice.
Search For A Wife (Genesis 24:1-27)
Say: Genesis 23 tells us that Abraham’s wife, Sarah, died at the age of 127. Abraham buried her in a cave near Hebron, in the land of Canaan where they lived. About three years later, when Abraham was 140 years old, he called his most trusted servant and gave him a very important job. Abraham said:
“I’m living among the people of Canaan. But I want you to promise me that you won’t get a wife for my son from their daughters. Instead, promise me that you will go to my country and to my own relatives. Get a wife for my son Isaac from there.”
The servant asked him, “What if the woman doesn’t want to come back with me to this land? Then should I take your son back to the country you came from?”
“Make sure you don’t take my son back there,” Abraham said. “The Lord, the God of heaven, took me away from my father’s family. He brought me out of my own land. And He made me a promise with an oath. He said, ‘I will give this land to your family after you.’ The Lord will send his angel ahead of you. So you will be able to get a wife for my son from there.” - Genesis 24:3b-7
Say: Isaac was 40 years old, and had not married yet. Abraham wanted to find a wife for him. Two things were very important to him. First, he wanted to be sure that Isaac did not marry a Canaanite woman. The Bible tells us that God did not want Abraham’s family to marry people from Canaan because the Canaanites worshipped false gods (Deuteronomy 7:1-4). And, secondly, Abraham wanted to be sure Isaac did not go back to the land that Abraham had come from. God had called Abraham out of that land, and Abraham did not want his son to return there. It, too, was filled with people who worshipped false gods (Joshua 24:2). God is VERY serious about His people staying far away from false gods. The first of the Ten Commandments is, “Do not put any other gods in place of Me.” (Exodus 20:3)
So, Abraham wanted the right woman in the right place for Isaac. Abraham’s servant swore an oath to his master that he would do what Abraham asked. Abraham was living in the land of Canaan, near Hebron. Teacher: Show Hebron on the map. Show the long trek toward Padan Aram. The servant took ten camels, other servants, and all kinds of good things from Abraham on his trip (Genesis 24:10, 32). He set out for Aram Naharai. He made his way to the town of Nahor. Nahor was Abraham’s brother.
Note to Teacher: Aram Naharaim (Genesis 24:10) refers to Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris River on the east, and the Euphrates on the west. The “town of Nahor” is not mentioned by name. However, Genesis 28:5 tells us that Rebekah’s father’s house is in Paddan Aram.
Say: This time, Abraham did everything God’s way. He followed what God had said about who his son should marry. He did not just pick any girl from any land. Instead, Abraham believed that God would lead his servant to just the right woman. Ask: Why do you think Abraham sent his servant instead of going himself? God told him to leave that land so he didn’t want to go back, and he was far too old to make such a trip.
Say: This trip was very long. It was almost 500 miles. That is a long way to travel on the back of a camel! When the servant arrived at the well just outside of the town, it was late in the day. It was the time when women went out to gather water at the well. Listen to the faithful prayer of the servant, as he depended totally on God:
Then he prayed, “Lord, You are the God of my master Abraham. Give me success today. Be kind to my master Abraham. I’m standing beside this spring. The daughters of the people who live in the town are coming out here to get water. I will speak to a young woman. I’ll say, ‘Please lower your jar so I can have a drink.’ Suppose she says, ‘Have a drink of water. And I’ll get some for your camels too.’ Then let her be the one You have chosen for your servant Isaac. That’s how I’ll know You have been kind to my master.” - Genesis 24: 12-14
Even before he had finished praying, a beautiful young lady named Rebekah approached the well, carrying a water jar. After she filled her jar, the servant hurried over to her and asked for a drink. She gave him water right away. Then she offered to get water for all of his camels. She emptied her water jar into the watering trough and ran back to the well to get more water. The servant watched Rebekah closely to see if she was the one God had chosen for Isaac. When the camels finished drinking, the servant gave Rebekah some gold jewelry. Give some of your jewelry to some of the girls. Imagine how surprised Rebekah was to receive gold in exchange for water!
The servant asked whose daughter Rebekah was, and if there was room for he and the other servants to spend the night at her father’s house. She told him there was plenty of room for them, and that she was the daughter of Bethel, who was the son of Nahor. Ask: Who can remember who Nahor was? Nahor was Abraham’s brother!
The man bowed low and worshiped the Lord. “Praise the Lord, the God of my master, Abraham,” he said. “The Lord has shown unfailing love and faithfulness to my master, for He has led me straight to my master’s relatives.” - Genesis 24:26-27 NLT
The servant was overwhelmed at God’s amazing answer to his prayer. God had led him straight to Abraham’s great-niece! The servant stopped and took the time to praise God for His faithfulness to him and to Abraham.
Application: Let’s look a little closer at Abraham’s trusted servant. The Bible does not tell us his name, but the Bible tells us he was in charge of everything that Abraham owned (Genesis 24:2). Ask: Thinking about our story so far, what else can you tell me about him? He was loyal, obedient, respectful, and he trusted God. Say: More than likely, this servant was one of the servants Abraham took with him when he went to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22:3). Because this servant was very close to Abraham, he knew a great deal about God. He knew that God is good and kind (Psalm 73:1, Jeremiah 9:24). He knew that God hears our prayers (Proverbs 15:29). He knew that God longs to give good things to those who follow Him (Matthew 7:11). And he knew that God is powerful enough to lead him 500 miles across the desert to just the right woman to fulfill His plan. By watching Abraham, the servant knew how to praise and worship the Lord. God chose Abraham and blessed him. This servant put his trust in God because of Abraham’s example.
If you are a Christian, you have been chosen by God and blessed by Him. Do the people around you know about God’s goodness, faithfulness, and power, just by being around you? Have people learned how to praise God by watching you?
Rebekah’s Family (Genesis 24:28-67)
Say: Rebekah ran home to tell her family what had happened at the well. It was not every day that girls were lavished with gifts by strangers from a far-away land! As soon as Rebekah’s brother, Laban, saw the gold and heard the story, he went out to meet this mysterious man.
“Come and stay with us, you who are blessed by the Lord! Why are you standing here outside the town when I have a room all ready for you and a place prepared for the camels?” - Genesis 24:31
It is interesting that Laban called the servant “You who are blessed by the Lord.” Remember that one of God’s promises to Abraham was that He would bless anyone who blessed him. This servant was a faithful servant to Abraham, and God had indeed blessed him. Laban took the servant to his home and took care of the camels. A meal was prepared and placed in front of the servant. But the servant refused to eat until he had told Rebekah’s family the reason for his visit.
He told them all about how God had blessed Abraham and how God gave him and Sarah a child in their old age. He told them how Abraham instructed him to go to the land of his relatives to find a wife for his beloved son. The servant even told them how he had prayed at the well, and how Rebekah came down at just the right time. Then the servant asked Rebekah’s brother and father if they would allow Rebekah to marry Isaac. The servant said:
“So tell me - will you or won’t you show unfailing love and faithfulness to my master? Please tell me yes or no, and then I’ll know what to do next.”
Then Laban and Bethuel replied, “The Lord has obviously brought you here, so there is nothing we can say. Here is Rebekah; take her and go. Yes, let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.” - Genesis 24:49-51
Say: Rebekah’s family respected the Lord. They knew that God had worked out this plan for their daughter, so they wanted her to go. They trusted God enough to know that His plan was the very best thing for her. When the servant heard their answer, he bowed down to worship the Lord again. Then he took out the gifts that Abraham had sent with him. He gave clothing and more jewelry to Rebekah. He also gave expensive gifts to her family. Pass out more of your jewelry and gold coins. Then they ate together and the servant and his men spent the night. The next morning the servant asked for them to send him back to Abraham. Rebekah’s family wanted her to stay with them a while longer. The servant pleaded for them to let them go right away. They decided to let Rebekah make the decision. She said, “Yes, I will go.”
Literally overnight, Rebekah’s life changed completely. She left her mother, father, brother, and all of her friends. It was very likely she would never see any of these people again. She left everything that was familiar to her to marry a man she had never met. She TRUSTED God enough to go with the man He had sent for her. She believed that God’s way was the BEST way. Rebekah’s family sent some of her servant girls with her.
And they gave Rebekah their blessing. They said to her, “Dear sister, may your family grow by thousands and thousands. May your children after you take over the cities of their enemies.” - Genesis 24:60b
Then Rebekah and her servant girls traveled with Abraham’s servant toward the Negev Desert (just south of Beersheba) where Isaac lived. One evening, Isaac went out to one of his fields to think. When he looked up, he saw camels coming toward him. Rebekah looked up and saw Isaac. She asked Abraham’s servant who he was. When she found out he was Isaac, Rebekah covered her face with her veil. Then the servant told Isaac everything that had happened.
Isaac brought Rebekah into the tent that had belonged to his mother Sarah. And he married Rebekah. She became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother died. - Genesis 24:67
In the weeks to come, we will see how God kept His promises to Abraham by giving many descendants to Isaac and Rebekah.
Application: Abraham’s servant insisted that he take Rebekah home to Isaac right away. This faithful servant knew how important it is to obey God right away. Often times, if we wait to obey, we become distracted by other things. Before long we may forget about God’s instruction, or even choose not to obey.
This is a beautiful story. It is a love story, and a story of listening to and obeying God. Abraham obeyed God by finding a wife for his son God’s way. Rebekah and her entire family were willing to do exactly what they knew God wanted them to do. And, Abraham’s servant is a wonderful example of abiding in God. He had become very close to the Lord, and the Lord stayed close to him. He prayed to the Lord and worshipped Him. The servant was able to be a part of God’s plan because he trusted and rested in the Lord.
God’s perfect plan for marriage is one man with one woman for a lifetime. Even though you are young, it is not too early for you to pray about your future. Ask God to mold you into a godly person that would be a wonderful husband or wife. And ask God to lead you to the husband or wife He knows is right for you, at exactly the right time in your life. Abide with Him, and He will guide you to the right person at the right time.
PPT MAIN POINT
Main Point: Doing things God’s way leads to many blessings.
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