274. I BEING IN THE WAY, THE LORD LED ME – A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN
(The Single Woman Series – Batch 4)
On the 16th October, 2020, as a single woman, I wrote:
Quite often, we hear of couples who seem to have a blissful union and we come to the conclusion that theirs must have been a match made in heaven.
Whether this is true or not, I do not know. Sad to say, some of these picture-perfect couples often put on a show, so that later we hear that they have gone their separate ways or are dealing with some major challenge or other, that makes us question whether God really did put them together.
One thing I will say is that when God puts a man and a woman together, when he brings about their union, his fingerprints tend to be on everything and whatever he does, he does honourably.
As evidence of this, there are actual examples in the Bible of real-life situations in the past, where God intervened and brought a man and a woman together, for the sake of marriage. For example, God orchestrated the union between Adam and Eve, the first two people he created, Eve being specifically created from one of the ribs he took out of Adam.
He was also instrumental (in my view), in bringing Ruth the Moabite into relationship with Boaz, one of the most wealthy, eligible bachelors back then.
Today though, I want to focus on another couple who he brought together: Isaac and Rebekah. Undeniably, theirs was a match made in heaven, God being at the very centre of their relationship story.
In another Note I wrote earlier on the dangers of matchmaking when it is concocted by human beings, even when they may be well meaning. I wrote that God is the best matchmaker and that I firmly believed that his children (those in relationship with Jesus as their Lord and Saviour), should wait on him to choose for them and to have his perfect will in their lives, as opposed to trying desperately to make things happen for themselves or aligning themselves recklessly with someone that somebody hooked them up with simply because they said that they would be a perfect match and they wanted this to be true so badly.
I maintain this position.
For those (like myself) who are still single but desirous of a godly spouse, I think it is important that we study the approach taken by Abraham’s eldest servant, which resulted in Isaac and Rebekah being brought together by God.
There are four (4) specific steps that Abraham’s servant took, as he was sent out by his master to find a wife for Isaac, his father’s son. These, in my view are relevant today and crucial for all those who want and trust God enough, to find the right match for them.
These are the steps that Abraham’s servant took, which led him to Isaac’s wife Rebekah:
1. He POSITIONED himself
In Genesis 24, Abraham’s eldest servant was made to swear by the Lord God of heaven, that in his search for a wife for Abraham’s son Isaac, he would not select a Canaanite woman.
Abraham lived among the Canaanites at the time but given that they were godless people who did not know God or serve him or obey his ways, Abraham was resolute that he did not want one of their daughters for his son. He wanted a godly, god-fearing, chaste woman for his son and so he directed his servant to leave Canaan and to go unto his country and to his kindred or family.
Today, Canaan is symbolic of the world and so Abraham did not want his son aligning himself with a woman of the world, as he knew that such a woman would influence his son into worldliness and not godliness. He knew the importance of being equally yoked with a person that was godly and of like-faith (although this instruction had not yet been given by God) and so he sent his servant to his country (where he used to live) and where his family was.
He knew that his family was God-fearing and loved and served God and so he sent his servant specifically to his own household where faith was, to choose a wife for his son.
Back then, perhaps due to limited numbers of people, it was permissible to marry within one’s own family or kindred, especially where one wished to avoid worldliness and to marry among godliness and people with like-minded faith.
Today, Abraham’s kindred, family or household is symbolic of the household of faith to which every bona fide believer in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, brought into covenant with God and adopted into his royal family, belongs.
Today, the Christian (which is the person who has been born again or regenerated by God’s Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ) is commanded by God not to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) but if he or she is to marry, to select a spouse from the household of faith, which is the Church. That is, as Christians, God approves only of us marrying other Christians and by the Church, I do not mean the building or even those in the membership but bona-fide believers in the body of Christ, who, like us, have been born again through genuine faith in Jesus.
Genesis 24: 2-4 reads:
- “And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: But thou shalt go unto my country, and TO MY KINDRED, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.”
Having received the instruction and swearing by the Lord, the God of heaven, to obey, Abraham’s servant then proceeded on his journey and resolved in his heart to do just as his Master had said.
He had not a clue as to how he was going to find this godly woman or get her to agree to come back with him, as he was just a man and finding godliness in an ungodly world back then, may have been like finding a needle in a haystack.
However, the first thing he did in his search was to POSITION himself in the right place. He went to the city of Mesopotamia which was the country that Abraham had had his upbringing. Acts 7:1-4 confirms this, as it gives some insight into where Abraham used to live with his kindred or family, before God told him to come out from them.
Abraham’s servant therefore left Canaan (where worldly women existed in abundant supply) and instead, POSITIONED himself in the place or country where Abraham used to live and specifically, in the city of Nahor (a city in the country of Mesopotamia), where he knew that godliness could be found and where the relatives or the family of Abraham resided.
For, Nahor was Abraham’s brother and Abraham had been told some years earlier, that Milcah, Abraham’s niece, had borne children for Nahor, Abraham’s brother (Genesis 22:20-23).
In entering the city of Nahor specifically therefore, Abraham’s servant POSITIONED himself aright, as it was highly likely that the persons who resided there were all descendants of Nahor, Abraham’s brother and therefore, from Abraham’s own household.
Genesis 24:10 reads:
- “And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to MESOPOTAMIA, unto the city of NAHOR.”
Having POSITIONED himself in the right country (Mesopotamia) and then in the right city (the city of Nahor), he went further through wisdom and POSITIONED himself by a well, at the time that he knew that women from the city would come to collect water.
He therefore did not say to himself: I did enough by positioning myself in the right place where godliness is. There is nothing more for me to do. No. Having POSITIONED himself in the right country and city, he then applied wisdom by further positioning himself in a place and at a time that he knew that women would come.
Verse 11 reads: “And he made his camels to kneel down without the city BY A WELL OF WATER at the time of the evening, EVEN THE TIME THAT WOMEN GO OUT TO DRAW WATER.”
This first step of POSITIONING which Abraham’s servant took, holds a valuable lesson for us as Christians. That is, if we want God to match-make for us and to provide someone wonderful, we must first abandon the offerings of the world, its ploys, its allures, its ways and its systems and we must instead go in search of godliness. We must make sure that, like Ruth who was positioned in Boaz’s field, that we are positioned in God’s vineyard. We must move away from the ungodly and POSITION ourselves instead, in the ‘city’ of faith, that is, among our own household or family of faith, God’s people.
Even if we have not a clue, like Abraham’s servant, how God would work in bringing about the right union for us, that is not for us to work out, even as it was not for Abraham’s servant to try to solve. He did the right thing by moving in the right direction and in so doing, in POSITIONING himself in a country and then a city that was in stark contrast to Canaan and where godliness existed, he was on the right, God-approved path. He had made a valuable first step and was therefore on his way to success.
This leads me to the second step that Abraham’s servant took.
2. He PRAYED to God
As stated before, he had not a clue who would be the right woman for Isaac or what she looked like. Convinced of his own inadequacies but of God’s limitless power and bounty, he therefore took a very important second step in his search.
Thus far, he had positioned himself aright by entering the country and then the city where Abraham’s godly household lived and the well where women were expected to be visiting at that time of the evening.
Now, not knowing what to do further, he submitted himself to the plan and power of God. Right at that well, he PRAYED to the God of heaven and asked for his help. He asked that God would reveal to him the woman that HE (God) had appointed, planned, intended and designed for Isaac.
He therefore believed in the sovereignty of God and understood that, although he was complying with Abraham’s orders, that God was over all and He (God) had someone specific in mind for Isaac, Abraham’s son, through which he had promised Abraham earlier, that he would establish his everlasting covenant (Genesis 17:19).
Notably, Abraham’s servant did not take it for granted, that, being in the country of Mesopotamia and in the city of Nahor which was the city consisting of Abraham’s kindred, that he could just relax and select any woman randomly because she was bound to be or supposed to be godly. No.
He knew that even within the city of Nahor (which today, could be regarded as being symbolic of the Church), he could not take it for granted that any person there would do. He needed to find God’s perfect will for Isaac because God knew best. God knew where he wanted to take Isaac, of his plans for him, of his temperament and he knew who would be best suited for him on his life journey. He also knew, who in the city of Nahor, although reputed to be godly, really had relationship with him and was truly serving him.
Instead of just rushing ahead, throwing caution to the wind because he was in the city of Nahor therefore, Abraham’s servant PRAYED for God’s help and his counsel.
This was an excellent second step. God’s Word the Bible encourages us today as Christians, to seek him for help and wisdom in our life situations, choices, issues and problems.
Psalm 37:5 for example, states: “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”
In Proverbs 3:5-7, it also tells us: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes…”
Abraham’s servant put these principles into practice when, having positioned himself in the city where godliness was, he took the time to PRAY to God about his mission and to ask for God’s help, wisdom, selection and revelation.
Verses 12-14 read:
- “And he said O Lord God of my master Abraham, I PRAY thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham. Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that THOU hast APPOINTED for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.”
Abraham’s servant therefore PRAYED wisely for a woman who had a genuine heart of service, for his Master’s son Isaac. The Bible states that before he had even finished speaking, Rebekah, Nahor and Milcah’s granddaughter, a beautiful woman who was also a virgin, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder.
Upon seeing this and being mindful of what he had just PRAYED, Abraham’s servant ran forward to put her to the test.
Most likely, he may have thought that her suddenly appearing even before he had finished praying, was too good to be true and so, in faith, believing that God would honour his request, yet being careful not to presume or jump prematurely to conclusions, he set out to see if Rebekah would do as he had asked God that the woman he wanted for Isaac, would do.
Verses 15-20 read:
- “And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up.
- And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.”
Rebekah passed with flying colours. Yet, Abraham’s servant needed confirmation that she was indeed the one handpicked by God for Isaac. He could not afford to get this very important issue that could affect future generations, wrong. Having POSITIONED himself in the right country and city and place therefore and having PRAYED to God for his help in providing and revealing the right woman and in seeing Rebekah suddenly presented before him, he took a third step.
3. He PONDERED whether she was the one
So as to not jump to conclusions and end up with the wrong person for Isaac, Abraham’s servant took time to PONDER, peruse, analyze, observe and process the situation.
He no doubt considered that he had obeyed his Master Abraham and gone to Mesopotamia and to the city of Nahor, where Abraham’s kindred or household lived.
He would have no doubt considered the fact that he had prayed to God for his help in revealing the right woman, that before he had even finished praying, that this woman had appeared and that, not knowing what was in his heart or his mission or what he had just prayed (for she could not have heard as she was some distance away and the Bible states in verse 45 that he spoke the prayer in his heart), she had done exactly as he had asked God that the woman He had appointed for Isaac, would do! She had willingly agreed to give him water and to draw water for his ten camels as well, which was quite a lot of work.
Yet, so important was the decision that he wanted to be sure that this was the direction that God had led and so Genesis 24:21 states: “And the man WONDERING AT HER held his peace, TO WIT WHETHER the Lord had made his journey prosperous OR NOT.”
He continued to observe her silently as she drew water and fed all ten of his camels and when she was done, (maybe to reward her), he took up some of the jewelry that he had brought along, to give to her, at which point, he enquired as to whose daughter she was. He also asked whether there was room at her father’s where he, the men who had accompanied him and his camels could lodge, maybe as a further test of her graciousness, hospitality and heart of service.
Up to that point, Abraham’s servant did not know that she was Nahor’s granddaughter and maybe this was why he asked. He had to make sure that this girl was of Abraham’s kindred, of his household of faith and so he took the time to properly observe her and analyze all the facts, to ensure that they were consistent.
Once again, Rebekah passed with flying colours, indicating that there was indeed room for the man (a total stranger and one that she was therefore not indebted to in any way) and the men that were with him (also strangers) to lodge. Futhermore, when she revealed her family background and that she was Nahor’s granddaughter, Abraham’s servant was convinced. All of this was NOT coincidence. God had answered his prayer!
Genesis 24:22-25 reads:
- “And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold; And said, Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father’s house for us to lodge in? And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor. She said moreover unto him, We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in.”
Convinced that Rebekah was the woman that God had led him to because she was the one that He had handpicked and appointed to be Isaac’s wife, Abraham’s servant then took the next step. He did not rush to meet her parents in excitement, to make the purpose of his journey known and to get the ball-a-rolling. No.
4. He PRAISED God
When the thing was confirmed in his mind that yes, indeed this was God’s perfect will, Abraham’s servant stopped right in his tracks and in the same place that he had sought the Lord for help through prayer, he bowed down and PRAISED God. He gave him the praise and honour and glory due unto his name because he knew that it was God (and nobody else) that had done this thing. It was God that had made his way prosperous. It was God that had provided and led him and given him the confirmation.
Right after Rebekah’s response where she made her identity known to him and indicated that there was indeed room for him, the men who had accompanied him and his camels to lodge, verses 26-27 state:
- “And the man bowed down his head, and WORSHIPPED the Lord. And he said, BLESSED be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren.”
“…I being in the way, the Lord led me…”. This is such a beautiful statement, it is worth repeating. Abraham’s servant was stating, that having POSITIONED himself aright where godliness was and having submitted himself through PRAYER to God’s leading, that God had come through for him and delivered a wife for Isaac.
At this point, it does not seem that there remained any doubt in his mind that there would be any difficulty in persuading Rebekah and her family that she should go with him, so that she could become the wife of Isaac. For, it was clear that God was in this. He had orchestrated everything and whatever he does, he does it well. Whatever he starts, he finishes.
As far as Abraham’s servant was concerned therefore, Rebekah returning with him with her family’s approval and marrying Isaac was a done deal because this was a match made in heaven. God was at work!
There was therefore only one more thing left to do or one more step left to take.
4. He PETITIONED for her hand in marriage to Isaac
All that was left to be done now was for Abraham’s servant to make his case for Rebekah’s hand in marriage to Isaac, to Rebekah’s family and Rebekah herself. This is exactly what he did by explaining the reason why he had come and recounting all that had transpired thus far and how God had led him in the right way.
In fact, he put forward his case so well, that both Rebekah and her family were convinced that God was in it and it was his will for this union to take place. They therefore consented to the marriage, although they were not forced to do so. For, God’s writing was all over this love story and God knew best.
In fact, once he had revealed, while praising God, that he was Abraham’s servant, Rebekah ran home to her family and told them what had transpired at the well and her brother Laban returned hastily to the well where he was.
The Bible says in verses 28-61:
- “And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother’s house these things. And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well. And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well. And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the Lord; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels. And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men’s feet that were with him. And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on.
- And he said, I am Abraham’s servant. And the Lord hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses. And Sarah my master’s wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath. And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell: But thou shalt go unto my father’s house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son. And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me. And he said unto me, The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father’s house: Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath.
- And I came this day unto the well, and said, O Lord God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go: Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink; And she say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman whom the Lord hath appointed out for my master’s son. And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the well, and drew water: and I said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee. And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: so I drank, and she made the camels drink also.
- And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, the daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands. And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the Lord, and blessed the Lord God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter unto his son.
- And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.
- Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the Lord: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the Lord hath spoken.
- And it came to pass, that, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he worshipped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth. And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things. And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master. And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go. And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the Lord hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master.
- And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth. And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go. And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant, and his men. And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.
- And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.”
In closing, while Isaac was also perfectly POSITIONED spending time in PRAYER and in the presence of God, God brought Rebekah to him. Given that this was a match that He orchestrated and not man, it was not a forced or humanly arranged marriage but one arranged in heaven. Isaac therefore loved Rebekah dearly and while the Bible is silent on how Rebekah felt about Isaac, I am certain that because God instigated the union (and he makes no mistakes), that she loved him dearly as well.
Verses 62-67 read:
- “And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi; for he dwelt in the south country. And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and HE LOVED HER: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.”
(Written on 16th October, 2020)
In uploading this Article to this Website today, 12th February, 2021, it suddenly dawned on me that Rebekah is symbolic of the Bride of Christ. Although she never saw Isaac, she believed the testimony given by Abraham’s servant of the beauty that awaited her if she agreed to go with him and become Isaac’s bride, thereby entering into a marriage relationship or covenant with him.
When asked if she would go therefore, she submitted to the plan of heaven and she said I will go. She left her family and all that was familiar behind and went in faith, convinced that she would be partaker of the inheritance to which Isaac had access and which, upon marriage, she would benefit from. She therefore agreed in going, to willingly submit herself to Isaac and his leadership.
Similarly, many Christians who form part of the Bride of Christ which is the Church and which consists of individual believers in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, have never seen Jesus with their physical eyes. However, they believe the testimony given of Him and of the beauty that awaits those who willingly receive him as their Lord and Saviour. They believe that there is an eternal inheritance to which they will benefit from if they agree to allow Jesus to be Lord over their lives. They therefore forsake all else and come to the Lord by faith, thereby entering into relationship, covenant and sweet fellowship with Him and God the Father.
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be informative, insightful or edifying, you may also be interested in reading the following on my ‘SINGLE Daughters Of God’ Page:
- Note 56 – ‘Rebekah, Zipporah And Ruth – How They Got Found’
- Note 59 – ‘Nine (9) Tips For The Single Woman Hoping To Be Married’
- Note 72 – ‘Qualities That Got Women Noticed And Eventually Married To Good Men In The Bible’
- Note 137 – ‘Serve God Wherever And In Whatever You Are Called’
- Note 148 – ‘What Does The Bible Say About Being Unequally Yoked’
- Note 267 – ‘How Beautifully God Rewards A Cheerful Giver’