We sat excitedly waiting for the ceremony to begin. The wind was blowing, the clouds were rolling in, the waves were crashing, and we all sat with big smiles on our faces. Now Joey and Haley stood under the chuppah holding hands and beginning a new life together. The Rabbi spoke about when they first met each other, as they were waiting in a line when they first met. That morning when they awoke, had their coffee, got ready for work, they had no idea that their lives were going to be forever changed. Watching this ceremony reminded me of another instance where God orchestrated a meeting that would continue the descendants of Abraham. The meeting of Rebekah and Isaac as they waited in line that day doing what they usually did!
The story begins in Genesis chapter 24, so make sure that you read through the entire chapter when you get a chance. In the first few verses we see Abraham towards the end of his life coordinating a marriage for Isaac who is now forty years old. Now, I can’t gloss over the fact that Isaac is forty years old and without a wife. Why? I think that Isaac had a particularly close relationship to his mother.
Remember, Sarah was ninety years old when he was born. Sarah was a woman who had lost hope and was desolate until the Lord gave her Isaac. When she looked upon him, the sun must have risen and set! That relationship that they shared was gone now, with her death, and had left Isaac lonely, with no mother or wife.
In order for the promise that God gave Abraham to come to pass, Isaac must marry, and so a trusted servant was sent with specific instructions; Abraham said in Genesis 24:4, “but you will go to my country and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”
There could be no woman from the surrounding lands. Isaac could not leave to go back to his country, and if the young woman who was found wouldn’t leave to come to Isaac then the servant was to leave without her. The servant made a promise to Abraham to go and find a bride for Isaac, and went to the city of Nahor with ten camels, and a variety of good things from Abraham’s household. The faithful servant made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well at evening time, when it was the usual time for women to go out to draw water.
The servant prayed and in verse 14 it says, “now may it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar so that I may drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’ may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”’ In this verse you see the servant is taking no chances of making a mistake. He is putting forth a fleece before the Lord so that he can be certain that this woman is definitely the woman for Isaac.
In verse 15 we see an interesting point, “And it came about, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor, came out with her jar on her shoulder.” Notice that before he finished speaking, God had already answered his prayer!
When we commit our plans to the Lord it is amazing how He answer’s and how creatively the opportunity is revealed. God had already heard the prayer, prepared the answer for the prayer and coordinated the timing for the prayer. God was not surprised, confused, trying to make up for lost time. No, He was on His throne knowing exactly what needed to happen.
Rebekah had been waiting in line (every day going to the well) and had no idea that her life was going to change forever at this moment. The servant ran to meet her, and asked for a drink of water then she said in verse 18-20, “And she said, ‘Drink, my Lord”; then she quickly lowered her jar to her hand, and gave him a drink. Now when she had finished giving him a drink she said, “I will also draw water for your camels until they have finished drinking.’ So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, and ran back to the well to draw, and she drew for all his camels.” Rebekah appears to be a generous, quick witted, strong and helpful young woman. Her offer to water the camel’s “until they have finished drinking” was a long tedious chore. Camels are known to each drink up to 21 gallons in ten minutes!
After watering the camel’s the servant gave her a gold ring and two bracelets and asked whose daughter she was and if there was room for him at their home. Rebekah answers the servant that she is the daughter of Bethuel and the servant answers in verse 27, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned His kindness and His trustworthiness toward my master; as for me, the Lord has guided me in the way to the house of my master’s brothers.”
Just as the Lord did not abandon His kindness and His trustworthiness to Abraham He will not abandon us! When you’re waiting in line for that promise of a spouse, a child, a job, or a promise from God, wait on His kindness and His trustworthiness!
Join me next time for part two of “Waiting in line”.