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Saturday, 28 January 2017

In Choosing a Life Partner

Genesis 24:1-7, 11-16
Abraham was now old and well advanced in years, and the Lord has blessed him in every way. He said to the chief servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had. “Put your hand under my thigh. I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.”
The servant asked him, “What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?”
“Make sure that you do not take my son back there,” Abraham said. “The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land who spoke to me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land’ – he will send his angels before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there.’”

He made the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was towards evening, the time the women go out to draw water.
Then he prayed, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a girl, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink and I’ll water your camel too’ – let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”
Before he finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. The girl was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever lain with her. She went down the spring, filled her jar and came up again.

Today I want us to consider the way and manner by which we make a choice of a wife. This post is so appropriate for those yet to be married and looking up to God for a life partner, and also for parents who will approve of a wife or better still a spouse for their children and wards when they are of age.

We read that Abraham was old and grey and needed to tidy up his house before his death. One of the things he needed to put in place was getting an ideal wife for his son Isaac. I would say that if Abraham has not gotten it 100% as a husband, he did a lot better as a father. No wonder God declared Genesis 18:19 that He chose Abraham that he might direct his children and his household to keep the law of the Lord. What Abraham wanted in a wife for his son Isaac makes me respect him a lot and it’s an example worthy of emulating by all parents and also those planning to make a choice for a life partner.

The most important criteria for a wife for Abraham’s son was that she must come from among his people. And why was it so important for Abraham that a wife must be chosen from among his own people; from his own land? This is because the gods the Canaanites worshiped was in contrast to the Almighty God who has called Abraham to a life of separation. Any association between Abraham’s son and the Canaanite’s daughter meant bringing an idol worshiper to be one in flesh and spirit with the anointed of God. There is no association between darkness and light. If Abraham had taken the time to teach his son the ways and laws of the Lord then it will all be a wasted effort if a wife comes into the life of Isaac to kill and destroy all that Abraham had taken time and effort to build into him. The word of God says we should not be equally yoked with unbelievers.

If your son brings a girl home from another faith other than a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and he says he wants to marry her in the name of love, I tell you humbly that the future is not guaranteed. A marriage built on love cannot stand the test of time. I can tell you for free that love fails, and that explains the reason why we have the rate of divorce surging high by the day; these marriages are products of love without consultation with God. If you are going to choose a wife, it’s just safer to choose one with the same faith and believe as yours unless you are willing and ready to change your faith.

The second issue of note from Abraham that makes him earn my respect is that he acknowledged God in his pursuit of a wife for his son. He said, “The Lord will send his angel before his chief servant to choose a wife for his son.” So the chief servant was just a courier person in this whole matter, the one to actually make a choice of a wife for Isaac was the Lord himself. I hope a lot of parents would understand just like Abraham and his chief servant that the task of finding a suitable spouse for their child/children is not your responsibility, but the Lord’s. You don’t have to loose any sleep trying to arrange a wife or husband for your child, just hand the matter to God and he will take care of it far better than you can ever do.

Now I really appreciated the chief servant who knew that his only task was to identify whom the Lord had chosen for Isaac, beg her hand in marriage on behalf of his master and his son and take her back with him to Isaac. So he asked for a sign; and the sign he asked the Lord to show him is another food for thought on its own.

The chief servant did not ask for a sign that shows the girl as a beautiful well shaped girl befitting as a wife for the son of his wealthy and blessed master, but he asked for a sign that shows forth what the character of this wife to be is. He asked the Lord that if he asks the girl for a drink and she goes the extra mile not just to give him a drink but also to water his camels then she was the one.

Note that by the time the chief servant approached Rebekah she had gone to the spring drew her water and was returning home. Any other girl would have thought of the stress of giving him a drink and having to go back to the spring to refill her jar. But Rebekah didn’t consider the stress. She was not even asked to water the camels but she offered to do so, on her own volition. And that tells a lot about her character. It shows how kindhearted a woman she was, who would go the extra mile to help and assist a complete stranger without even considering the stress on her person and the assumed waste of precious time. These are some of the characteristics of a wife of noble character. These are better traits to watch out for in a wife to be above her physical appearance or beauty.

But the Lord did not just give Isaac a kindhearted woman for a wife; she was also very beautiful woman and she was a virgin. That is what you get when you let God do the choosing for you. The marriage of Isaac and Rebekah was not based on love; they never even met each other before getting married. But because it was based on God and it was God who made the choice and united the two, that marriage never lacked love.

If you are concerned about getting married or for your child getting married, take the issue to God and leave it there. The Lord will make all things beautiful for you in His time and what He will drop in your laps will forever make your heart leap for joy. 

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