A Wife for Isaac
Open Your Bible
Genesis 24:1-67, Genesis 25:1-18, Psalm 37:23-24, Lamentations 3:22-23
In 2009, I moved to Nashville to take a job at a middle school that had no central heat or air. That summer was hot, and I spent day after day in my new classroom, cleaning out closets stuffed with books, mice feces, and dust. By the end of my first week in a new city, I was exhausted, friendless and scared that I’d made a huge mistake in taking this job.
That weekend, a friend reached out and invited me to a concert with a group of friends. “This guy Patrick is planning it,” my friend told me. “Here’s his number.” Maybe I was desperate for new friends. Maybe all that time in an airless classroom made me bold. But I called, and a man with a deep, soothing voice answered the phone. Patrick and I talked for a long time. When we met later that night, I saw in his eyes something familiar and kind. Much to everyone’s surprise, we were engaged five months later. People thought we were crazy, and for the record, let me say this: we were.
Isaac and Rebekah have an even crazier origin story. Camels, water troughs, long distances across foreign lands, prayers to God—all accumulated to create an arranged marriage between two people whose lives God would use to change the course of history. Their story is full of the kind of inexplicable coincidences that help us see God’s hand at work. I mean, what are the chances that Abraham’s servant would arrive at this well, at this hour? He asks her for water, and waits to see if this young woman will offer to quench the thirst of his camels as well. He’s searching for kindness, for goodness, for industrious character. And he finds it in Rebekah, the very first woman he meets.
What are the chances?
As a Christian, I believe that God is constantly at work, guiding His people in the way they should go. Scripture tells us that “a person’s steps are established by the LORD,” and that “all [our] days were written in [His] book” (Psalm 37:23; 139:16). “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which he prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). These are comforting truths when things seem to be going our way, but not so much when our circumstances seem to go awry, veering off into an unexpected direction. But even then, God is our protector, who never sleeps or slumbers (Psalm 121:4). He is always engaged with our lives, whether we realize it or not.
And so it was with Isaac and Rebekah. Their story reminds me that God builds unlikely families, restores broken relationships, and heals us from what seems irreparable apart from Him. He promised to build a family through Abraham and his descendants, a family line that would eventually lead to the Messiah, our Savior Jesus, who was born into this world to redeem His own Bride, the Church.
After pursuing and finding a bride for Isaac, his servant “knelt low [and] worshiped the LORD, and blessed the LORD,” the God of Abraham (Genesis 24:48). Jesus Christ pursued His own Bride, even to the point of death on a cross. May our response be to turn to Him in worship, thanking Him for His faithful love and mercies that never end (Lamentations 3:22–23).