Day 17

A Wife for Isaac

from the Genesis reading plan


Genesis 24:1-67, Genesis 25:1-18, Psalm 37:23-24, Lamentations 3:22-23

BY Claire Gibson

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).

Post Comments (55)

55 thoughts on "A Wife for Isaac"

  1. Stephanie H says:

    Thankful for this reminder today of God’s faithfulness and willingness to answer prayer so graciously as he did for Abraham’s servant. I am praying that he would give me success today in sharing the reason for the hope that is in me with a friend I’m not sure knows Jesus.

  2. Natasha R says:

    God’s surprises are the best surprises! ❤️

  3. Alexandra Villalon says:

    Wondering if Abraham loved the women he was with? Or did he take another wife just to fulfill Gods promise- in order to multiply?

  4. Tracie Nall says:

    I am embarrassed to say that the many times I have read the story of the servant searching for Rebekah, a wife for Isaac, I haven’t thought about Gods perfect timing or ordained steps. But how like our God to hear the prayer of Abraham’s servant and answer with exacting detail!

    Like the author of this devotion and her husband Patrick, my husband and I met and in similar “craziness” were engaged 9 short days after our initial meeting, we talked about marriage the night we met, and God has blessed us with 32 years of marriage.
    I wasn’t a believer when we met, neither was he and we certainly didn’t pray for a detailed sign, but God no less had us meet at the exact place, the exact moment

    1. Tracie Nall says:

      And exact way that He would begin our story! Our story I hope and trust brings glory to God as we now take each step of our journey to bring honor to Him! And yes, like the servant, we now worship and praise God for the steps He ordained in our beginning and beyond!

      I didn’t know it then but am so thankful now that it was God who directed my steps!

  5. Yolanda Harbon says:

    I love how it says (twice in this passage) v.45 “Before I had finished praying silently, there was Rebekah coming with her jug on her shoulder, and she went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please let me have a drink.’”

    It was before the servant had finished praying! As he was still praying silently to God! That was when the story continued, where the God direction went, where the promises of God kept going. I hope I can keep continually praying to God and expecting big things! I mean, He’s God!

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