After the renewal of God’s promise (15-18), Abraham went to Beersheba (19). He returned to the place where he had ‘called…on the Name of the Lord, the Everlasting God’ (33). This is a good ‘place’ to be, the ‘place’ of calling on the Name of the Lord, the Everlasting God. As we read of the death and burial of Sarah, we must remember this: the Lord is the Everlasting God. The death of Sarah took place in God’s time. Her death signified that her work had been done. She had mothered the child of promise. Beyond the death of Sarah, there was the continuing purpose of God. The cave at Machpelah (23:19-20) became the burial place for Sarah, Abraham, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Leah. We see the continuity of history, and we thank God for His continuing faithfulness down through the generations.
The servant was sent on a mission. He was ‘to get a wife for… Isaac’ (4). When Christ entered Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-11), He was on a mission. He had come for His Bride, the Church (Ephesians 5:25; Revelation 21:2-3). The servant was not to ‘get a wife… from… the Canaanites’ (3). The Church is to be made ‘holy,… a radiant Church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless’ (Ephesians 5:26-27). The servant carried out his mission carefully and prayerfully (12-14). Jesus was careful to fulfil the words of the prophet – entering Jerusalem ‘on a donkey’ (Matthew 21:2-7). In His journey to the Cross, Jesus was concerned with this one thing – ‘to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work’ (John 4:34). The servant prayed, and the answer was given (15-16). Not my will but Thine, Lord!
The detailed account of Isaac’s marriage highlights the guidance of God. He directs the life of His people. This is our testimony – ‘the Lord… has led me on the right road’ (48). The great lessons of this story are stated in verse 27 – (a) the ‘steadfast love’ of the Lord; (b) the ‘faithfulness’ of God; (c) the guidance of God – ‘the Lord has led me’; (d) worshipping the Lord – ‘Blessed be the Lord…’. We are to seek God’s guidance, rejoicing in His love and trusting in His faithfulness. Looking to Christ, who went to the Cross for us, we are to say, with Him, ‘I have come to do Thy will, O God’, ‘I will praise Thee’, ‘I will put my trust in Him’, ‘Here am I, and the children God has given Me’ (Hebrews 10:7; 2:12-13). To those who do His will, praising Him and trusting Him, God will give much blessing – ‘an overflowing blessing’ (Malachi 3:10).
In verse 60, we read of the blessing of God upon Rebekah – ‘Our sister, may you increase to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess the gates of their enemies’. This refers to the long-term fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham. Through the death of Christ, the Lamb of God, ‘a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation,’ will sing the song of salvation, ‘Salvation belongs to our God …and to the Lamb’ (Revelation 7: 9-10). This is what we must pray for in our own community. In homes where Christ has not been honoured, there will be transformation. The Lord’s messengers will be received – ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ – and the Lord’s Name will be praised – ‘Hosanna in the highest!’ (Matthew 21:9). Such blessing will be given to those who spend time with God (63; Joshua 1:8).