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Seeking a Wife for Isaac
1. A remarkable co-incidence. As the Word of God tells the story of Sarah's death, it tells, also, the story of Rebekah's birth. Genesis 23:2 says, "And Sarah died in Kirjath-arba." Genesis 22:23 reads: "And Bethuel begat Rebekah." Rebekah's birth is recorded just three verses before Sarah's death is recorded.
There is a lesson for us in all of this. While one may pass on, another comes in to fill up the gap, and to carry forward the Word and the work of God.
None of us should ever imagine that the world cannot run without us. The world needs us only until our task is completed, and our race is run, God has some one else ready to fill in the ranks. The births offset the deaths.
2. A striking statement. When Abraham wanted to bury Sarah, we read, that he stood up before the sons of lieth, saying, "I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight."
Does it not appeal to you as most strange, that the man to whom God said, "All this land will I give unto thee," had no place to bury his dead? He was the inheritor of the most remarkable country on the face of the earth, and yet, he actually possessed nothing.
Is there not in all of this a lesson for us? We too have possessions that are unspeakable in their glory, and wealth; and yet, we may not have a place to lay our head. This was certainly true of our Lord Jesus Christ. He created all things. The cattle on a thousand hills are His; the silver and the gold are His; the earth and the fullness thereof are His, and yet, He moved among men humbled and impoverished.
3. A glorious confession. When Abraham asked the children of Heth for a burying plot, they said, "Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead."
To us it is worthy of note that God's servant, though a stranger and a pilgrim among men, was, withal, acknowledged by men as a mighty prince. The world saw that the hand of God was upon Abraham to own him and to bless him.
4. An outstanding adaptation. When Abraham was offered a field and was pressed upon to receive it as a gift, he bowed himself before the people of the land and insisted that he would give money for the field. Thus, Ephron, being entreated, accepted Abraham's request and the bargain was made. Then did Abraham adapt himself to the custom of the land in which he dwelt, and he weighed out the silver which had been named, even four hundred shekels, current money with the merchants.
I. ABRAHAM'S GREAT DESIRE (Genesis 24:1-4 )
1. Abraham was old, and well stricken in age. He knew that Isaac his son was the child of promise. He knew that Isaac's son would be in line of the seed of the woman, who was destined not only to bruise Satan's head, but also to sit upon His throne. For this cause Abraham had great concern relative to the wife who should be chosen for Isaac.
Thus, Abraham caused his aged servant to swear by the Lord God of Heaven, that he would not take a wife unto Isaac of the daughters of the Canaanites.
2. Marriage at all times is a matter of deep responsibility and import. He who is seeking him a wife, should consider not only his personal likes and dislikes, but he should look beyond the woman of his own choice, and see in her the mother of his children, and of generations yet unborn. Marriage is meaningful beyond the lifetime of the one who is joined in wedlock, and must be weighed in the light of coming generations.
It was for this cause that Abraham made his provision concerning the taking of a wife for Isaac, saying, "Thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac."
3. Matrimony should be lifted up out of the mire of the swine-herd, and be recognized as the most sacred and hallowed relationship which God has given unto man.
II. ABRAHAM'S APPEAL TO GOD (Genesis 24:5-8 )
1. The servant's inquiry. Abraham's servant said, "Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?"
2. Abraham's reply. "Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again." Then Abraham said, "The Lord God of Heaven * * shall send His angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence."
The above is so filled with spiritual suggestions that we cannot refrian from saying that God is now choosing a bride for His Son, even for our Lord and Savior. The Lord Jesus Christ, however, will not come back again to take His wife, but she must go forth unto Him.
The servant of Abraham seemed to think that it might be necessary for Isaac to appear upon the scene, if a bride were to be made willing to go with him. Abraham, however, asserted that God would undertake, that the Angel of the Lord would go before his servant to get a wife for Isaac.
This is exactly what we have today. Ministers of Jesus Christ are everywhere preaching and pleading with men to accept the Lord Jesus, and to take upon themselves their vows of love and fidelity toward One whom they have not seen.
Ministers of the Gospel and Christian workers do not deem it necessary that Christ should return, that, with His own personal power and glory He should win His bride. We believe that God is with us, and that He is calling out of the nations a people for His Name, a Bride for His Son. The Heavenly nuptials will take place in the air, where the Marriage Supper will be set.
Let us remember God's Word, "Blessed are they which are called unto the Marriage Supper of the Lamb; * * These are the true sayings of God."
III. THE SERVANT'S DEPARTURE (Genesis 24:10-11 )
1. Let us observe a statement couched in the middle of verse ten. It reads: "All the goods of his master were in his hand." Is not this true today? The Lord Jesus Christ said, "All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth, Go * * and, lo, "I am with you."
As Abraham's servant had the goods of his master in his hand, so have we the goods of our Lord in our hand. We are sure that in the case of the servant there was no squandering of Abraham's goods; neither will there be any waste upon our part. True servants are trusted servants, and they safeguard the things which pertain to their master's welfare.
2. Abraham's servant made a long journey in order to place himself upon the ground from whence a wife for Isaac was to be chosen.
The Holy Spirit likewise made a long journey, as He descended from God out of Heaven, and came to earth that He might press the claims of Christ, and choose for Him His Bride.
We, too, should be willing to join with the Spirit, in going, if need be, to the ends of the earth to carry the story of our Isaac that the Bride may be made ready.
3. A picture of expectancy. When the servant arrived at Nahor he made his camel's kneel down without the city, by a well of water. To us this bespeaks the fact that the servant was expecting God to send unto him the woman of His choice for Isaac's bride. Whenever we work, let us work expecting God to undertake in our behalf.
IV. THE SERVANT'S PRAYER (Genesis 24:12-14 )
1. The basis of the servant's plea. The servant said, "God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham." The servant thought not of himself, or of his own worth, as he made his plea for kindness. He prayed in behalf of another, and for the sake of another.
When we come to the Father, we would not dare to seek approach upon merits of our own. We, too, plead the merits of Another. We pray, "for Jesus' sake," and, "in His Name." He, Himself, said, "No man cometh unto the Father, tut by Me."
2. The manner of the servant's plea. The servant approached God in reverence. He said, "O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray Thee." There was no undue familiarity with Deity in his address. He realized himself a servant, and he kept a servant's place.
When we pray we should say, "Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name." The recent day custom of addressing Deity with such familiar words as "you" and "your," appear to us as expressing too much of self effrontery. It is as though we said, "We are equal with the Divine." We know that we are sons, but even a son should show honor to his father. There is the honor and dignity of years, and of headship, even in the earthly home. How much more should we reverentially bow in the presence of our Heavenly Father!
3. The request. Two things were outstanding in the request made. First, the servant said, "Send me good speed this day." Secondly, he said, "Shew kindness unto my master." There was a third prayer which is expressed in Genesis 24:14 , "Let it come to pass."
"Good speed," "Kindness," "Let it come to pass." The first pled the power of God, the second pled the considerateness of God, and the third pled the directive purpose of God.
V. THE DEFINITENESS OF THE SERVANT'S REQUEST (Genesis 24:14 )
1. The servant asked a hard thing of God. He said, "Let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that Thou hast appointed for Thy servant Isaac."
We are astonished at the servant's request. He sought immediate results. He had arrived at Nahor and he made request that the first damsel that came up with her pitcher to the well of water might be the selection of God for Isaac.
2. The servant specified certain details. He asked that the damsel who came up might give him to drink; and like-wise, that she might request the privilege of giving the camels to drink also. We have long been of the opinion that prayers of generalities mean but little, and get nowhere. God wants us to be specific in our request. He wants us to lay our case before Him in a definite and comprehensive way.
3. The servant sought a sign from God. He said, "Thereby shall I know that Thou hast shewed kindness unto my master." It may not always be right to put God to the test, and, to seek from Him a sign; and yet, in this case, at least, God gladly granted all that the servant asked. Gideon asked that the fleece might be wet and the ground dry. He asked again that the ground might be wet and the fleece dry. In each case, God answered prayer.
God does many things for us, when we ask according to His will. He delights in our asking the unusual thing, and the thing impossible with man. "Whatever else may be said of the prayer of Abraham's servant, he believed in a God who could do great things. He prayed as though he were working together with God, and walking according to the will of God. He felt that God was more interested in securing a wife for Isaac than was he.
VI. ANSWERED PRAYER (Genesis 24:15-21 )
1. Answers to prayer may precede the petitions of prayer. Before ever the servant of Abraham began to pray, Rebekah had evidently left her home; and before the servant had finished his prayer, Rebekah was approaching the well. Have we not read, "Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear?"
2. Action should follow request. As the servant saw the damsel approaching, he ran to meet her, and said, "Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher." This was a part of a prayer which was dependent upon the petitioner. He had asked that the damsel to whom he should say, "Let down thy pitcher," might be God's choice, therefore, he had to do the asking. There are many prayers in which we must co-operate with God. God furnished the oil for the waterpots, but the widow and her son furnished the pots. Christ healed the man with the withered hand, but the man with the. withered hand stretched it forth.
3. An answered prayer. Rebekah said, "Drink, my lord." When the servant had done drinking, she said, "I will draw water for thy camels also." Thus were fulfilled the details of the servant's request. Most delightsome of all was the fact that Rebekah hasted to let down her pitcher for the servant to drink, and she hasted in filling the trough for the camels, and ran again to draw water from the well. As we read these verses we marvel at a wonder-working God.
4. God does more than we ask. Genesis 24:16 stands out with marvelous beauty. "And the damsel was very fair to look upon." The servant had not asked that the daughter who came should be very fair to look upon, and yet it was so. As the servant stood that day and saw the answer to his prayer, and the beauty of Rebekah's countenance; he wondered at her, and held his peace. When God begins to work we marvel.
VII. ABRAHAM'S MUNIFICENCE (Genesis 24:22-26 )
1. Gifts of gold. As soon as the camels had done drinking the man took a golden earring, two bracelets, both of gold, and presented them to Rebekah. The gifts came, of course, from the hand of Abraham. Our God is not slack in giving large gifts to those who serve and follow Him. His gifts are not meager, and paltry. He does give temporal blessings according to our needs, but the real munificence of the Father is seen in the spiritual blessings which are ours in Heavenly places. Temporals soon pass away, but the spirituals outlast the sun.
2. A room for lodging. The servant asked Rebekah, "Whose daughter art thou?" He, also, asked, "Is. there room in thy father's house for us to lodge in?" She quickly replied: "I am the daughter of Bethuel * * We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in." It was thus that the servant sought the opportunity to press his claims in behalf of Isaac for Rebekah's hand.
As he saw the door of opportunity opening, and as he sensed Divine leadership, he bowed his head and worshiped the Lord.
We all need to count our blessings, and to reverently praise God for every good and perfect gift. He who receives from the hand of God and fails to recognize that hand is base indeed. Were there not ten lepers cleansed, but where were the nine? "There are not found that returned," said Christ, "to give thanks to God, save this stranger."
TASTERS, NOT BUYERS
Thank God for men who pray. Abraham's servant prayed, and God wants us to pray.
"' The hearer's life is the preacher's best commendation. They that praise the man but do not practice the matter are like those that taste wines that they may commend them, not buy them.' What a worry such folk are to dealers who are in earnest to do business! Time is wasted, labor lost, hopes disappointed. Oh, that these loafers and idlers would take themselves off from our market! We set forth the precious produce of Heaven's own vintage, and hope that they will buy of us; but no, they lift the glass, and talk like thorough connoisseurs, and then go off without coming to a bargain. Sermons which we have studied with care, delivered with travail, prayed over, and wept over, are praised for such minor matters as taste, accuracy, and diction, and the truth they contain is not received. We cannot bring our hearers to a decided bargain, though our wares are the best that Heaven can supply, Will it always be so? Reader, has it been so with you? Is it to be so still?" C. H. S.
Over the Desert Sands
The Lord honored a marriage scene in Cana of Galilee with His presence. Marriage is honorable in all. God has said, "It is not good that the man should be alone." We need to magnify the sacredness of the marriage bond.
That, however, to which we wish, by way of introduction, to call your attention is the Divine use of the marriage bond as an emblem, endeared and indissoluble, which exists between Christ and the Church.
1. The first marriage in the Garden of Eden.
2. The wooing of Rebekah, and her marriage unto Isaac,
3. The marriage of Samson.
4. The marriage of Hezekiah.
5. New Testament bridal messages. In the New Testament there are many portraitures anticipating the marriage of Christ and His Bride. (1) The Father is described as giving a marriage to His Son. (2) The midnight cry is sounded, "Behold the Bridegroom cometh!" (3) The story of the marriage of the Lamb is set forth in the cry, "Blessed are they who are called unto the Marriage Supper of the Lamb." (4) The Lamb's Wife is portrayed as arrayed in fine linen, clean and white. (5) The last message of the New Testament and the Bride, give us the call, "Come hither," and "I will shew thee the Bride, the Lamb's Wife." Then are outlined the marvels of the wonderful City, the Holy Jerusalem descending from God out of Heaven the City which shall be the eternal abode of the Bride of the Lamb.
I. REBEKAH'S GLAD SURPRISE (Genesis 24:28 )
1. Rebekah had a great joy in her heart. Our key-text says, "The damsel ran, and told * * her mother's house these things." She was in a hurry to tell the good things which her God was bestowing upon her. There are some who run away from God, there are others who run into the arms of God, Some shut God out of their lives, others welcome Him in.
A servant had come from a far country. He had come as the representative of a man who was mighty upon the earth; Rebekah opened her heart and hand to welcome this strange, but wonderful visitor.
The Holy Spirit has come from a far land. He has come as a representative of God. Behold, a greater than Abraham's servant is here. He is here bringing a message of one greater than Abraham and Isaac. Shall we receive Him?
2. Rebekah's brother ran out to meet the man, unto the well. Laban was greatly impressed as he saw the earrings and bracelets upon his sister. Thus, when he heard Rebekah's words as she described what had happened at the well, he hastened out and said unto the servant, "Come in, thou blessed of the Lord; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels."
Do we have ears to hear, and eyes to see the movement of the Spirit of God? He, too, is standing without. Will we welcome Him in? Have we a room in our heart prepared for this Holy Guest?
How much do we lose by refusing to welcome this Guest of the Lord! How often in entertaining men have we entertained angel's unawares. However, in entertaining the Holy Ghost we entertain God.
He, who is a representative of the Lord of Hosts should always find a warm welcome into our homes and hearts. However, if there come unto us one who beareth not this doctrine of truth, we are commanded: "Receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."
II. THE ENTRANCE OF THE SERVANT (Genesis 24:32 )
1. Abraham's servant was given an entrance. Our text says, "And the man came into the house." The camels were ungirded and provided with straw and provender. He was given water to wash his feet, and the men who were with him were also welcomed.
Milcah and Laban joined with Rebekah in the hospitality of their home. We can almost hear our Lord saying to that household: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me." When this man from the far country, who had charge of all Abraham's goods was received, Abraham and Isaac were received in him. When the Holy Spirit is welcomed into our home and heart, how much the more is God the Father and God the Son, welcomed in Him.
2. There was set meat before him to eat. As Abraham's servant sat down at a table filled with good things, he said, "I will not eat, until I have told mine errand." Laban replied, "Speak on." The man from the far country said, "I am Abraham's servant. And the Lord hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great." After this, the servant told of Abraham's possessions; of Sarah, Abraham's wife; and of Isaac, Abraham's son.
To us, this ail-surpassingly beautiful narration seems to speak of how the Holy Spirit has come forth from the Father. He speaks to us, not of Himself, but of the Father and of the Son. Christ said, "He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew it unto you." He also said, "He shall glorify Me." This same Spirit should dominate us in all things. We preach Christ, and not ourselves. We are heralders of Another.
3. Putting first things, first. The servant of Abraham said, "I will not eat, until." Here is a lesson much needed by all of us. We are too prone to think first of ourselves, and care of our body, the supply of our needs. We will not work on an empty stomach. We will not serve unless the pay check is in sight. We will work for Gad after we, ourselves, have been fully cared for, God give us, rather, this spirit of the faithful servant of Abraham.
III. THE QUEST OF THE SERVANT (Genesis 24:37-38 )
1. There was no delay in pressing the claims of Isaac. Abraham's servant did not delay in telling his business. He acted under the injunction "The king's business requireth haste." He had no time for parleying, and no heart for delay. The Spirit of God moves on this same basis. We can hear Him as He says, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."
If there is any delay, it will be found upon the part of the sinner. How many have voiced the wailing cry, "O the years of sinning wasted, could I but recall them now." Many great disasters have come because of duty deferred, of warning neglected. If we have anything to do, let us do it now.
2. There was no covering up of facts as the claim was pressed. Whatever else may be said of Abraham's servant, he told the truth, told it frankly, told it fully. If there were to be any failure in his obtaining his quest, it would not be because he had held back any part of his message.
The servant of Abraham told of how he had sworn unto his master that he would not take a wife unto Isaac of the daughters of the Canaanites. He told how he would be free from his oath, if the woman would not follow with him. He went on to tell of everything that had happened at the well of his prayer, of Rebekah's coming forth, of her offering him to drink, and of her drawing the water for his camels.
He showed how all of this was an answer to prayer, an answer which came to pass before he had done speaking. He told of his asking Rebekah of her parentage, of his giving her the jewels; of his bowing his head as he worshiped the Lord, who had led him in the right way to take a wife for Isaac.
All of this carries a marvelous message to us. The Spirit of God brought no fancied fable unto us, when He told us of the Father and of the Son. His Words are Truth, illuminating Truth, conservative Truth, Truth without error.
Many things have been spoken by the Spirit of God, as He reveals the wonders of the Father and the Son. These words have entered into the past, they have outlined the present, and they have revealed the future of our Lord and His glory. Not one good thing spoken shall fail. The Spirit of God can foretell the coming nuptials of the Son, the glory of the New Jerusalem, and all of those marvelous events which lie in the thousand years and in the ages to come, with the same accuracy with which He could relate events of yesterday.
IV. THE CONSENT (Genesis 24:50-51 ; Genesis 24:58 )
1. The consent of the parents. Such was the custom in the olden days. The appeal was made first to the parents; in the case of Rebekah to her mother and brother. They, in answer to the detailed appeal of Abraham's servant, said, "The thing proceedeth from the Lord: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go."
Let the message sink deep we need to know the will of the Lord in matrimonial affairs. When we discover that will, we need to proceed without questionings. We need parents who will help and not hinder their children in obeying the Lord in making their choice of life partners. Suppose Rebekah's mother and brother had stood in her way and hindered her going to Isaac, what incalculable loss would have followed? She would have been robbed of that choice heritage of being "mother" to our Lord, according to the flesh; and of entering, by marriage, into the direct line of descent from Adam unto Christ.
God pity those parents who stand in the way of their children's spiritual acquisitions. What a harvest of disappointments they must reap!
2. The assent of Rebekah. It was not enough for Rebekah's mother and brother to give their consent. Rebekah had to be considered. Thus it was that Bethuel and Laban said, "We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth."
When Rebekah had entered, they said, "Wilt thou go with this man?" And she said, "I will go." Thus, was the great decision made, not alone by mother and brother, but the damsel herself.
After all this, is our chief concern wilt thou go with Christ? Wot is father, or mother, or brother, or sister willing; but, am I willing? Wilt thou leave all, home, country, friends all, to follow Christ?
May I count the cost? Certainly. There will be much to yield, much to leave. Count the gain? Certainly. There will be all to gain, all to find. We may leave father, mother, houses, lands; but we will gain all of these, and Christ.
V. ACROSS THE DESERT SANDS (Genesis 24:61 )
1. Rebekah arose and followed the man. Here is a statement in the Bible that is absolutely vital to the Christian's life and walk. If we would go to the marriage nuptials of the Lamb of God, we must promptly arise, and go with the Spirit en route. God has sent Him to lead us along the way. He will lead us on. The chief question is this: Are we ready to leave all and go? Then, as we go, Will we follow hard after the Spirit? Alas, how many "there are who are taking the reins of their Christian life into their own hands! The standard of their walk is their own conceptions, their own think sos. They want to be bride to the Lord, but they refuse His Heavenly escort. They choose to travel by the bypaths that please the flesh.
So many young people profess to be Christ's, and yet they walk after the flesh, and not after the Spirit. They follow after the things of this world. With their lips they profess love for Christ, but with their lives they follow Baalim.
2. The man guided Rebekah on the way. It was he to whom she left the details of the journey. She was traveling a new path, an untried journey. Is this not always so? How can a man direct his own steps? The Christian life traverses a road where we have not been before. There are dangers lurking by the way, of which we are ignorant. There are foes which we must meet; foes which are greater and stronger than we. The whole proposition is whether we will accept the Paraclete of God the One whom He has sent to walk with us by the way? How happy we should be to accept this Heavenly Guide; how carefully we should listen to His voice; how willingly we should follow in His steps!
3. The theme of conversation. As the caravan made its way across the desert sands en route to Canaan, the theme of conversation must have centered in Isaac. It was not the sphinx, or the catacombs, or the great pyramid, that became the chief theme of conversation. It was not the hot winds or the sand-filled eyes that became the talk of the journey. It was Isaac, and Abraham who held Rebekah's heart and words. Every day, as Rebekah and Abraham's servant journeyed side by side, Rebekah heard more and more of Isaac. As she listened she learned to love Isaac more and more. Her heart was in constant preparation for that happy meeting which came at the journey's end.
Is not all of this true with us? The Spirit takes of the thing's of Christ and shows them unto us. As He glorifies Christ to us, we daily know Him the better, and love Him the more. All of this is in preparation for the meeting in the skies.
VI. THE MEETING (Genesis 24:62-66 )
1. Isaac came by the way of the well Lahai-roi. It is not difficult to imagine why Isaac came to the well of Lahai-roi the well of "meeting." His heart was longing for Rebekah, even as her's was longing for Isaac.
We who are journeying across the desert sands are ever thinking of the time when we shall see Him face to face. We are longing, waiting, looking, yearning for Him. We love the very thought of His Appearing.
Isaac also looked and longed for Rebekah. And so does pur blessed Lord sit at the Father's right hand, "expecting." He wants to come for us, far more than we want Him to come.
Rebekah came to Isaac; Isaac came to Rebekah. That will be the course of events when Christ returns. We are to go forth to Him, be rapt up into the air; He is to come forth from Heaven to the air to meet us. The atmosphere above will be our "Well of Lahai-roi" our place of "meeting."
2. Rebekah lifted up her eyes and saw Isaac. What thrills of joy must have been her's as she realized that prophecy was about to become history. Of all that the servant had told her of Abraham and Isaac not a word was to fail. Thus will Christ's Advent and the Rapture of saints fulfil all that the Spirit hath spoken. There shall not fail one good thing.
Bless God for the consummation of hope, when the meeting takes place. We shall see Him, whom we have loved the while, and for whom we have longed.
3. The servant recounted all that had happened to Isaac. The story of the journey and the home at Haran, the prayer by the well, the coming of Rebekah, the welcome of Laban, and Bethuel, the quick response of Rebekah, and her willingness to go; the farewell words of the mother and brother, the long journey across the sands all were told.
4. The marriage. The last verse of the chapter tells us that Isaac took Rebekah, and she became his wife. The words are not now detailed, as were the words of the courtship and journey. The scene was too sacred to describe.
The marriage in the skies will not be open to the eyes of a gazing world. It will be consummated behind closed doors, even the veil of the skies. However, "Blessed are they which are called unto the Marriage Supper of the Lamb."
READY TO SAIL
Rebekah was not ashamed to announce her confession. She said, "I will go."
All of us should count ourselves as pilgrims to the wedding in the skies.
"' A Christian should be always as a ship that hath taken in its lading, and is prepared and furnished with all manner of tackling, ready to set sail, only expecting the good wind to carry him out of the haven.' Would to God it were always so with us. We are fully stored and equipped in Christ Jesus, and yet we do not always enjoy the holy quiet which ought to spring out of so Divine a fact. All is well. Why do we not feel that it is so? Why do we fear to depart? There remains nothing for us but to obey the call, let loose the cable, and float into the Heavenly Haven; but we act as if it were not so, and often dread the time for commencing the last voyage. It is more important to be prepared to live aright than to be in an ecstasy at the thought of death; but, still, while we are ready for service, it is sweet also to be ready for Glory. The thought of death should never put us in a flurry. It should be everyday work to die: indeed, we should be always dead with Christ. Where this is realized death is dead, and as children are not afraid of a dead lion, so we also are not disturbed at the prospect of departing out of this world unto the Father."
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Genesis 24". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20