Archive for June, 2011

Genesis 24 – THE NEVERENDING LOVE STORY – Part 8

Neverending Love Story

Scientific research – As long as a woman is five years younger than her husband, from the same cultural background, not a divorcee, and more intelligent, then apparently you too can have the perfect marriage (You can prove anything with statistics).

I know, there is no such thing as the perfect marriage but I can’t help but see the mirrored image of my relationship with God in Genesis 24. The love story about Rebekah and Isaac parallels beautifully with my relationship with Him, and although I am not perfect, He is.

As feminine as the image is to be the bride of Christ, I am part of His Church, made up of those people who have given their lives to Christ. Christ is my Lord and Saviour, and I am given the wedding garments of Righteousness, clean and spotless so that I can be presented to Him. He exchanges His righteousness for my sin and I am caught up in a love relationship with Jesus. Ephesians 5:25-27 (NLT) says that Christ loves the church. “He gave up His life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to Himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.” He gave His life to save me so that I may give my life to serve Him.

I can’t help but see that the servant in Genesis is like God’s Holy Spirit, who is sent into the world to seek a bride for Christ. He stops at the well and waits to see if I respond to His promptings. He meets me where I am, in the sphere of my everyday experience.

Rebekah was asked to take a step of faith in marrying a man she had only heard about. My relationship to Christ is dependent on a step of faith that each of us is invited to take, based upon what God has revealed to me about Christ.

Like Rebekah, the relationship I have with Christ involves leaving everything which is a part of my old life behind, separating myself in order to be with Him forever. I die to my old life, pictured in baptism, and live the new life in Christ. Romans 6:1-14 (NLT) says “…our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin… So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.” We are bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20), but loved completely (Romans 8:35-39).

The love story in Genesis 24 ends by saying “Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening; and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and saw the camels coming.” (Genesis 24:63)

Isaac obviously had devotional times with God in the evenings, quietimes with God after the working day. I wonder if Isaac was having a quietime the evening that Rebekah had gone to the well to draw water. She had come to get water in the evening at the local well for her family and ended up being the person he was praying for.

When Rebekah sees Isaac at a distance, she asks who he is. She shows her modesty by covering her face when she meets Isaac. She has respect and although she is beautiful she is not showy or boastful. She comes to Isaac with a sense of humility.

When 1 Peter 1:8-9 (NLT) speaks about our relationship with Christ. It says “You love Him even though you have never seen Him. Though you do not see Him now, you trust Him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting Him will be the salvation of your souls.” 

Genesis 24:67 (NLT) says that “Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent, and she became his wife. He takes Rebekah as his wife and loved her. Nice ending to the story.

Christ also loves me, before I even respond to Him. Galatians 2:20 (NLT) speaks about “trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” And how I can live with Him forever.

I know, Genesis 24 is a straightforward narrative about how Rebekah came to be Isaac’s wife, but sitting here at my computer at 4.27am in the morning I am reminded of the loving relationship I have with Christ and my prayer is that you would know Him too.

Pastor Ross

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Genesis 24 – RESUME OF A SERVANT LEADER – Part 7

Servant Leadership

He is not mentioned by name in this story but he makes a name for himself in the pages of history. If you are looking for an example of SERVANT LEADERSHIP, you will find it here in Abraham’s servant. Imagine if he asked for a reference to add to his resume.

As I speak about the leadership characteristics of this man, I wonder would the reference Abraham writes about him be the same kind of reference he would write for me? What does it look like to be a servant leader?

His reference would probably read something like this…

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN,

I have known Eliezer for many years. He has served my family over all those years. In fact he has been a most trusted manager and a true servant leader.

I regard Eliezer as a gift from God. He has administrated the affairs of my considerable estate with efficiency and my business has prospered considerably (Genesis 24:1-2. Of course it was God who had blessed Abraham and Eliezer was there to administer the business and household. Many commentaries say that this servant had to be Eliezer but he is not actually mentioned by name.)

With his extensive experience (which is another way of saying that he is old) I believe he has, through his involvement in a variety of business and personal experiences, much to offer. He has learned valuable lessons and together we have charted new territory (Genesis 24:2).

You will find that Eliezer is NOT AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS and he ANTICIPATES DIFFICULTIES when given a task, not because he is being negative but in order to achieve his task more effectively and understand more accurately what is being asked of him (Genesis 24:5. When Abraham asks Eliezer to find a wife for Isaac back in Mesopotamia, Eliezer sees a problem and says, “If this girl won’t agree to come with me. Should I take your son with me?” He presents a problem but suggests a solution. Abraham rejects the solution but it shows that Eliezer is proactive).

Eliezer has a great reputation for finding the right people for our family business. Recently I entrusted Eliezer with an impossible mission which involved travelling to another country and “headhunting” a suitable girl to live and work back in Canaan with my son. He has a particular passion for EXECUTIVE MATCHMAKING, and found someone who was more than suitable. Isaac loved her so much, he married her. (Genesis 24:3-4. Eliezer found the right person for Isaac to marry.)

Always PREPARING WELL, Eliezer has been entrusted with full access to my finances and he budgets well. As you know I have a sizeable fortune. Eliezer can be TRUSTED with money (Genesis 24:10,22,53 When he set off to find Rebekah, he took a fortune with him by way of gifts in silver, gold and garments as well). He is RESPONSIBLE. When transacting business for my family recently in the East, I put at his disposal some of my trained soldiers.(Genesis 24:32. Abraham had his own private army which he had previously used when his nephew Lot was captured by king Chedorlaomer. The story is found in Genesis 14:14-16. I would presume that he would send some of these men with Eliezer for protection purposes). Eliezer also travelled with a valuable cargo into dangerous territory and I am sure an angel was going before him because he was able to accomplish his mission with efficiency. (Genesis 24:7. Abraham said that an angel would go before him to find a wife for Isaac. I presume this would be an angel like Gabriel, who would protect the promises and purposes of God concerning these ancestors of Jesus).

Eliezer takes RESPONSIBILITY after thinking through things well. He’s not afraid of finding success for others. He’s NOT OUT TO SERVE HIS OWN INTERESTS. Once given the mission, he GETS ON WITH THE JOB assigned to him. He is POSITIVE and LOOKS FOR SOLUTIONS and has honoured me. (Genesis 24:12-14. Eliezer prays “O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness to my master Abraham.” He is always serving the interests of God and his master).

What I particularly appreciate about Eliezer is that he allows God to guide him. You will not find anyone as COMMITTED to serving the Lord and his employer as Eliezer. He has a RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD and WORSHIPS EASILY and God guides him.  (Genesis 24:12,21,26,42,48,52. At each step Eliezer is careful to ask God for success and to praise God for the answers he receives. Psalms 37:23 (NLT) says “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives”).

He’s a DETAILS PERSON, but somehow manages to be PRECISE AND TO THE POINT with his presentations. (Genesis 24:33-49. Eliezer explains the reason he is there, how God has prospered Abraham to the point where is is now a rich man. He speaks about the miracle of Isaac’s birth and how he is the sole heir to Abraham. He explains that he took an oath to find a wife for Isaac among Abraham’s relatives, and how he had asked for a sign so that God would lead him to the right girl. The Lord led him to Rebekah. Without being pushy he seeks to have them make a decision). You will find Eliezer not to be intrusive but he is ASSERTIVE and firm when closing a deal. (Genesis 24:49) Very DECISIVE, and COMMITTED to accomplishing the purpose of the tasks I have assigned him, he does not waste time. He is never keen about delaying things (Genesis 24:55-56. Once Eliezer has found Rebekah, he is keen to go the very next day). Although he is PERSISTENT, he is careful not to force his way into a situation. He completes what he sets out to do.

If his experience and gifts in excellent service and trusted leadership, along with his loyalty seems to match up with any opportunities you may have, then you must know that although I commend him to you and that he would be an asset to you, YOU CAN’T HAVE HIM. He is permanently indentured to me. Abraham. 

God bless you as you seek to learn and apply these principles of servant leadership from this amazing man of God.

Pastor Ross

Genesis 24 – THE PERFECT WIFE OR A DOMESTICATED DOORMAT? – Part 6

Perfect Wife or Doormat?

The Formula in the 50′s FOR THE PERFECT WIFE get your work done, have dinner ready for your husband, look good for him, minimize any noise before he arrives at the door after work, be happy to see him, don’t greet him with problems and complaints, don’t complain if he is late for dinner, make him comfortable, listen to him and make the evening his (Was this designed by the PERFECT WIFE OR A DOMESTICATED DOORMAT?)

Now picture this scene found in Genesis 24. Abraham sends his servant with 10 camels and a sizable fortune in gifts to find THE PERFECT WIFE for Isaac. He asks God for a SIGN so he’ll recognise who is the right girl. The sign? The girl who not only gives him water to drink from her jug but also offers to water his 10 camels will be the one. Rebekah makes such an offer. This is like having someone offer to fill up 10 EMPTY TRUCKS with petrol. It’s going to take a long time. But so far so good. She seems like the perfect wife for Isaac (not to mention that it will save him watering the camels).

He discovers a number of things about Rebekah at the well that day. She is BEAUTIFUL, SINGLE. She is CONFIDENT, WARM AND FRIENDLY despite the fact that he is a stranger. She calls him “lord” which was a way of showing RESPECT. She has a SERVANT HEART. She’s THOUGHTFUL, CARING, CONSIDERATE, SELFLESS, willing to go the EXTRA MILE to help out. She puts the needs of others before her own. She’s a FITNESS FANATIC (Carting all that water would keep anyone fit). She’s STRONG AND HEALTHY. She is definitely NOT AFRAID OF HARD WORK. She’s FLEXIBLE with her time. She is there to get water for her family but she goes out of her way to help someone else first.

Apart from this she has FAITH IN GOD and she is HOSPITABLE. She invites him to stay with her family

Genesis 24:26-28 (NLT) says that the servant “…bowed low and worshiped the Lord.” As far as he is concerned, God has answered his prayer. He gives her some EXPENSIVE JEWELLERY including a nose ring and Rebekah runs home “… to tell her family everything that had happened.”

What would you do if your DAUGHTER COMES HOME LATE, wearing expensive jewelry and raving on about a man she has just met that evening? I’d be a little suspicious if it was my daughter and I’d want to get rid of the man. Not Rebekah’s brother Laban. He’s the head of the family but he is also a business man so when he SEES THE JEWELLERY that Rebekah is wearing all of a sudden this servant becomes HIS BEST FRIEND. In Genesis 24:31 he says “Come in, blessed of the Lord! Why do you stand outside since I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels?”

Just before the evening meal the Servant explains how he asked God for a sign and that he thinks that Rebekah is God’s choice for Isaac. He lays it on the line “Please tell me yes or no, and then I’ll know what to do next.” (I knew a girl once who said she knew that it was God’s will that she marry a friend of mine. Strangely, God didn’t tell him too and he ended up marrying another girl). Is this man being EMOTIONALLY MANIPULATIVE or has he really heard from God?

Laban and his father Bethuel believe in God and when they hear of how the servant received a sign from God, they say, “The Lord has obviously brought you here, so there is nothing we can say. Here is Rebekah; take her and go. Yes, let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.”

The servant lavishes the family with a FORTUNE IN GIFTS. What is this? Human trafficking, SELLING YOUR DAUGHTER? Rebekah hasn’t had a say in any of this yet! What is she? Some KIND OF DOORMAT OR OBJECT OF EXCHANGE?

By early the next morning, it looks like the deal has changed however. Laban has been talking to Rebekah’s mother and they say “We want Rebekah to stay with us at LEAST TEN DAYS, then she can go.” Abraham’s servant is straight with them. He says “Don’t mess me around. This is God’s will and we’ve made a deal.” Actually he says “Don’t delay me. The Lord has made my mission successful.”

“Well,” they say “we’ll call Rebekah and ASK HER what she thinks.” IT’S ABOUT TIME that Rebekah actually gets to say something about their plans for her life! Ever felt like God loves you and EVERYONE ELSE has a wonderful plan for your life? So they call Rebekah. Oh, by the way Rebekah, “Are you willing to go with this man?” they ask her.

Rebekah is no doormat. She’s INTELLIGENT enough to make up her OWN MIND. She’s heard everything the servant said and she is ASSERTIVE AND DECISIVE. She makes a decision immediately based on what she has heard. What would you have said? She replies, “Yes, I will go.” She is quick to recognise that God is in this and that this is her opportunity to fulfill her GOD GIVEN DESTINY. She doesn’t insist on staying an extra 10 days like her family requests. Just as well! Major spanner in the works if she had said “NO. I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE AND I’M NOT MARRYING ANYONE!”

Sometimes people say that CHRISTIANS ARE JUST PASSIVE DOORMATS who follow GOD’S RULES AND REGULATIONS MINDLESSLY. I don’t follow Christ because I HAVE TO. I follow Him because I WANT TO. He has won me over with who He is and what He has done for me on the Cross. There’s a difference between CO-OPERATING WITH GOD and being a DOORMAT. I have a CHOICE.

Rebekah is a RISK TAKER. Faith is always a risk. GIVING YOUR LIFE TO CHRIST is always a risk. Some people say “FAITH IS BLIND because it involves taking a risk. FAITH MAY BE BLIND BUT IT ISN’T DEAF! Faith comes when we HEAR what God has to say for our lives and then we CHOOSE, by an act of our own FREEWILL, after receiving His revelation of Truth, to step out and act upon it without knowing what the future holds. Rebekah courageously takes a step of faith by her willingness to give up her life with her family and go with this man to a land she has never seen, to marry a man she has never met. I like this woman of faith. It is no wonder that Isaac falls in love with her.

Although everyone else seemed to have a plan for her life, Rebekah listens and responds to what God is saying to her and makes a decision that changes the world. She doesn’t know it but this decision will impact the future as God fulfils His promises. One day Jesus will come from the line of Isaac.

Rebekah encourages me NOT TO BE A DOORMAT to my circumstances or to other people. God bless you as you COOPERATE WITH GOD’S PLAN for your life today and in doing so LIVE LIFE TO THE FULL and make a difference in the world.

Pastor Ross

Genesis 24 – HOW TO FIND AND BE THE RIGHT PERSON – Part 5.

Cross = Love

Both have beautiful jewelry, except that one has a sapphire ring on her finger and the other wears a nose ring. One woman arrives to her wedding in a limousine. The other on a camel. One veils her face as she walks the aisle of a huge Church building to her husband whom she has known for 8 years. The other veils her face when she meets her husband for the first time.

Kate Middleton and Rebekah are both beautiful women but what is it that sets Rebekah apart? Perhaps it is that although Kate marries prince William, who in the future will be crowned the king of England, Rebekah marries Isaac from whom will come Jesus, who in the future will be acknowledged as the Prince of Peace and King of Kings.

Genesis 24 brings us to the outskirts of the city of Nahor. A stranger goes to one of the local wells. He knows that this is the local gathering place for the women of the city as they will come to collect water for their households in the cool of the evening. He rests the camels by the well and prays. Abraham has sent this trusted servant to find a wife for Isaac. But the question is “Who is right for Isaac?”

How is he going to find the right girl? He prays a simple, straight forward prayer for a clear sign to lead him. Matthew 21:22 (NLT) says “You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.” What CHARACTERISTICS would you be praying for? In the musical “Annie, Get Your Gun”, the lead sings a song called “The Girl That I Marry” and lists off a series of characteristics. What would you sing about concerning a girl for Isaac? Or perhaps for you?

The servant prays that the girl who is right for Isaac will be the girl who comes to the well and gives the servant water to drink at his request, and then shows extra consideration over and above that. She will suggest watering the rest of his camels, which is an enormous amount of work. (Apparently a thirsty camel can drink up to forty gallons of water, and there are ten camels!) This is a big ask. It will take some hours of her time. But it will solve two problems for the servant. A girl like this has to be right for Isaac, and he’ll have his “limousines” looked after in the process.

In the cool evening air she comes with no idea of how her life is to change. Rebekah must have sensed the presence of an angel as she arrives because God answers the servants prayer immediately. As far as she knows she is here to fill her clay jug with water and take it back to her household. The urgency to be first on the scene to draw water did not come from the whining commands of her mother but from the inner RESPONSIBILITY she feels to contribute to the needs of her family. Genesis 24:16 says “Rebekah was very BEAUTIFUL and OLD ENOUGH TO BE MARRIED, but she was STILL A VIRGIN. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up again.”

The servant makes his request for water and watches to see if this is the right girl. Her beautiful eyes glance briefly into his with curiosity and she is careful to show him courtesy and respect. “Yes, my lord,” she answers, “have a drink.” CONFIDENT, WARM, FRIENDLY.

And then, as if compelled by an angel, this young woman, who knows what it means to carry a heavy pitcher of water back and forth from the well, immediately offers to draw water for all his camels. She adds the words “until they have finished drinking.” The servant is thinking “God answers my prayers even before I have finished asking.”

There is no reluctance in the melody of her voice as she makes this man she has never met before feel valued. SERVANT HEART to servant, Rebekah recognises opportunity to invest her time to help others (and get a workout at the same time). The INITIATIVE and RESPONSIBILITY she takes is a good deal for Abraham’s servant. He just stands there and watches.

Blessing so often comes when I take initiative and work hard in the everyday things of life without the expectation of reward. I see in Rebekah that she is a person who doesn’t live just to satisfy her own needs or just the needs of her family. She goes the EXTRA MILE. When you know God personally you will CARE FOR OTHERS. You seek to go a step further. She looks beyond what people want to what they need. She is THOUGHTFUL and CONSIDERATE and looks for ways to make life better for others. SELFLESS. She sees the chance to be GENEROUS and takes it. She is so much like my wife Julie.

Although she didn’t do the work expecting to get paid for it Rebekah is given some valuable jewellery in return for her help. This is the principle of sowing and reaping. Luke 6:38 (NLT) says “Give, and you will receive.” She gives over and above what is expected and she will also receive over and above what she expects – a husband. She may not realise it but she has just stepped into the purposes of God.

The invitation today is to be willing to go the extra mile without thinking “what’s in it for me?” Jesus knew what it meant to go the extra mile for us and die for our sins to bring us the water of eternal life. May God bless you in the random-acts-of-kindness opportunities that He brings along your way today. They could answer someone’s prayer and end up changing your life forever if you are willing to step into the purposes of God. We are blessed to be a blessing.

Pastor Ross

Genesis 24 – TAKE AN OATH AND PLACE MY HAND WHERE? – Part 4

Oath on Bible – Photo created by Ross Cochrane using photos from MorgueFile.com

SUBPOENA AD TESTIFICANDUM. Ordered by writ of the court to testify. The maintenance man drove us in his van to the courthouse. Two young women, both relatively new to Australia had been issued with subpoenas. They had never testified before and for them going to court implied that they were going to be convicted, or at least have their reputations ruined by their association with another persons guilt. As their Pastor and Chaplain, I was there to support them. They would make AN OATH ON THE BIBLE and would be constrained by that oath to tell the truth.

In Genesis 24:2-9 (NLT) Abraham subpoenas his oldest and most trusted servant “TAKE AN OATH BY PUTTING YOUR HAND UNDER MY THIGH. Swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not allow my son to marry one of these local Canaanite women. Go instead to my homeland, to my relatives, and find a wife there for my son Isaac.” Abraham says “Be careful never to take my son there. For the Lord, the God of heaven, solemnly promised to give this land to my descendants.” So the servant takes the oath by putting his hand under the thigh of his master, Abraham and swears to follow Abraham’s instructions. He is constrained by that oath to fulfil Abraham’s requests.

Strange way to take an oath. What is this “place your hand under my thigh” business? If someone told me to do this I would say “You want me to place my hand where?” I certainly wouldn’t go telling anyone today to place his hand under my thigh and take an oath. He’d hit me! Perhaps this is why the Bible discourages the making of oaths (James 5:12)!

It is clear that this is not your normal “swear to tell the truth by placing your hand on the Bible” oath. Many commentators agree that the servant probably kneels before Abraham and places his hand between Abraham’s thighs (the thighs symbolise power and strength), under his genitals, because that’s where he bore the MARK OF CIRCUMCISION, the sign of God’s covenant concerning a great nation.

This oath to find the right girl for Isaac as a wife is related to the COVENANT PROMISES God has made to Abraham concerning his descendents who would come from the “loins” of Abraham.

Today such an oath would almost look like a homosexual act, but it has nothing to do with homosexuality. In fact just the opposite. It is related more to the marriage of a man and woman and procreation. (Mind you, if it had been me, I’d make sure no-one was around when this kind of oath was made. It wouldn’t look right).

But the idea of this oath is to have integrity about the things you say you are going to do based on the things that God has said He would do concerning descendents. You will notice this oath even has an escape clause. If the girl didn’t come with the servant he would be free of the oath.

From my point of view as a Westerner it is a repulsive way of making an oath. Imagine if we used this method in court today? I’m glad it’s not a ritual like Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. But if I am not careful I can miss the real emphasis of these verses in the Bible because I am looking at it through the eyes of my culture.

The invitation is to see BEYOND THE METHOD of making the oath to the commitment that is being made to God and the fulfilment of the covenant promises He makes. The servant is to “Swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, …” (Genesis 24:3 NLT) that he will find the right girl for Isaac to marry, so that the promises a great nation through Abraham will be realised.

As I commit my life completely to the Lord Jesus Christ I am saying that God is my Lord and has authority over my life. He is my God, the God of heaven and earth. His authority is well beyond anything that I can imagine. I am asking that Heavens purposes be fulfilled on earth. I am agreeing that His promises and purposes be accomplished and that I am willing to co-operate with Him.

Pastor Ross

Genesis 24 – THINGS THAT DON’T GO TOGETHER – Part 3

Just Married!

The engine of a Fiesta in a Ferrari! Pickles and icecream. There are certain things that definitely DON’T go together. Aluminium foil and microwaves (Julie rediscovered this recently). Children and cancer. Wouldn’t it change the world if honesty and politics went together.

It was dark when I dressed and when I arrived at the Church building we sat around in a small circle of dedicated students learning and reciting Greek declensions with our Pastor. It was about halfway through one of these early morning classes that I noticed my shoes. I was wearing TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF SHOES! Very embarrassing. I wonder if anybody else noticed? Certain things should not be worn together.

Deuteronomy 22:10 (NLT) says “You must not plough with an ox and a donkey harnessed together.” The idea here is that there are certain things that are totally INCOMPATIBLE. They were never meant to be placed in the same yoke, never meant to be together in the same equation. Just won’t fit! Won’t make sense! Doesn’t work well!

Abraham wants his son to marry a woman from among his own relatives and insists that he must not marry a Canaanite girl. It almost seems RACIST! Wouldn’t it be better to form an alliance through marriage with the people who are there in the land promised to Abraham? What an easy way of claiming the promised land. You would think that it would HELP THE PROMISE along a little. So far Abraham only owns a burial plot that he bought for Sarah. Why not also form a covenant through a marriage to a Canaanite girl with his son? It was clear that he DOES NOT WANT THIS TO HAPPEN. Why? Are we to be DISCRIMINATORY when we choose a marriage partner? No, but we are to be DISCRIMINATING.

The Bible speaks of our relationship with God as being the most important relationship we will ever have, even more important than our marriage relationship. When we marry we form a COVENANT. That covenant is used as a picture of our relationship with God. Ephesians 5:25 (NASB) says “Husbands, love your wives, just AS CHRIST ALSO LOVED THE CHURCH and gave Himself up for her,…”   The Canaanites were idol worshipers and REJECTED THE GOD OF ABRAHAM.

There are certain things that DEFINITELY DON’T GO TOGETHER. Ur and Abraham. Sodom and Lot. Idols and the temple. Christ and the devil. Light and darkness. Righteousness and wickedness. A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST MARRYING AN UNBELIEVER. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (NLT) says “DON’T TEAM UP WITH (be UNEQUALLY YOKED with) those who are unbelievers.” It’s like harnessing an ox and an ass together.

Abraham is confident that the Lord will send an ANGEL ahead of the servant to help him find the right girl for Isaac among his relatives. Angels have already played an important part in Abraham’s life (Genesis 18, 19, 22). By the way, he is not talking about A CUPID-LIKE ANGEL, so let’s not go there. It was probably Gabriel or Michael, the fiercest of all angels, sent to protect the promises of God to Abraham.

A GREAT NATION was coming through Abraham. JESUS would one day be born through this family line and it seems God didn’t want anybody or anything, demonic or otherwise, to interfere with the process of finding Rebekah. Abraham’s faith had been tested and he had learned some valuable lessons. He is doing everything he can to make sure that he doesn’t get in the way of God again.

Perhaps it was the archangel Gabriel who was sent. Afterall Gabriel turns up at the birth of Christ to Mary (Luke 1:26) and angels throughout the Bible have a way of protecting people (and I might add of scaring them to death in the process. It seems they always have to reassure people by saying “Do not fear!” so they obviously aren’t the cute, fat baby-like cupid angels that we see on wedding invitations).

In a world where Satan wants to destroy Godly marriages because they are a picture of our relationship with Christ, is this your opportunity to pray that God would SEND AN ANGEL to protect you and that God would lead you to the right person to marry? Some people are just meant to be together.

Pastor Ross