A Successful Marriage Puts God First
A Successful Marriage Puts God First.
How would you feel if someone else was made responsible for finding you a spouse? There are still cultures where it is the parents who are responsible for choosing a spouse for their children. The story that Genesis 24 tells us is even more curious, because the groom's father asks his most trusted servant to go on a long journey to find a wife for his son. In a time without the technology we have today, anything could happen! But, there is "something" that will ensure that the process is successful. This story teaches us that very important "something" that allowed there to be joy at the end of this difficult mission.
The Value of a Christian Heritage - (Genesis 24:1-9, 18-20, 31, 50-51)
In the years that I served as a pastor, time and again I taught about the importance of the inheritance we leave our children. What values and teachings are we leaving to the next generation? The example that parents (grandparents and other relatives) set will have an effect (either positive or negative) in the lives of their children, especially in marriage. The first thing that stands out from this story is that both families and everyone involved show great faith in God. It is important that our faith saturates those around us as well. Abraham is an example of faith (see Hebrews 11), and his dedication to God is evidenced in the process of sending the servant to find a wife for Isaac (24:1-8). The family of Bethuel, Abraham's nephew, also demonstrates their trust in God, declaring that God's hand has been in this process (24:31, 50-51). Abraham's servant, influenced by the faith of his master, recognizes God, obeys and is prosperous in his mission (vs. 48, 52).
The Importance of Prayer to God - (Genesis 24:12-14, 21, 26-27, 48, 50, 52, 56)
One of the biggest, most serious, and most lasting decisions that human beings make is about marriage. How could you not to put it in God's hands in prayer? Do you pray for your children? Do you pray for God to show you that person He has for you? Abraham prayed and knew that God would prosper the mission of his servant to find a wife for his son (24: 7). How could he feel so certain? Because of the relationship that already existed between him and God and also because of what God had already done in his own life by giving him a son when everything pointed to the impossible. Without God's direction through prayer we put the future at risk. The servant, although he did not necessarily have faith in the beginning, also prayed. The one who had faith was Abraham, but the servant begins to establish his own relationship with God through what he sees in his master. The servant prays to God for direction, for success, and for God to take control of the situation (24:12-14). Isaac also prayed. We find him praying (meditating) as he used to do in anticipation of the arrival of his future wife (24:63). The response of Bethuel and his family (24:50) indicates that a close relationship with God already existed because what was happening in their lives was of great magnitude and required trust that God was working in everything for their good.
The Need to Wait for God's Answer - (Genesis 24:8, 14, 16, 21, 31, 49, 63, 65)
Abraham entrusted this delicate matter to his servant because he was aware that God was the one who was really in charge of the results. He just had to wait to see what God would do. Isaac without doubt was the one who anxiously was looking forward to what would happen, since his future depended on the decisions of others, but he also trusted in the divine process. Rebekah was old enough to get married, but she didn't rush, she kept waiting for God's time for it. And Rebekah's family, though in no rush to find Rebekah a husband, responded quickly when they saw the hand of God.
The Great Final Blessing of Having Trusted in God. - (Genesis 24:15, 26, 35, 48, 56, 58, 60, 67)
Perhaps the most striking thing about this whole story is it's happy ending: Abraham managed to see his son get married. He could see his son getting married in obedience to the pact that God had made with him. The servant was able to return successfully and established a personal relationship with God. Rebekah now has the husband she should have, and Isaac has a beautiful, courageous, God-loving wife.
When one thinks of all that could have gone wrong on this journey to find Isaac a wife, one realizes that it was only because of God's participation, in answer to the prayers of those involved, that this story could have such a satisfying ending. And God is the one who gets all the glory, for having answered those prayers!
If you want to be successful in your marriage, you will have to put God first throughout the entire process…when you start your search, during your courtship, and after you are married. No matter where you are in this process, it's never too late to put God first… it's what will put your marriage on the path to blessing!