Genesis 24 -26
Isaac and Rebekah
Sunday 20th June 2021
8am and 10am
With Peter Veysie
I want to start by thanking Trevor and Naomi for sharing their testimony today. What a joy to also see their heritage and the generations that have followed them into a place of grace and an authentic loving relationship with the Lord
I think that for all of us we have had our moments with our father’s both good and bad. Some of us have been blessed with good role models and others have had shocking experiences of really bad examples from abuse to alcaholism to abuse of finances and so much more.
We have many examples in the bible too of good and bad father’s from Father Abraham and Sarah who had many sons and daughters, Noah who got drunk and had to be covered by his kids, to the many other examples along the way.We see geneaologies of both mothers and father’s and unfortunately the bible is messy when it comes to the downlines of even our saviour Jesus Christ.
This morning I want to look at the story of Isaac and Rebekah and a little bit of background to them and him as a father.
Abraham’s servant goes to find a wife for Isaac because he didn’t want him to marry a Canaanite (foreigner). They set out with presents and camels and off they go to the country of their forefathers and mothers, The servant asks for a sign that if a girl offers to give him a drink and to water the camels too then he will know that this is the one for Isaac. It’s exactly as he had asked and so now he has to work out how to bring her back to Isaac ??? She asks her brother Laban to go and check out this servant to make sure that he is kosher as you never know in those days and even more so in these days !!! He gives the thumbs up and tells him to come home with them vs 31 “Come you who are blessed by the Lord.” It’s always good to have a brother or friend to check things out. They spend the evening together and Bethuel her father and Laban her brother agree to let her go and meet with Isaac.One key ingredient is that Rebekah was not forced to go but was asked – vs 58 “will you go with this man ?” And she responds – “I will go”
She doesn’t go alone but takes her nurse with her as well as Abraham’s servants and men – good call.
They bless her before she goes – vs 60 “Our sister, may you increase to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess the cities of their enemies.
They go off to the house of Isaac and he goes out to meditate one night in the fields. Rebekah spots him as the camels approach the house. She asks “who is this man” vs 64 and the servant responds that this is the master Isaac and she covers herself.
A lot of detail is left out after this because the next thing that happens is that Isaac brings her into his late mom Sarah’s tent and he marries her. He was 40 years old.
He married her and loved her and and Isaac was comforted by Rebekah after his mother’s death. They later had a lot of turmoil and twins – Jacob and Esau who wrestled in Rebekah’s womb.
Later on in the story we see that Isaac had a good heart when Abimelek comes to vist him after being hostile to Isaac and he blesses them and feeds them with a feast. They went away peacefully.
It’s quite a story but I want to unpack a few things from it:
Genesis 24: 59 – 67.
Rebekah enabled Isaac to be the kind of man he was in spight of tricking him into passing the brirthright on to Jacob and not Esau. (That is a long story for another day that I have struggled with).
Let’s keep with the positives on this Father’s day.
- Faithful to one wife
Isaac is one of the few men in the old testament that only has one wife and no concubines and so he is a good example of faithfulness and commitment. Father’s are called to be faithful to their wives.
2. Able and given authority after Abraham and going through a calamity up the mountain.
In both the Old and the New Testament, God is called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because with them God’s relationship of promise and purpose was fixed for all those who descended from them. The story of Abraham’s acquiescence to God’s command to sacrifice Isaac was used in the early Christian church as an example of faith (Hebrews 11:17) and of obedience (James 2:21). In later Jewish tradition the sacrifice of Isaac was cited in appeals for the mercy of God.
Isaac’s life was not without the struggle of trust even with his own father taking him up the mountain to be sacrificed and yet he found in himself the ability to be kind to others and to his boys.
Psalm 103:13 As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compasion on those who fear him.
3. Trusted by his wife and others
Trust is a huge missing link in our society today and people are finding it more and more difficult not only to trust themselves, those that are in authority but also each other. Isaac did show through various examples his ability to be trusted. Rebekah’s first meeting, the testimony of the servant must have given Rebekah assurance that he was a good man and the servant would have had first hand experience of this.
4. Heart for his sons and others even enemies being blessed by him.
We see in the story the picture of enemies coming to give him a hard time and Isaac creates a space even for his enemies to be blessed and in spight of stolen birthright and a messy end with his sons, he still takes the time to bless them even when he finds out what had happened. It’s so hard often to manage the challenge of one child being okay and another not. I am blessed with three awesome sons but all of them have pushed the boundaries at different times and I have found that love is the greatest gift that I can give them. I have pushed the boundaries as well and especially as a young person and I found that love and forgiveness and often a little task to remind me of my misdemeanors was a gift from both my mom and dad. A few mouthfuls of soap did help me to remember not to do a thing again though.
5. Eternity in the heart – footprints
Ecclesiastes 3:11 has reaaly spoken to me so many times and it relates to today as well. It says – “He makes all things beautiful in His time and He has put eternity in our hearts.”
As a father we have to ask ourselves about what kind of difference we are going to make to eternity. The Lord gives us an opportunity to make a difference and decide on the kind of footprint that we will put on the earth. The legacy that we will leave behind for the generations to come.
6. Real – he had a real struggle with his sons and life was not easy.
Last but not least I have a huge admiration for Isaac being very real and he lived for 180 years Genesis 35:28
As he breathed his last he gathered his people and he was old and full of years. Vs 29. This tells us a lot about Isaac as a man who had experienced a lot. Can you just imagine living for 180 years. There was a lady on Facebook who lived for 122 years and 64 days!!!
The questions we need to ask ourselves today especially as fathers and individuals today are:
- How are we doing on the faithful level? Spouses,friends,family.
- Are we able to handle the authority that the Lord has given us? Matthew 28:19-20 All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…(Jesus) and then through Him to us.
- Can we be trusted? Where we need to pray for forgiveness then do it now!!!
- Are we able to bless our children,family friends and then even our enemies ? (Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44)
- What kind of footprint will you leave behind?
- Are you able to live a life being real open and honest?