It was many years since Abraham and Isaac had gone up the mountain to offer sacrifices to God. Abraham was now very old, and Sarah had just died. Isaac was grown up, but he had not married.
There was no one nearby who would be a good wife for him. In those days parents chose who their children would marry. Abraham knew it was important that Isaac married a woman who loved God. All the people around them were wicked and worshipped idols. This was something God hated.
It was many years since Abraham and Isaac had gone up the mountain to offer sacrifices to God. Abraham was now very old, and Sarah had just died. Isaac was grown up, but he had not married. There was no one nearby who would be a good wife for him. In those days parents chose who their children would marry. Abraham knew it was important that Isaac married a woman who loved God. All the people around them were wicked and worshipped idols. This was something God hated. Abraham knew that God would be angry if Isaac married someone like that.Abraham thought hard and then called his chief servant. Abraham was too old to go and look for a wife for Isaac, so he said to his servant, “Promise me that you will not find a wife for Isaac from the bad people around us. Go to my country and family and get him a wife from there. Isaac must stay here though, as this is the land that God has promised to us. If the woman refuses to leave her family and come back with you, then you don’t have to keep this promise.”
The servant agreed to do as Abraham asked. He set off on his journey with some other servants. With them went ten camels to carry the food and presents. They arrived at their destination many days later. It was evening, and women were getting water from the wells for their families. The servant made his camels kneel down near the town’s well. He then prayed to God. The servant was worried about making a good choice for Isaac, so he asked God for help.
“Lord God” he said, “please be kind to my master. Help me choose the right wife for Isaac. I will ask one of the girls for water. Let the one that gives me a drink, then offers to give my camels a drink, be the right wife for Isaac.”
Before the servant had even finished praying, Rebekah came down to the well. The servant waited until she had filled her container. Then he said, “Please could I have a small drink from your water container?” Rebekah gave him a drink, and seeing that his camels looked thirsty, gave them a drink too.
The servant was very excited. This was what he had just prayed for! He pulled out some of the jewellery he had in his bag and gave it to her. He then asked, “Whose daughter are you?”
Amazingly, Rebekah was the daughter of Abraham’s nephew. She was the perfect girl for Isaac to marry. Rebekah ran to tell her family what had happened. Her father and brother then came out, welcomed the servant and asked him to stay the night with them. The servant agreed.
They all had dinner together, and the servant told the family why he had come. He told them what Abraham had made him promise, his prayer at the well, and how kind Rebekah had been. He then asked them whether Rebekah could be Isaac’s wife. The family was quiet for a moment. Then her father spoke.
“This is obviously God’s doing, so we can’t say no,” he said. “Rebekah may go with you and marry Isaac.”
The servant was so happy, and gave them all presents.
The next day the servant wanted to start off for home. It was a long trip, and he wanted to show Abraham he had kept his promise. Rebakah’s family weren’t happy about this.
“Why do you have to rush off so quickly?” they said. “At least wait for another ten days. We want to spend some time with Rebekah.”
The servant frowned. “It’s a long journey” he said. “I would like to go as soon as possible.” “Well,” said the family, “let’s call Rebekah, and see what she thinks.”
They called Rebekah, and asked her.
“This man wants to go,” they said. “Are you happy to leave with him today?”
“Yes,” she said. “I will go.”
So they all set off for home that day – the servants, the camels, Rebekah and her maid.
It was evening when they arrived home. Isaac was out walking in the fields. He looked up and watched the camels coming closer
“Who is that man in the field?” asked Rebekah.
“He is my master, Isaac” the servant replied.
The servant then introduced Rebekah and Isaac, and told Isaac all about his travels. Isaac and Rebekah fell in love, and spent a very happy life together.
See if you can answer these questions:
1.Why didn’t Abraham want Isaac to marry one of the girls from near them?
2.What sign did the servant want from God?
3.Did Rebekah go with the servant to marry Isaac?