Love at First Hearing

Abraham was growing old and his son Isaac had not yet found a wife. So Abraham sends his oldest, most trusted servant, Eliezer, to “his own country,” his homeland, to find a wife for Isaac. Abraham wanted the best for his son, and that included a wife who believed in the same God as he.

And I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live, but you shall go to my country and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac. (Gen.24:3-4)

They lived among the Canaanites who did not know the one true God and therefore would not be suitable for his beloved son. Eliezer travels over 500 miles to the home of Abraham’s brother Nahor. There, he finds Rebekah.

Then the man (Eliezer) bowed down his head and worshiped the Lord. And he said, “Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master. As for me, being on the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren.” (Gen.24:26-27)

So now, the social amenities have been fulfilled and her family gives her a blessing. She and Eliezer are off on a journey of a lifetime. They begin the 500 mile trip back to the home of Isaac. What do these two strangers talk about during such a long trip? I can only imagine what the conversation must have been. If I were a bride to be, I would ask questions like “What is he like?” “What does he look like?” “What does he do?” “Is he kind?” “Can you tell me all about him?”

She was probably not concerned with getting to know the servant…she wanted to know about his master. Eliezer spent the entire journey painting a beautiful picture of Isaac. Before she even met him, she was falling in love with him.

The Bible says that Isaac had “gone out to meditate in the field toward evening” when he finally saw them coming home. Rebekah lifted up her eyes and sprang off of the camel.

And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming. Then Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from her camel. (Gen.24:63-64)

The Hebrew word for dismounted is naapal which signifies a hasty descent. She literally leaped into her new life with joy and anticipation. The servant fulfilled his promise he swore to Abraham. Yet he had accomplished something even greater…he brought a loving bride to a longing bridegroom. It was more than just the completion of an oath. It was a mission of love and grace. (See WORD WISDOM for a deeper study of swore)

It had been three years since Isaac’s mother had died and he was not, as yet, comforted. Verse 67 tells us that “Isaac loved Rebekah and he was comforted after his mother’s death.” Rebekah provided something that had been sadly lacking. This was the blessing Eliezer brought.

What does this mean for us? It is a reminder that we are called to be witnesses for our Master, God. We are to be going after those who would become the bride for His Son, Jesus. But are we spending our time talking about Him or are we wanting to be recognized for being His trusted servant? We are not to tell our story…we are to tell His! It’s not about our journey. If we would simply tell them about our Master’s Son, they can fall in love with Him even before they meet Him…becoming the redeemed Bride of the longing Bridegroom. Amen! That’s love at first hearing.

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