Sermon -- Isaac and Rebekah

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Slide2:

The Book of Beginnings

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-- the beginning of created things -- the beginning of the human race -- the beginning of fellowship with God -- the beginning of sin and separation from God -- the beginning of human conflict -- the beginning of death (murder) -- the beginnings of judgement (Noah and the flood) -- the beginnings of nations and languages (Babel)

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The phenomenon of obedience – leaving for Canaan The phenomenon of holiness – Abraham and Lot The phenomenon of faith – Abraham and Isaac The phenomenon of intercession – Sodom and Gomorrah The phenomenon of worship – Isaac and Near Sacrifice

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Rebekah and Isaac The Phenomenon of Guidance

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Genesis 24: 1-5 Abraham was now very old, and the  Lord  had blessed him in every way.  2  He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, ‘Put your hand under my thigh.  3  I want you to swear by the  Lord , the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living,  4  but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.’ 5  The servant asked him, ‘What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?’

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Genesis 24:6-9 6  ‘Make sure that you do not take my son back there,’ Abraham said. 7  ‘The  Lord , the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, “To your offspring [ a ]  I will give this land”– he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. 8  If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.’ 9  So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.

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Genesis 12:8-9 NIV 10  Then the servant left, taking with him ten of his master’s camels loaded with all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim [ b ]  and made his way to the town of Nahor.  11  He made the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was towards evening, the time the women go out to draw water.

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The Instruction Abraham’s wish The Chief Servant’s response Abraham’s confidence

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Ge Genesis 24 12 -14 12  Then he prayed, ‘ Lord , God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.  13  See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water.  14  May it be that when I say to a young woman, “Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,” and she says, “Drink, and I’ll water your camels too”– let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.’

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Ge Genesis 24 15 -18 5  Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor.  16  The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again. 17  The servant hurried to meet her and said, ‘Please give me a little water from your jar.’ 18  ‘Drink, my lord,’ she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink.

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Ge Genesis 24 19 -23 19  After she had given him a drink, she said, ‘I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.’  20  So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels.  21  Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the  Lord  had made his journey successful. 22  When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka [ c ]  and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels. [ d ] 23  Then he asked, ‘Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?

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Ge Genesis 24:24-27 24  She answered him, ‘I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milkah bore to Nahor.’  25  And she added, ‘We have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for you to spend the night.’ 26  Then the man bowed down and worshipped the  Lord ,  27  saying, ‘Praise be to the  Lord , the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the  Lord  has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.’

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Guidance The Prayer The Answer

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Ge Genesis 24:28-31 28  The young woman ran and told her mother’s household about these things.  29  Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he hurried out to the man at the spring.  30  As soon as he had seen the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her, he went out to the man and found him standing by the camels near the spring.  31  ‘Come, you who are blessed by the  Lord ,’ he said. ‘Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.’

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Ge Genesis 24:32-36 32  So the man went to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and fodder were brought for the camels, and water for him and his men to wash their feet.  33  Then food was set before him, but he said, ‘I will not eat until I have told you what I have to say.’ ‘Then tell us,’ Laban said. 34   So he said, ‘I am Abraham’s servant.  35  The  Lord  has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys.  36  My master’s wife Sarah has borne him a son in her old age, and he has given him everything he owns. 

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Ge Genesis 24:37-41   37  And my master made me swear an oath, and said, “You must not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live,  38  but go to my father’s family and to my own clan, and get a wife for my son.” 39  ‘Then I asked my master, “What if the woman will not come back with me?” 40  ‘He replied, “The  Lord , before whom I have walked faithfully, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, so that you can get a wife for my son from my own clan and from my father’s family.  41  You will be released from my oath if, when you go to my clan, they refuse to give her to you – then you will be released from my oath.’

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Ge Genesis 24:42-45 42  ‘When I came to the spring today, I said, “ Lord , God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come.  43  See, I am standing beside this spring. If a young woman comes out to draw water and I say to her, ‘Please let me drink a little water from your jar,’  44  and if she says to me, ‘Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels too,’ let her be the one the  Lord  has chosen for my master’s son.” 45  ‘Before I finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came out, with her jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water, and I said to her, “Please give me a drink.”

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Ge Genesis 24:46-49 46  ‘She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and said, “Drink, and I’ll water your camels too.” So I drank, and she watered the camels also. 47  ‘I asked her, “Whose daughter are you?” ‘She said, “The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor , whom Milkah bore to him.” ‘Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms.   48  and I bowed down and worshipped the  Lord . I praised the  Lord , the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right road to get the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son .  49  Now if you will show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so I may know which way to turn.’

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The Outcome Laban Invites Eliezer explains Eliezer inquires

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Obstacles to Obedience The issues of security (like family, home, allegiance and identity). Gradually God strips all of these “false securities” away to show Abraham where his real safety and security lie. “the obedience that comes from faith”

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Ge Genesis 24:50-54 50  Laban and Bethuel answered, ‘This is from the  Lord ; we can say nothing to you one way or the other.  51  Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the  Lord  has directed.’ 52  When Abraham’s servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the  Lord .  53  Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewellery and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother.  54  Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there . When they got up the next morning, he said, ‘Send me on my way to my master.’

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Ge Genesis 24:55-59 55  But her brother and her mother replied, ‘Let the young woman remain with us ten days or so; then you [ a ]  may go.’ 56  But he said to them, ‘Do not detain me, now that the  Lord  has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.’ 57  Then they said, ‘Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.’  58  So they called Rebekah and asked her, ‘Will you go with this man?’ ‘I will go,’ she said. 59  So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men.

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Ge Genesis 24:59-61 60  And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, ‘Our sister, may you increase     to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess     the cities of their enemies.’ 61  Then Rebekah and her attendants got ready and mounted the camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.

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The Willing Response of Laban and Bethuel of Eliezer Insight into worship of Rebekah

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Ge Genesis 24:59-61 59  So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men.  60  And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, ‘Our sister, may you increase     to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess     the cities of their enemies.’ 61  Then Rebekah and her attendants got ready and mounted the camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.

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Ge Genesis 24:62-67 62  Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev.  63  He went out to the field one evening to meditate, [ f ]  and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching.  64  Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel  65  and asked the servant, ‘Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?’ ‘He is my master,’ the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself. 66  Then the servant told Isaac all he had done.  67  Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

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The Willing Response of Laban and Bethuel of Eliezer Insight into worship of Rebekah

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Conclusion

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The people of God are meant to be people who ask for, trust in and experience the guidance of God. “God has no grandchildren” Obedience, holiness, faith, intercession, worship, guidance – these are the characteristics of the people of God.

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