Isaac: 12. The Bride Called for Isaac: Genesis 24:28-33

From: Isaac By: William Kelly
Genesis 24:28‑33  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Hitherto we have seen the lovely prefiguration of the Father's purpose in calling out of the world a bride for His Son. In this point how sedulously and solemnly the Son is kept from all direct relation with the world. He is seen in a heavenly position exclusively. Nor is less clear the place which is given to the chief servant of the house in executing this charge of entire devotedness, distinct dependence in the prayer of faith, and in ready attitude of worship. These are exactly the qualities looked for in, and suited to the operation of, the Spirit in Christ's body and bride. As Rebecca at once and signally met this purpose from the first, we are now to learn how all that follows was furthered by grace to the same end.
“And the maiden ran and told her mother's house according to these words. And Rebecca had a brother, and his name [was] Laban; and Laban ran out to the man to the well. And it came to pass when he saw the ring and bracelets on his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebecca his sister, saying, Thus spoke the man to me, that he came to the man, and behold, he was standing by the camels at the well. And he said, Come in, blessed of Jehovah: why standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for camels. And the man came into the house, and ungirded the camels; and he gave the camels straw and provender, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. And there was set before him to eat; but he said, I will not eat until I have told my business. And he said, Speak on” (vers. 28-33).
The simple-hearted alacrity of Rebecca is here as apparent as her thoughtful courtesy and kindness before. Such should be the church, and the Christian now. Blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ, are we not individually and collectively bound to reflect the grace of Him to Whom we belong in His sovereign goodness? Freely we received; freely should we give. Far from us should be the proud forbidding independence of a Jew, the ever craving unsatisfied covetousness of a Gentile. Yet was the maiden quick to discern the signs of the crisis for her, and ran to tell “her mother's house.” This was in keeping with propriety, even if her father were not throughout singularly in the background: so much so, that some have ventured to think that the name after Laban's (ver. 50) may have been a younger brother rather than the father. Certain it is that Laban is the active leading man of the house from first to last. Here he ran out to the man by the well or fountain.
Nor is it a casual circumstance that we read of Laban's ready proffer of hospitality when he saw the ring and the bracelets upon his sister's hands, and when he heard her report of what Abraham's envoy said to her. Forthwith he came to the man still standing by the camels at the fountain, and gave him a welcome in terms no less cordial than pious, as such characters are apt to say when sure of honor and advantage accruing. The history shows subsequently that Laban was an overreaching man and an idolater. We are compelled therefore to infer from the language here employed that the sight of the jewels given to his sister, and the man's words about his master, powerfully acted on one whose motives were far from unselfish. His salutation was winning however: “Come in, blessed of Jehovah: why standest thou without? for I have prepared the house and room for the camels.”
The remarkable procedure of Abraham's servant is what we have to notice for our edification. He came into the house, ungirded the camels, and had straw and provender given, with water to wash the feet of himself and those with him. But when meat was set before him, he refused to eat till he told his story. This is not at all in accordance with the usual way, especially in the east, and after so long a journey. His errand is all-absorbing. He would not allow his own ease, or the customs of men, to come first or make the way for what he had at heart. He was there for his master's sake. Word and oath bound him, as well as honor and love for his master's son. He would not even seem to let their interests be secondary. “I will not eat until I have told my business.”
So it is most exclusively and in a way altogether worthy of the Father and the Son, that the Holy Spirit devotes Himself to His quest and care of the Bride. We know that all things work together for good to those that love God, to those that are called according to purpose, as the apostle says in Rom. 8. But what should be our confidence when we also know the divine Person of the Paraclete sent by the Father in the Son's name to teach us all things, and remind us of all that Christ said, the words that are spirit and are life, and many other things which could not be borne before redemption? What new and heavenly relationships, as of Christ's body and bride! What light of His heavenly glory! What announcement of the things to come! If the Savior's meat was to do the will of Him that sent Him and to finish His work, the blessed Spirit of God is no less sedulous in speaking, not, from Himself, but all that whatsoever He should hear; for He it is Who here and now glorifies the Son.