Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the LORD; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the LORD has directed.”
The 24th chapter of Genesis tells the story of finding a wife for Isaac, Abraham’s son. It started with Abraham commissioning a trusted servant to return to the home of Abraham’s extended family and obtain a wife there. The account from there is mainly told from the perspective of this servant as he made the long trek to the town of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, found Rebekah, and brought her back to Isaac.
Almost everything about this story seems strange to most of us today. And nothing more so than here. A stranger, claiming to represent a long-lost relative, shows up at your door, essentially offers to buy your daughter/sister as a bride for his master’s son, and you say, “Take her and go.” And the next day, she jumps on the camel and is gone, never to be seen again.
It was hard enough giving my daughter to someone I had come to know, at least a little. I can’t image doing what Rebekah’s family did here. But this reflects the ancient Near Eastern culture rather than modern Western culture. And, as foreign as it seems, it would have been well within the norms of that day.
But when reading this account, what is of greater significance than the cultural differences is seeing the Lord’s hand at work as he led Abraham’s servant to Rebekah. The recognition of her father and brother that it was the Lord who was orchestrating this. And then their willingness to submit to God’s plan, as the Lord directed.
Does God still work like this today? I believe he does. The more significant question is, how far am I willing to follow him? Only when it is easy? Or will I also follow him when the personal cost is great? How about you?