Who young people date and eventually marry is no longer under parental control; however, if parents are wise, they can still have some influence. As we look at today’s passage, Abraham was getting along in years, and he reflected on God’s goodness throughout his life. He realized it was time for Isaac to take a wife, and he put a plan into action. If only this process were as simple today!
- How can you guide your family toward godliness in a tough culture that speaks otherwise?
READ THE WORD: GENESIS 24:1-9 (ESV)
24:1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.2 And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh, 3 that I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, 4 but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” 5 The servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?” 6 Abraham said to him, “See to it that you do not take my son back there. 7 The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘To your offspring I will give this land,’ he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 8 But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there.” 9 So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Where did Abraham want his servant to go to find a wife for Isaac (vs. 4)?
- God had promised Abraham that through Isaac he would make a great nation, and God had brought Abraham to a new land in order to give it to him and his descendants (Genesis 15:4-7, 17:15-19). Based on that, why was Abraham insistent that a wife for Isaac come from the land of his forefathers? Why did Abraham insist that Isaac not return to the land from where he came?
- What were the reasons the servant gave for potentially not succeeding in his mission (vs. 5)? Who did Abraham say would go before the servant to guide his search for a wife for Isaac (vs. 7)?
- Do you struggle with controlling what is best for your family? In what areas of your family life do you doubt God’s ability to carry out his will for you and for them?
RESPOND TO GOD
Abraham had developed a deep faith in God, and had witnessed God’s provision, deliverance, and blessing firsthand. He knew that Isaac needed to stay in the new land because that was where God had instructed Abraham to go; that was where God’s provision for the future was. While we cannot choose mates, vocations, or lifestyles for our children or family members, we can live lives based on godly principles, using every opportunity to lead them to God. Ultimately, we pray, trusting Christ to provide direction and provision or even changed hearts for our loved ones.
- Write a list of your prayer requests for each family member and pray over them. (If you also write down how God answers your prayers, over time you will have a record of him working in the lives of those nearest to you. It is amazing to see how God answers!)