The Marriage of Isaac
THE Canaanites were idolaters, and the Lord
had commanded that His people should not intermarry with them, lest they should be led
into idolatry. Abraham was old, and he expected soon to die. Isaac was yet unmarried.
Abraham was afraid of the corrupting influence surrounding Isaac, and was anxious to have
a wife selected for him who would not lead him from God. He committed this matter to his
faithful, experienced servant, who ruled over all that he had.
Abraham required his servant
to make a solemn oath before the Lord that he would not take a wife for Isaac of the
Canaanites, but that he would go unto Abraham's kindred, who believed in the true God, and
select a wife for Isaac. He charged him to beware and not take Isaac to the country from
which he came, for they were nearly all affected with idolatry. If he could not find a
wife for Isaac who would leave her kindred and come where he was, then he should be clear
of the oath which he had made.
This important matter was not
left with Isaac, for him to select for himself, independent of his father. Abraham told
his servant that God would send His angel before him to direct him in his choice. The
servant to whom this mission was entrusted started on his long journey. As he entered the
Abraham's kindred dwelt, he prayed earnestly to God to direct him in his choice
of a wife for Isaac. He asked that certain evidence might be given him, that he should not
err in the matter. He rested by a well, which was a place of the greatest gathering. Here
he particularly noticed the engaging manners and courteous conduct of Rebekah, and all the
evidence he had asked of God he received that Rebekah was the one whom God had been
pleased to select to become Isaac's wife. She invited the servant to her father's house.
He then related to Rebekah's father and her brother the evidence he had received from the
Lord that Rebekah should become the wife of his master's son Isaac.
Abraham's servant then said
to them, "And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if
not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left." The father and
brother answered, "The thing proceedeth from the Lord: we cannot speak unto thee bad
or good. Behold, Rebekah is before thee; take her, and go, and let her be thy master's
son's wife, as the Lord hath spoken. And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant
heard their words, he worshiped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth."
After all had been arranged,
the consent of the father and brother had been obtained, then Rebekah was consulted,
whether she would go with the servant of Abraham a great distance from her father's
family, to become the wife of Isaac. She believed from the circumstances that had taken
place that God's hand had selected her to be Isaac's wife, "and she said, I will
Marriage contracts were then
generally made by the parents; yet no compulsion was used to make them marry those they
could not love. But the children
had confidence in the judgment of their parents, and
followed their counsel, and bestowed their affections upon those whom their God-fearing,
experienced parents chose for them. It was considered a crime to follow a course contrary
Example of Filial Obedience
Isaac had been trained in the
fear of God to a life of obedience. And when he was forty years old he submitted to have
the God-fearing, experienced servant of his father choose for him. He believed that God
would direct in regard to his obtaining a wife.
Isaac's case is left on
record as an example for children to imitate in aftergenerations, especially those who
profess to fear God.
The course which Abraham
pursued in the education of Isaac, that caused him to love a life of noble obedience, is
recorded for the benefit of parents, and should lead them to command their households
after them. They should instruct their children to yield to, and respect, their authority.
And they should feel that a responsibility rests upon them to guide the affections of
their children, that they may be placed upon persons who their judgment would teach them
would be suitable companions for their sons and their daughters.
Copyright © 1974
The Ellen G. White Estate, Inc.
All Rights Reserved