By Henry Mahan
No picture nor type of Christ is perfect. God uses earthly stories and people to illustrate heavenly truth, and the very fact that the characters are flesh and the incidences take place in the world is enough to make them imperfect illustrations. In this story of Abraham's servant seeking a bride for Isaac (Abraham's son), Abraham represents the heavenly Father; Isaac, the Lord Jesus; the servant, ministers of the gospel (instruments of the Holy Spirit); and Rebekah, every true believer.
vv. 1-4. Abraham was very wealthy, and his son, Isaac, was the heir of all things that Abraham possessed. He sent his trusted servant to find a bride for Isaac, a bride who would share with him all the riches and glories of the kingdom.
The Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God's love, is the heir of all things. The Father has given all things into his hands (John 3:35; John 5:23; Col. 1:16-18). He is Lord and King by design, by decree, and by his death (Rom. 14:9; John 17:1- 3). God has chosen out of every tribe, kindred, and nation a people to be the bride of his Son and joint-heirs with him of all that he purchased and owns (Rom. 8:14-17; Rom. 8:29-31; Eph. 1:3-7).
The Father calls and sends his servants (preachers of the gospel) out into the world to find this bride of Christ (Mark 16:15- 16; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; 1 Cor. 1:17-18; 1 Cor. 1:26-31).
vv. 5-9. I'm sure that the servant was full of questions about his mission; but the one great question was, 'What if the woman is unwilling to leave her home and family to love, marry, and give herself to a man she does not know and has never seen?' Abraham assured the servant that he was not going forth alone but that the Lord God, who made Isaac the heir, would go with him and reward his efforts. 'He shall send his angel before thee.' God's preachers do not go forth into the world alone to persuade men to love, believe, and come to Christ by their own logic, power of persuasion, and rhetoric. The Spirit of God goes before them to quicken, awaken, and give sinners ears to hear the gospel, eyes to see the beauties of Christ, and a heart to love him (Psalm 110:3; Eph. 2:1-10). The bride had been chosen (2 Thess. 2:13), the servant will journey and endure all things to tell the bride of her beloved (2 Tim. 2:9-10), the bride will hear the voice of her beloved through the message of the servant (John 10:23-30), and the bride will come (John 6:37-40; 2 Cor. 2:14-16).
vv. 10-14. The servant went to the place where the women came to draw water and, knowing the great responsibility upon him and the impossibility of the task humanly speaking, sought divine help in sincere prayer.
The opening of the heart to Christ, the resurrection of the spiritually dead, conviction of sin, genuine repentance toward God, and faith in the Lord Jesus are 'impossible with men' (Matt. 19:24-26; 1 Cor. 2:9-12). We preach, but the Spirit of God reveals the Lord Jesus to the heart (John 16:13-15). We teach the head, but only the living God can teach the heart (John 6:44-45). All who come to Christ and receive him must be born of God (John 1:10-13), for true repentance and saving faith are the gifts of God (Rom. 2:4; 2 Tim. 2:24-25; Eph. 2:8-9; Phil. 1:29).
vv. 32-51. The servant was welcomed into Rebekah's home, but he would not partake of their comforts until he had accomplished his mission and declared his message. Even so, the servants of Christ are men on a mission who care not for the world's comforts and honors but are taken up with what God called them to do--to make Christ known (Acts 20:33). The servant declared to Rebekah and her kindred the glories of Isaac and his master's house. The servants of Christ have one message--Christ and him crucified (1 Cor. 2:1-2). The bride must not be attracted to the servant nor to anything he has to offer, but to Christ.
vv. 56-58. Finally, after the case had been fully stated, the question was put directly to Rebekah, thou go?' And she said, 'I will go.' Faith in Christ, salvation in Christ, and a saving interest in the Lord Jesus is an individual, personal, and total commitment. Children cannot be sprinkled into the covenant and kingdom, young people are not saved because their parents know God, wives and husbands do not partake of grace because they are married to believers (remember Lot's wife), and salvation is not the result of group therapy. Knowing the true God and Jesus Christ is a personal experience as God is pleased to reveal himself to an individual (Gal. 1:15-16; 2 Tim. 1:12; Psalm 9-3).