I’d like to talk about Genesis chapter 24, specifically about how a bride is chosen for Isaac. I have read this story many times before, but this time I noticed something new. I saw some astounding shadows and themes, and I have a greater understanding of the spiritual significance of exactly what happened when Rebecca was chosen to become Isaac’s bride.
Let’s take a moment to refresh our memories:
The key players in this story are Abraham, Isaac, the servant, and Rebecca. Abraham wanted a bride for his son, so he sent his servant out to find a bride and bring her to Isaac.
Abraham wanted a wife for Isaac, but did not want one of the Canaanite women; rather, he made his servant swear to bring back a wife from among Abraham’s own relatives (Gen. 24: 3-4). Abraham’s servant did as he was commanded, and went to the land of Nahor. When he got there, he rested at a well and prayed to Yahweh to show him the woman that would become Isaac’s bride. The servant even proposed a test to make sure that he chose the correct woman (Gen. 24:10-14).
The test that Abraham’s servant devised was simple; he would ask for a drink of water, and the woman that was to be Isaac’s bride would not only give him a drink, but offer to water the camels, as well. Rebecca, a beautiful virgin and the daughter of Abraham’s brother, came to the well. The servant ran to meet her, asking for a drink, and Rebecca also offered to water the camels (Gen. 24:15-20). This confirmed to the servant that Rebecca was to be Isaac’s bride.
This story of how the bride was obtained for Isaac is a prophetic shadow of our relationship with the Yahweh, Yeshua, and the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit)! Look at it this way:
Abraham = Yahweh, the Father
Isaac = Yeshua, the Son
The servant = The Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit)
Rebecca = Us, the Bride
Rebecca didn’t know before she went to the well that day that she had been chosen by the Father to be the Son’s bride. However, Yahweh knew! He knew who are His before He laid the foundations of the world (Eph. 1:4). In the same way, we don’t know that we belong to Yahweh until He sends His servant, the Ruach HaKodesh, to call us!
Works are a Sign of Being Chosen, not the Reason
Take special notice that Rebecca was chosen from the beginning; she was not chosen because of her hospitality toward the servant. Rebecca’s actions (or works) were the sign that she was chosen, not the reason that she was chosen! This illustrates a basic biblical principle: we don’t earn our salvation through our works; rather, our works are a sign of our salvation. Obedience to the Father (works) is the result of being chosen, not the means by which we are chosen!
Since Rebecca was chosen from the beginning, did that mean that she had no choice but to follow the servant back to Isaac? Of course not! Rebecca had the free will to accept or reject the gifts that the servant brought. She also had the choice to stay with her family or to leave on a long journey of faith, trusting that Abraham’s servant was taking her to Isaac, and also trusting that Isaac would be a loving husband.
Remember, Abraham’s servant didn’t force Rebecca to follow him. Since we know that the servant is a picture of the Ruach HaKodesh, we also know that the Ruach will never force us to follow Him against our will.
One more thought: Rebecca was a beautiful virgin (Gen. 24:16) and Yeshua is coming for a spotless bride (Eph. 5:27). Again, since Rebecca was chosen before she was born, she could not have been chosen for her beauty. Likewise, since we were chosen before we were born, we cannot have been chosen for anything that we’ve done in our lives, so the only way we can be spotless for Yeshua is to be washed in His blood (Rev. 1:5). And the only way that can happen is if we choose to trust in Him and follow Him.