Genesis: A proposal

Genesis 24:29–51

The story of Abraham’s servant searching for a wife for Isaac continues.

We left off with the servant encountering the young woman Rebekah at the well, in just the exact way he had asked God to provide on this quest.

If only dating, courtship, marriage and all that was this easy, right?

Here we see the servant interacting with Laban, Rebekah’s brother. The fact the Laban is a main character here might imply that their father, though alive, may be incapacitated and Laban carries on the day to day responsibilities of the family.

There’s a scene in The Godfather where Michael Corleone, while hiding in Sicily, encounters a beautiful young woman and goes the ask her father for permission to pursue a relationship with her. Culturally speaking, this scene in Genesis is a bit like that, with the servant acting as proxy for Isaac and Laban representing his family.

The servant then recounts the story that we read yesterday–Abraham’s credentials, his travels, his prayer to God, Rebekah showing up in just the manner he was looking for. If it looks and sounds like a business transaction between the servant and Laban, it’s because that’s what marriage looked like in this culture in this time and place.

But don’t worry. The story’s not over. Rebekah will still get her say.

And while God doesn’t make an explicit appearance, as Laban says in his response to the servant’s story, God’s provision is all over it.

What about you? What do you see?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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