The unfolding of the Divine purpose.
I. THE EXPANDED BLESSING . The first line of the web of sacred history stretches itself out to Mesopotamia. The aged patriarch, blessed of Jehovah in all things, is fading from our sight. We must look on a new generation and see the blessing expanded.
II. THE DIVINE GUIDANCE . The angel shall be sent before Isaac, and he will overrule the events and wills which seem to stand in the way. The marriage of Isaac was a matter of most solemn moment. The earthly bonds are blessed only when they are held up by the Divine covenant.
III. MAN 'S FAITH REWARDED BY SPECIAL DIRECTION . The servant prayed for good speed, because it was in the spirit of dependence upon Jehovah that the whole errand was undertaken. We have no ground for expecting supernatural indications of the future, but when we commit our way unto the Lord we may ask him to show it. If it be well for us to see it beforehand, which it sometimes is not, he will send us " kindness " both in the occurrences and persons we meet.
IV. EARTHLY RELATIONSHIPS ARE UNDER HEAVEN 'S SUPERINTENDENCE . The fair Mesopotamian is a suitable companion for the heir of the patriarch. She is full of graciousness and activity, free from pride, gentle, unsuspicious, generous, patient, self-sacrificing, benevolent. Such characteristics are what the children of God desire to transmit to their descendants. In the sight of so much that was lovely both in person and character, the servant held his peace with wondering thoughtfulness, waiting for and already anticipating the blessing of the Lord.
V. THE TRUE PIETY WATCHES FOR GOD AND WORSHIPS . On receiving the simple answer to his inquiry, and perceiving how the hand of the Lord had been guiding him, he bowed his head, and worshipped ( Genesis 24:26 , Genesis 24:27 ). Those who wait for "the mercy and the truth" will not be left destitute of it. Oh to be able at every step and stage of life to say, " Blessed be the Lord! " to hear the salutation rendered us, " Come in, thou blessed of the Lord! "
VI. GOD IN HISTORY . The kingdom of God had its points of connection from this moment with the throned of human affection, sanctified by the grace of God, uniting them together. The house of Abraham, the house of Bethel, are widely separated from one another in the measurement of space, but closely bound together henceforth by the spiritual ties of a common faith and obedience in the name of Jehovah. The same Divine purpose which directed the servant's way moved the heart of the damsel. "She said, I will go ." She went out of the midst of pure family affections; she was welcomed by one who saw her coming when he was "meditating in the field at eventide," doubtless in the spirit of prayerful expectation; and who took her to his mother Sarah's tent, where she might be sure one who so tenderly mourned the loss of a mother would know how to cherish a wife sent of God to comfort him. "He loved her." Religion is the only true guardian of domestic happiness, the only deep soil in which the affections flourish.— R .
HOMILIES BY J.F. MONTGOMERY
Availing himself of the privilege thus accorded, the faithful ambassador recounted the story of his master's prosperity, and of the birth of Isaac when Sarah his mother was old (literally, after her old age); of the oath which he had taken to seek a wife for his master's son among his master's kindred, and of the singularly providential manner in which he had been led to the discovery of the chosen bride. Then with solemn earnestness he asked for a decision. And now if ye will deal kindly and truly— literally, if ye are doing , i . e . are ready or willing to extend kindness and truth (cf. Genesis 24:27 )— with (or, to) my master, tell me: and if not, toll me; that I may turn (literally, and I will turn ) to the right hand, or to the left —in further prosecution of my mission, to seek in some other family a bride for my master's son.
A bride for the heir.-3. Eliezer and Laban, or proposals for the bride.
I. THE HOSPITABLE BROTHER .
1. The eager invitation . "Come in, thou blessed of the Lord!"
2. The kindly reception .
II. THE AGED WOOER .
1. Impatient . The nature of his mission urged him to dispatch, as knowing well that his master was old, that Isaac was needful of a bride, that coy maidens are soonest caught by fervent suitors, and that successful wooing brooks no delay.
2. Skillful . The first recorded speech in the Bible, Eliezer's bride-wooing cannot fail to be admired for its wisdom.
3. Pious . The religious character of this wooing is apparent from the reverent use of the Divine name throughout the old man's speech, the importance assigned to piety as one of the bride's qualifications, the devout recognition of God's hand in prospering his journey, and the impression he conveys that Jehovah has himself selected Rebekah.
III. THE CONSENTING RELATIVES . The acquiescence of Laban, Bethuel, and the mother of Rebekah was—
1. Unhesitatingly given . " Behold , Rebekah is before take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife." A little reluctance on their part would not have been surprising.
2. Piously dictated . "The thing proceedeth from the Lord!" Not the eligibility of the match, but the approbation Of Heaven, secured their consent.
3. Thankfully acknowledged . "Abraham's servant worshipped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth." How eminent the piety which traces every blessing to its primal source; how beautiful the religion which, the more' it gets, the more it stoops!
4. Richly rewarded . "The servant brought forth jewels of silver," &c.; ( Genesis 24:53 ). While adoring the original Giver, he did not neglect the second cause. Young men who receive fair Rebekahs in marriage should not forget to recompense with love and gifts the fathers and mothers who have given them up.
IV. THE WILLING MAIDEN .
1. The proposed delay . "Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at least ten." This was natural, and would be convenient both for the preparation of the bride's trousseau and for the gratification of friends who might wish to bid her farewell.
2. The urgent request . "Hinder me not; send me away." The old man accepted his prosperity in wooing as an indication that God intended his immediate return.
3. The important question . " Wilt thou go with this man?" No maiden, however urged by relatives and friends, should contract a forced and unwilling marriage.
4. The decisive answer . " I will go." After this there could be no mistaking how Rebekah's heart inclined. It augured well for the coming marriage that it would prove, a union of love, and not simply of convenience.'
5. The fraternal benediction . Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions."