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WHAT A LOVE STORY!

MANY PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE CAN BE LEARNED FROM GENESIS 24.

LET ME SHOW YOU WHAT I MEAN ...

 Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 1 ...

I began studying this critical Bible Passage yesterday.

Genesis 24 is a "pivotal" portion of Scripture.

In it we see the choice of a Bride for Isaac!

I am beginning to believe it also contains many "secrets" about having the RIGHT KIND of marriage!

Let me show you an example of what I mean.

"And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.  And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:  And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac."  Genesis 24:1-4

The first observation is rather "startling" in light of present day American culture! Isaac's wife is being considered, yet Isaac is not mentioned as having any part to do with the process!  (At least not yet!)

Might I say this today.  The real choice of a mate should be left in the hands of another!  (I am not saying that one should let his parents choose his Bride now in our modern day ... although I do believe they just might do a better job at it than many young people have done!)  I AM saying that Another (the Lord God Almighty) is far more capable at "wife-choosing" or "husband-choosing" that any human you know!  After all, He created that potential mate, didn't He?  He knows exactly where he or she lives too!  And He CAN bring them your way! (Pray about it!)  God's "will" applies to you too, dear friend!

Secondly notice how very critically IMPORTANT this decision must have been to Abraham!  He made the servant swear to seriousness and obedience in the task at hand.  "Put I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh."  This was an old custom that indicates a matter of life-changing importance.  (The "thigh" being the area of the male physique that is responsible for producing offspring.)  Abraham knew the decision about to be made (Isaac's marriage) would impact generations to come! Children would be born as a result of this decision! (Even to the Virgin Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who came through the line of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob ....)

Again, let me say it is still a vitally important decision when one chooses a husband or a wife!  I would not necessarily recommend swearing about it ... but it IS worth some serious intercession time and Bible study!

Then note that Abraham had some instructions for the servant too.  He demanded that the wife be sought not in the present wicked surroundings ... but back "home" in the land of his forefathers.

Why not a wife from among the near-by Canaanites?  Because they were wicked people!  The man who marries a woman (or the woman who marries a man) of sinful character is making a BIG mistake!

The likelihood of getting a mate nearer his son's temperament and preferences (and spiritual needs) was far greater back home in Nahor.  The local people were infamously known as idolaters and vile worshippers of heathen deities!  One's religious background is so important that Paul even says:  "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"  (2 Corinthians 6:14)  I can think of no "yoke" more intimate than that of a life-long marriage relationship!  The Lord had a fear of one's mate turning him or her away from the things of God! 

Wow!  Look at this!

We have had 4 verses of Old Testament Scripture and the Lord has shown us 3 principles of building a godly marriage and home!

Let me tell you what I think we should all do today.

Just stop a minute and thank God for the mate He has given each of us!

He no doubt brought your dear wife (or husband ... if you're a lady reading these words) to you!  Thank Him for so doing!

And IF you have a "saved" companion ... praise the Lord even more!  (Then ask God to bring him or her even closer to Jesus in daily living!)

And express your appreciation that he or she has a love for spiritual things!  A compatibility for going to church with you and reading the Word with you and sharing spiritual truth and values with you!  What a blessing!  (And if that is lacking in your home ... ask the Lord to restore it!)

Believe me ... few things are more important to a happy life than the right kind of home!

And (at least for your children or grandchildren) it just might all begin right here with these opening verses of Genesis 24!

Would anyone like to study "more" of this great chapter?  (I mean in light of the Christian marriage relationship and home!)

                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2:

In Genesis 24 a Bride is being chosen for Isaac. That chapter is filled with helpful information for us yet today.

As one studies it, he is impressed with a number of truths, none of which is more outstanding that this:  prayer!

All the way through its 67 verses prayer is observed again and again!

Maybe the truth is: when choosing a mate, prayer IS one of the chief tools God has given us!

Here's the first prayer:  "And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham. Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master."  Genesis 24:12-14

Notice that the servant prayed for the sake of another!  That's called intercessory prayer.

Notice that he has carefully chosen a wise place for prayer too!

And observe that his prayer is based upon God's superintending power!  (The one "Thou hast appointed" for Isaac!)

And also see that his prayer is of a specific nature!

And the servant wisely uses answer to prayer as a step to assurance!  ("Thereby shall I know ...!")

Here's more praying:  "And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren."  Genesis 24:26-27

Here we have worship and praise combined with prayer!

This prayer (as did the first one) emphasizes the constant and eternal nature of God ("The God of my Master").

This prayer celebrates two of God's attributes:  Mercy and Truth!  (Emphasize the Essence of God as you pray!  Magnify His dear Name!)

And yet again the prayer mentions location ("I, being in the way, the Lord led me to the house ....")

Next watch this servant even as he recounts his first prayer (as a testimony) to Rebekah and her family!  "And I came this day unto the well, and said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go: Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink; And she say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman whom the LORD hath appointed out for my master's son. And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder...."  Genesis 24:42-45

Answers to prayer should become part of our testimonies too!

Notice that before he was through praying ... the answer came!  (In Isaiah 65:24 the Lord says: "And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.")

Fourthly, he even re-tells his prayer of thanksgiving!  But still here we learn new things about the prayer life of this man of God!  "And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter unto his son." Genesis 24:48

The verb "worshipped" means to prostrate oneself, to bend down in adoration!

The verb "blessed" here is in the Piel stem, telling us the prayers were intensive in nature!  He prayed with all his heart!  These are "fervent" prayers!  James 5:16 teaches us: "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

And do see that the servant gives all the credit to God for the success of the endeavor!  ("The Lord God ... had led me in the right way!")

I've lost count by now (Oh, yes!  It is the fifth mention of prayer in the chapter so far!), but here's more prayer:  "And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth."  Genesis 24:52

Here is praise for even more answered prayer!

Note that he prayed right in "public" with everyone around too.

This is immediate thanksgiving!

See how this Passage intermingles worship and prayer so much that one can hardly tell the difference?  Jesus did that too.

Next to lastly, we have an "implied" prayer.  Rebekah's relatives bless her in such a way that only God could have answered!  "And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them."  Genesis 24:60

By the way, God has answered that prayer too!  (In fact, He is not yet through answering it!)

This represents prayer for those we love!

It is in the form of a patriarchal (from Father) or matriarchal (from Mother) blessing. The Bible is full of them.  Maybe Christian parents today should bless their children in the Name of the Lord!  That sure beats criticizing them all day long!

The we have a final prayer "hint" in the chapter.  Just as Rebekah and Isaac meet, we are told something:  "And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming."  Genesis 24:63

What was Isaac doing when he met his Bride?

To "meditate" means to pray and ponder the things of God!  (The textbook definition:  to muse or to commune!)

Isaac was praying!

Everyone in this chapter is praying!

And that IS the right spirit to bring when one needs a wife (or a husband)!

The attitude (and action) of prayer will prove the deciding factor in choosing a mate! (Or in making any other choice in the Christian life too!)

Proverbs 15:29 is still true:  "The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous."

Also let me add this.  Not only is prayer a powerful asset in choosing a mate ... but prayer is indispensable in living in a marriage as well!  The "spiritual" aspect of a home (the most important part of it) just cannot be maintained without prayer ... and a lot of it too!

No wonder Paul admonished us to:  "Pray without ceasing."  1 Thessalonians 5:17

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3:

Genesis 24:10 reminds us:  "And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor."

Now unless I am missing the truth of this verse, the servant had at his command ALL the wealth and riches and blessing of the Father's household with which to woo the prospective bride!

He could (and he did) open some of these for inspection!  In fact, he gave samples as "foretastes" of coming glory!

For example:  "And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold."  Genesis 24:22  (Here are rewards and blessings for faithful service.  For doing more than was required!)

Moreover:  "And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things."  Genesis 24:53  (Here are gifts simply due to her saying YES! And these blessings overflowed to her loved ones too!)

Here's my point today.  God has designed some great "built-in" blessings in his plan of Marriage!  The Christian family (a husband and a wife) is a unit of society created by God ... not man!  It is the BEST of all relationships.

It has to be!  God made it.

It's a picture of the Christ/Church union too!

(I am not saying that God would never lead a man or lady to be single.  But overall God's plan is clear!   Marriage, with all its heaven-sent blessings, is the way to go!)

Now I do realize that there are some mean and hypocritical men on earth who profess to know Christ and don't.  They make terrible husbands.  (Perhaps this is true of certain wives also.)

BUT that does not spoil God's design!

One's best hope of earthy joy and happiness will be found in God's will.  And maritally that's in a one-man and one-woman bond ... for life!

It takes real work ... but the rewards are fantastic!

(No wonder the family is under such attack in America today!)

Christian friend, do all you can to make your marriage a witness of the love Christ has for the church and the reverence the church has for Christ! 

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself."  Ephesians 5:22-28

It will work ... with blessings abundant!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4:

As Abraham's servant was seeking a Bride for Isaac, he made an unusual request of the Lord.  (Likely that servant's name is Eliezer.  I base that on Genesis 15:2. That name Eliezer means "God is help!")

Here's his request ... to a "God Who helps!"

"And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham.  And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master."  Genesis 24:12 and 14

Notice that!

He is looking for a young lady who will give him water to drink ... then who will give drink to all his camels!  (According to Genesis 24:10 he had ten camels with him!)

Wow!

One camel can drink up to 32 gallons of water when he is thirsty!  (That's a total of 320 gallons for all those camels!)

Watch this.

He is looking for a young lady who is not lazy!  One who is a real worker.  And has initiative.  One with a servant spirit.  (Sounds like the virtuous lady of Proverbs 31, doesn't it?)

Here's a real KEY to success and happiness in marriage.

Marry a mate (husband or wife ... both criteria should apply to each mate) who has a willing heart!

Seriously notice that lady in Proverbs 31.  Study her incentive!  Her strong work ethic.  Her utter lack of laziness!

And men, remember Jesus' parable of "the unprofitable servant" in Luke 17. That text concludes with these words:  "So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do."  (Luke 17:10)

We have only done what we were required!  So we are still unprofitable servants!  Only when we do MORE that expected do we cross that line and become "profitable" workers!

Now THAT attitude in a marriage will go a long way in making it work well!

Honey, he asks, what can I do to help you today?

Thank God for ladies like Rebekah!  She DID water all those camels and the thirsty travelers as well!

And for men like Paul (who had the same spirit)!

So ... don't sit around today and say "I wish my mate was like that!"

Go forth right now and make yourself more like that willing worker ... and your mate WILL surely respond accordingly!

Go find some camels to water around your house!  (They are there somewhere!)

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5:

I noticed this while reading the Word of God earlier today.

It is said of the servant of Abraham who had gone to get a bride for Isaac.

"And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not." Genesis 24:21

This is recorded as soon as Rebekah had watered all 10 of the manís camels!

He "wondered" at her!

What a word we have here!

It is derived from a Hebrew verb (spelled "shaah") that means to be astonished! The English history of this word astonished: It is from ex-tonare (Latin) which means "to thunder out!" It is used of the effect thunder has on a person when the lightning struck somewhere nearby! Shaken deeply!

"Wondered" also means "to be stunned!"

It is from a Hebrew stem that pictures one who is "whirling with giddiness!"

The servant was quite captivated by the young lady Rebekah.

No doubt he is overcome by her beauty, by her sweet spirit, by her work attitudes and by undoubtedly many other things too!

Hereís a "secret" to a happy marriage!

Donít even consider marrying anyone (hence probably not even dating anyone) who does not thrill you to your very innermost being!

One over whom you become thrilled and excited and motivated and encouraged!

Listen to what Solomon says once in Proverbs. He is talking to the husband about his own wife.

"And be thou ravished always with her love." Proverbs 5:19

Be ravished with her!

That verb (in Hebrew = "shagah") means literally to be intoxicated with someone!

The manís wife is driving him out of his mind in delight!

By the way, spiritual qualities can do this too!

Every wife does not have to be a beauty queen in order to delight her husband!

Is someone saying ... well, preacher, I married Mr. Average! He thrills me in absolutely no areas of life! None at all! None whatsoever!

Then ... immediately you must begin doing this.

PRAY!

Ask the Lord to show you ways in which that dear husband can enthrall you! (Wow! I just looked up "enthrall." It means to make one into a slave! en + thrall! To actually be captivated by someone! To fall under their control!)

Then begin looking for them. They are there!

God will answer your prayer!

Does anyone think that the dear Lord Jesus (the Bridegroom) is ravished and "taken" with His Bride? I should say so!

If you are single and reading this ... take some preventive medicine here!

If you are married ... use this advice as a vitamin pill for your home.

If you are a preacher who counsels young couples prior to marriage ... use this as a text!

After all, we are drawing our information from Scripture!

May God give all you married folks a "wonderful" day! (And a "wonderful" lifetime together as well!)

                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6:

One of the best books I've ever read about the husband-wife relationship certainly agrees with the truth taught in Genesis 24.  That's the great Old Testament chapter concerning the choice of a Bride for Isaac.

(I had no idea that Genesis 24 was so full of Bible principles for a successful married life!)

Anyway, back to the book for a minute.

The title I cannot remember!

Nor the author!

(But I do recall where I was as I read its instructive pages!)

Here's the basic thrust of that little book.  All of married life is divided into three compartments!  There of course is the physical part of it all.  We live in physical bodies on a material earth and must deal with the visible, tangible things of life. Men should provide for their wives materially!

Then the writer continued by saying that the second area of any marriage concerns the "soulish" aspects of life.  (The "pseuche" the Greeks would have said.  The "psyche" we call it, the psychological!  That area involves our minds, our wills and our emotions.  It is here that most marriage counselors concentrate their efforts. After all, a wife and her husband MUST agree on many decisions (the will) and share some similar views and ideas (the mind) and feel somewhat alike on a number of issues (the emotions).  All this is called something like "compatibility."

Then ... the book said ... comes the "spiritual" department of any relationship!  This is the part of married life that is largely ignored today.  In fact, to read most manuals it is virtually non-existent any more!  The spiritual side of life has been relegated to obscurity by today's secular colleges and universities for sure!

So ... from lost man's point of view ... here's how it goes with one's wife (or husband if you are a lady).  First comes the PHYSICAL!  Is he or she "good looking?"  The bodily (and sensual) things of life dominate in our world! 

Secondly comes the PSYCHOLOGICAL!  In fact, psychology is king in today's world! Let's talk (mental) and plan our actions (volitional), making sure we fell all right about what we do (emotional).

And dead last is the SPIRITUAL!  Truthfully today the spiritual aspect of marriage is mostly belittled.  Or gone altogether!  Buried forever!  (Or even if emphasized it contains New Age philosophies and gods and goddesses galore!)

This worldly non-sense can't be found in Genesis 24!

Not at all!

In that pivotal chapter the priorities are changed dramatically!

There the SPIRITUAL is first ... then the SOULISH (again, the mind, will and emotions) comes next ... followed faintly by the PHYSICAL, which is really hardly mentioned.

Every time the servant of Abraham confronts Rebekah or her family he ends up worshipping God!  The future WIFE of Isaac is a constant springboard for this servant ... a springboard to the things of God!

Watch even this common event and what the godly servant does with it.

"She (Rebekah) said moreover unto him (the servant), We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in.  And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD." Genesis 24:25-26

They are discussing animal food!

And a room in which the servant can rest for the night!

BUT immediately he sees something in the situation that drives him to worship his God!  (The God of Abraham too!)

Folks, we had better make the SPIRITUAL aspects of marriage the most dominant! That is, if we want a long lasting life-long marriage! 

That's what Paul taught too!

When Paul saw a wife ... he thought of the church!

When he was around a bridegroom ... he was thinking of Jesus THE Bridegroom!

Look!  "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing."  Ephesians 5:22-24

Then he talks to the men!  "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it."  Ephesians 25

Now that's centering on the spiritual!

If a marriage focuses only on the physical (good looks, sensual sex, plenty of money, great health, a beautiful home), eventually disappointment will come!  (That's a promise!)

If a marriage concentrates only on the mental, volitional or emotional (the soulish aspects), eventual disagreement will always ensue!  No two people will agree on everything or feel the same about every issue!  Again, "incompatibility" is the term often heard describing this dilemma.

BUT if a marriage highlights the SPIRITUAL, the godly, the Biblical, the truly Christian side of life ... those things will not fade!  They are eternal!  You and your husband or wife can together build your relationship around the things of God ... an everlasting God!

Then, even later in life, when the skin badly wrinkles and physical strengths weaken and even minds cease to be as sharp ... the spiritual continues to thrive.  And if the things of the spirit (The Spirit too) are drawing you and your mate closer and closer together, rest assured that your marriage will last and last and continue to be strong, very strong!  (Till death do you part!)

A strong marriage ... all the way to heaven!

You didn't know Brother Bagwell was a counselor, did you?

He is not!

But any real Preacher of the Word of God will reach these same conclusions as he studies Genesis 24!  (Or anywhere in the Bible that concerns the family!)

We have enjoyed you visiting here today ... with a Bible in your hand!

You are welcome anytime!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7:

In Genesis 24:58 we read these words:  "And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go."

Notice her willing spirit!

"I will go!"

She was in love with Isaac before she ever saw him!

And this love is exhibited by her willingness to immediately go be with him ... "until death did them part."

A willing wife!

(That's the opposite of stubbornness!)

I can truly say today that for 40 years Sister Norma has been to this Preacher a willing wife!

She's been with me ... to every church I've pastored!

To every Revival I've preached!

To every home I've visited!

She's supported every idea (that was worth anything) I've ever had!

She has lived by her wedding vows ... "I will go!"

It's like Ruth said to her Mother-in-Law Naomi.  "For whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God."  Ruth 1:16

And just like willing wives thrill their husbands ... so do willing (not stubborn) husbands make wives happy!

If something is said twice in the same Bible Book, we had better take notice!

Proverbs 21:9 --- "It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house."

Proverbs 25:24 --- "It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house."

A willing wife ... or a brawling wife?

Each must decide for herself.

But a willing one is a KEY to a happy lifelong successful marriage!

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8:

The verse is just casually inserted into the narrative!  Yet it reveals a critical fact about Rebekah, the Bride for Isaac.

"And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up."   Genesis 24:16

The word "fair" means good or pleasant ... not necessarily a ravishing beauty!

But it's the word "virgin" that has caught my eye today.

In Hebrew it is spelled "bethulah" and means just what the text says.  It is a lady who has never sexually known a man.

Rebekah brought her purity to the wedding altar!

That is God's way!

Sex can be a terrible thing ... if it is not wrapped up in the context of holiness and purity.

It can literally get out of hand and produce all kinds of things.

Medical scientists are right now said to be working on a "pill" that will alter the human brain (chemically) ... removing any feelings of remorse after a long night of debauchery!

It has been nicknamed the "no mourning after" pill!

I hope it never reaches the market!

Some things are just too sacred to modify.

I promise you this.  Your physical love for your mate (only to be consummated after marriage) is one of the most precious experiences of life.  And it is greatly diminished if one has already given himself or herself to another (or to others ... in the plural) prior to marriage.

Young ladies, a KEY to a happy life-long marriage relationship is found in this truth ... stay pure!

Young men ... the same truth equally applies to you!

Some things are just too valuable to sell (or give away)!

I am not saying that Isaac and Rebekah were a perfect couple!  I am saying they were a pure couple!  And they DID stay together for life!  And the DID raise the Father to the Twelve Tribes of Israel!  That alone is a great accomplishment!

Out of this pure marriage relationship came world-changing children!  In fact, ultimately out of it came the human side of our dear Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank God, Rebekah was a pure young lady!

Young folks, do not throw this KEY away!  It is critical for your future happiness!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9:

Now Rebekah has left home and is on her way to meet Isaac!

She is being safely escorted by the trusted Servant of Abraham.

After days of travel she finally sees him!

Watch her modesty now.

"For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself."  (Genesis 24:65)

Now watch her excitement as she approaches him!

"And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel."  (Genesis 24:64)

The verb "lighted off" literally means to jump off the animal!  (Nearly falling in the process!)

She was thrilled with the prospect of seeing him, her Bridegroom!

Here's another KEY to a happy marriage.

Keep the excitement there!

Be thrilled with your mate!

(If you have lost that thrill ... ask God to restore it!  He surely can!)

I'm not sure Rebekah ever lost here enthusiasm for her dear husband!

She and Isaac apparently loved to "flirt" with each other too ... and did so often! ("And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife." Genesis 26:8  That word "sporting" means just what you think it does too.  Playing, laughing, even touching would have been involved!)

Folks, keep it exciting.

God meant it to be that way!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10:

We are at the last verse of our study of the KEYS to a successful godly marriage.

Isaac and Rebekah have met ... and have begun developing their love one for another! (Love can be built and made to grow through the years!)

Hereís how our chapter summaries it all:

"And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death." Genesis 24:67

Notice that they began to build a home together! This alone is a life-long task.

Men, observe that Isaac brought his wife into his Motherís tent ... but she did NOT become his Mother! Mom is gone ... a wife has come. Donít try to form your wife into your Mother! It will not work. Let your new love be herself! That will be far more exciting.

Now ... and I waited until now to do so ... Iíll tell you what "Rebekah" means as a name. It means "one who ensnares!" That is exactly what your wife should be to you! She should snare, capture, commandeer and infatuate you, dear sir! Let yourself become "ravished" with her and her very being! ("Not Biblical!" ... I can hear someone say that right now!  Then you had better not read Song of Solomon 4:9 where the Groom says to his Bride --- "Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck." Or Song of Solomon 5:19 which says --- "Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe ... and be thou ravished always with her love." Wow! It IS Biblical too!)

Notice that we are told that Isaac LOVED her!

Men, thatís our main requirement.

Ephesians 5:25 ---"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." Or Colossians 3:19 --- "Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them."

In fact Paul even taught  the older women to instruct the young women to love their husbands! Titus 2:4 --- "That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children."

Love ... thatís the "engine" that runs this marriage machine! That is ... the 1st Corinthians 13 kind of love!

And look at what they brought to each other ... the last part of the last verse of this chapter tells us ... "comfort!"

"Nacham," the Hebrew word for comfort means "to show compassion." It comes from the root verb that means "to breathe deeply" ... suggesting the showing of oneís real feelings (of tenderness and concern) one toward another!

How very dear this is!

Be a friend to your mate!

Share with him or her your feelings and fears and aspirations and worries and everything else! (I am not in favor of this business of keeping secrets from your mate! Thatís not wise. Open up to each other. Be honest and transparent. No hypocrisy allowed!)

There you have it.

Some KEYS to a successful Christian marriage.

A whole chapter of them!

Put them on a "key" ring and keep then with you ... using them daily until "death do you part!"

For all of eternity you will be glad you did!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

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