1. a)  Read chapter 23.  What can you learn about Abraham's life in the promised land? (cf. Acts 7:5)

Abraham owned no land while he was still alive.  But by faith he believed that the land he was walking on was his and his descendants' because he held onto the promise of God.  He was an alien and a stranger; a pilgrim.

b)  How were the realities different from the promises he believed?

He had no land he could call his own and he had only one child.

c)  What can you learn about his faith?

He did not confuse reality with vision.  Abraham needed a place to bury his wife.  Though God had promised him the whole land of Canaan, he actually owned nothing -- not even a foot of ground.  But he believed that God would give the land to his descendants, but he knew that present reliaty was that the land was occupied by Canaanites.  He did not allow this to make him doubt God's promises.  He did not try to use his spiritual privilege to get material gain.  He simply follwed the custom of the times and negotiated with Ephron the Hititte.  The Hitittes regarded him as a mighty prince.  They agreed to give him the land.  He struck a deal, purchasing the cave of Machpelah and the field around it for 400 shekels of silver.  This cave became the burial place of the patriachs and the only piece of real estate which Abraham owned in the promised land.  


2. a)  As this chapter opens, what is the situation of Abraham and his family?

Abraham was now well advanced in years and old.  The Lord had blessed him in every way.

b)  What problem was on his mind?

His son's marriage problem.  He wanted to get Isaac a woman of faith.  Abraham must solve this problem before he dies.  Isaac was the covenant son, so he must live by faith and trust in God.  It was important that his future family be one of faith.

c)  What mission did Abraham give his chief servant?

He entrusted to his chief servant the responsibility to go and find a wife for his son Isaac.

d)  What shows that this was an important mission?

Verse 3, "I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth..."

3. a)  Why do you think Abraham didn't want Isaac to marry a Canaanite?

Living in the beautiful land of Canaan, Abraham must have seen many attractive and wealthy women who might make good marriage candidates for Isaac.  Isaac, quiet and obedient, must have thought about them, too.  It is natural for sinful men not to think about a girl's inner character, but to only look at her outward appearance when choosing a girl to marry.  Some men in their ignorance and pride, think that if they find a woman who fits their human standards, they can marry her, then later on make her a woman of faith.  The men of Noah's time thought this way.  But this never works.  A man who marries a worldly woman becomes a worldly man.  Marriage is the measure of one's faith.  The women of Canaan were godless.  Abraham didn't want to compromise.  It was important that Isaac's family really belong to God and not be tainted with human compromise.  See also Deut 7:1-4.

b)  Why did he want the servant to find a wife for Isaac from among his relatives?

They had potential to be women of faith as he was a man of faith who had left when God called him. 

4. a)  What problem in carrying out his mission did the servant immediately foresee?

Verse 5.  It was difficult for the servant and complicated to go to a distant country and find someone who would marry someone they never saw or knew.

b)  What compromise did Abraham forbid him to make?  Why?

Verse 6.  The woman must have the faith to come.  This was the sign.  See also verse 8.

c)  What did Abraham promise his servant that would make the mission possible?

See verse 7.  God would send his angel ahead of him.  God would intervene.  This confidence that Abraham had came from Genesis 2214 and all the years of God's training.  He knew God would provide when he honored God and trusted in God.

d)  How did the servant indicate his acceptance of the mission?

He put his hand under Abraham's thigh and swore an oath.  See verse 9.

5. a)  What preparatios did he make? 

See verse 10.

b)  When he arrived in the town of Nahor, where did he go to begin looking, and what did he do first?

He went to the well outside of the town.  This was a common place to find women who would be collecting water, for it was the time to draw water.  Then he began to pray.

c)  What can we learn from him?

To rely on God in prayer.  The servant was a man of mission.  He did not rely on the gifts he brought or the camels to get a girl for Isaac.  He relied on God in prayer.  Our success will depend on how much we pray.

6. a)  Look at his prayer (12-14).  How did he address God? 

"God of my master Abraham..."

b)  What does this tell about the kind of woman he was seeking for Isaac?

He was seeking a hardworking and diligent woman who would be willing to greet an old and dusty man and water ten camels.  His prayer topic seemed very improbable.  He prayed specifically, not generally, and God answered his specific prayer topic.

7. a)  When the beautiful girl he spoke acted according to the conditions of his prayer, what did the servant do?

He praised God and thanked God and worshiped God.

b)  How did he make sure that this was the girl that he had chosen?

He watched her very closely.  See verse 21.  He was not impulsive, he waited on God.  He had to be sure that this was really God's leading and not just his own wishful thinking.  He must have been speechless and stood dumbly watching her.  Perhaps he was transfixed by her beauty as well as by the fact that God had heard his prayer and blessed his prayer.

c)  What did he do as soon as he realized that God had led him to the right girl (22-27)?  

He bowed down and worshiped God. He praised the Lord for his kindness and faithfulness.

d)  What can we learn from him?

To worship and thank God when he answers our prayers.  When the servant obeyed and prayed by faith, God blessed his prayer.  His prayer reveals his faithfulness to Abraham.  Abraham loved and feared God.  So he planted his servant the awesome respect of God.  Abraham's servant believed the God of Abraham.  He served Abraham as if he were serving God.  He served him with prayer.  He realized that for Abraham's sake, God was leading his mission step by step and worshiped and thanked God each step of the way.

8. a)  How did he respond to the gracious hospitality which Rebekah's family extended to him?

He would not eat until he had finished his mission.

b) What was his main point in the long account he gave them of how he met Rebekah?

That is was from God, his coming to get Rebekah for Isaac to be his wife.

c)  Why does he include so many details?

To show it was for real and not a man made story.

d)  What was his conclusion?

He wanted Bethuel and Laban to make a clear decision.  The servant regarded his mission as precious.  He was tired and hungry after his long journey, but he put first things first.  The old servant began at the beginning and told everything that had happened.  He focused on how God had answered his prayers and led him each step of the way.  As he told his long story, the food got cold but he didn't care.  This servant was an old man, but he was so intent on carrying out his mission that he forgot about being tired and hungry.  Even a young man, if he has no sense of mission, can't overcome his physical desires.  If he is tired and hungry, he only thinks about eating and sleeping.

9. a)  How did Rebekah's father and brother respond (50,51)?  

They listened to the servant's account and were moved.  They realized that God had chosen Rebekah to be Isaac's wife.  But knowing God's will without a decision of faith is worth nothing.

b)  What did the servant do (52-54)?  

He worshiped God and gave them the gifts.  They all ate and drank.

c)  Why did he not stay a few days and enjoy a well-deserved vacation?

He did not actually consider his mission completed until he actually escorted Rebekah back.  He was full of God's grace. He didn't even think about resting.  He was free -- he could have stayed, but he didn't.  He only wanted to return quickly and finish his mission.

d)  When did he consider his mission completed?

When he had Rebekah to bring back.  At this time, no one had asked Rebekah.  She was the one who had to make the final decision.

e)  What can we learn from him about how to carry out God's mission?

Faithfully, prayerfully and completely.  Originally God made man for mission.  He entrusted the stewardship of the earth to mankind.  He created us for a purpose and ha a mission for each of us.  (Eph 2:10)  If a man is not faithful to the mission God gave him, he is only a cursed lump of clay and can't be happy.  When a man living a world under curse works hard in order to live well, the harder he works the more cursed his life in the world becomes.  The only way of real happiness is to know God and receive from him the mission he has prepared for us and to be faithful to that mission to death.  See Acts 20:24.


10. a)  What kind of girl was Rebekah?

She was pure, chaste, beautiful and hardworking.  She was generous and broadminded.  See verses 18-20.  She was willing to serve an old man with ten thirsty camels.  She was loving and thoughtful.  She was a woman of faith.  This was her most important qualification.  She listened to the old servant's long account of how God led him to find a wife for Isaac.  She realized that this was God's will.  She had eyes to see how God was working and leading and the courage to make the decision of faith to participate in God's great work of world salvation.  How ugly are the women who paint their long fingernails, lying around lazily, yawning in boredom.

b)  What was her decision?

Verses 57-58.  "I will go."

c)  How was her faith like Abraham's?

She did not know where God would lead her.  But she was willing to obey God.  She left her people, her country and father's household to go to a foreign land and marry a man she had never talked with or seen.  She had faith in action.  She was willing to give her marriage to God.  A woman's marriage is most precious to her and personal.  It is the content of her secret dreams.  Most will give all to God, but reserve their marriage and choice of a husband for themselves.  It was a decision of faith to please God and not herself.

d)  What broader meaning did Rebekah's famiily see in this marriage (60)? 

It was a part of God's covenant blessing. God would use this family to make a nation of faith.  Rebekah was a moterly woman who could help quiet and shy Isaac.  She could give him motherly love and at the same time help him grow spiritually and humanly.  A woman must make a home full of love, laughter and spirit so that the man can grow and be a useful servant of God.



LA UBF Bible Study Materials
Copyright © 2024 LA UBF All rights reserved.