Weird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day Fourteen

Weird is the New Normal:  A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis
 
Weird – “of strange or extraordinary character.”
Normal – “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern”
  • Merriam Webster
Day Fourteen – “What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land?”  - Abraham’s servant (Gen. 24: 5)
Chapter 24 of Genesis starts out by saying, “Abraham was now old and well advanced in years…” Just how old are we talking about?  We can figure that out by looking at Issac’s age. Isaac was 37 years old when Sarah died (in Genesis 23: 1), and he was 40 when he married Rebekah (Genesis 25: 20), so Abraham – who was 100 when Isaac was born – was at this point nearly 140 years old. Now that is old (but he would live to be 175, seeing Isaac get married and seeing Esau and Jacob nearly grown).
Speaking of Isaac getting married…that’s what is going on with our weird question of the day.  It’s time for Isaac to “get a bride.” The way that worked in Abraham’s day, as you probably know, was what was called an “arranged” marriage.  The groom’s family would make a deal with the bride’s family involving gifts given from the groom’s family to the bride’s family to compensate for the “loss” of their daughter.  So, does that mean that Isaac’s bride would be purchased?  Not really. The question for today (and ultimately Rebekah’s decision to go back with Abraham’s servant) shows that the prospective bride had a say so in the deal.
Back to Abraham’s servant’s question.  Abraham makes him swear that he won’t get a wife from the Canaanite women where they live, but will travel to Mesopotamia and choose a wife from his relatives.  “What if she won’t come back?”  I can’t help but think about the old movie, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.”  I’m wondering if Abraham’s servant was thinking he would just grab the woman, throw her over his shoulder (or onto a camel) and kidnap her, singing “Bless your beautiful hide” all the way home.  But no…  Abraham has faith that God will go before his servant and prepare the way.  He tells his servant, “God will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there.” (Gen. 24: 7)
Have you ever wondered what will happen if your “Plan A” doesn’t work? You’re thinking “What if it doesn’t happen the way I think it will?”  It is a fair question, because we know that our best plans sometimes will not work out.  I think there are a couple of things we can learn from Abraham here. (1) He has faith that God goes ahead and prepares the way. (“God will send his angel...”)  (2) He has faith that if Plan A doesn’t work, that God will open the way for Plan B.  (“If the woman is unwilling…you will be released from your oath…”)
Reflection: How have you experienced God going before you, preparing the way?
Action: Look up “prevenient grace,” and write in your journal how God has worked in your life using this grace.

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