Rebekah And Isaac – Lessons For Today

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Genesis 24.

Sarah had been dead for several years when Abraham decided that their son Isaac needed a wife. After all, God promised Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation. And that required a grandson. So Abraham, now in his old age, sent his servant out to find him a wife. Even though this story happened in the Old Testament when the Jewish people were expected to be fruitful and multiply, it does have some lessons for today.

Lesson 1: Isaac’s family was involved in search for his wife. Ladies, imagine a strange man called you one day and said he had a wealthy boss who was looking for a wife. Would you be open to that idea?

Lesson 2: Isaac’s wife had to meet qualifications. Namely, she had to be a Christian from the land of Abraham’s childhood. The servant was instructed not to take a lady from Canaan, where he now lived, because they were a vile people. And she had to be willing to relocate to her husband’s country. Imagine your boyfriend told you that he dumped his last girlfriend because she was from the wrong country.

Lesson 3: Gifts were more than a bribe. On his quest to find Isaaac a wife, the servant took with him “ten of his master’s camels loaded with all kinds of good things from his master.” And when the servant found Rebekah, he gave her a “gold nose ring weighing a beka[c] and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels.” These gifts symbolized the sacrificial nature of marriage and the seriousness Abraham placed on the search. He was getting old. His time was short. In southern lingo today, these gifts may have been called “earnest money.” Ladies, would you take gifts from the friend of a friend who wants to meet you? Would you take them seriously or would you laugh them off as bribes?

Lesson 4: The servant prayed to be led to the right woman. “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. Guys, if marriage is for you, is anybody in your church praying that you will be led to the right woman?

Lesson 5: The servant was looking for a sign from God: “May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.” How often is “by this I will know” part of our prayers today? Are we open to the possibility that God still intervenes in real time in this world? That he still sends signs?

Lesson 6: Rebekah’s virginity was valued so highly that it was described in her introduction: “The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her.” Guys, would you be willing to introduced your girlfriend to your family like that today? Isaac had lived with his parents all these years, like a lot of young men in his time. And since he was a God-fearing man, I think it was taken for granted that he had not been with another woman.

Lesson 7: I think the critical part of this story happens in verses 18 and 19 when Rebekah appeared and the servant asked her for a drink of water. “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink. After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” Did Rebekah give him a suspicious look and walk away? No. Did she say “I’ve only got enough for myself?” No. Did she try to avoid him by saying “not today.” Did she try to tell him where the nearest watering hole was? No. Did she cry rape? No. Did she call for her family? No. Did she call security? No. Not only did she offer him a drink, she gave some to his camels. And then she was okay when she found out it was his boss’s son who was interested in her, sight unseen. Do you believe in divine intervention or does skepticism prevent God from acting in your life? Unfortunately, many single ladies today know how to do one thing well – say no. They have read all the books on how to guard their hearts and have saying no down to a fine art. After all, the men are supposed to persue, right? Well, Isaac never went looking.

Lesson 8: As soon as Rebekah accepted him and gave him water, her brother also accepted him. “Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.” Conferred respect. It’s almost unheard of today.

Just Friends

harry sally

Can men and women ever be friends without the “sex thing” getting in the way? Well, according to Harry and Hollywood, they can’t. But I refuse to believe that. Even though it may be a rare thing today in the singles world, I still believe in platonic friendship. What are the duties of a friend? Good question. I like to think of them as responsibilies and that they all hinge on trust, which is infinitely more important than any of the world’s definitions of love. A relationship can go nowhere without trust. And we’ve got a trust problem today; a problem so big that man has lost respect for himself. I think of trust as two people putting each other’s lives in each other’s hands, of two people giving each other responsibility for what is important in their life. Like a mom handing over the responsibility of her child to a baby sitter or someone sharing an address and phone number with a person in need they don’t know. Too many hearts are being guarded with fortresses so high you can’t see over them.

I think to really be able to trust you have to understand how Christianity is rooted in sexual ethics and God’s grace; that all of the Christian virtues are brought down to a smaller scale and compacted into the act of sex itself when two people become one flesh. These include chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility. They constitute the spiritual dimension of sex. There are only two Christian lifestyle choices – marriage and celibacy. In a Christian marriage, you ought to be able to continually see those seven virtues that were sealed at the onset of marriage between the husband and wife. In Christian celibacy, you likewise ought to be able to continually see those same virtues between their relationship with God and friends. The problem today is that we have a world that idolizes marriage and family. To see beyond romance and recognize those virtues demonstrated between friends is a rare site. Sex just always . . . gets in the way for singles; whether it’s played out on a street corner, in the make believe drama-filled world of social media, or in church jockeying for position and rank. Friends? Who needs them?

In your mind’s eye, bring Apostle Paul into your world today. He never had a wife and has never been more than a friend to anybody. Place him on an empty bench on a busy street corner. Now think of the hundreds of people walking by him. Do you completely understand his concept of friendship? Or do you think that since God gave him the gift of celibacy he doesn’t need friends? That’s he’s happy just doing his missionary work and writing letters? What’s the possibility of someone sitting down with Paul and demonstrating the seven virtues in 15 minutes? Not too great I suppose. But they’ll have no problem demonstrating them to their spouse when they get home. Unfortunately, the concerns of the world expressed in marriage have taken priority over the concerns of the Lord expressed in celibacy. I’m afraid Paul wouldn’t make it in the social column and wouldn’t have hundreds of Facebook friends. But that would not alter his relationship with platonic friends and I’m sure he wouldn’t continually check the single mingle polls. The world has a family. And some people have friends with higher spiritual and intellectual functioning than Harry.

Things Not In The Bible

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1. And ye shall gather thy eggs and color them to celebrate Easter. And they will be hidden and found by all the bright happy children.

2. You shall find the spouse God has waiting for you.

3. You shall get married by a preacher in a church. Or if that’s not possible, ye shall get married in a courthouse.

4. After your wedding, you will have a honeymoon and bask in the sun until you have to get back to work.

5. Wives, you shall decide how many children you want and then go see your doctor for your contraception of choice.

6. You shall protect your family at all costs.

7. A man is only a man if he has proven himself sexually, whether by one night of struggle or a legally sanctioned marriage.

8. Marriage is your ticket to free sex and everyone has the right to sexual fulfillment.  Children are the price you pay for sex.

9. God, family, country.   The church must focus on family.

10. Everything shall be for the good of the children.

11. Only a married man can be a preacher or church leader.

12. Single people are those who do not have a valid marriage license. If they’re over college age, you don’t need to worry about them.  They are unknowns.

13. Unmarried men and women cannot be trusted. Protect your children from them. If they are older, they are probably gay.

14. Your church shall have a penny march at least once a week.

15. Church children will be made to feel special with Vacation Bible School at least once a year.

16. All churches shall have a family life center. If they don’t have family in the church, they don’t count. All churches shall have youth luncheon once a month.

17. All churches must have a nursery.

18. The preacher’s wife must be put to good use, like playing the piano or working in the nursery.

19. The church shall be segregated based on age or marital status. Because everything must be age appropriate.

20. The church shall honor Mother’s Day and Father’s Day once a year. If they’re not married, they don’t count. They haven’t proven themselves.

21. All churches must have a youth group. You can call it a ministry if it brings in more money.

22. The youth pastor must be married and have at least two children.

23. Parents always know best.

24. Don’t let your children talk to strangers.

25. It’s okay to have sex and get pregnant anytime, as long as you get married.  Everyone has to sew their wild oats. More babies bring in more money for the church.

26.  Sexual sin is just as bad as all other sin.

27.  Everybody brings emotional baggage into a relationship.

28.  You must protect yourself before having sex.

29.  Women determine all ethical standards for the church.  Single women shall setup internet accounts and issue policy changes from their virginal thrones.  Men only want one thing, sex.  Only women can truly be virtuous and worthy of worship.  The church shall remain feminine with the sweet smell of lilacs in the air.

30.  Grandparents, you are expected to take care of the children when mommy has to work all day.

31.  Celibacy is something Catholic priests do.  And you must guard your children from them.

32.  Marriage is an institution.  But celibacy is not because it’s not in your church bulletin.

33.  Old bachelors are greedy and self-centered.  When you ride by their house, roll up your windows if children are in the car.

34.  Do not call on unmarried men to pray or take up offering on Sunday morning.  They cannot be trusted.

35.  Women and children go first.

36.  The family is the building block of society.  Family values are Christian values.

37.  If you don’t have a daddy, mommy can tell you everything you need to know.

38.  If someone is unhappy, setup an appointment with family therapy.

39.  Government knows best.  Ye shall buy only WIC sanctioned foods.

40  Preachers, ye must present your wives and children to the church in an appropriate manner with all being comfortable and well liked.

41.  Ye shall preach on marriage and family like the New Testament writers did.

42.  Caleb and my people did not take possession of the Promised Land because they were fervently praying.

43.  Tradition dictates what is right.  Religious experience matters more than truth because the church is about drama.  Women do that best.  Juicy stories must be told.

44.  All churches must have a family life center.  Popcorn must be served with butter on family night.

45.  If you can’t get pregnant, call the fertility clinic down the street.

46.  If you get pregnant at an inconvenient time, call the abortion clinic.

47. Preachers, ye are only required to talk about sex once a year, because of its uncomfortable nature.

48.  Mommy and daddy, if you have histories that make you uncomfortable, you don’t have to have “the talk” with your son or daughter.  They can learn all that stuff from the internet and their friends.  After all, everybody makes mistakes.

49.  If someone is sitting in your family pew, politely ask them to move.

50.  The pastor shall take on the role of mother, comforting members in times of trouble, presiding over family worship.

51.  Love and moral commitment are learned at home.

52.  God shall bestow blessings on family members, especially if they hold a church membership.

53.  The success of church depends on number of members and money collected.  It also depends on good preaching and a friendly congregation.

54.  Church business shall be done before or after family worship.

55.  Family rights should be valued more than individual rights.

56.  Morality should be based on a family’s sense of shame, not on an individual’s sense of guilt..

57.  My family is my mommy, daddy, brothers and sisters.

58.  Babies must be dedicated and baptized as soon as possible.

59.  Invitations to baby showers should follow your church’s protocol.

60.  You should get married as soon as possible because you can’t control your sexual urges very long.

61.  Ye shall post at least 50 pictures of your daughter’s birthday party on Facebook.

62.  Ye shall post at least 60 pictures of moose hunting with your son.

63.  Family life is the same thing as Christian life.

64.  Marriage and family have been around since Adam and Eve.  You know they went to the Bahamas for their honeymoon.

65.  Marriage is for the procreation of children.

66.  All of God’s disciples were family men.

67.  Marriage cedes your genitals to the government.

68.  A wedding is the same thing as a marriage.

69.  All emotions are natural and good.  Unmet emotional needs must be met at all costs, even if it means sex outside marriage.

70.  If you’re not familiar with it, you should leave it alone.  Nothing should come between you and your family.

71.  Every church has a victim and rescuer.

72.  Every church has a martyr, negotiator, and persecutor.

73.  Your husbands, wives, and children will be present with you on judgment day.

74.  You must remain faithful to your denomination and country.

75.  If an adult is not married, they just haven’t found the right person.  The church should help them find that person.

76.  Sing two more verses of the doxology after the last person walks the isle.

77.  Leave two cookies for Santa the night before Christmas.

I hope there’s no doubt we live in a family idolatry society.  And family idolatry has led to the acceptance of same sex marriage and our deterioration into Sodom.  Preachers, that should give you some food for thought.