Monday, April 6, 2009
Isaac Takes Rebekah
Isaac Takes Rebekah
A Sermon By Eric Graff From Genesis Chapter 24:10-27
The word love so mistreated and trampled by the world. It has caused as much happiness as sadness. It has made great unions and has ended lives in tragedy. Take for illustration two short poems I've written with love as the subject. No need to remember these they are for illustration only.
LOVE IS LIKE AN ONION,
YOU TASTE IT WITH DELIGHT
BUT WHEN IT’S GONE YOU WONDER,
WHATEVER MADE YOU BITE
LOVE’S A FUNNY THING,
JUST LIKE A LIZARD
IT GOES UP AROUND YOUR HEART
AND JUMPS INTO YOUR GIZARD
LOVE IS SWELL,
IT’S SO ENTICING
IT’S WONDERIOUS SMELL
LIKE STRAWBERRY ICEING
IT’S CHOCOLATE MOOSE,
IT’S ROASTED GOOSE
IT’S HAM ON RIE,
IT’S BANNANA PIE
LOVE IS ALL GOOD THINGS
WHITHOUT A QUESTION
The other is very short:
SLIPPERY ICE, VERY THIN,
PRETTY GIRL, TUMBLES IN
SAW A BOY, ON THE BANK,
GAVE A SHREEK, THEN SHE SAINK
BOY ON HAND, HEARD HER SHOUT
JUMPED RIGHT IN, PULLED HER OUT
NOW SHE’S HIS, VERY NICE,
BUT SHE HAD TO BRAKE THE ICE.
The word love has many different connotations and meanings in the Bible. You have the love of man for man, the love of parent for child, the love of child for parent, the love of brother for brother, the love of man for God, the love of God for man. But out of all these relationships, there is only one where there is a physical consummation. That is between a husband and a wife.
I want to share with you today a few thoughts on the how God tells us how to build a successful home. This is most important for young people who are considering marriage or may already have someone they wish to share their life with. These points are undeniable principles and truths. The Bible spells out how God wants us to live as husband and wife and I tell you without reservation tonight that if you do not follow these guidelines you will end up proving the word of God, not braking it. The word of God is eternal and irrefutable
The story of Isaac and Rebekah is as old as it is wise. It is ancient as it is relevant to young people who are searching for a mate to spend their lives with. The reading today is from Gen. 24 verses 10 thru 27, but we need a little background here to set this in context. Abraham is dieing, nearing the end of his earthly journey. Abraham asks his most trusted servant, Eliezer, to go to the land of his relatives and points the servant away from the Canaanites where Abraham was living. He makes the servant promise to go where he tells him to find a woman for his son Isaac.
At this point something very pivotal happens that those of us here in the west are not accustomed to. Isaac was not the only one involved in the selection process. Abraham had prayed, Eliezer was the servant asked to do the search; God was prayed to and involved as well. To the young people reading this today this may seem foreign and peculiar. I’m sure you young adults would be distressed if you did not play the major role in the selection process of your mate.
But let me warn you here young people, and listen please. You see, when we begin dating and get involved in a romance, it is very easy to get our hearts involved so quickly that our minds get left behind and cease to function almost entirely. Your mind is shut down. This is where the fraise “love is blind” is derived from. But in our blindness and unwillingness to listen, young people tend to shut out the wisdom of their parents and look upon their parents as interrupters of the relationship rather then as wise ones, assisting you in seeking out the right candidate. And I will not say absolutely here, but the chances are, if you enter into a relationship in violation of your parents will, I suggest you are playing a dangerous game with God. If you are going to violate an authority placed there by God, you must be twice as sure, that you are doing the right thing. And this is particularly important if your parents are men and women who love God.
Your parents know without question, that love is hard work. Let me explain. On my wedding day I can tell you the feeling that erupted from my heart when I saw my bride coming down the isle of the Church, there is no word in the English language that could begin to describe the feeling in my heart today except possibly the word “Wow”. And she came up to the alter where I was standing and my heart was all a flutter and it was quite possibly the happiest day of my life. She looked grand, absolutely grand!! But 5 years later, she had these funny things in her hair at night, which prompted questions like, “What stations are you able to get under the influence of such an apparatus?” Somehow the first word that leaps to mind is not the word “Wow”.
But you still love because the feelings are true and deep and right. But love will test you at your most vulnerable times. It is an enormous commitment. It will force you to deal with pride, lust and greed and anger.
If you are taking an oath before God, then this is no diminutive act.
Jesus uses this analogy in his relationship to us. Of all the analogies of this world, Jesus takes the parallel of a bridegroom and of all the categorizations of the Church, Jesus chooses the loveliest of them all, a bride, and if greater love has no man then this, that he lay down his life for his friend, that’s why I implore you to seek out the wisdom not only of God through Jesus, but of your parents, before you make this decision. That moment of decision, you must not make alone. It needs God and those God sent to be your principle, your parents.
Seek the advice of someone you love and respect. One you also believe feels that for you. Do not try to do all of this on your own. The romantic emotions you are feeling are not alone proof of God’s will for either of you in a relationship. So please do yourself the favor and seek the wisdom of friends and family.
One thing that leaps off the page from this text in Genesis for me is the unselfishness and generosity of Rebekah. It says she was pure and a virgin and had not laid with any man. She is so kind.
Have you ever wondered how much a camel drinks? She said to Eliezer, you just relax sir, I will not only give you the water, and I’ll water all your camels as well. The sense of graciousness and chivalry that Rebekah displays is truly remarkable seeing that she had never met Eliezer.
One of the first things people will always notice about a couple, no matter where you go in this world, is if a couple is not kind in their relationship to each other. And I want to go so far as to say, there is never a reason, for you to be unkind to one another as a couple. And this is not exclusively for the guys but it is directed at the men, you may disagree or struggle, be frustrated and flustered or even uncomfortable with comments or attitudes that one may display to the other, but no act should cause one to be unkind. And I have always strived to not use this word because I seem to lean on it in the military sense, but marriage is a series of compromises.
I want to say something to the young men here now and I do not say this in a humorous way, but a woman’s mind, being what it is, there are times she will look at you and say to you, “ I’m feeling down and very unhappy and I really can’t tell you what the reason is, all I know is that I need to be loved”. There are times when no amount of talk or reasoning is what she is looking for. Sometimes all she is feeling is distance between her mate and she needs that arm of yours to come across her shoulder and for you to just hold her. She has no need for long speeches or explanations or apologies. She needs you to just be there, touching her and explaining to her that she is cherished.
Lastly, and I speak from a position of knowledge on this; you need to turn from the temptations of the flesh. Hear me carefully, for you may mock me on the inside young people, give in to temptation and you will soon be justifying more illegitimacies to your mate. Desire will turn to deceit and disrespect if not hatred.
A Methodist minister, Clovis Chapel, gave a great example of where this kind of illegitimacy starts. You may think Rev. Chapel archaic but hear him out please. He talks about modern dance and modern films. He says, “Mark you, in saying this I am not declaring that every girl or boy who dances is immoral, that is not my prerogative to say so. But what I say is this; the tendency of the modern dance is to take the fine edge off the modesty of both young men and young women. A blacksmith can no more handle the tools of his trade without hardening his hands, then a girl can be grasped in the arms of permisques men, and still keep her sensitiveness to the questionable and the unclean. When we consider therefore, the thousands who are engaging night after night in the modern dances, our wonder is not that so many wrong, but rather that so many can keep there footing in such slippery places. Take for example our stage folk. They are nether better nor worse to begin with then the average, they are just ordinary human beings. But they play at lovemaking so much, that it loses all its sacredness. Caresses become cheap and commonplace to become dispensed to almost any passerby. Such a girl becomes like a cluster of grapes above a common path, where everybody that passes takes a grape. He who takes so does it without reverence. And the golden coin of real and abiding affection, such spend-thrifts soon become bankrupts.”
It is up to you how sacred your relationships will be. It is up to God to help you but He only will help if he is asked. If you choose to love, understand how sacred this is to God and how important the God given purity you have is to your chosen. I would have not a single reservation to telling my daughter, “Yes, I give you my blessing” if she found that man praying. It is the one principle in my life I have tried not to violate since becoming reborn in Christ, and that is to spend those moments with God, every day. You want your union to last forever? Stay close to the everlasting God. You will find it rubs off on your union in such a way, you will never want for more. A successful marriage is when a couple lives happily EVEN after!!