Calvary Road Baptist Church

“ISAAC & REBEKAH”

Genesis 24.67

 

In this morning’s message, we surveyed the entire 24th chapter of Genesis, looking at the dispatch of Abraham’s servant to fetch a bride from far away for his beloved Isaac, in a story that bears unmistakable resemblances to the gospel story. This evening I want to focus your attention on a single verse is Genesis chapter 24, rather than surveying the whole chapter. Please turn to Genesis 24.67. When you find that verse, please stand and read with me:

 

“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.”

 

To review, Isaac typified the Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for our sins, at least to some extent, when Abraham offered him up and almost slew him on Mount Moriah, in Genesis chapter 22. Chapter 24 resembles our present dispensation, with the Holy Spirit sent into the world to call out the bride of Christ being typified by the unnamed servant who was sent far away to persuade Rebekah to come back with him to meet Isaac face to face. Her decision to return with Abraham’s servant is typical of conversion. Her journey across the desert from what is modern day Iraq to what is modern day Israel, accompanied by Abraham’s servant, typifies the life of the Christian who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and whose life is a journey in which the bride becomes more familiar with her groom as the journey progresses.

Understanding the limitations of typology, that you cannot provide all the intricate details of reality in such a prophetic glimpse of the future, let us nevertheless approach our text for this evening with an acknowledgment that this single verse sums up with few words a vast period of time that will begin with the Rapture, and extend through eternity future. Though it is the briefest of glimpses of the Christian’s future, it is well worth summing up our eternity with this last verse of Genesis 24. Read it with me again:

 

“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.”

 

Types involve real history. There really was an Abraham, whose wife Sarah really did die. As well, they had a son named Isaac, Abraham had a trustworthy servant who really was dispatched, and he returned with Rebekah to marry her groom, who she had never before laid eyes on. It is a wonderful story of love and faith, concluding with her realized hope. Understand, if you will, that the last phrase of our text has nothing to do with the typology we are interested in. Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death, but there is no correspondence with Isaac and the Lord Jesus Christ, or with Rebekah and the church age believer, in this regard. Therefore, I will not refer to it again.

There are three portions of our text for us to contemplate this evening. Each portion relates to our prophetic future experiences, though each portion is entirely dependent upon the behavior of Isaac, who anticipates our great Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lord. Notice them, if you will, in turn:

 

First, HE BROUGHT HER

 

“And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent”

 

Typology does not always hold up under close consideration, because this kind of prophetic look into the future necessarily paints a picture with broad strokes. Therefore, though Isaac brought his bride into his mother Sarah’s tent, this does give us a rough idea of our Savior’s actions at the time of the Rapture.

Turn in your Bible to John 14.1-3, where the Lord Jesus Christ tells us in more precise terms what His plans for His own were before His arrest and crucifixion:

 

1      Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2      In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3      And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

 

You recognize that Sarah’s tent was part of the habitation of Abraham’s family. Whether she had a tent that was separate from Abraham’s and Isaac’s is not known for sure. However, what it likely is that Moses refers to a compartment reserved for Sarah while she was alive, and which was kept intact as her private quarters after she died. Those of you who have lost a loved one who lived in your home know how hard it is sometimes to use what used to be dad’s room, or to make use of what used to be mom’s room. The same was true here.

However, what in our typology fits into the prediction of the Lord Jesus Christ is that Isaac maintained a place for his bride that he determined to take her to upon her arrival. Though it was Sarah’s tent, do not think of it as an old and musty room that an old woman lived in. Rather, think of it as what was probably an elaborate and well-decorated room that was entirely fitting for someone of Sarah’s station in life, that Isaac had no doubt improved upon and redecorated in anticipation of his own bride’s arrival.

My friends, this house the Lord Jesus Christ spoke of in John chapter 14 is New Jerusalem. The mansions He refers to that He is preparing for us are elaborate apartments, penthouse suites if you will, that comprise part of the lavish splendor described by the Apostle John in Revelation 21:

 

9      And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

10     And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

11     Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

12     And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

13     On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

14     And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15     And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

16     And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

17     And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

18     And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

19     And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;

20     The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

21     And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

22     And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

23     And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

24     And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

25     And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

26     And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

27     And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 

There is no way to properly describe what the Savior has for us as an eternal dwelling place. Just understand that it will be every bit as luxurious and magnificent as we can imagine from reading this passage, only more so.

 

Next, HE TOOK HER

 

Our text reads, “And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife.”

 

Though we have no details provided, when you keep in mind that Rebekah veiled herself just prior to her face to face meeting with Isaac for the first time, which suggests her preparation for some type of formal ceremony by which the betrothal contract would formally become a binding marriage, the declaration that he “took Rebekah, and she became his wife,” suggests just such a ceremony.

Some cultures organize rather informal marriage ceremonies, while other cultures organize extremely formal and prolonged marriage ceremonies. In the early days of our country, marriage ceremonies in the rough backwoods of our country could be as simple as the couple holding hands and jumping over a broom stick. In other countries, marriage ceremonies could drag on for days (and I am not referring to the marriage feast that follows).

Whatever ceremony was observed is passed over without comment, as is the consummation of the marriage whereby Isaac and Rebekah were joined and became one flesh. Whatever the details, we are reminded here of Genesis 2.24: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

How does this foreshadow the marriage of the bride of Christ to our Savior? It is difficult to say. That some type of union is anticipated is pretty easy to see from Paul’s words in Second Corinthians 11.2: “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

However, the child of God is already the beneficiary of being united to Christ, though we must keep in mind that our relationship with Jesus Christ is a faith relationship, and a hope relationship, as well as being a love relationship. Being faith, our relationship with Christ is always the substance of something hoped for and not yet realized. Being hope, this relationship presently has a future element to it.

There will come a day of fulfillment, a day when anticipation gives way to realization. This is true whenever two people who are engaged are married, and there is a reason why God chose to portray this present relationship we have with Jesus Christ in terms of engagement and betrothal, with the hopeful expectancy and anticipation that will be fulfilled when we see Jesus face to face.

Read First John 2.28 with me: “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” Now read First John 3.2: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” This will be what Paul refers to as our glorification, Romans 8.30: “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

There will be something like what happened when Isaac took Rebekah and she became his wife happen to us when the Lord Jesus Christ takes His bride and the marriage is consummated. Precisely what it will be like no one knows, because it will be so profoundly spiritual an experience that we have nothing much like it here on earth with which we can compare it. I have no doubt that it will not be sexual, though I also have no doubt that it will result in the most profound kind of personal intimacy.

Imagine that. Christians will someday be glorified, receiving bodies suited for timeless eternity. As well, something roughly akin to a marriage will take place, formalizing in a way we cannot imagine in our present fleshly experience the relationship that was begun when you trusted Jesus Christ and were justified by faith, and which was sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise given to you as an earnest to show His intentions to follow through on His commitment to save to the uttermost those who come to God by Him.

 

Finally, HE LOVED HER

 

“And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her.”

 

The relationship with Christ was begun by faith. It is strengthened over time by hope being added to ever increasing faith. Of course, along the way we learn to love Him who first loved us. However, what do you think will be left once we are glorified and see Him face to face? There is no faith where there is sight, therefore when the child of God sees Jesus there will no longer be any place in his life for faith. The same holds true of hope. You see, faith and hope have to do with anticipation. However, what is left once there is realization?

In First Corinthians 13.13, the Apostle Paul writes, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” You know that charity refers to love. However, did you know why Paul wrote that the greatest of these is love, rather than faith or hope? When anticipation gives way to realization there is no longer any need for either faith or hope, leaving only love.

When Rebekah consented to travel with Abraham’s servant, she embarked upon a faith journey. Along the way, as she learned more and more about her future husband and her anticipation and expectation heightened along the way, she developed a hope that sprung from her faith. She no doubt came to love her unseen groom along the way, as well. However, when he brought her and then took her to be his wife, her faith and hope dissipated as quickly as the rising sun dissipates the morning fog. What was left behind? Love.

I mention her love, though scripture is very clear in pointing out to us Isaac’s love for Rebekah. He loved her. This typifies the Lord Jesus Christ’s love for the church. To be sure, Christians love Jesus is some small way, as they perceive His love for them. In like manner, a wife loves her husband as she perceives his love for her, unless in her fallen state she is so perverted by sin she does not respond, or unless in his sinful state the husband does not first love his wife.

The love referred to here, however, does not correspond to the love of God for us now, or the love of Christ for us now, since we are still experiencing that portion of the Christian life that corresponds to Rebekah’s caravan journey from her home to Isaac. The love referred to in our text is comparable to the love that is expressed after marriage.

Take some time to meditate, if you will, on what expressions of love the Savior will bless you with once this body of sinful flesh is replaced by sinless glorified flesh, once we are removed from the presence of sin, and are situated in our eternal mansions in the New Jerusalem.

If Paul can write Romans 8.31-39 while we are on this side of the Rapture . . .

 

31     What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

32     He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

33     Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

34     Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

35     Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36     As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37     Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38     For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39     Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Words are very limited in their ability to convey truth to us. It is no surprise, then, that we are told very little about what it will be like for us on the other side, experiencing the uninterrupted and unsurpassed love of Christ for us without impediment and interference.

 

It does not take a romantic to be overwhelmed by the prospects of the love Christ will bless us with on the other side. All we need to do is meditate upon these things, consider the impact on our thinking and understanding of the types we find in the Old Testament, and then consider how paltry such images are in comparison to the reality we will certainly experience.

Of course, all of this is made possible by the Christ child whose birth in Bethlehem we will celebrate in just over two weeks.

Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org