As confused as our culture is about marriage and family today, the appetite for love stories is still alive and well. Our bookstores and movie theatres still make lots of money off a romantic storyline. The plot usually begins when boy meets girl or girl meets boy and sparks fly. There’s always some form of tension in the storyteller’s plotline in the form of an overprotective father, disapproving mother or a rival competing for the heart of said boy or girl. Although the outcome is predictable, people still pay to hear the storyline packaged in a new setting with different characters. It doesn’t matter if it’s Shakespeare, Jane Austin, Disney or Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, people of all ages, especially females, enjoy rekindling their idealism that true love is indeed possible in a world where reality assaults their fantasy.
Today, we’re going to look at one of the Bible’s best love stories. In Genesis 24, a recently widowed father seeks to secure a wife for his son who still mourns for his mother. As the elderly father looks around, he sees there is no woman in his community suitable for his treasured son. So, he must seek a wife for his son among his people back where he grew up. But, there’s a catch…the father is too old to make the journey. Therefore, he cannot see to this personally. As a result, he assigns this sacred task to his most trusted and loyal advisor.
The father summons the man and makes him swear a holy and solemn oath that he will indeed carry out his wishes—that he will find a wife fit for his son. The father has two stipulations that must be met. First, his son must not leave their community to marry a bride that the advisor may find for him. Second, he must not marry anyone local.
The advisor accepts the mission, but he understandably has reservations. He asks, “What if I can’t find one that meets your criteria? Or, what if I do and she won’t agree to come back with me here?” The father seeks to assuage his advisor’s fears by promising that God will send an angel ahead of him in order to bless his mission. Furthermore, he promises to release him from the oath if he can’t find such a girl. This acknowledgement implies that he knows such a girl must possess extraordinary faith.
So, our love story begins with some tension. We have to ask ourselves the following questions. Will the advisor find a girl that meets the father’s lofty standards? If he is fortunate enough to find one, will she actually agree to come back with him? Finally, if he’s able to find a girl willing to come back with him, will the son be happy with her and will she be happy with the son?
As a result, the weight of this mission, must have been a tremendous burden for the advisor to carry. Every day of his journey, he must have mulled over how he was going to find such a woman. Moreover, he must have rehearsed in his mind what he would say to his prospects and how he would be able to know if one of them was suitable for his master’s son.
Although things are very different today for Jesus’ followers in this culture, we still must rely on God for daily guidance as we face difficult assignments in our daily lives. Often, God gives us each tasks without exhaustive instructions. He expects us to obey His word and rely on His Spirit to guide us whether it’s an ordinary or extraordinary task!
This article is an excerpt of this Sunday's sermon. All are welcome to join us for worship this Sunday at 10:30 am. Lighthouse Community Baptist Church is located at 22 Pequot Trail in Pawcatuck.