Chapter twenty-four is the longest chapter in the book of Genesis and for that reason alone, it deserves some pointed attention. It focuses on just one subject: finding a wife for Isaac.
Abraham is living in the land of the Canaanites and while they recognize him as a mighty prince whom God blesses, and while Abraham has tremendous spiritual influence in his own family (as we shall see in the life of his servant in this chapter), he apparently has little influence on the lives of the people among whom he lives. Abraham doesn’t want his son to marry one of the girls of Canaan.
Abraham sends his servant to the home of Abraham’s brother, Nahor, in northern Mesopotamia to find Isaac a wife. We’ve already been introduced to this family in chapter 22 and learned that among Nahor’s sons is Bethuel, who has a daughter Rebekah. The servant is on his own to select Isaac’s wife. The only condition is that she must be willing to leave her family behind and come to Isaac. Isaac may not go to Mesopotamia.
The journey is long – some 500 miles. Abraham may not live long enough to see the marriage of Isaac, so he leaves the whole affair in the hands of his servant.
The thing to notice in this story is the presence of God, and not just any god, but The Lord, the God of Israel. The servant prays to “the Lord” and expects Him to answer his prayer and he leaves it in the hands of the Lord. There is no backup plan. As the story unfolds, there are a few tense moments, but everything falls into place.
No, wait. That’s not quite right. Everything doesn’t “fall into place,” the Lord puts it into place.
It’s an important lesson, deserving of the longest chapter in Genesis. When we trust the Lord, take our challenges to Him, and totally trust Him with every thing, He will come through for us as He did for Isaac. Jesus summarizes it best: If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (Matthew 21:22).