Watching and Waiting

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Genesis 24:61-25:1861And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way. 62And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahai-roi; for he dwelt in the south country. 63And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. 64And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. 65For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself. 66And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. 67And 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. 1Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. 2And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. 3And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim. 4And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. 5And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. 6But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country. 7And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years. 8Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. 9And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre; 10The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife. 11And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by the well Lahai-roi. 12Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare unto Abraham: 13And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, 14And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, 15Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: 16These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations. 17And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people. 18And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he died in the presence of all his brethren. (Genesis 24:61‑25:18)
Rebekah started out at once on the long journey across the desert. She was on her way to meet Isaac, and the whole journey is passed over by the inspired writer in a few words: she “followed the man.” She did not have to make the journey in her own strength, for the camels carried her, and the “man” guided her safely through the dangers of the wilderness. The way to Glory will not seem so long and hard to those of us who belong to the Lord, if we, too, follow the guidance of the Spirit of God through the Word.
Waiting in Faith to Meet the Lord
Isaac came out to meet her in the field, and so the Lord will soon come for us, for we who are saved are the bride of Christ. Rebekah was watching as well as waiting to see Isaac and was glad to alight from her camel and go to meet him. Are we, dear young believers, watching and waiting for the Lord to come at any moment? Are we willing to leave our “camels” and all that connects us with this wilderness world and go out to meet Him?
How wonderfully the story ends! Isaac himself escorted her to his mother’s tent, and she became his wife, and he loved her. Surely this speaks to us of the love of Christ, and when He takes us to His home above, we shall still be, as we are now, the ob­jects of His love forever. Nothing can separate us from that love which passes knowledge. Can the reader of this little paper say, “The Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:2020I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20))?
Abraham gave all he had to Isaac, the promised heir, and we know, too, that God the Father has put all into His Son’s hands, who will in the coming day share it with His bride (the church) as Isaac did with Rebekah his wife.
At last Abraham’s long life ended, and he too was buried in the field he had purchased. He had been a stranger and a pilgrim, looking for the fulfill­ment of God’s promise — the possession of Canaan. However he “received not the promise” (Hebrews 11:99By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: (Hebrews 11:9)) as to earthly blessing, but he died in faith and will have something better — a heavenly portion. Like Sarah he was buried in Canaan, because he knew that God was the God of resurrection, and that He had not forgotten His promises.
Living in the Sense of God’s Presence
Isaac was a man of faith too, and God blessed him. He dwelt by the well Lahairoi. This was the place where he had met Rebekah when she came back with Eliezer, and it means “the well of Him that liveth and seeth.” How good for us as young people when we learn to live in the sense of God’s presence, and in the enjoyment of our relationship to Christ as His espoused bride.
To all outward appearances Ishmael did not seem to have anything like the troubles that Isaac did, but God passes over his life, as well as the lives of his family in a very few words. Ishmael, as far as we know, was not a man of faith, and his life was of little importance in the eyes of God. “Without faith it is impossible to please Him [God]” (He­brews 11:66But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)). Dear young reader, how does your life appear before God? Have you a real living faith in the Lord Jesus, so that you can say, “I know whom I have believed” (2 Timothy 1:1212For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (2 Timothy 1:12))?
Further Meditation
1. What did Rebekah do when she saw Isaac come out to meet her in the field?
2. Living with a quiet sense of the Lord’s providing for us and not allowing sin in our lives are at the heart of communion. What are some of the indications that Abraham had enjoyed that communion in his life?
3. You would no doubt enjoy the simple booklet Communion With God: What Is It? by C. H. Mackintosh.