There tends to be an air of mystery that shrouds most engagement stories. The guy plans to surprise the love of his life with some romantic scene and then ask her to marry him. It could be a simple as a walk in the park or as elaborate as a choreographed scene at Disney World! But one thing generally unites all those engagement stories: at least one of them knows that it’s going to happen! Maybe they’ve been dating for a while and potentially even talked about getting engaged, but the guy knows generally when and how it’s going to happen. Even the best laid plans sometimes go awry, but seldom does the engagement surprise them both.
Abraham was nearing the end of his life and knew the importance of Isaac finding a good wife. In their culture, arranged marriages were the status quo. While he wasn’t able, due to his age, to arrange the marriage himself, Abraham couldn’t leave anything to chance. He called his most trusted servant and gave him a task that was of utmost importance: finding a wife for the son of the promise. After all, it was from this son that was to come a great nation!
The servant agrees to undertake this monumental task and goes back to Abraham’s homeland (with the promise that he WILL NOT take Isaac back there under any circumstances!) As he journeyed, the servant prayed and asked for the Lord’s kindness and direction concerning this responsibility. He prayed very specifically for something that was uncommon as the Lord’s indication of who it was that he was to take back for Isaac to marry.
Lo, and behold, the servant’s prayer is answered and in abundance! God didn’t merely answer the request, He answered it in such a way that the servant would have had to been blind not to see it! The servant, overjoyed at God’s provision, makes the necessary arrangements to return with Rebekah and fulfill his master’s command.
When they return, both Isaac and Rebekah are in for a surprise. They are already engaged to be married by the sheer fact that Rebekah came back with the servant. Can you imagine the butterflies, not just of an engagement, but of MEETING your future spouse for the first time! As they draw close to the homestead, Isaac starts out to meet them. When Rebekah sees him, she basically swoons, “Who is THAT?!?” When the servant tells her, “That’s the guy you’re going to be marrying,” she jumps off her camel with excitement! Isaac too responds with joy and takes Rebekah in to meet Sarah.
When people say the Bible is boring, I like to remind them of how the Bible is filled with romance, action, adventure, and mystery. Such is the case here. But I think the last verse of chapter 24 is a subtle, but integral part of this story. First off, the verse stresses that Isaac didn’t just marry Rebekah, but that he truly loved her. His care for her was evident, but so was her care for her husband. After Isaac’s mother passes away, his wife is a comfort to him. She didn’t say, “Now that my mother-in-law is gone…”
The concept of a surprise engagement may be fun. The concept of a “blind” surprise engagement may be terrifying! But when God is the orchestrator, even the most incomprehensible scenarios play out beautifully. No matter where God has you in life today, no matter how crazy it seems, if we will trust Him to craft it according to His master plan, we will be amazed at the beauty of the results.