Devotion on Notable Firsts of the Bible (First Type of the Church) 16 May 2015 Anno Domini
62 And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi; for he dwelt in the south country. 63 And 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. 64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. 65 For 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. 66 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. 67 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. (Gen 24:62-67)
We learned from our study of the intended sacrifice of Isaac (the only beloved and begotten son) by Abraham, how Isaac prefigures the Lord Jesus Christ as the Seed of Promise which God promised Abraham (who also serves in the account in Genesis 22 as a type of God the Father). Now we see a further lifting of the veil of mystery in God’s Mind of His Church typified in the damsel, Rebekah.
Abraham, the father, is counseled by God to sacrifice his only son whom he loved on the mountains of Moriah. We saw how perfectly (to a point) that Isaac is very similar to Christ as a sacrifice made by His Father. It follows as the night the day that if Isaac is a type of Christ, so must his bride foreshadow the Church who is the Bride of Christ.
In chapter 23 of Genesis, Isaac has lost his mother, Sarah. Sarah may easily stand in for the Old Testament Church of Israel, but what of the New Testament Church of her Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. This role falls to Rebekah.
Please bear in mind that these types and shadows of the Old Testament are only that – they are lesser shadows of the real. They are given for our edification and enlightenment, and especially for that of the Old Testament peoples since they were walking by faith alone until the realization of Christ’s coming had occurred.
Please observe the sequence of events enumerated in chapter 24 of Genesis:
Abraham takes a solemn oath of Eliezer, his trusted servant, “But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.” Eliezer is sent to search out the bride of Isaac from among the kindred of Abraham the father. The Holy Spirit goes to the kindred of the Father, beginning at the OT Church (the Hebrew nation), to seek out a Bride for His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
Gen 24.8 And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again.” The Church must be a willing Bride of Christ. If she rejects her Bridegroom, she will be left desolate. This was a one-way trip made on behalf of Isaac. No other wife would do than that which Abraham’s trusted servant might arrange. There is no other people God desires for the Bride of His Son than the Church called out from the world.
Eliezer (Gen 15:2) came representing his Master with a power of attorney incorporating all that Abraham owned. The Holy Spirit also possesses the power to act with all the riches of Heaven. Gen 24:10 “And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor.”
Gen 24.36 “And Sarah my master’s wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath.” Father Abraham has given all that he owns to his only well-beloved son. Does this sound familiar? Let us exam a parallel in the Gospel of St. John 16:15a –“All things that the Father hath are mine.” These are the words of the only Begotten and well-beloved Son of God the Father.
Gen 24:58 – “And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.” Without delay, the Church must be ready and willing to follow Christ when she is sent for by the Father.
Gen 24:63a “And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide:” Just as Christ, before the purchase of His Bride, went into the Garden at Gethsemane to commune with the Father in prayer.
“Gen 24.64 “And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. 24.65 For 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. 24.66 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done.” Here is an allusion to the traditional western cultures of vailing the bride until after nuptials are said. What a great distance we have traveled down the road of moral turpitude since that time and age! Rebekah asked the servant of Isaac’s father who this man (Isaac) was. The true Church seeks guidance and counsel from the Holy Ghost to confirm the Person of Christ as distinguished from false Christ’s and anti-Christ’s.
I will discuss the last mark of parallel separately in this last portion of the devotion. It reveals a great mystery that ancient men may not have grasped.
Gen 24.67 “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.” Into whose tent was the Bride of Christ – the Church – taken in the early Gospel age? Was it not begun at Jerusalem, and spread to all of the world? Old Israel is mother to New Israel (the New Testament Church). This has a striking resemblance in most particulars, but dissimilarities in others. Rev.21.2 “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” The servant of Abraham went to fetch the bride of Isaac, and she was brought to him in the fields of Lahairoi; but Jesus Himself came to purchase His Bride and He shall return for her.
Of course, Isaac loved his wife, Rebekah. That should be an imperative of marriage in the first place. Sadly, it is not so today. There are many marriages in our day that are entered into without an appeal to God for His blessing; or which are entered into on a trial basis; or which are not the result of great love and commitment, but of carnal desire, or greed. So how much did Christ love His Bride, the Church; and how much should a husband love his own wife (and never someone else’s)? The answer may be found in that quaint (?) old Bible text read at every traditional marriage ceremony:
Eph.5.22-33 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
Why is such a greater emphasis placed upon the husband loving the wife than the other way around? I believe it is because the institution of marriage (the first that God instituted) is a model and type of the Church. The Church could not have loved Christ unless He first loved the Church. 1 John 4:19 – “We love Him, because He first loved us.” If a man loves his wife so sacrificially that he is ready to give his life if necessary for her, it is almost inconceivable that she will not reciprocate that kind of love. Unfortunately, there are some nominal Christians today who practice their ‘religion’ out of a sense of social duty rather than a love for the Lord Jesus Christ who bought and paid for His Bride with His very life-blood. I hope those eyes that read this devotion are not among these latter ones who may “sell their birthright for a bowl of soup.”