Search for the Bride

by Dan Betzer

No fairy tale was ever sweeter, no love poem more poignant, than this marvelous true saga of antiquity. It is a father's search for a bride for his son. The story is a "type" of God's search for a bride for His Son Jesus Christ. There are four main characters in the drama: Abraham, who will be a "type" of God; Isaac: who will be a "type" of Jesus Christ; Abraham's servant, a "type" of the Holy Spirit; and Rebekah, a "type" of the church.

As the story opens, Abraham is 140 years old. His wife Sarah has passed on, her body now lying until the Resurrection in a cave at Hebron. Isaac, the only son of Abraham and Sarah, is about 40 years old and still unmarried. It is time for him to find a wife. And so Abraham puts the wheels in motion. He calls in his servant, who was in charge of all his master's possessions.

Abraham wanted it made very clear to all concerned that Isaac would not marry a daughter of the idolatrous Canannites. He knew that such marriages of unequal yoke were doomed from the start. And so he gave his servant instructions that were not to be questioned: "I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; but thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac" (Gen. 24:3,4).

A "Picture" of the Holy Spirit

So the father (Abraham) wanted a bride for his son (Isaac), and he sent his faithful servant out to search in a far country. Isn't that a beautiful picture of what God is doing right now? He is searching for Christ's bride, the church, through His servant, the Holy Spirit. This twenty-fourth chapter of Genesis gives us a faithful picture of the Holy Spirit. Let me explain:

Abraham's servant never spoke of himself. Neither does the Holy Spirit. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would always testify of Christ Himself. The servant was gentle and kind in all his dealings. And the Holy Spirit is always a gentleman, too. In fact, one of the fruits of the Spirit is gentleness. You will never be "rough-housed" into the Kingdom of God, but always gently led.

In the far country, the servant asked God to help him select the perfect girl for Isaac. He sat wearily by a well where women came to draw water. In his prayer to God the servant said, "Let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou has shewed kindness unto my master" (Gen. 24:14).

Can you visualize the scene on that hot day? The servant is leaning against the well, when along comes a beautiful young girl to draw water. Can you imagine what a chore it must have been to haul a bucket of water, hand over hand, from the depths of the well? The young lady, whose name was Rebekah, finished her task-no doubt very tired-when the strange man said, "Excuse me, but could you give me a drink of water?"

The young lady did not flare back with a "Whatsamatter with you? Your arm broken? Get your own water!"

A Lot of Water!

No, she replied, "Why certainly, sir. Here is some water. Let me draw some water for your camels as well." Now the servant had 10 camels! Can you imagine how many buckets of water Rebekah had to draw to satisfy their thirst? This she did without any complaint. And the servant knew immediately that Isaac would be blessed if Rebekah agreed to marry him.

Abraham's man gave the girl some gold and asked directions to her home. There he met Rebekah's brother, Laban.

Laban is a prototype of the carnal believer. He was not much impressed with Rebekah, nor was he overwhelmed with the opportunity she had to marry Isaac. No, the things that impressed Laban (and, in fact, all the Labans of the world) were the gifts the servant brought. It was the display, the show, that captured his fancy.

But Rebekah was not like her brother. She didn't care much about the gifts. She wanted to know more about Isaac. Oh that every child of God would want to know more and more about Jesus! That we would fall more and more in love with Him with each passing day!

The servant said, "Hinder me not...send me away that I may go to my master.... And she said, I will go" (Gen. 24:56-58).

Longing to Go

What a picture of the rapture of the church. We are longing to go. There is nothing here that holds us. Mention the very thought of Christ's appearance in the clouds, and we respond fervently, "We will go!" We have a longing to see Him and meet Him in the clouds of glory.

Now the sacred writer gives us the closing scene. "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. And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. 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 veil, and covered herself" (Gen. 24:63-65).

What a portrayal of the meeting of the eternal bride and Groom. Perhaps it will be today that Jesus lifts up His eyes to see that it's time for His bride! Oh - did you notice that Rebekah took a veil and covered herself? When you and I meet the Lord in the air, we too, will be covered. Our veil will be Christ's very own righteousness. John saw the church in the presence of her Lord, clothed in white raiment, pure and clean.

All during those arduous days of the journey home, Rebekah must have asked the servant hundreds of questions about Isaac: Is he tall? Good looking? Dark? Light? What about his eyes? Is he gentle...and every other question you could think of. By the time of her arrival in Hebron, Rebekah knew about Isaac. But now she would know him. Now she is to meed Isaac face to face. And this is the position of the church now, seeking our Lord every day. Peter said it best perhaps, "Whom having not seen, ye love."

But such circumstances won't be for long. On that golden day we shall see Him and know Him, never to be removed from His presence again.

The Pentecostal Evangel