Things have, so far, gone according to plan. ’Whose plan?’, we may ask. It seems hard here to separate Abraham’s intention, his servant’s strategy, and God’s plan into pieces. It is an interwoven scheme. When people start their planning with God, it does seem as if it is not easy to disentangle their desires from the Lord’s will later along the journey. Indeed, the scripture does hold promise that when we insist on pleasing God, the Lord does grant our desires, which I take to mean that our God-shaped desires are part of God’s design for our lives. This is what we read in Psalm 16.
1The plans of the mind belong to mortals,
but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
2 All one’s ways may be pure in one’s own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the spirit.
3 Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established…
7 When the ways of people please the Lord,
he uses causes even their enemies to be at peace with them.
8 Better is a little with righteousness
than large income with injustice.
9 The human mind plans the way,
but the Lord directs the steps.
So, in my mind, this is a scheme meant for success. The servant takes his costly gift and gives to the bride to be. She responds with grace and hospitality and invites the traveling party home. She shares her excitement with her mother and brother who are happy for her. They all want to entertain Abraham’s servant; but the man wants to finish his master’s business, to “seal the deal” before taking part in any kind of celebration. He has a job to do and his priority is to finish his master’s business.
The servant shares his experience where God is centre stage. That pleases Rebekah’s family.
What I like most, I must admit, is that while they see the hand of God in this and want to go along, the family gives Rebekah a chance to prepare for her departure, to break ties before she leaves. She needs time to say a proper goodbye.
55 Her brother and her mother said, “Let the girl remain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go.”
When the man insists that she accompany him back, they seek her opinion first.
They said, “We will call the girl, and ask her.” 58 And they called Rebekah, and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will.”
She chose to go. And on first encountering Isaac, she impressed him with her modesty. Both man and woman were pleased. Isaac had lost his mother, but he had found a wife, the ideal partner with whom to continue life’s journey.
Round the corners of the world I turn,
More and more about the world I learn.
All the new things that I see
You’ll be looking at along with me.
And it’s from the old I travel to the new,
Keep me travelling along with you