Lesson: A Bride for Isaac
October 18, 2010
taught on Saturday 23 October 2010 — 7 regular students were away: we had S, S, N, A, and M
Volunteers: Justin, Rita, Josie
Main Topics: Sarah passes; Abraham’s servant’s oath, journey, prayer; Rebekah travels to Canaan and marries Isaac
Primary scriptures: Genesis 24;
Songs: Ps 105 (3 stanzas); Apostles’ Creed; “Abram” by Jamie Soles; next week we will introduce “Supplanter”; and when we get to Joseph, we will introduce another verse from Ps 105
Additional Supplies: coloring pages (below), worksheet printouts (see below), beads/string (Josie), map (Paul)
[no lesson worksheet this week.]
Memory verse: Psalm 105:13b
Coloring pages: (Paul will bring these) 1. “Abraham’s servant finds a wife for Isaac” from “My Bible Coloring Book” by Shirley Dobson; 2:
- Setup: arrange tables, chairs, flip chart, map, CD player;
- Post the larger map;
- (10:00am) name tags for any new students
- ask a child to hand out mini-albums (extras for the new students in the bin); another: coloring pages; another: name tags
- collect emergency contact info for new students
- together: Matthew 6 “Lord’s prayer”
- Sing — Apostles’ Creed
- Sing — “Abram” from Jamie Soles, all stanzas
- memory verse (Psalm 105:13b)
- get a child to hand out the coloring pages
- place the jar of beads in the center of the table, so all the kids can see it
- Lesson (see below) —
- Craft — Josie is bringing beads
- (11:00 am) SNACK/BREAK
- Make sure nobody is thirsty so the second half isn’t interrupted;
- (11:20 am) activity — see “Activity” section below the lesson
- have one of the children hand out stickers — max 3 stickers per child;
- Singing: psalm 105 stanzas 1, 3, and 4;
- Praying: [Justin];
- (11:50 am) Kids tidy: beads, pencil crayons, glue, scissors, name cards, mini-albums.
1. Review Genesis 21 (Birth of Isaac) and 22 (Abraham tested) – Rita
- Just as God had said, Sarah gave birth to a baby boy about a year after the angels visited, and Abraham named this boy Isaac, which means “he laughs”;
- Abraham was one hundred years old when Isaac was born;
- Abraham believed that God’s promise [many descendants] would come true through his son Isaac;
- Hagar raised Ishmael in the desert, and Ishmael became an archer; he took a wife from Egypt, and would become a great nation;
- When Isaac was still a boy, God told Abraham go to the land of Moriah, where he would sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering;
- review terms: offering: a gift dedicated to God in worship; sacrifice: when someone surrenders to God something that is valuable, to worship and honor God; animal sacrifices were only a shadow of our Lord Jesus, who offered Himself “once for all”; altar: a structure (pile of rocks, in this case) on which to offer a sacrifice to God;
- Moriah is present-day Jerusalem;
- Abraham cut wood for the burnt offering;
- Abraham, Isaac, two servants, and one donkey went on the long journey to Moriah;
- On the third day, when Abraham saw the mountain, he told the servants to stay behind;
- Abraham placed the wood on Isaac, while Abraham carried the knife and the fire;
- Since Abraham believed God’s promise, he reasoned that God would raise Isaac from the dead after the sacrifice (Hebrews 11:19);
- Abraham’s obedience to God in offering Isaac was evidence that Abraham really did have faith;
- Isaac noted that they had the fire and wood, but asked his father where was the lamb for the burn offering;
- Abraham replied, “God will provide the lamb”;
- Abraham built the altar and placed the wood on top;
- Abraham bound Isaac to the altar, and stretched out his hand with the knife to slay him;
- the angel of the Lord called, “Abraham, Abraham!” and he replied, “Here I am”;
- “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
- Abraham raised his eyes and saw a ram caught in a thicket;
- Abraham offered the ram in the place of his son;
- Abraham called that place, “The LORD Will Provide”;
- God reminded Abraham, “I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore,” and “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice”;
[at this, show the kids the jar filled with the beads we will use, and ask if they can count them. the number of beads is pale in comparison to the stars of the heavens or the sand on the seashore; these innumerable descendants will be the children of Isaac, and today's lesson is about finding a wife for Isaac.]
- the sacrifice was not stopped before the knife fell on our Lord, the Son of God;
- Jesus Christ, the seed of Abraham, fulfilled the good news first promised to Abraham… when He completed the sacrifice and offered Himself to pay our penalty;
- even as Isaac lived after that three-day journey, so it was that Jesus rose from the dead after three days in the tomb;
2. Introduce Today’s Lesson — Justin
Isaac’s mother, Sarah, died when she was 127 years old. Abraham bought a field that had a cave in it for 400 shekels of silver. That amount of silver is the weight of a bag of flour or of a fat baby, which was a lot of money back then. Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave. We will learn how this cave would become a family tomb. Check Mr. Paul’s laptop to see how people have made that place look fancy today. (See bibleplaces.com.)
This field, with its trees and the cave, was the first bit of land in Canaan that Abraham had legal ownership of, in the witness of other men. Remember that Canaan was the land that God had promised to Abraham and his offspring.
[On map, show site of cave at Hebron, south of where Abraham had offered Isaac at Jerusalem.]
God’s promise of a large family would come true through Isaac. What does a man need before he is able to father children? He needs a wife! Today’s lesson is about how Isaac’s wife was found.
3. The Servant’s OATH — Rita
Sarah was dead. Lot was probably still living in the hills with his two daughters — he became the father of the tribes known as the Moabites and the Ammonites. Abraham was a very old man — somewhere between 137 and 140 years old! Isaac was now 40 years old, and was temporarily working in the wilderness area that is on the way to Egypt. [This was where God visited Hagar.]
Finding somebody to get married to is a serious thing. God cares about who we marry. Abraham knew that the people in Canaan land where he lived did not believe in the one true God. It would be wrong for Isaac to marry a young woman from one of the tribes in the land of Canaan.
So, Abraham called upon his chief servant. [This man was Eliezer, unless he had died and another was now the chief and most trusted servant. We noted Eliezer before -- he would be the heir if Abraham and Sarah had no child.]
“Take an oath,” said Abraham. “Swear to me that you will not get a wife for my son Isaac from the Canaanite people around here, but that you will go back to the land I came from to find a Godly wife for my son Isaac.”
“As a sign that you will make this promise with God as our witness,” Abraham continued, “put your hand on the side of my leg while you swear to God.”
Have you ever heard somebody make a promise, saying, “Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye”? Whether they know what they are saying or not, that expression means that if they break the promise they are doomed to die!
Taking an oath before God is the most serious kind of promise to make, because it means that if we break our promise God will punish us.
If Abraham’s servant would take this oath before God, he would put his hand on the side of Abraham’s leg to show that he understood that God would enforce his promise.
Abraham’s servant did not quickly take this oath.
“What if the woman I find does not want to come back here with me?” he asked Abraham. “Should I then take your son Isaac back to that country you came from?”
“No,” Abraham answered. “Do not take my son Isaac to that country. Instead, trust that God will send an angel before you so that you can find a wife for my son there. But if the woman refuses to come back with you then I will release you from this oath. There will be no trouble for you if you do your job of finding the woman and asking her to come back here with you.”
So the servant put his hand [on the leg] of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him [about] this matter.
Even if Abraham had died, the servant would still be bound to this vow, since it was an oath before God.
4. The Servant’s Journey, Prayer, and Sign — Justin
After swearing to find a wife for Isaac in the country that Abraham first came from, the servant got 10 camels ready for the journey to Aram Naharaim [show the kids on the map], and placed many expensive gifts on some of the camels. He also chose some of the other servants to come with him.
It was a long journey until the servant finally arrived in the land of Aram Naharaim. This journey was over 1000 km long! Imagine walking all the way from here to Saskatchewan with 10 camels, but imagine that you were traveling through a hot desert, and you did not have a cell phone or air-conditioning.
The area the servant traveled through was mostly in the country called Syria today.
Toward evening, the servant arrived at a town called Nahor, and had the camels kneel near the well that was outside the town.
At that time of the evening, the women of the town would visit the well to get water.
Abraham’s servant knew that he could not trust himself to find the right bride for Isaac, so he prayed to God, in whom he believed.
“O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today,” he prayed. “…I am standing beside this [water] spring, and the [women of the town] are coming out to [fetch] water. May it be that when I say to a girl, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels [as well] — let her be the one you have chosen for [..] Isaac.”
5. Rebekah at the Well — Rita
While he was still praying, a young woman named Rebekah, who was the daughter of a man named Bethuel, came out with her jar on her shoulder. She had never married, and she was very beautiful. She was the granddaughter of Abraham’s brother.
Rebekah went down to the well, filled her jar with water, and came back up.
Abraham’s servant rushed over to her. “Please give me a little water from your jar,” he asked.
“Have a drink, sir,” Rebekah replied, quickly lowering the jar to her hands to give him a drink.
“Let me fetch some water for your camels as well,” Rebekah said. “I’ll let them drink until they have had enough.”
[...] she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels.
Without saying a word, [Abraham's servant] watched her closely to learn whether or not the LORD had made his journey successful.
God had shown the sign to Abraham’s servant, so now he knew that this was the right woman — she had offered to give water to the camels as well.
So, the man took out three of the gifts he had brought from Hebron — a gold nose ring and two gold bracelets. The ring weighed 5.5 grams, and each bracelet weighed 110 grams — that is the weight of 44 pennies. He put this jewelry on Rebekah.
“Whose daughter are you,” the servant asked Rebekah. “[And] please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?“
“I am the daughter of Bethuel,” said Rebekah. “We have lots of hay and food for your camels, and an extra room for you to sleep in.”
Then the man bowed down and worshiped the LORD, saying, “Praise be to the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has [been kind and faithful] to my master. As for me, the LORD has led me on the journey to the [place my master Abraham came from].”
Rebekah ran to her family to tell them what had happened, and that they had a guest to look after.
6. Rebekah’s Home and Family — Justin
Rebekah’s brother Laban told his servants to get the house ready and to prepare a place for the camels, and then he hurried out to meet the man, who was still at the well with his camels.
“Greetings, servant of God,” Laban said. “Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.“
Abraham’s servant went with Laban to the family’s house. Some servants took the packs off the camels and brought hay and grain for them.
The servants also brought water for the man and his servants to wash their feet.
When the servants of Rebekah and Laban’s family brought food for Abraham’s servant to eat, he refused.
“I will not eat until I have explained why I am here.”
“Then tell us,” Laban said.
7. The Servant Explains his Visit — Rita
So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. The LORD has blessed my master [Abraham] abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, menservants and maidservants, and camels and donkeys. [Abraham's] wife Sarah has borne him a son in her old age, and [Abraham] has given [this boy] everything he owns. And [Abraham] made me swear an oath, and said, ‘You must not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live, but go to my father’s family and to my own clan, and get a wife for my son.'”
Abraham’s servant explained everything to Rebekah’s family. He told them about the angel that would go ahead of him in the journey; he told them that Abraham would release him from the oath if the woman refused to return with him; and he told them about how he had prayed for God to let him know which woman was the right one by causing her to give water to his camels as well after he asked her for a drink.
“Before I finished praying in my heart,” [he explained,] “Rebekah came out, with her jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water, and I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ “She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too.’ So I drank, and she watered the camels also.”
“I asked Rebekah whose daughter she was, and she told me.”
“Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms, and I bowed down and worshiped the LORD, who is the God of my master Abraham.”
“Now here I am,” the servant explained, “and I ask you to show kindness to my master Abraham… Let me know whether I may take Rebekah back to Isaac, or not.”
8. Laban, Bethuel, and Rebekah’s Response — Justin
Laban, Rebekah’s brother, and Bethuel, Rebekah’s father, answered the servant:
“God Himself is asking for Rebekah to go to Canaan, so we have no right to choose what to do! Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the LORD has directed.“
Abraham’s servant bowed to the ground before the LORD once again. Then, he brought out more of the expensive gifts he had brought — gold jewelry, silver jewelry, and clothing — and he gave them to Rebekah. He also gave expensive gifts to her brother Laban, and to her mother.
Now that he had explained everything, and received their answer, Abraham’s servant sat and ate a meal with them, and he slept the night in the room they had for him.
The next morning, the servant called to Rebekah’s family, “Let me go home now, with Rebekah, to my master Abraham.”
Laban and his mother asked if they could have more time with Rebekah… “Let us have Rebekah here for ten more days, and then you may leave with her.”
Abraham’s servant was wise and would not take any chances with God’s plans.
“Do not make me wait now,” he said to them. “The LORD has made this journey a success, so let me return to my master Abraham.”
Rebekah’s brother and her mother answered, “Let us see what Rebekah thinks.”
They called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”
“I will go,” she said.
9. Isaac and Rebekah Meet and are Married — Rita
Rebekah’s family blessed her, saying:
“Our sister, may you increase
to thousands upon thousands;
may your offspring possess
the gates of their enemies.“
This blessing was surely a prophecy. Notice how much it sounds like what God said to Abraham after Abraham obeyed Him [as we learned last week]: “…your seed shall [defeat] the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
Once Rebekah and her maids were ready, they climbed on the backs of the camels, and left with Abraham’s servant to return to Canaan where Abraham was. By this time, Isaac was also back home in Canaan.
After days of travel, the company of men, women, and camels arrived at Canaan land at evening time. As they journeyed into Abraham’s territory, Isaac saw them while he bowed in a field to meditate.
Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac in the field.
She got down from her camel and asked [Abraham's] servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?”
“He is my master, the very son of Abraham,” the servant replied.
Coming down off the camel was a respectful thing for Rebekah to do, and now that she heard that this man was her husband-to-be, she covered her face with a veil. It was proper for a woman to hide her face with a bride’s veil until her husband married her.
The servant told Isaac everything that had happened.
Isaac married Rebekah, and he loved her. She was a comfort to him, as he was still grieving over the death of his mother Sarah.
Rebekah was now the mother of God’s blessed people.
10. Review Questions: If you still have time after the activity!
[I got these from ebibleteacher.com]
1. What is a spouse? A husband or wife
2. Unscramble this word: ramry
3. Fill in the blank: “Drink, and I will give your ___________ drink also”
1. Draw a well.
2. Act out the servant meeting Rebekah.
3. Find Rebekah’s home on a map.
1. What did Abraham desire for his son? He wanted him to have a good, faithful spouse
2. What did the servant want? He wanted to choose the right person for his master
3. What did Rebekah show to the servant? kindness, generosity, hospitality
1. What things should we require of a spouse? faith in God, kindness, unselfishness, generosity
2. What will make us a good spouse in the future? we must develop good behavior and attitudes now
3. Why do our parents make us behave? to make us into good people [um..]
1. What sign did the servant ask for? that the girl would offer him and his camels water
2. What did the servant give Rebekah? bracelets and a ring
3. Who was Rebekah’s brother? Laban
1. Why did Abraham send the servant so far away? he wanted Isaac’s wife to worship God, like his family there did
2. Why did the servant ask God for a sign of kindness? because the person who is kind makes a good spouse [probably more important was the reason for asking God for a sign in the first place]
3. Why was it unusual for Rebekah to leave so soon? because it meant leaving her family forever, at very short notice
Rita’s water relay idea: “outside of course……. 2 TEAMS transfer the water back and forth, and the team with the most water in the bucket is the winner…….how much water does one camel drink? how was the water drawn out of the well? does anyone have 6 ice cream pails with handles?“