Genesis is a book about many beginnings. The beginnings of the world, the human race, sin and redemption, and the nation of Israel to name a few. In fact, the word Genesis from the Greek means “origin,” and in Hebrew it means “beginning.” The book of Genesis contains the events of the flood, tower of Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the lives of the Patriarchs.
In the beginning, God created everything by simply speaking, “God said…and it was so” (Genesis 1:6-7, 9, 11, 14-15). This is not a scientific technical account of creation, but it shows a loving God creating a universe and mankind to rule it and fellowship with God. Man was formed especially from the ground and given the breath of life from God. The woman was made from the man’s rib (Genesis 2:7).
After man fell into sin, things began to spin out of control quickly. Cain murdered his brother Abel and the human race became so violent that God decided to destroy them all with a flood. God saved one righteous man (Noah) and his family in an ark filled with animals to deliver the human race from extinction. God chose Abraham and blessed a special group of people named “Israel.” God began to unfold a plan of salvation from a coming famine by sending Joseph to rule in Egypt. The failure of man in every circumstance is met by the salvation of God. We fail, but the good news is God saves us.
Abraham is old and Isaac is still unmarried. Abraham sends his most trustworthy servant to his former dwelling place in Haran to find a wife for Isaac from among Abraham’s kin who live there. The servant wonders if he should take Isaac with him, speculating that no woman will blindly return with him to Canaan. But Abraham forbids taking Isaac out of Canaan, and tells the servant all he must do is seek a wife, but if none are willing to go with him, he will have done his job.
The servant takes ten camels and costly gifts with him. He reaches Haran and prays to God at the well there that the woman meant for Isaac would give him a drink and water his camels. Rebekah, a relative of Abraham and Isaac, approaches the servant and does just as he had prayed. She gives him water, and waters his camels. He praises God and discovers she is related to Abraham. He asks if he may stay at her house and she obliges.
The servant makes the marriage proposal to Rebekah’s brother Laban, and Laban agrees. Rebekah and her family are given precious gifts. The next day, the servant wants to return to his master, and Rebekah agrees to leave with him right away. Her brother and mother bless her.
The servant leads Rebekah to a well in the south of Canaan. There, she sees Isaac meditating in a field. He receives her, they are married, and he loves her. His new bride comforts him after the death of Sarah his mother.