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Week 5 Day 3 Genesis 24 Matthew 23

14 February, 2015

Genesis 24
The time has come for an arranged marriage. A wife is to be found for Isaac. Abraham is pretty clear that Isaac isn’t to go himself.

So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter. (‭Genesis‬ ‭24‬:‭9‬ AMP) People have some strange, and intimate, customs when they take an oath.

And let it so be that the girl to whom I say, I pray you, let down your jar that I may drink, and she replies, Drink, and I will give your camels drink also–let her be the one whom You have selected and appointed and indicated for Your servant Isaac [to be a wife to him]; and by it I shall know that You have shown kindness and faithfulness to my master. (‭Genesis‬ ‭24‬:‭14‬ AMP) A check list for choosing.

Before he had finished speaking, behold, out came Rebekah, who was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, who was the wife of Nahor the brother of Abraham, with her water jar on her shoulder. (‭Genesis‬ ‭24‬:‭15‬ AMP) This means she is Isaac’s first cousin. Slightly weird for our society but not for theirs who like to keep family close.

And she said, Drink, my lord; and she quickly let down her jar onto her hand and gave him a drink. When she had given him a drink, she said, I will draw water for your camels also, until they finish drinking. (‭Genesis‬ ‭24‬:‭18-19‬ AMP) The issue with watering camels is the huge effort it is as they are thirsty beasties. This would mean a lot of water hauling for Rebekah and a giving heart.

For when he saw the earring or nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and when he heard Rebekah his sister saying, The man said this to me, he went to the man and found him standing by the camels at the well. He cried, Come in, you blessed of the Lord! Why do you stand outside? For I have made the house ready and have prepared a place for the camels. (‭Genesis‬ ‭24‬:‭30-31‬ AMP) More cultural references I don’t pretend to fully understand. Just as in India gold is significant and a gold chain must be used as a “wedding ring” so too must these items be significant to a betrothal.

But [Rebekah’s] brother and mother said, Let the girl stay with us a few days–at least ten; then she may go. (‭Genesis‬ ‭24‬:‭55‬ AMP) So the deal was done but the family wanted some time to say farewell.

So they called Rebekah and said to her, Will you go with this man? And she said, I will go. (‭Genesis‬ ‭24‬:‭58‬ AMP) I can’t imagine what this girl was thinking. Leaving family to go with a stranger to her cousin who she’d never met. Brave.

For she [had] said to the servant, Who is that man walking across the field to meet us? And the servant [had] said, He is my master. So she took a veil and concealed herself with it. And the servant told Isaac everything that he had done. And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her; thus Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. (‭Genesis‬ ‭24‬:‭65-67‬ AMP) Again the culture. But showing us that Isaac didn’t see the face of his promised before they joined in marriage yet he fell in love.

Matthew 23
The scribes and Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat [of authority].

They do all their works to be seen of men; for they make wide their phylacteries (small cases enclosing certain Scripture passages, worn during prayer on the left arm and forehead) and make long their fringes [worn by all male Israelites, according to the command]. [Exod. 13:9; Num. 15:38; Deut. 6:8.] And they take pleasure in and [thus] love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, And to be greeted with honor in the marketplaces and to have people call them rabbi. (‭Matthew‬ ‭23‬:‭2, 5-7‬ AMP) Jesus doesn’t think much of the religious leaders. But then again, they have little to excel themselves with.

And do not call anyone [in the church] on earth father, for you have one Father, Who is in heaven. And you must not be called masters (leaders), for you have one Master (Leader), the Christ. (‭Matthew‬ ‭23‬:‭9-10‬ AMP) We have gotten this so wrong in our churches – Catholic I’m thinking of.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you give a tenth of your mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected and omitted the weightier (more important) matters of the Law–right and justice and mercy and fidelity. These you ought [particularly] to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, filtering out a gnat and gulping down a camel! [Lev. 27:30; Mic. 6:8.] Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but within they are full of extortion (prey, spoil, plunder) and grasping self-indulgence. (‭Matthew‬ ‭23‬:‭23-25‬ AMP) Jesus is seriously angry at the church leaders. I’m not sure I’d like to face that (even though I will have to answer for my own actions and inactions)

Because of this, take notice: I am sending you prophets and wise men (interpreters and teachers) and scribes (men learned in the Mosaic Law and the Prophets); some of them you will kill, even crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue and persecute from town to town, (‭Matthew‬ ‭23‬:‭34‬ AMP) Again Jesus sets up what will happen to Him.

Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate (abandoned and left destitute of God’s help). [I Kings 9:7; Jer. 22:5.] For I declare to you, you will not see Me again until you say, Blessed (magnified in worship, adored, and exalted) is He Who comes in the name of the Lord! [Ps. 118:26.] (‭Matthew‬ ‭23‬:‭38-39‬ AMP) If only the leaders had an inkling of what they were throwing away.


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