“(Isaac) …went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?” “He is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself. Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; …” Genesis 24:63-67 ESV
Those two words have struck dread in the hearts of many an expectant bride and groom. It’s the fear of being left at the altar when one’s fiancé is experiencing the hesitation. It’s the fear of making an ill-advised lifelong commitment when one’s own feet are catching the chill. I have no idea how many prospective brides and grooms have experienced such fears through the years. What I do know is that Isaac didn’t. Neither did his bride Rebekah. They agreed to be married, sight unseen. They did so with a boldness unmatched since Adam and Eve. They did so in faith, knowing their marriage was personally ordained by God.
“…You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor are you to take their daughters in marriage for your sons or for yourselves. Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned? … Must we hear now that you too are doing all this terrible wickedness and are being unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women?” Nehemiah 13:25-27 ESV
So, marriage shows up in two passages today. In Nehemiah we learn that God wants His people to marry from within His people. In Genesis, we see God’s involvement in the individual selection process. Apparently God cares about who we choose to marry.
I was relatively blind to this when I was single, but as always, God was overly gracious to me. Concerning the Nehemiah principle, He made sure that every potential relationship I pursued prior to meeting my future bride barely got off the ground. With Kellie, it was obvious from the start that we were equally yoked spiritually. Concerning the Genesis passage, God granted me what I lacked the wisdom to seek. One Sunday morning the Holy Spirit personally provided to Kellie and me a unique and unmistakable blessing of approval concerning our impending marriage. I don’t remember harboring any doubts beforehand, but I KNOW I never had any afterwards.
It’s an amazing feeling to recite one’s marriage vows before God to someone you know He has specifically approved for you. I wouldn’t wish anything less for anyone.
I’ve listened to too many believers tearfully pray for the salvation of the husband/wife they love. So many believers have struggled to lead their children to saving faith, trying to overcome the contrary messages (even if only the message of indifference) the children were receiving from their other parent. Believers dating back to Biblical times have stumbled in their walks through the influence of an unsaved spouse. I’m grateful that God, with so little cooperation on my part, led me away from such potential heartache.
The time for today’s application has already passed many of us by. For anyone whose marriage is still future, I see God in these passages extending to you a none-to-subtle invitation to involve Him in your search for a spouse. Call on Him to direct you in His own time to the one He’s chosen for you, and patiently let Him work. You’ll not regret it.
Dear Lord, Creator of all wisdom, bless you for the guidance you have provided me through both your Word and your Spirit, in matters great and small, whether I requested it or not. Please continually give me the wisdom to seek it out in all matters and at all times.