So she became his wife, and he loved her.
Everyone loves a happy ending to a romance, and the end of chapter 24 is a beautiful conclusion for the story of Isaac and Rebekah. But this ending seemingly drops from the sky. There’s no courtship, not even any flirting between the guy and girl so prevalent in many so-called romantic movies. And yet we know that this marriage not only worked for God’s redemptive purposes, but also that they genuinely cared for one another (24:67; 26:8).
Like any marriage, theirs was not perfect (26:1–10). Parenting must have strained their relationship because of how they played favorites with their sons. But their story can teach us much about what marriage is and is not.
Marriage does not concern itself primarily with personal fulfillment but with God’s good intention for humanity. Isaac needed marriage in order for God to fulfill His specific redemptive promise through Abraham. All marriages can help fulfill the creation mandate to “be fruitful” and exercise dominion over creation (1:28). While weddings are great celebratory occasions, we should not forget that they involve an ending of one way of life. Rebekah left everything for Isaac, and wedding ceremonies reflect this idea of sacrifice when a father presents his daughter to the groom before the altar. Each marriage also births something new, so even childless couples represent the new life that God gives.
A famous song intones, “First comes love, then comes marriage,” but for all its benefits romantic love is not a prerequisite for marriage. The “mystery” (Eph. 5:32) of marriage creates love between husband and wife. Just as God first loves us (1 John 4:19), so we should see marriage as a living instrument of God’s love for us. God creates love through our marriages.
Apply the Word
The stresses of life have often played a role in ending marriages. Christians know that suffering can help produce growth (Rom. 5:3). If we see marriage as meant for something more than our happiness, we hand the troubles in our marriages to God and watch Him make us more holy. Pray for those who are struggling to remain faithful in their marriages.