Waiting is difficult for many of us. Whether we are waiting on a spouse, a dream job, or a child, waiting presents obstacles. Today we are going to talk about waiting. We are going to look at the story of Abraham's search for a wife for his son, Isaac, led by his servant in Genesis 24. As we look at this story, we are going to learn how to wait well. These lessons we learn will help us to advance all of our relationships, whether we are single, dating, looking to get married, or married.
What relationship has had the biggest impact on your life? Why?
1. Is there something you are currently waiting for? If so, what is it?
2. Read Genesis 24:1-9. Why do you think finding a wife of character was so important to Abraham?
Abraham was now a very old man, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. One day Abraham said to his oldest servant, the man in charge of his household, “Take an oath by putting your hand under my thigh. Swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not allow my son to marry one of these local Canaanite women. Go instead to my homeland, to my relatives, and find a wife there for my son Isaac.”
The servant asked, “But what if I can’t find a young woman who is willing to travel so far from home? Should I then take Isaac there to live among your relatives in the land you came from?”
“No!” Abraham responded. “Be careful never to take my son there. For the Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and my native land, solemnly promised to give this land to my descendants. He will send his angel ahead of you, and he will see to it that you find a wife there for my son. If she is unwilling to come back with you, then you are free from this oath of mine. But under no circumstances are you to take my son there.”
So the servant took an oath by putting his hand under the thigh of his master, Abraham. He swore to follow Abraham’s instructions.
3. Is it as important to you as it was to Abraham that you find people of character into your sphere of influence? Why or why not?
4. Do you have people in your life right now who are influencing you to make an impact for God? Who are they?
5. Read Genesis 24:12-20. What does Rebekah's response to Abraham's servant's request show you about what to do while you are waiting?
“O Lord, God of my master, Abraham,” he prayed. “Please give me success today, and show unfailing love to my master, Abraham. See, I am standing here beside this spring, and the young women of the town are coming out to draw water. This is my request. I will ask one of them, ‘Please give me a drink from your jug.’ If she says, ‘Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!’—let her be the one you have selected as Isaac’s wife. This is how I will know that you have shown unfailing love to my master.”
Before he had finished praying, he saw a young woman named Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel, who was the son of Abraham’s brother Nahor and his wife, Milcah. Rebekah was very beautiful and old enough to be married, but she was still a virgin. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up again. Running over to her, the servant said, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.”
“Yes, my lord,” she answered, “have a drink.” And she quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and gave him a drink. When she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels, too, until they have had enough to drink.” So she quickly emptied her jug into the watering trough and ran back to the well to draw water for all his camels.
6. What is the danger when we rush into decisions or relationships rather than waiting on God? How can we be more patient this week?
7. What ways do you feel particularly close to God (prayer, reading the Bible, listening to sermons, going on walks, etc.)?
Give each member of your group an index card. One side on the index card, write, "I will trust God with my future." On the other side, have each member write the area of their future that they need to trust God for. When everyone has completed their index card, have them share what they wrote. Next, pray for each other that you would wait well, with patience and perseverance.
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Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.