Today, as we continue our look at the eternal purpose of God, Tobias Valdez explores the aspect of the Bride for the Son. A beautiful story, this is just an excerpt of a larger project.
Son of Promise
As we look further in Genesis chapters 15-18, and 21, we find the story of the birth of Isaac, the son whom God promised would be Abraham’s heir. In verse 2, we read where Abram (his name was changed to Abraham later) essentially told the Lord, anything the Lord planned to give to him would be pointless because he didn’t have a son of his own as his heir. Eliezer of Damascus was going to be his heir. Abram was depressed because a son of his own lineage would not inherit his estate; instead, it was going to be a son born from someone else in Abram’s house. But in verse 4, the Lord told Abram, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir (NASB).” It is important to note the Lord told Abram it would be one who would come from his “own body”. Abram was seventy-five years old at this time.
As the story goes, Abram’s wife, Sarai, had borne him no children, so after 10 years, Sarai gives Hagar, her Egyptian maid, to Abram in order to try to have children. When Abram was eighty-six years old, Hagar bore a son to Abram, and named him Ishmael, as she was instructed by the Lord to do. But this son, Ishmael, was not the promised son the Lord had previously spoken to Abram about. When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord spoke again to Abram, reminding him of His promise to give Abram a son, as well as His promise to make Abram’s descendants great in number and give them the land He had promised them to dwell in. It was at this time the Lord changed Abram’s name to Abraham and Sarai’s name to Sarah, telling them they will be the father and mother of many nations. A year later, Sarah gave birth to a son, and they called him Isaac. Isaac was the promised son, the one the Lord told Abraham would come from “his own body.” It is interesting to note that while Abraham did, in fact, have two sons, Ishmael and Isaac, only one of those sons was the son of promise who came from “his own body.” That is because Isaac was born of Sarah, Abraham’s wife, and they were one flesh, while Ishmael was born of Hagar, Sarah’s maid, who was not one flesh with Abraham. This is a clear indication that the mystery of a husband and wife being of one flesh goes well beyond our physical realm into the spiritual realm, where the reality of a man and woman being joined into one flesh is perfect, pure, and in a fullness we have only glimpsed.
Abraham’s Unique Son
Picking up the story in Genesis 22, the Lord spoke to Abraham again, telling him to take his son, his “only son,” to the land of Moriah and offer him as a sacrifice to the Lord on the mountain which the Lord would designate. As we know, Isaac was not Abraham’s only son. However, he was Abraham’s unique son, in that he was the son of promise, having been born from the “one flesh” of Abraham and Sarah. So Abraham took Isaac, along with two of his young servants and they journeyed to the place the Lord told him.
The Scriptures tell us that on the third day, Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place, so he instructed the two young men to wait there, while he and Isaac went and worshiped the Lord. It is interesting to note Abraham told the two young me that he and the boy would go worship and then return to them. As Abraham and Isaac walk to the place where Abraham will build the altar to offer the sacrifice, Isaac says, “My father,” and asked Abraham, “Where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham’s response is yet another beautiful prophecy of the Christ, as he replies, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” When they came to the place the Lord had told Abraham, he built an altar, arranged the wood, and placed his son, Isaac, upon the altar. As Abraham raised his knife to sacrifice Isaac, the Lord stopped Abraham from sacrificing his unique son, and instead provided a ram for the burnt offering.
As I’ve mentioned before, God has used a number of pictures, shadows, and types that reveal some portion of His Eternal Purpose. Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac are no exception. We’ve already seen how Abraham and Sarah gave us a glimpse at the mystery of a man and a woman being one flesh. Here we see how Abraham and Isaac are but a shadow of God, the Father, and His unique Son, the Lamb, whom God has provided for Himself as the sacrifice. Yet there is more to be seen of the Great Romance of God through the pictures of Abraham and Isaac.
The Servant and The Bride
As we look further, in Genesis 24, Isaac is now forty years old, and Abraham had determined to secure a bride for his son, Isaac. So he charged his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge over everything Abraham owned, to journey back to the country Abraham came from, with the purpose of finding a bride for Isaac. So the servant went out from there, but he didn’t go empty-handed. Instead, he went out with ten camels and a variety of good things from Abraham’s own hand. As the servant reached the land where Abraham was from, he stopped for water and asked the Lord’s help to find the woman he should call on to be the bride of Isaac. Rebekah was the answer to the servant’s prayer. After telling her and her family why he was there, Rebekah was asked if she would accept the offer and go with the servant to become Isaac’s bride, and she did. Rebekah became the betrothed of Isaac, and would soon become his wife.
This is by far one of my favorite shadows of God’s Great Romance. In Genesis 24 we can see all of the “major players”, if you will, of the greatest love story of all time. In the opening scene we see the image of the Holy Spirit, as played by the servant, being sent forth by God, the Father, as played by Abraham, sent on behalf of God, the Son, as played by Isaac, to find a woman who would become the bride, as played by Rebekah. In this imagery, the father’s desire is to obtain a bride for his unique son. And remember, this unique son has already been laid on the altar of sacrifice and raised up again on the third day. So what does the father do to find a woman suitable for his unique son? He sends his servant to his own people. The servant’s sole purpose is to find the woman who would give herself to the son and become his bride. So the servant goes with gifts from the father, in order to give them to the woman, and as he finds her, he testifies of why he has come. He has come to bring the woman to the son so he can have his bride. When the woman consents to become the bride of the son, the servant then journeys with the woman in order to present her to the son. As the servant testifies of all he has done on behalf of the son, the son receives the woman. The son takes her unto himself, and the two become one. What a glorious picture of the beating heart of our Lord!
Yet, exactly who is this woman? We’ll find out as we continue our search through the history of Scripture and uncover more of the depths and riches of our Great Lover and Lord, Jesus, the Christ.