THE CHURCH’S RESPONSE
Now we must see the church’s response. As we have seen, Rebekah responded immediately, being willing to go with the servant to Isaac. Although there is within our old, fallen nature a reluctance to follow the Lord immediately, we cannot deny that there is also within us the willingness to follow Him. Although we are still in this old nature, it is nevertheless easy for us to follow the Lord. It is much easier to follow Him than not to follow Him. Do not believe the lie of the enemy that you can easily be frustrated in following the Lord. Tell the enemy, “Nothing can frustrate my desire to follow the Lord. Deep within me there is the longing to follow Him.” Satan is a liar. Sometimes he even lies to us through preachers who speak negative things and tell us that we cannot love the Lord Jesus. Do not believe the lies, but declare, “No! I can and I do love the Lord Jesus!” We may even lie to ourselves, saying, “I’m so weak. I just can’t follow the Lord. I’d better turn around and go back.” We must reject this lie and say, “I will never go back. I will follow the Lord Jesus.” Never believe the lie that you do not love the Lord. Tell the enemy, “I love the Lord Jesus. My loving Him does not depend upon my ability to love. It depends on His being so lovable. Because He is lovable, I cannot help loving Him.” If I gave you a pair of old shoes, you would reject them, saying, “I don’t care for those!” But if I gave you some diamonds, you would easily love them, not because you have the ability to love but because the diamonds are lovable. Likewise, we do not love the Lord Jesus because we are able to love; we love Him because He is so lovable. In Genesis 24, it was not Rebekah who was able to love Isaac and respond to him; it was Isaac who was lovable.
DOING WHAT THE SPIRIT EXPECTS • Our response to the Holy Spirit is that we always do what He expects. Abraham’s servant expected that Rebekah would give him a drink of water and then draw water for his ten camels, and Rebekah did exactly what he expected (vv. 18-20), satisfying the servant’s thirst. Often we have unconsciously done what the Holy Spirit expected, satisfying His desire, doing it without knowing what He expected. Our doing this was a sign that we were under the moving of the Spirit.
RECEIVING THE GIFTS • After doing what the servant expected, Rebekah received the gifts. Firstly, the servant put a golden ring on her nose. Although ladies today like to put rings on their ears, here the ring is put on Rebekah’s nose. In reading the Song of Songs, I was surprised to see that the Lord does not appraise the ears of the seeking one. Instead, He appraises her nose, saying, “Thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus,” and, “The smell of thy nose like apples” (7:4, 8). In Song of Songs 2:3, the seeker says, “As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.” Because she had been enjoying the apples, her nose had the smell of apples. What is the significance of this? The function of the nose is to smell. Putting a golden ring on Rebekah’s nose meant that her smelling function had been caught by the divine nature. Once we have this ring on our nose, we have the divine smell and taste. As the book of Hebrews says, we have tasted of the heavenly gift, the good word of God, and the works of power of the coming age (Heb. 6:4-6). Before I was saved, I had a particular taste. However, after I received the Lord, my taste changed. I had received the divine taste. Is there a golden ring on your nose? Is your nose like the high tower of Lebanon? According to Leviticus 21:18, no one with a flat nose could serve as a priest. We all must have a high nose, not a flat one.
We, the saved ones, have the divine smelling function with the divine taste. Since we have this taste, there are many things in the department stores which we cannot buy. What tells us not to buy these things? The golden ring on our nose. By our nose with the golden ring we smell that something is wrong with certain items in the stores. Because we have such a nose, we do not need others to tell us what to do or what not to do. The function of our smelling and tasting organ tells us what matches God’s taste and what does not. We must have a high-tower nose and a nose with the smell of apples. Our spiritual nose must be a high tower in the Spirit. Our spiritual nose must be with the smell of Christ. The more we enjoy Christ as the apple tree, the more we have a nose full of His apple smell.
The servant also put two bracelets on Rebekah’s hands (vv. 22, 47). In a sense, she was handcuffed. According to the New Testament concept, this means that we have received the divine function (Rom. 12:4). The more we are handcuffed by the Spirit, the more gift we receive of Him. We have not only received the divine taste; we have also acquired the divine function. The two bracelets given to Rebekah were ten shekels in weight and thus could fulfill the requirements of God’s commandments. The weight of the golden ring on her nose, on the contrary, was just a half shekel. This half shekel signifies the first taste, the foretaste. The half we have tasted indicates that another half, the full taste, is coming. While the taste is only in part, the functions are in full. Do not say that you have only half a function. No, your function, your talent, is complete. Everyone has at least one full talent. The taste which we have received of the Holy Spirit is only partial, but the divine function which we have received of Him is complete.
Rebekah also received articles of silver, articles of gold, and raiment (v. 53), all of which indicate the riches of Christ. At first, Rebekah received a golden ring on her nose and two bracelets on her hands. After the acceptance of the servant’s errand, more riches were brought forth. Likewise, after we came into the church life and accepted the Spirit’s commission, the riches of Christ, the articles of silver, the articles of gold, and the raiment, were brought forth for our enjoyment.
By all these details we can realize that the record in Genesis 24 is altogether divine and implies the divine concept. This is not my allegorization; it is recorded in this way. Why was the golden ring just half a shekel and not three quarters of a shekel? Why were the bracelets ten shekels and not nine or eleven shekels? Why did the servant not bring forth all the other riches until his errand had been accepted? All this matches the revelation in the New Testament. Today we are not only enjoying the golden ring on our nose and the bracelets on our hands; we are also enjoying the articles of silver and of gold and the raiment. In the church life all the riches of Christ are ours.
FOLLOWING THE SPIRIT • After receiving and enjoying all these riches, Rebekah followed the servant, traveling through the desert on a camel until she met Isaac (vv. 58, 61-65). Likewise, we are following the Spirit, traveling a long journey on a “camel.” When we meet Christ, we shall dismount from our “camel.” All the modern conveniences, such as telephones, automobiles, etc., are our “camels” today. Rebekah traveled through the desert on top of a camel, and we are traveling through the desert on today’s modern “camels.” According to Leviticus 11, a camel is unclean; yet it is useful. Many of today’s conveniences are not clean in the eyes of God. Nevertheless, they enable us to travel through the desert. When we meet Him, we shall leave the “camels.”
THE SON’S MARRIAGE
In a good sense, the son, Isaac, did nothing. This indicates that everything is planned by the Father and carried out by the Spirit. All the Son does is receive the bride.
Isaac received Rebekah at eventide (vv. 63-64). This implies that the marriage of Christ will be at the eventide of the age. At the close of this age, Christ will come to meet His bride.
Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent and loved her (v. 67). As we have seen, Sarah typifies grace. Hence, this means that Christ will meet us in grace as well as in love.
This chapter ends with the words, “Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.” If I had been the writer, I would have said that Rebekah was comforted after her long journey. But the Bible does not say this. Do not consider your comfort, your satisfaction; rather, consider Christ’s comfort, Christ’s satisfaction. If Christ has no comfort and satisfaction, we cannot have any comfort and satisfaction either. Our satisfaction depends on His. Our comfort is His comfort, and His satisfaction is ours. Christ is now waiting for His comfort. When will He have it? On the day of His marriage. That day will come.
(Abraham—Called by God, Chapter 25, by Witness Lee)