Before I discuss the Old Testament equivalent to E-Harmony let me give a Genesis update where in Genesis 20 where Abraham AGAIN fibs a bit. He is not even original as he tells Abimelek King of Gerar that Sarah is his sister. So Abimilek took Sarah into his house .. until God spoke to Abimelek in a dream with the words "You are a dead man walking for taking a married woman from my prophet."
But God showed mercy on Abimilek as he had not come near her yet. The next day he gave Sarah back and Abe tried to explain himself in verse 12 (paraphrased).. "Well, technically she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife."
Sounds less like a passage from the Holy Bible and more like a Reality TV show 'The Real Housewives of the Region of the Negev between Kadesh and Shur'.
Q. Why do Kings and Pharaohs of this time desire 80+ year old women? Not judging, just asking for a friend'.
Next in Genesis 21 we learn Sarah becomes pregnant in her old age. This was before gender reveal parties so Abraham and Sarah had to wait the traditional 9 months before they exclaimed "It's a boy, and we shall call him Isaac."
In celebration then passed out blue cupcakes, and drank blue kool-aid... cuz of course boys are BLUE and girls are PINK.
Now onward and forward we go..
Now remember when maidservant Hagar in Genesis 16, was given to Abraham 'by Sarah' and they had a son. This fact now complicated life where tensions and jealousy rose between Hagar and her son Ishmael with Sarah and baby Isaac. So Abraham sent Hagar and Ishmael packing.
I obviously do not understand this whole dynamic or know how to justify this.. except I do know that Hagar and Ishmael were not how God would bless Abraham. Instead Abraham would become the father of a nation through the birth of Isaac.
This story is harsh, but in these verses we learn God heard the cries of Hagar .. the angel of God called to Hagar from Heaven "Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying ..Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Ge 21:17
Next, in Genesis 22 there is a plot twist when God tests Abraham by instructing him to sacrifice his only son Isaac whom he loved dearly. Abraham was faithful in this test and of course God stops Abe from sacrificing Isaac by providing a lamb to be sacrificed.
Notes to ponder..
Note 1: I confess I may have 'figuratively' threatened to kill my boys when they were acting out as teenagers.
Note 2: Isaac being saved was very good news for the literal future of Israel.
Note 3: Not a good day to be a lamb stuck by dumb luck in a thicket.
Moving forward in reading Genesis 22:21 we are introduced to my favorite names in the Bible.
Uz and Buz (not LIghtyear) but instead the sons of Nahor.
Not much is said about these two fine young men leaving this cartoonist with time on his hands to imagine they were chick magnets and had a cousin named.. Fuzz.
Maybe, maybe not.
Gotta Find that boy a Woman..
At this point in the Genesis account, Abraham is well over 100 years old, and his wife Sarah passed away Genesis 23. So Abraham feels an urgency of finding his son Isaac a wife before his days are over too. How is Abraham going to be the father of a nation with more descendants than the stars in the skies if his son never even goes on a date?
"Isaac my son, you need to go outside and stop playing video games all day. Go find yourself a nice Jewish girl, settle down, then go forth and MULTIPLY!"
maybe, maybe not
If the story in Genesis 24 was today, Isaac may have found the future Mrs. Isaac by checking the church bulletin board, attended a church potluck where the dishes are HOT just like the ladies, or.. used an online dating. Of course at the time of Genesis the choices of internet providers was limited, and their speeds were slow and not reliable.
maybe, maybe not.
So... since as described above, dating life in Genesis 24 was a tad primitive Abe decides to help his son out. Oh great, that is just the news any young man wants to hear.. Dad is finding me a woman of my very own.
To make this process even stranger-er, Abraham insisted his chief servant 'promise' to find this woman.
How is this promise secured you may ask?
No instead Abraham says.. “Hey fella, put your hand under my leg and swear.”
<insert dramatic pause here> I beg your pardon? Come again? Is this an advanced version of the old 'pull my finger' joke?
maybe, maybe not
But Abraham’s servant does swear to Abraham to follow his instructions and finds the lovely Rebecca. It was truly love at first sight? er aaa.. meet?.. er aaaa… first selection.
She agrees to return with Abe's servant and leave her family to marry Isaac. And they all lived happily ever after. Well at least through Genesis 24.
After the deal is done.. Abraham gets busy himself. He marries again and his new bride has more 6 kids. Finally at a very youthful age of 175 Abe breathes his last though they say he never did look a day past 155.
The lesson I see again in these Genesis stories God is faithful even when we make bad decisions like Abraham. Life will never be about being the perfect Christian. Perfect Christians are like the Loch Ness monster.. folk lore at best.
I pray God finds us faithful, and I pray for His blessings and providence in our lives as we daily love and obey Him with all our heart.
Jeff (My wife is NOT my sister) Larson
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson