More than any other person in the Bible, Isaac provides a type and shadow of the Messiah. Before we can consider the love story to follow, I need to share some of these types and shadows.
Isaac - the promised son
There are many elements to the making of an ancient covenant. One of those is the exchanging of a person's most valuable possession. And we can say that whatever is bound or loosed on earth is bound or loosed in heaven for we determine the degree to which heaven's will is done in our lives. In fact heaven may loose some things for us, such as salvation, but unless a person wants what has been loosed, it remains withheld.
So it was the son of promise, the son of a miracle conception, Isaac, became the son offered in sacrifice. In Genesis 22 it says 'the Lord did test Abraham', but the word 'test' here means 'prove'. In other words, Abraham and the Lord are the 2 making covenant, so it was up to Abraham to prove his intentions and offer his most prized possession - his son. If he did so, then heaven would be loosed to offer His own Son as a sacrifice. The Lord states so in Genesis 22:16-18, that because Abraham offered his son, all the families of the earth would be blessed...the implication of the gift of Jesus is clear.
Abraham was instructed to go to the mountains of Moriah to offer Isaac. A city would later be founded upon the mountains of Moriah, Jerusalem. And many have speculated the place of offering Isaac was the future Golgotha, though we don't know 100% for sure. What we do know is that Solomon's temple was built on one of those 'mountains of Moriah' (II Chronicles 3:1), so it is reasonable to believe the Jewish tradition that Solomon's temple was built on the spot Abraham offered Isaac.
In Judaism they teach the thicket where the ram was caught represented the sins of the people. You know the rest. Abraham told his son God would provide a lamb, but it was instead a ram that was caught, revealing Abraham was talking of the future Lamb of God, confirmed by Hebrews 11:17-19 which says Abraham saw his son/Son raised from the dead 'in a figure'. Abraham named the place 'Adonai Yireh' (Jehovah Jireh), which means 'In the Mount of the Lord it (salvation) will be seen'. And Jesus told the leaders in John 8:56; "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day. He saw it and was glad."
Types of Messiah
Isaac was the son of promise from a miracle conception. He was beloved of his father. He willingly laid down his life in obedience to his father. Isaac took a bride at age 40*, showing about 4,000 years from Adam that Messiah would come to earth to take out a bride for Himself. Isaac had children at age 60*, showing salvation to earth - children - would happen at the end of 6,000 years. *Genesis 25:20, 26
In Genesis 24 Abraham, who represents the Father God in this love story, sends his servant, Eliezer, who represents the Holy Spirit, to find a bride for Isaac, who represents Jesus. The bride, Rebekah, is the church.
Eliezer took 10 camels loaded with gifts for the bride. The number 10 is very common in the Bible, ranging from the 10 Commandments to the Parable of the 10 virgins, to 10 days between the ascension and Pentecost - and perhaps that '10' fits best here. 10 camels loaded with gifts for the bride in anticipation of finding her, even as 10 days lapsed between Jesus' ascension and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and all His gifts for us.
Eliezer, the Holy Spirit, goes out from the Father as the Son watches on from the Father's side, to find a bride for the Son - but Eliezer doesn't want a woman who would be a bride by coercion or with ulterior motives. She must WANT to be the bride of the son with pure motives. She was saving herself for him only. Waiting, waiting...
She had no idea the wealth of gifts on those 10 camels were for her. Yet she eagerly met Eliezer and gave him water - as we have a time with the Holy Spirit while He deals with our heart about salvation - will we, or won't we? When she eagerly got to know Eliezer communing over water, that mix of God's Spirit in our heart while we contemplate eternity and to what degree we might serve the Lord...
She did so while still not knowing what he had in store for her just as we do, we just trust. So it was she watered all the camels as well. As Eliezer, the Holy Spirit type, oversaw the well, the source of water from which she returned again and again and again, they communed there. He watching her, seeing her heart, seeing her love of serving others. And she no doubt conversing with him as she dipped (living) water from the well...back and forth...and he began to know she was the bride for the son.
She returned to the well again and again as Eliezer oversaw her actions not doing so for the gifts they bore, 10 being the number of completion, of anticipation between resurrection life and outpouring...but her heart was pure, just serving him because serving others is its own reward.
How interesting we find the son's name, Isaac, means 'laughter', and Rebekah means 'to tie or bind' - and while that can be taken in a negative light, the reality is she willingly bound herself to laughter- her husband - out of love as a joyous union, as we are bond-servants of the Lord. Our salvation is not in the letter of the law, but in peace and joy in the Holy Spirit*. She was bound to the Son in joy and peace, a true love story. *Romans 14:17
Bond-servants are free people who have willingly bound themselves to the master. So it was Rebekah made the decision to become the bride though she had never seen the son/Son. In fact she received all the gifts of the 10 camels upon accepting the invitation, as a token of a future time of seeing the son, just as we are told in Ephesians 1:13-14 the Holy Spirit is the merely down payment, and less than that, the earnest money provided as a sample of what is to come.
Genesis 24:64 tells us Rebekah rode those camels (the Holy Spirit) back to the son, where the son/Son lived, meeting him not at his home, but seeing each other far off she jumped off her camel to run to him. Isaac was standing in a field when he first saw her, and it was there that she ran to him. In Jesus' parables in Mark 4 the earth and fields stands for a person's heart - it is where the pearl of great price was found, for instance. It is where the good seed of the Word of God is planted and grows strong. And it is there in her heart and his/His heart they meet in that field, and return to the Father's home, now home to the son/Son and his/His bride.
We first meet the Son in the field of our heart, but will one day be carried away by the Spirit to Him in that field He is working, in between His home and our earth home, and then as she was taken to his father's home, so too we shall after meeting Him in that 'field', be taken to the Father's home that has been prepared for us.
The question for us is this - are we as eager to see the Son as she was? The camels - the Holy Spirit - is the means by which we are carried to the Son, but she leapt off her camel in eagerness to see him. She understood the gifts were not the object of her affection, it was the son and she was solely focused on her love for Him.
We are to be like Rebekah, having voluntarily bound our hearts to the Son, realizing the gifts of the Spirit and all we have in Him are not toys nor objects of amusement therefore not the object of our attention, but just part of our lives. The Holy Spirit and all His manifestations are the means by which to know the Son more fully, to know that however wonderful the things of the Spirit are right now, they are merely earnest money payment for what is to come.
Truly as Ephesians 2:6-7 says, we are seated in Christ in the heavenly's so that in the ages to come (the Father) may continue to show forth the riches of His kindness towards us in His Son...in the ages to come...Be the bride.
New love story next week, until then, blessings,