Ellen G. White Writings

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Beginning of the End, Page 76

Isaac’s Marriage: The Happiest in the Bible

This chapter is based on Genesis 24.

Abraham had become an old man, yet one thing remained for him to do. God had appointed Isaac as the next keeper of the divine law and the father of the chosen people, but he was still unmarried.

The Canaanites were idol worshipers, and God had forbidden marriages between them and His people, knowing that such marriages would lead to abandoning their faith. Isaac was gentle and yielding. If he united with someone who did not fear God, he would be in danger of sacrificing principle for the sake of harmony. To Abraham, the choice of a wife for his son was extremely important, and he was anxious to have Isaac marry someone who would not lead him away from God.

In ancient times, marriage engagements were generally made by the parents, and this was the custom among those who worshiped God. None were required to marry those whom they could not love, but the youth were guided by the judgment of their God-fearing parents. It was a dishonor to parents, even a crime, to act contrary to this.

Trusting his father, Isaac was satisfied to commit the matter to him, believing also that God Himself would direct in the choice made. Abraham’s thoughts turned to his father’s relatives in Mesopotamia. They were not free from idolatry, but they had a knowledge of the true God. Isaac must not go to them, but it might be that one could be found among them who would leave her home and unite with him in maintaining the pure worship of the living God.

Abraham committed the important matter to Eliezer, his “oldest servant,” a man of experience and sound judgment who had served him long and faithfully. He insisted that this servant make a solemn oath that he would not take a wife for Isaac from the Canaanites but would choose a maiden from the family of Nahor in Mesopotamia. If a young woman could not be found who would leave her home and family, then the messenger would be released from his oath. Abraham encouraged him with the assurance that God would crown his mission with success. “The Lord God of heaven,” he said, “who took me from my father’s house and from the

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