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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Comparison of the Samaritan Woman at the Well with God’s Son Jesus and Rebekah and the Faithful Servant at the Well in Genesis 24

     To tie the two Testaments together, I want to show you that Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well was foreshadowed in the faithful servant of Abraham's meeting with the woman who would become the bride-to-be of the son of Abraham -- Isaac. The meeting of Moses and his bride-to-be Zipporah was also a picture of Christ and His Bride. Both of these encounters took place at a well. In type and shadow:

  • Abraham represents the Heavenly Father
  • Isaac represents Jesus
  • The faithful servant represents the Holy Spirit
  • Rebekah represents the Bride of Christ

"Abraham was now old and well advanced in years, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. He said to his chief servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, "Put your hand under my thigh. I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac." Genesis 24:1-4

Abraham is 140 years of age. God has blessed Abraham in every way, but Isaac does not have a bride yet. Abraham asks his faithful servant to go to seek a bride for Isaac, his son. In other words, the father sent the faithful servant to seek a bride for his spiritual son! This entire encounter is a foreshadowing of Our Heavenly Father sending the Holy Spirit to seek a Bride for His Son Jesus. Jesus too at Jacob’s well with the Samaritan woman was also seeking a Bride.

Because Abraham and Isaac were set apart for God and were already in the Promised Land, Isaac was not to leave God's Land or marry a Canaanite who at the time occupied the Land. Abraham did not want his son unequally yoked with idolaters. The New Testament tells us that followers of Christ are also not to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever. (see 2 Corinthians 6:14) Abraham wanted a bride for his son Isaac from his own family line.

The faithful servant is to go to Haran -- where Abram was enlightened about the true God and separated from his idolatrous father -- to gather Isaac’s bride. Not only was Abram enlightened at Haran, he enlightened other members of his family about the True God. Abraham’s son must have a bride from those who believed in the True God. God has prepared and set aside a bride for Isaac at Haran. As the faithful servant was faithful to gather a bride for Isaac, the Holy Spirit is faithful to the Heavenly Father in gathering a Bride for God’s Promised Son Jesus. The Holy Spirit has been preparing a Bride for Christ throughout the generations. Even though the Bride of Christ lives in an idolatrous world, she is set apart for Jesus, just as Rebekah has been set apart by God for Isaac in a gentile land.
Abraham also made his faithful servant swear that he would not take Isaac back there. "Make sure you do not take my son back there." Genesis 24:8 God does not want Isaac going backwards. God has a plan for Isaac moving forward, not backwards! This is true of Jesus also. Those who love and follow Jesus are not to go backwards to the Law but are to move forward in grace and truth with Jesus. As the Holy Spirit left His place with the Father in the heavenly realm to come to earth to seek a Bride for Christ, this faithful servant of father Abraham left his place with his master to go to another land to seek a bride for Isaac. Jesus is staying in the Heavenly Promised Land while the Holy Spirit is seeking a Bride for Christ!
The only way the covenant between father Abraham and his faithful servant can be annulled is if the chosen woman is unwilling to go to the Promised Land with him. "If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath." V8 God must have willing hearts who follow His Son. Love, faith and commitment cannot be forced. People can be unwilling to follow Jesus which releases the Holy Spirit from His Covenant with God.
It was at a well that the faithful servant met the bride-to-be of Isaac. Wells in the Older Testament were places of covenant, meeting, sacrifice, rest and refreshment. A well is the source of the water of life. Without water nothing could live. Jesus and the Father are the well of life that sends the living water of the Holy Spirit to satisfy our spiritual thirst and make us new creations. Jesus, the well of salvation, is our meeting place and the "new" covenant between God and His people. Jesus and the Holy Spirit give us rest and refreshment, help us grow spiritually and give us the power to do the Father's will. We must draw from His well of salvation, living water and truth and share it with others to quench their spiritual thirst also. In biblical times, not only did the water from wells satisfy the physical thirst of humans, but also their flocks and herds. Likewise, Jesus' flock of sheep (believers) are watered by the living water of the Holy Spirit and Word.
Moses and Jacob also met their respective brides at a well. (see Exodus 2; Genesis 29) Since God’s ways don’t change and the "natural" events in the Older Testament pointed to the "spiritual" through Jesus, the meeting between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well was Jesus meeting His Spiritual Bride-to-be. The encounter of Jesus with this sinful Samaritan woman is the fulfillment of Isaac and Jacob meeting their earthly brides at a well. All life needs water to live. Jesus wants this Samaritan woman to come to Him for His "living water" that will give her new, spiritual life.
If God’s people at the time of Jesus would have opened their eyes and hearts to Jesus’ words, they would have seen that He was fulfilling all of the Older Testament scriptures that they knew and studied.
Unnamed Faithful Servant
            This unfaithful servant is unnamed in this particular event in scripture, but it is thought that he was Eliezer, Abraham's servant who was to inherit father Abraham's estate before Isaac was born. (see Genesis 15:2) Eliezer and Abraham obviously had a very close and trusting relationship. Eliezer means "God helps" or "God comforts." In the spiritual, the Holy Spirit is God's Helper and Comforter.
Being known as a faithful servant to God and Abraham was more important to Eliezer than his name. The loyalty of Eliezer is apparent in his mission to get Isaac a wife. He had no hesitation or jealousy. He went in the name of the father and the son. In the spiritual, the Holy Spirit also comes from the Father and the Son. (see Revelation 22:1) The Holy Spirit has been gathering a Bride for Jesus over the generations. His mission is to carry out the Father's will, just as Abraham's faithful servant did. Just as Eliezer revealed the father Abraham and his son to Abraham’s family, the Holy Spirit reveals the Eternal Father and Son to God's spiritual family.
God had promised Abraham that he would have countless descendants as many as the sand (earthly) and the stars in heaven (spiritual). In order for this to happen, Isaac must have a bride who will fulfill the promised earthly seed. This is also true of Jesus in the spiritual. Jesus, who descends from Abraham in the flesh but is the Spiritual Seed of God, must have a Spiritual Bride who will reproduce spiritual children through the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
It is interesting to note that the Samaritan woman was unnamed also. Her name was not important. The status of her life and her salvation was important. And even more important was the Savior who would give her the living water that would change her life.
 Covenant Oath
The faithful servant and father Abraham were in covenant with one another. They were of one purpose, just as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are in covenant with each other. No part of the Trinity will work against one another. They are of one purpose -- do the Father's will.
Abraham asked his unnamed, faithful servant to “put your hand under my thigh,” and swear an oath to God and Abraham that he will gather a bride for Isaac from Abraham’s own people. The thigh is the place of covenant, strength and power. God would be the witness of the oath.  Keep in mind that there were no Jews at the time of Abraham so the faithful servant was going to a gentile land outside of the Promised Land to find a bride for Isaac, just as Jesus and the Holy Spirit is presently gathering a mostly gentile Bride for Jesus. This does not mean that God has deserted Israel. When the time of the gentiles is over, God will gather the Jews to His Son Yeshua.
This chosen bride will inherit a vast fortune of land, flocks and herds and riches untold through God’s covenant promise with Abraham (father) and Isaac (son), just as Christ’s Bride will inherit all that belongs to the Heavenly Father and the Son. Jesus has sworn an oath over us and is the Fountain of living water. Followers of Christ are to also be wells of living water that spring forth bringing new eternal life to others. As we draw from Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we are to pour out the water of life to others. Jesus will bless His Bride with riches untold!
            Abraham assures his faithful servant that God will send His Angel (Jesus) to lead him to his son's bride-to-be. This is the faith of Abraham.
The Faithful Servant Prays to God
     The faithful servant of father Abraham did nothing without first seeking the Lord in prayer. He also was quick to thank God for answered prayer.
     Oh Lord, God of my master Abraham, I pray you, send me good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham. Behold I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water. And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, “Let down your pitcher, I pray you, that I may drink; and she shall say, “Drink, and I will give your camels drink also; let the same be she that You have appointed for Your servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that You have showed kindness unto my master.  Genesis 24:12-14 The faithful servant didn’t trust his own instincts but instead sought a sign from the Lord through prayer. Notice he didn’t pray for himself but for his master Abraham. He knew his purpose.  He would count upon God to lead him through his journey to gather a bride for Isaac. Both Abraham and his faithful servant had faith in God and His promises. Isaac also had faith. He trusted his father to choose his bride.
Give Me a Drink
            The faithful servant of Abraham came to the town of Nahor. Abraham’s brother Nahor lived there. There Abraham’s faithful servant found a well outside the town where he had his camels kneel down to rest. “It was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water.” V11 The Samaritan woman went to the well in the heat of the day because of her shame. Rebekah was a virgin and had no shame so she went to the well at the usual time that all the women would go -- at dusk. Like the Samaritan woman at the well, Rebekah came to the well with her pitcher on her shoulder. Women sometimes had to walk miles with their earthen jar on their shoulders to get water. It was laborious work. There were sometimes one hundred stairs they must go down and up in order to get the water in the well. The women would use this water to quench the thirst of their family.  Rebekah let down her jar into the well and filled it with water. It was then that father Abraham’s faithful servant asked Rebekah for a drink, just as Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for a drink at Jacob’s well. Rebekah had labored for this water to carry it back to her family and now this stranger is asking her for a drink! Rebekah didn’t hesitate. She quickly gave him a drink even though it would mean that she would have to go down into the well again to refill her jar for her family. Rebekah didn’t stop there! She told the faithful servant that she would draw water for his camels also until they have finished drinking. Keep in mind that one camel drinks 20 or 30 gallons of water and stores it for the journey. There were ten camels, so Rebekah would have to draw a huge amount of water and take many trips down in the well in order to quench the thirst of the camels. Her willingness to labor and sacrifice to draw water for these camels (burden-bearers) was honorable and showed her willingness to labor and serve. The Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well was also willing to serve Jesus. Both Rebekah and the Samaritan woman saw an opportunity to serve and bless another.
            Rebekah was hard-working, beautiful, noble and willing to serve. This attracted the faithful servant to her. Her beauty and virtues are revealed in the son’s absence, just as the beauty of Christ’s Bride is revealed in His absence. Rebekah is a type and shadow of the Bride of Christ. The Samaritan woman at the well is a sinner, but Jesus and the Holy Spirit will make her His virtuous, beautiful and noble Bride. Because of Jesus and the living water of the Holy Spirit and Word, the Bride of Christ will be glorious and pure. (see Revelation 19:8) She will also labor to dig deep into His well of water to serve Jesus and others.
            The faithful servant had asked the Lord for a sign that would help him recognize the woman God had prepared and chosen as Isaac’s Bride. Rebekah did exactly as the father’s faithful servant had asked of God. Not only did Rebekah give Abraham’s faithful servant a drink; she watered his camels also. Her willingness to labor intensely and serve others as well as her virtue and beauty demonstrated her inner spirit. She was willing to labor for one person – a stranger -- and his camels. She gave of her time, her energy and her resources to meet the need of this foreigner and his camels. Jesus too will recognize His Bride by her willingness to labor for His Kingdom and serve others. Rebekah had no idea of the high destiny coming to her for her willing act of kindness and service.
Rebekah’s Reward
Rebekah will receive her reward. Little did Rebekah know that this stranger and his camels were bearing gifts. As Rebekah was laboring to give water to the servant’s camels, he was watching her. When the camels were done drinking, the faithful servant took a golden ring of ½ a shekel weight and two bracelets for her hands all made of gold and said, “Whose daughter are you? Tell me, I pray you: is there room in your father’s house for us to lodge in?” v22 Before the faithful servant can give Rebekah the ring and bracelets, he must know if she is from father Abraham’s family and if she is willing to let him reside with her and her family. She assured the servant that there was room for him to abide with them. Jesus and the Holy Spirit want to abide in us but we have to be willing to let them! The golden ring and bracelets will betroth Rebekah to Isaac even though she hasn’t yet seen him. The same is true of Jesus and His Bride. We are betrothed to Jesus by the golden (Divine) circle of the Word and bound to Him.
Like the Samaritan woman at the well ran to tell the town about Jesus, Rebekah ran to tell her family about the faithful servant of father Abraham. As the Samaritan woman was a witness of Christ to the town, Rebekah was a witness to her family. Rebekah’s brother Laban also came to the faithful servant when he saw the gold ring and bracelets upon his sister’s hands and heard her words. Laban had “heard” Rebekah’s words, but then he “saw” for himself and invited the faithful servant to come into his house to the room that Laban had prepared. Laban also provided room for the servant’s camels. All must see and come to the Lord Jesus willingly. Jesus and the Holy Spirit will abide in us for all eternity. The Lord wants the world to see His divine righteousness and holiness in His Bride.
     Rebekah’s selfless acts of kindness not only quenched the thirst of the faithful servant and his camels, but provided food and a place of rest also. The Bride of Christ is to also labor unendingly to bring others to Christ and His life-giving water, rest and peace. The Samaritan woman at the well shared her water with Jesus. Both the faithful servant in Genesis and Jesus in John were seeking a bride.  Drawing water from the water of the Anointed Word is laborious. We need to take the time and the work to gather it and bring it down to our hands to serve others as a sacrifice to God. Rebekah and the Samaritan woman’s pitchers were full. God wants us to be full of the Anointed Word, both the Living and the written, as well as the Holy Spirit so we can pour it out to others willingly and sacrificially. Jesus’ reward will be in His hand when He comes again. “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.” Revelation 22:12


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