One of the things I miss about Protestantism is my husband’s preaching. One of his favorite sermon topics was Old Testament types. A type is a person, event, or thing in the Old Testament that foreshadows something in the New Testament. That’s why learning that the Ark of the Covenant is a type of Mary was such a Eureka! moment for him as we studied Catholicism. There are many types in the Old Testament, like the Ark of the Covenant, that give us a glimpse of the New Testament. Genesis 24 is another ancient story that foreshadows Christianity.
Elderly Abraham dispatches his chief servant to locate a bride for his son Isaac. He finds the beautiful virgin Rebekah and silently prays. She treats him kindly and he showers her with golden bracelets and a ring (which she puts in her nose but nevermind that). Although her family initially resists, she agrees to leave immediately with the servant for her new home of Abraham’s to marry Isaac. They go; they wed; they’re comforted and happy; the end.
But look closer. Abraham is a picture of Father God, desiring a bride for His Son. The servant is a picture of the Holy Spirit ~ actively searching, praying, leading, and giving gifts for the journey. Isaac is a picture of Jesus, awaiting the arrival of His beloved to take into His home and love. Rebekah is a picture of the Church ~ chosen, blessed, helped, and travelling.
Do you feel the same “cool!” or “amazing!” response that we do? Isn’t it cool and amazing to see real history and real theology intertwined like this? We can never grasp all that there is to know about God, but we need never cease learning for He is infinite and our souls can never be too full of God. There is connection between the very beginning of written Scriptures to the very end, as round and round, it is intertwined like a great ball of yarn in the Father’s Hands. He wants people home with His Son and He sends the Comforter to find us, decorate us, and bring us to the arms of Jesus!
Rebekah’s family sent her off with these words:
“Sister, may you grow into thousands of myriads;
May your descendants gain possession of the gates of their enemies! (Genesis 24:60)”
Yes Lord, we pray this for Your grateful Church.
(And if my daughter ever comes home with a nose ring, I’ll tell her she looks beautiful like Rebekah!)
Allison is a 40-something mother of seven, living in Alaska, accepted into the Church (together with her husband, thank God) in 2004. She spends her days homeschooling and packaging meat that her menfolk hunt and bring home. She cannot garden to save her life but picks wild blueberries like a champ. She has been published in an edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul and keeps a blog at www.northerncffamily.blogspot.com, writing about living out the Faith with children with cystic fibrosis.