And the servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came?” But Abraham said to him, “Beware that you do not take my son back there. The Lord God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my family, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I give this land,’ He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. (Genesis 24:5-7)
Abraham was adamant that, under no circumstances was Isaac to be taken outside of Canaan even if it was to find a wife. This is interesting considering that both Abraham and Jacob traveled beyond Canaan — Abraham to Egypt; Jacob to Syria and then to Egypt. Jewish tradition teaches this was due to the fact that Isaac, when presented as a burnt offering to God, was given special sanctity. As such he was not permitted to taken outside of the place considered to be holy.
This concept is alluded to again when, in the days of the Sanctuary, priests were not permitted to eat “holy food” outside of the “holy place.” That which was regarded as holy was not to be reside in an unholy place or to be used for an unholy purpose even if its seems needful at the moment. This is important for us to remember because, as the days grow darker, it will be increasingly difficult to remain true to this statute. More and more we will be asked to mingle the holy things with the common; for holy people to coexist with the profane. To those who would be tempted in this way I suggest that you read the story of Belshazaar’s and his desire to use God’s holy vessels for a profane purpose (Daniel 5).
It is important to remember Yeshua’s admonition not to cast our “pearls before swine” or “things holy to the dogs” (Matthew 7:6). Rather we are to trust that God will equip and empower us to do what He has commissioned us to do. Like Abraham’s servant, we can be confident that, if we are faithful, He will send His Angel before us that we might fulfill our purpose.
Blessings and Shalom,