And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. (Genesis 24:66-67)
Returning from the field where he had been praying and meditating, Isaac saw the camels coming with the maidens. After being told of the events that had transpired, Isaac married Rebekah and took her into “his mother’s tent” and installed her as the mistress of the household. Notice that she became his wife and THEN he loved her.
In the West we are accustomed to two people who are attracted to one another developing a romance between them. If the romance thrives, those two will often marry. The point is, we look for love in the relationship before actually committing to the long term ramifications of marriage. Yet, the Bible seems to hint that, regardless of circumstances, the man is obligated to love his wife after marriage. In other words, it is not a romance before marriage that matters most but the devotion to one another pursuant to the wedding day.
Furthermore, Rebekah was not considered as Sarah’s replacement in Isaacs’s life but she was the next step in his life. What Isaac had experienced with Sarah was not discarded but built upon when he married Rebekah. In a manner of speaking, the new picked up where the old had left off and with youthful vigor. This type of situation is akin to what Yeshua taught when He said:
“No one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’ ” (Luke 5:37-39)
Rebekah was “new” but was brought into Sarah’s tent to emulate the ways of Sarah but with renewed energy. Likewise God allows new seasons in our lives to teach us more of His ways and to stretch us beyond where we have been before in our relationship with Him. However, that is not to say we are to disregard all those things we have learned in the past. To the contrary, we are to properly apply the lessons of the past to the challenges of today. Let us, like Isaac, commit ourselves to “love” the new that God brings into our lives even as we honor the “old” He has already done.
Blessings and Shalom,