By: Ely Lagajino
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Hebrews 3:2 (NIV)
Love, at first sight, is a common trope or figurative language used by many prose and poetry writers since ancient Greece. A person feels an instant, long-lasting romantic attraction for a stranger on first notice. It happened in this story.
Marriage during Abraham’s time was decided by parents. Courting could be done through a bridge or representative. In this story Abraham assigned Eliezer his trusted servant to choose a bride for his son Isaac.
Eliezer asked God’s guidance as he traveled more than 100 miles in search of a bride while contemplating on the criteria. We may find it odd but it was a sensitive, yet important job that would affect future generations. He remembered the act of kindness and hospitality practiced in his master’s house, a good basis for choosing a bride. “So a lady who would offer his camels clear water to drink would be the sign”, he must have thought.
Reaching Haran Mesopotamia, Eliezer stopped near a well where the women of the place came to fetch water for cooking. Eliezer spoke to one of the women and asked for a drink. His request received a kind answer with an offer to draw water for his camels. It’s not an easy job for a girl to water ten thirsty camels, each would drink “thirty gallons of water” (People like Us p.44). The girl’s beauty and kindness gave evidence of a “kind heart and an active, energetic nature”. (PP p.167)
Rebekah invited the stranger, Eliezer to her family’s house. Eliezer explained to her parents his mission and Rebekah’s parents consented. Early in the morning, the entourage traveled the long way back. While nearing home Rebekah saw Isaac, and Isaac saw Rebekah. They fell in love at first sight and got married. A little act of kindness qualified Rebekah and Isaac to become parents of God’s nation.