How Quickly Do You Comply?

I am a terrible tennis player.

But I love watching professional tennis grand slams.

This weekend, the Wimbledon 2022 tournament ended.

Wimbledon, as the birthplace of tennis, holds a special mystique to tennis players and fans alike.

Players are subject to specific rules of dress and conduct at Wimbledon, not present at other grand slams.

Failing to comply with the specific rules of dress and conduct results in significant fines for the players.

Some players exhibit “don’t care” attitudes about the special rules.

Most players comply with respect.

What does this have to do with Genesis 24:66-77?

And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67 Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah, his mother, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. (Gen 24:66-67)

The entire chapter of Genesis 24 is relating to us how Rebekah becomes Isaac’s wife.

Abraham assigns a servant, not Isaac, with instructions on where to go to find a wife for Isaac. (Gen 24:1-9)

Verses 10-61 reveal the servant sought a sign from God to identify the woman to bring back to Isaac with how God granted this request.

Although one of the key persons of interest in this chapter, Isaac does not actually appear in the chapter himself until verse 62.

Scripture never shows whether Isaac received instructions or an opportunity to share his own thoughts about Abraham’s plans.

Read Genesis 21:8-10.

  • What is the situation in this passage for Isaac?
  • How may it have affected Isaac?

Read Genesis 22:1-19.

  • What did Isaac learn from this experience about Abraham and God?
  • Who is directing the action in the above verses?

Review our verses for today:

And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67 Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah, his mother, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. (Gen 24:66-67)

  • How does Isaac respond after learning all the servant had done?

Consider the following definition for the intransitive verb comply:

to conform, submit, or adapt (as to a regulation or to another’s wishes) as required or requested

  • Do you think Isaac’s previous experiences enabled him to comply with Abraham’s plan? Why or why not?
  • List one word to describe Isaac’s character at this point in the Bible.
  • What is the Bible communicating with the phrase “Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah, his mother?”
  • Why do you think the Bible leaves out any conversation that would have occurred between Rebekah and Isaac at this point?
  • The Bible tells us that Isaac loved Rebekah. What does this reveal about Isaac?
  • What is the impact on Isaac after marrying Rebekah? 
  • Who is really in charge of the action in chapter 24? Abraham? The servant? Rebekah? Isaac? God? What evidence supports your answer?
  • How did Isaac’s compliance in this chapter benefit him?

Personal Applications

  • Do you easily comply with others’ plans for you? Why or why not?
  • Who or what type of relationships are you more willing to comply with? Why?
  • Describe a time when you refused to comply with another’s plans for you. What happened to that relationship over time?
  • Describe a time when you complied with another’s plans for you. What happened to that relationship over time?
  • When is it wise to refuse compliance with another’s plans for you?
  • How compliant are you with God’s plans for you? Why or why not?
  • What have you learned about God and Isaac’s relationship in Genesis 24 that encourages you in your own relationship with God? Why?
  • List one action you will do in the coming week to show your compliance with God’s direction in your life. 

In Genesis 24, we learn:

  1. Abraham was old in years
  2. the servant was required to swear to Abraham and prayed to God regarding his assignment
  3. Laban and his family quickly agreed to the plan 
  4. Rebekah responded favorably to the invitation to leave her family to marry Isaac 
  5. Isaac agreed to the plan and felt comforted as a result

Many of the activities in Genesis 24 are commonplace:

  1. An elderly father planning for the future of his child
  2. A servant obeying his master’s assignment
  3. A daughter doing her daily chore of collecting water from a well
  4. A family showing hospitality to a traveler
  5. A man taking time to meditate near the end of a day 
  6. A special celebration time of marriage and falling in love
  7. Being comforted after losing a loved one

But also learn the following about God’s activity in and through these commonplace activities in Genesis 24:

  1. God had blessed Abraham in every way
  2. God answered the servant’s prayer favorably
  3. God showed kindness and faithfulness to Abraham
  4. God led the servant’s journey exactly as Abraham had predicted
  5. God chose Rebekah to be Isaac’s wife

Back to the tennis tournament….

The two men’s single finalists for Wimbledon 2022 have both struggled with being compliant in their careers for different reasons at a variety of tournaments. 

Commentators before the match raised whether one of them is “good for tennis” if he wins this tournament. Their opinions varied, but all agreed that this man has the potential to be great for tennis.  

Whether we agree or disagree over their stated reasons for resisting some rules of the tournaments they enter, the fact remains that their actions show their character to those who are watching. The consequences of their behavior affect our opinion of them.

Most of us are not in the public eye on such a grand scale as these professional tennis players. Yet all of us have choices to make each day about how we interact with others around us. The choices we make reveal our character to the grocery clerk, the bank teller, the postal delivery person, a coworker, a family member, etc.

Just like Abraham, the servant, Rebekah, and Isaac, we also all have a choice to make in how we respond to God’s activity each day of our lives.

  • Are you listening for God’s instructions on the commonplace activities of your daily life?
  • What “potential” are you representing through your own compliance with God as the director of your life?
  • How do you acknowledge His presence in your life so others receive encouragement and inspiration to seek His presence in their life?


Barbara Lynn


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *