We can safely assume that Isaac was in the know of efforts made by his father, and his father’s eldest servant to secure a wife for him, and so while he awaited news of her that will be his wife, Genesis 24:63 records that “… Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide…”. Though I stand to be corrected but this must be the first time the word MEDITATE is mentioned in the scriptures. Initially, I felt to see if other words were meant, or some other meaning besides meditation would’ve been inferred, before deciding to just take it at face value, as if indeed the writer intended to write prayer or any other word for that matter, there’d be no need to go about using “meditate” in that verse.
Google reveals that “meditate” means to ‘think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation’, and any of the above could be what Isaac got up to that evening. These secrets of relaxation that was well known in the hey days, is what today we are being enjoined and encouraged to practice, to ward off the harmful effects of activities we get up to in our fast paced lives, so we could have (spiritually) fuller lives. In some parts of the globe meditation has taken on a form of worship, while in some others it’s so commercial that it’s a business with several yoga teachers foraying even into the multi billion dollar weight loss industry as one the remedies.
The context in which meditation is used here doesn’t exactly translate to the meditation as you’d find with some eastern religions or with the spiritual or commercialized yoga (and the likes). In many instances in the book of Psalms, where meditation is abundantly mentioned, it speaks mainly to “pondering” on the word of YAHWEH, many times in trying to understand them and how they could be applied in our lives to make us better persons. When the word “SELAH” appears in the middle or end of a Psalm (in scripture), it means to “Pause, and Reflect” on what has been read, and in the case where the Psalm is been sung, it will be that period where musical instruments will be played without lyrical accompaniment.
I will also like to state here, that meditation helps when one also wants to hear that “still small voice”, especially after that prayer is made and you seek direction for the next way forward. Yahshua is noted many times in the New Testament books, retiring to a quiet part of town (or seaside) to meditate, if not for anything else but to relax, though there definitely will be some spiritual rejuvenation after such quiet moments. I’m aware that some other faiths view meditation as an exercise that’s deeper than what I have enumerated here, and it isn’t my place to approve of it or not, but you can guess that it couldn’t have been that type of meditative exercise that Isaac or Yahshua was involved in, with the speed with which they recovered each time their attention was required while meditating.
In this case, once Isaac “… lifted up his eyes, and saw, and behold, the camels were coming” (Genesis 24:63), he began to walk towards them. “And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel” (v. 64) having been intimated that the man walking towards them was her betrothed, “… she took a veil (like many brides are wont to do today during a wedding ceremony, only that unlike what obtained with Rebekah and Isaac, both bride and groom are likely to have “known” each other well before the wedding, and veiling and unveiling is more symbolic than carrying with it the true meaning of the action of veiling of the bride), and covered herself” (v. 65). After Isaac had been informed of all that had happened, he brought Rebekah into his mother’s tent and “… she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death” (v.67).
Even without a mother’s death, many a man see in the woman they marry a bit of their mother, for those who idolize their mother, talk more those who’d lost theirs. I’ve come across men who call their wives “mummy”, and then go on to mean every single word of it, and although I do not have evidence to support the fact that such makes or will make for a successful and till-death-do-us-part kind of marriage, I cannot also categorically state that such wouldn’t. Rebekah coming at that point in the life of Isaac, meant that he literally transferred his love for his mother, Sarah unto her, and you could bet that she did a good job of “comforting” him. It is worth noting that this was one marriage, where right from the onset, without either of the couples seeing each other, the parties involved in bringing them together put everything in the hands of YAHWEH for direction and control. Even the nearest to that in our day is such that when people say they are putting someone in prayer to know if such a person(s) will make a suitable spouse, other considerations (the list of which are exhaustive) come into play, such that when “the prayer” is finally answered, you’d find the “chosen one” possessing all the qualities anyone would wish to have in a spouse, even without prayers, which if in a few years down the line, should the marriage break down, you begin then to wonder whether the G-d that sanctioned the marriage in the first place, got it all wrong.
Now, this scenario happens also with (revered) pastors and so called “anointed men of G-d”, some of whom over the years regaled us with principles of marriage in (expensive) books (for sale), lectures and the likes, using the less tempestuous days of their marriages (before they broke down irreparably due to irreconcilable differences) as examples. It doesn’t also mean that YAHWEH doesn’t have a hand in marriages that started well, but ended badly. In fact, the Book of Hosea, regarding the Prophet Hosea is one about how YAHWEH instructed him to marry a prostitute, and used his married life as a parable for the children of Israel, even asking him to divorce her and then remarry her, for instance. My point therefore is, in things like marriage, we must approach with humility, just like Isaac and Rebekah did (understanding that it’s not necessarily by either of the couples power that a marriage will or will not work, that breakups and divorces can happen, regardless of the number of years invested, even to the best of us), or else we may find that very apt and eternal warning ➡ “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (I Corinthians 10:12), applying to us. We know only about the beginning and now, not the end. Selah
– Genesis Chapter 24 Verses 63-67, THE WORD OF YAHWEH, © 2000