PRECIOUS THINGS Andy Hollifield 1-4-18
Precious—-(1) of high price or great value; valuable or costly (2) highly esteemed for some spiritual, nonmaterial, or moral quality (3) dear; beloved (4) affectedly or excessively delicate, refined, or nice (5) a dearly beloved person; darling. (6) extremely; very
Sometimes when I write, there are days when it is somewhat of a chore and other days it is a blessing to the fullest extent possible and comes faster than I can type it. This article is one of the latter. I preached a message out of Genesis 24:65 at Mission Baptist Church in Waynesville Sunday morning and even wrote a post the other day entitled “Is Anybody Interested”. That is the verse where Rebekah first sees Isaac walking across the field and asks Abraham’s servant “Who is this man…” My main question was “are you doing anything to get anybody interested in the Lord?” My thinking, and this is just Andyology, is that all the way back from her homeland in Nahor, Mesopotamia, she had probably been asking the servant questions about where they were going and especially what Isaac was like. I figured that since she left her home to make this journey, Abraham’s servant must have done and said some things to get her interested. He had told her and her family how the Lord had answered his prayer at the well and the whole purpose for his journey. After she had watered the servant’s camels he gave her a golden earring and a golden bracelet for each hand. I am sure by the time she left her home, she was getting more interested with each passing hour.
The verse I want to look at is verse 53. It talks about how that the servant gave Rebekah silver and gold jewels and raiment. But the really interesting part is that he gave her brother and her mother “precious things.” One thing I noticed was that it didn’t mention him giving her dad anything. It was customary in those times for the man seeking a wife to give the bride’s father a dowry. This may have been an agreement on servitude as was the case with Jacob for Rachel and Leah. In this case, the servant had probably paid a dowry that could have included jewels, livestock, such as the camels or anything else that the father and the servant could agree on. One of the things that was customary to be included in the dowry was a circlet of coins for the bride’s headdress. When you think about the arrangement with that in mind it kind of sheds a little light on the parable of the lost coin in the New Testament. That coin was likely a part of the woman’s headress from her dowry and therefore was precious to her and was a cause for celebration when she found it. The dowry itself, was to be kept by the father of the bride in case the woman was ever widowed or divorced. The father would gift a portion of the dowry to the bride when she was married but would hold back the rest. The father could spend any interest he accumulated from the dowry but could not spend the principal. All of that is just a little background of the customs to shed a little light on the whole story.
Now, back to the precious things. I could not find any reason as far as customs, why the servant would have given gifts to the brother and mother. Nevertheless, he did and soon started on his journey back to Canaan. My thought today was on the “precious things” that the servant had given for Rebekah. The term “precious things” is used only 12 times in scripture. The word “precious” is used 76 times in the bible. Psalms 49:8 says (For the redemption of their soul is precious; and it ceaseth forever:) In first and second Peter, he speaks of our faith being precious and the promises of God and the blood of Christ also being precious. In 1 Peter 2:7 He says, “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious.” All of that is interesting but not where I want to go to in the scriptures.
As I thought about those “precious things” that the servant gave to get Rebekah for Isaac, I thought of the “precious thing” that God gave for us: the lamb of God, Jesus Christ. The only begotten of the Father. The very best heaven had to offer. Sinless perfection personified! And to think that God gave such a “precious thing,” his own Son just for sinful man. You know what that means don’t you? It means that you are worth everything in Christ’ eyes because he allowed himself to be born to be the supreme sacrifice for our sins. To spend over thirty-three years betrothed to a sinful and adulterous bride and then give his life for his bride, what great love! We must really be precious in his sight! When you get to thinking about the “precious things” in the bible, you have to admit that there is not one thing that Jesus came to this earth and died for except his bride. His precious yet adulterous, belligerent, sinful, and stiff-necked bride. What a price was paid for our redemption! Our redemption is precious and also the death of a saint is precious to the Lord according to Psalms 116:15.
So, there you have it. That is as good of an argument as I can make to convince you. The next time the devil begins to try to tell you how low-down and sorry and worthless you are, don’t listen. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7).” Oh yeah,we need to look and see what the “therefore” is there for. If you look back to verse 6 it says “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” When the devil tries to beat you down; God will give you more grace! Why? Because you are the “pearl of great price, the lost sheep, the lost coin, the precious thing.” God gave heaven’s best for you; so you must be a “precious thing” to him. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!