Genesis 24: 1-25, 50-67
DBR This chapter, Genesis 24, is well known to the brethren but I felt there was much in it that would interest us and also that would have a very current bearing, perhaps especially that we might have a greater sensitivity to what the Holy Spirit is securing in the present dispensation. The chapter follows on from chapter 22 where, in figure, Isaac is raised from among the dead and where also, at the end, Rebecca is mentioned, v 23. In chapter 23 Sarah dies and I think that, in type, is the end of Israel’s part in the testimony for the time being, making way for the assembly, a product of the Spirit’s work. To complete what I have said, in chapter 25 Abraham marries Keturah which would suggest that God is going to resume His relations with Israel.
But in the meantime, beloved brethren, I feel there is much in this chapter that we can draw from. One is relying on the brethren that they may draw from it. There is the concern of Abraham for his son that there might be a bride secured suitable for him. The father’s thoughts are involved in that, and it is not hard to see that there is type in that of our God and Father also, and His concern that there may be a bride secured for His Son. I think someone has spoken of the assembly as the Father’s love gift to the Son. Then there is the servant, and I trust that we get some impression of his unswerving devotion to what is committed to him. What marks him in the way of committal brings in, we may say, his own desires entering into it, in which he expresses what he is looking for. It says in verse 11, “And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water”. That is not said for nothing. He is looking for the bride for Abraham’s son and he is marked by great dependence, not only looking for her to be of the right kindred, but looking for certain qualities to come to light in her.
I read in chapter 16 of John because I think we need to understand something of the glory of Christ exalted before we can understand anything about the assembly. As we have an impression of Christ where He is, then we begin to get impressions of the glory of the assembly as His bride. The Spirit is conducting the bride here to Christ, not to heaven. At the rapture the Lord will come Himself for His bride, but now the Spirit is conducting the bride to Christ, that is, Christ as the heavenly Man in testimony down here.
RJC We think of the breakdown at the present time. It might tend to overcome us, but the Spirit is serving, and we should be assured that there will be an answer to the heavenly Man. I wonder whether we should be assured about that, that divine things are not going to fall to the ground, the Spirit’s service is going to be completed and there is going to be a suitable bride for Christ where He is, do you think?
DBR That is very much in my own mind, that we need to take character, not only from Christ, but from the Spirit, and the Spirit’s committal to this commission. He is not giving it up. He is going on with it and He is determined to secure it, and nothing is going to divert Him. I think we are in days when there is a possibility of the enemy trying to divert us. That is why I think this has a prophetic bearing. There is no diverting of the Holy Spirit in His mission to secure the bride. Is that what you had in mind?
RJC Yes. I just thought we should be absolutely certain that divine thoughts are going through, that the Father has desired that there might be a suitable vessel for Christ, that heavenly Man. Under the influence of the Spirit that will come to pass. We want to be in the way of the Spirit’s operations in relation to what He is doing in the assembly, do we?
DBR These are the Father’s thoughts in purpose going back before sin came into the world. I would say this for the brethren’s help, it has helped me greatly and I have noticed it once or twice, but Mr James Taylor said that Rebecca is not a figure of the Pentecostal assembly; she is a type of the full thought of the assembly, vol 99 p 7. It involves Paul’s ministry, and she is secured in the full light of the glory of a Man up there, but that heavenly Man is in testimony now and there is a vessel suited to Him that is being secured for Him.
JSp I had not thought about it too much before, but reading it over you can see the suggestion that in each of the Persons of the Godhead there is a tremendous sense of anticipation of the concluding of their exercise.
DBR That is very good. In type, the Father, and then the Spirit in His operations; then, at the end of the chapter we have read, Christ is there by the well too. He is seen as relating Himself to the Spirit, relating Himself to the Spirit in view of what the Spirit is securing for Himself in the bride, do you think?
NJH Can you bring in the thought of the Father’s Spirit into this chapter? He speaks about “my master” which would be Abraham, and then he refers to “thy servant Isaac”. I just wondered if there is some suggestion of the Father’s Spirit there, “that the Christ may dwell, through faith, in your hearts” and “to know the love of the Christ”, Eph 3: 17, 19. It is a slightly different line, but it is still the Father’s Spirit.
DBR I think that is good. What does it say in Ephesians 3: “that he may give you according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power by his Spirit in the inner man; that the Christ may dwell, through faith, in your hearts ...”, v 16-17? I think that is right; it is “according to the riches of his glory”, the Father’s Spirit taking that wealth on in view of securing what is completely according to the Father’s thoughts. Is that what you thought?
CKR It is really a statement of majestic significance, the Lord saying, “But when he is come”. Are we not seeing that there is a mediatorial arrangement of divine Persons for this dispensation to secure a glorious answer to the heart of Christ and for the service of God eternally?
DBR “But when he is come, the Spirit of truth, he shall guide you into all the truth”.; I think that is why Mr Taylor said Rebecca was a full type of the assembly. “All the truth” brings us on to Paul’s ministry; that is really what it is, it is the glory of the whole divine economy in its operations opening up and Rebecca is secured in the light of that, do you think? Have you more to say?
CKR I just want to get the significance of it that this is the dispensation of the Spirit. It is an essential theme through it all, the securing of the assembly in every way to complement the glorious Man above.
DBR I think what you say is good. What you touch as to majesty is fine, because if you read this chapter it is most interesting. You get a sense of the dependent yet majestic movements of the Spirit, subject to the Father and subject to Christ, because He calls both of them “master”, but nevertheless there is a dignity throughout of the movements of the servant.
JDG It says, “guide you into all the truth”; can we see that beginning in the servant’s approach to Rebecca here, suggesting the Spirit’s activities? He is going to get her into the truth, and he is going to approach her and attract her in. He comes to the well and he comes as a dependent person, we might say, and he asks for guidance as to what he shall say.
DBR Just so. That struck me. I trust that the brethren are free to bring in touches throughout the whole chapter because even making the camel kneel down, there is significance in that. It is the dependent approach, and yet the glory of the Person. I think the Spirit is typified in the man, the servant, and there is also the well, and there are also the camels; so it is a very full bringing out of the practical working of the economy and the great end being secured in that there is a vessel that is completely compatible to Christ as Man. Is that what you had in mind?
JDG Where you read is the filling out of what you read in John 16. Each one of those remarks you made, and what you said of the Spirit is filled out in this chapter.
DBR That is exactly what I thought, that these two verses we read in chapter 16 involve the working out of it, as brought out typically in this wonderful chapter.
JTB It says He “goes forth from with the Father”, John 15: 26. Does that bring out something of the blessedness of the relationship between the Father and His Spirit, so that He goes out from that area freighted with the Father’s thoughts for the Son.
DBR Yes; the Spirit is filled with the Father’s thoughts about the Son, and He fully understands the concern of the Father that there should be a bride secured for Him. Think of that, the One who represents deity in the economy, that is the Father, and yet He is concerned that there might be a suitable bride for the heavenly Man in testimony. It is not exactly the assembly taken to heaven here. It is the assembly taken into Sarah’s tent in the place of testimony, and filling out the testimony that Sarah never filled out, a full testimony, a heavenly one.
GAB There is an interesting remark Mr Raven made that struck me at the time. He said that the Spirit could not come until He was able to bring a report of Christ exalted, vol 1 p 5. The assembly could not be formed, the dispensation could not really proceed, until such a great matter was established, Christ exalted by the Father.
DBR That is excellent. You see, there is the life of Christ down here, there is the working out of the moral issue, there is the glory of redemption accomplished, but I think the practical working of the economy depended on Christ exalted and the Spirit could not come until then. I think we see that what has been secured here is a wonderful vessel that is completely compatible with the heavenly Man, and able to take her place in testimony.
GCMcK One of the things the servant says, which is very similar to John 16, is in verse 36, “And Sarah, my master’s wife, bore a son to my master after she had grown old; and unto him has he given all that he has”; so there is the glory of Christ, Christ being glorified. The Lord says, “All things that the Father has are mine”.
DBR What do you understand by that?
GCMcK I was just trying to enquire as to the wealth that is in the Spirit’s mind as to the Father’s thoughts of Christ and all that belongs to Him, but perhaps you could help us.
DBR Yes, “All things that the Father has are mine” would include, I think, the Father’s counsels. John’s gospel opens up the Father’s counsels in a wonderful way; all that is committed into the hands of Christ as exalted, and then the Father’s thoughts about Christ Himself. Then the Father’s Spirit, and all “according to the riches of his glory”. A tremendous dignity attaches to the whole thing, wonderful dignity. I like that verse; it is all given into the hands of Christ. Earlier in John’s gospel it says, “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things to be in his hand”, John 3: 35. I suppose that is the administration in the economy.
JSp It is quite interesting that the first reference to love is in Genesis 22, and we have the reference here in chapter 24, “And Isaac led her into his mother Sarah’s tent; ... and he loved her”. I do not know if this is the second reference but it shows that there is a close link.
DBR That is very good. You can see this is a great love chapter, suggesting the Father’s love for the Son. There is a reference in the Scriptures to “the love of the Spirit”, Rom 15: 30. That is a fine reference too, but I think you can see that the whole chapter is permeated by the spirit of love and underlying it all is divine love, divine love in purpose. It is divine love working out these great thoughts, and divine love secured at the end we might say, in Christ’s love for the assembly.
RG-y Would you allow that these things we are speaking about are worked out within the scope of the kingdom? Abraham said at one point, “Beware that thou bring not my son thither again”. There are certain areas that God is not working in, but Matthew teaches us that the kingdom leads on to the full thought of the assembly.
DBR I think what you say is good, and it is a good reference to bring us back to that, “And Abraham said to him, Beware that thou bring not my son thither again”. I think, without being critical at all, what has happened in Christendom is they have tried to bring the Son back, and they have really adopted a kind of Judaistic teaching going back to law, but the matter is a heavenly one that Christ is exalted, and everything must be worked out from that standpoint. I do not think we get very far in the truth until we learn that everything must be worked out from Christ exalted. As was pointed out, the Spirit did not come and operate until Christ had been exalted.
RG-y So the scripture you have referred to, “And he made the camels kneel down”, would suggest that there are subject persons under the control of the Spirit in which these thoughts can be worked out.
DBR Well, that is good. I think that is needed for the working out of the truth, and that is where the kingdom comes in. It brings us into subjection so that we are able to function under the leadership of the Spirit in relation to what God is securing by the Spirit.
NMcK I wonder if the exercise began with Abraham a good bit before this in regard to the fact that he was childless. He had all the promises, but how were they to be passed on; and how were these matters to be worked out? Divine Persons had in mind that there would be what was entirely suitable in all the blessings that God had in mind, and all that was in mind for man should be able to flow out in Christ and the assembly.
DBR Say more.
NMcK I was just impressed with what has been said about anticipation, and how divine Persons anticipate what is entirely suitable. It went away back in God’s thoughts. The matter is worked out in Abraham in the exercise when he says, “I go childless” (Gen 15: 2), and asks who would inherit from him? He had the whole thing in mind, did he not, that Isaac would inherit and that there would be a suitable bride for him?
DBR I think that. It goes away back into eternity. That is the wonder of the thing. We are touching something that really belongs to the realm of eternity, and it leads on to eternity as well, because the bride will be the bride eternally. It is not exactly the Rebecca side there, that is more Eve, I think, but the bride will be the bride eternally, and she will satisfy the heart of Christ eternally. That is a wonderful thing, is it not?
DTP It is interesting to note that from Genesis 22 we do not hear anything of Isaac until this chapter, and it comes in at the very end, “For he was dwelling in the south country”, typically the ascended Man, but there is the glory of what has been worked out. In Luke 24 the Lord goes over the whole history, but He must ascend into His glory before the joy of what was really of assembly character would come to light.
DBR I think that is right, and it is a good word, ’assembly character’, because I think we need to take it on. That is part of the teaching that the Holy Spirit would set on amongst us, that we might be characterised by the assembly, and the features belonging to it.
DTP One of the hymn-writers speaks of bringing the treasure all to light, hymn 109. That is the servant. He is doing it here.
DBR That is very good, bringing the treasure to light. He has treasures too. He gives Rebecca treasures and clothes her in suitability. He gives others treasures as well, but it is a chapter of richness, is it not, “according to the riches of his glory”?
GCMcK The servant is taking on this commission. The point you raise is as to whether the woman would be willing, “Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land”. You are speaking of assembly features. Would that be the first critical matter, amenability to the Spirit? Do you think that would be the test to us?
DBR I am sure it is, that we are subject to the Spirit and amenable to Him. I think the bride would be marked by certain qualities. I think perhaps affection is the first one, and then sensibility, and then intelligence, and I think if you look at this chapter you will see that Rebecca meets all that is required. She is marked by affection, she is marked by sensibilities, she knows what to do with the water, and she is marked by intelligence. She knows her lineage, the importance of it, and she also knows what to do at the right time. It is really remarkable that there are features that the Spirit is longing to find, and He finds them. Rebecca comes forth, and the servant lets her go past to the well, and does not speak to her, and he does not approach her until her vessel is filled. There is something for us in that too, the Spirit is securing filled vessels. The enemy would denude the whole position, that is what he is at, to rob what Christ longs for, what the Spirit is securing, but the great end in the Spirit’s service is that we might be filled full. The servant lets her fill her vessel, then he approaches her, then he asks for a drink. It appears to me that she never allows the vessel to get out of her hand; she lowers it and he takes a drink, as it says subsequently in verse 46, “And she hasted and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also. And I drank”. I think that is beautiful, “And I drank”. I think it speaks, if I could speak reverently, of some inward satisfaction, some inward enjoyment in the Spirit’s heart. He was drinking into the suitability of the vessel that was coming to light, I think. Beloved brethren, could we, at the end of this dispensation, get into that spirit, and see what marks the Spirit in the way of joy and pleasure in what He is securing? One great exercise I think we need to be marked by is that we might help to facilitate the service of the Holy Spirit, not to hinder it. That is Laban; he would hinder it. Laban and her mother would hinder it. He said, “Do not hinder me”.
TJC Could you say something about that because the beginning of the chapter suggests the Spirit is very patient? You referred to making the camels kneel down, but then when the moral features are secured and come to light there is urgency in His service, “Do not hinder me”. Could you say something about that?
DBR Well, I think we need to feel -perhaps more as the dispensation comes to a close - that there is certain urgency in the matter. It has to be completed. For instance, He says, “send me away”. I think there is a note of urgency in that, then too, in verse 33, “there was set meat before him to eat; but he said, I will not eat until I have made known my business”. You see the urgent feelings, you may say, that are in the heart of the Spirit, and He is not going to be diverted from His service, not at all.
PAG Would the fact that the Spirit’s service in this chapter involves adornment and the power for movement suggest that He is recognising what is already formed and, in a sense, setting His seal on it?
DBR You mean what had already been formed in Rebecca? Well, that brings out a very interesting point. Eve was a creational formation, she had nothing at all to do with it, it was God’s matter; but I think Rebecca is a family formation and that is a most important thing. Your father said the kingdom is important, but then the family is also important, the features that are formed in the family of God are important. I think we need to learn family manners. That brings in suitability too. She belonged to the right family, and she learned and is formed in a certain way, and the Spirit can take that on. There was something there that the servant could adorn in that way. That is your point; there is something to be formed. I think it opens up quite an important point. Have you more to say?
PAG I wondered if you could help us in the matter of adornment in verse 53, why silver articles are brought out first. We normally think of silver as speaking of redemption, but we know that the assembly is purchased, and I was enquiring as to why this matter of silver is brought in here.
DBR You are thinking about Acts 20, “purchased”, v 28. Yes, I think that is good. I do not know what more I could say about that. It is very fine. It says in verse 22, “And it came to pass when the camels had drunk enough, that the man took a gold ring, of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands, ten shekels weight of gold”, and so on. What do you think about that?
JDG I was looking at Proverbs 31, “Who can find a woman of worth? for her price is far above rubies”, v 10. What you are speaking about, family features, come out in that woman. She is willing to work with her hands in service in relation to the Lord’s interests here.
DBR That is good because it says, “two bracelets for her hands”, as if the Spirit typically had been affected by the work of this woman and, you might say, He was touching her hands now, giving her something for her hands. Labour is involved presently in the economy, and while it is the Father and the Son and the Spirit, the working out of it involves the brethren too.
JDG Her energy expended in serving the servant springs from her love.
DBR You mean Rebecca? That is good, her energy is based on her love, and I think that is the secret of what is communicated to her by the servant.
JDG It is an indication of how she will serve Christ as seen in Isaac when she meets Him.
DBR Just so. It is all preparing her for that. Really the whole chapter is the Spirit conducting the bride to Christ, and that is what He has been doing the whole dispensation, He has been conducting the saints to the true Isaac, the heavenly Man in testimony. Now, Christendom at large has missed it. Through divine grace we know a little about it, and I think we need to cling to it. Do you not think that?
JDG It is a moral journey that He is taking us here.
DBR That is just what it is.
NJH Would you bring the thought of the camels down to the local assembly?
DBR You would need to help us there.
NJH I was just thinking of men of discernment, and the Spirit would only provide power in a local meeting providing the relationships are right between persons and the Spirit. Is that right?
DBR That is good. I would like you to say more about that.
NJH I was thinking what you said at the beginning of the reading as to what the servant did. “And he made the camels kneel down outside the city.”
DBR There are the men and the ten camels. These men would be subservient to the servant, and I think that is important in our local meetings, that we learn to move subserviently. The Lord took the place of being the sent One in John’s gospel; the Spirit is sent of the Father and of the Son. I think that is to be taken on by ourselves in the working out of things and that is how power is arrived at, if I have grasped your thought. The camels are representative of the power that carries us, and the power that carries us, if we are to get the gain of it, must be that we are subservient persons, do you think?
NJH Yes, and if we are going to give any right influence in our localities you must lay hold of the whole divine concept that is in the mind of the Spirit at the moment.
DBR Just so, I think that is right. That is why I say one of the great features of Rebecca was that she was sensitive; she had sensibilities. I think we need to be more sensitive. I think we need to be exercised to be sensitive to the present movements of the Spirit.
CKR There must be some significance and parallel with Paul coming to Philippi and being outside the city. It was not camels there, but we have women who had assembled there, and then a sensitive person in Lydia. She says, “If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and abide there”, Acts 16: 13-15. Then you have the converted jailor (v 34), and you begin to see that the Spirit is operating and forming these features as the testimony goes westward, and the Pauline truth is embraced, do you think?
DBR That is good, and the women assembled by the river. I think that is important. I think that the river is deepening at Philippi. It is flowing out, but it is deepening there. The work of God was deepening and that is another sound feature that is seen here. There are qualities about Rebecca. It is not only the right lineage, but there are these qualities about her that the Spirit can take on, do you think? That was seen in Lydia and these other persons.
CKR Then we see it in the house of Chloe at Corinth, 1 Cor 1: 11. Would there have been something of these features which Paul must have discerned in every locality that he visited as the economy of local assemblies opened out?
DBR Yes, I think that is right, and therefore we need to learn to respect the work of God in one another because the work of God in a person produces qualities that no other work could produce. Do you agree with that?
CKR Paul has espoused them unto one Man, 2 Cor 11: 2.
DBR I was thinking that.
JAB So these qualities are listed by Paul in Galatians 5 as the fruit of the Spirit, “love, joy, peace ...”, the qualities that you have been speaking of that Paul could take account of and which the Spirit would produce. Paul describes them as “the fruit of the Spirit”, Gal 5: 22. These things have to be seen. We might think that what we are speaking about is very exalted, and so it is, but it is also very simple. It is the character of joy or patience. These things are attractive and that is what the Spirit is doing in one and another to form what you are speaking about; is that right?
DBR Read them to us.
JAB “Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, fidelity” - or faithfulness - “meekness”, and then the last one, “self-control”. Apart from that last one which would apply especially to ourselves, we see all of these features in the Spirit Himself.
DBR Very good, in the Spirit Himself; so in a certain sense we can take on the features of the Spirit, not only the features of Christ but the features of the Spirit that are here in display in this chapter typically in a very beautiful way. I think it is a most outstanding and beautiful chapter in Scripture. I say this dependently, but I think there is something in it for us today.
GCMcK Just to go back to the camels we were speaking about, the first intimation that Isaac has that Rebecca is coming is that he saw the camels coming. That must be something that is a very attractive feature in movement. Does that raise questions with us as to whether we are in movement in accord with the Spirit. Is there some assembly feature seen in movement towards Christ?
DBR Well, I have the impression the Lord Jesus is taking account of the power that is moving us. Isaac sees that first, he sees the camels, before he sees Rebecca. I think he is taking account of the power that is bringing her, and I think at the present moment - I do not say it in any hard way - but the Lord Jesus is looking to see what kind of power is carrying us on. Is it merely natural power? That will not take you the full distance. It will take you a certain distance but it will not take you the full distance. The only power is the power of the Spirit. That is the power of the camel. There is no other power for us, no other power for right movement apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. Would you agree with that?
GCMcK I was just thinking of how the thing applies to ourselves in our localities. Is there a sense of that in our meetings, and does the Lord take account of it, that we are following the Spirit and we are moving in His power; therefore, I suppose, true assembly features are appearing?
DBR Just so. That is the camel, but what do you say about the well? That is another fine type of the Spirit, the well. Moses sat by the well (Ex 2: 15), did he not? What do you say about the well?
GCMcK The well seems to speak of a powerful source of supply. It is not exactly a fountain here, of course, but a well, providing resource in a quiet and definite way.
DBR That is good, and it does not run dry. Rebecca drew for the man and then she drew for the ten camels which would be a significant amount of water, to draw for a man, and then to draw for ten camels, but there is still water in the well.
JTB Isaac all this time is dwelling in Beer-lahai-roi, ’Well of the Living ... who reveals himself’, Gen 16: 14, note. What would you say about that?
DBR It says, “And Isaac had just returned from Beer-lahai-roi”. The note says, ’came from coming to’. What do you think about that?
JTB It seemed to be his custom to go into that area where the well of living water could be enjoyed; related to ’the Living who reveals himself’.
DBR Do you not think that the Lord Jesus is in touch with the Spirit about things? I think divine Persons talk about what is proceeding. The suggestion has been made, and I think it is right, that He was in close touch with the operations of the Spirit. It is not a dead thing; the economy is a living matter, and there are living relationships and living communications between divine Persons. We come into the secret of that.
RJC Would the well suggest that, that there is something living, there is a movement of what is living. The Spirit’s service would involve that, would it not, bringing us into a living order of things in view of Christ having His own portion in the assembly where He is?
DBR I think that, an endless resource. The assembly is a place where we get these living communications. We just want to be simple. We are persons here today, and we know something about the temple. We know how the temple functions. It is the living God’s temple, and I think it is a wonderful thing; we need to be maintained in exercise in our comings together, however large or small the gathering, that we may get some sense of living communication from divine Persons.
FR In verse 64 we have as to Rebecca, “and she sprang off the camel”. Up until now it is the camels’ movements, but now it is Rebecca. It is as if she is full of the Spirit, and the energy of the Spirit is now in Rebecca.
DBR I think that is good. There is the energy of love there. “And Rebecca lifted up her eyes and saw Isaac, and she sprang off the camel. And she had said to the servant, Who is the man...?”. Who else could it be, beloved brethren, but the Lord Jesus? That is the Man! That is the Man that absorbs the assembly’s affections, and His glory absorbs the assembly with His beauty. He is the Man, and Rebecca responds and springs off the camel, do you think?
FR It is as if Rebecca is full of the Spirit. It is the movements of the Spirit bringing Rebecca but now it is Rebecca, full of the Spirit herself. It is not only the Spirit in Rebecca, it is the Holy Spirit.
DBR Well, that is good, and Rebecca, I think we might say, suggests a person who is marked by spiritual energy. Rebecca is really answering to what corresponds to Christ in every way.
GAB Going back to the matter of the well, is there not something settled, serene. A fountain, of course, is another thought and has its own place in Scripture, but it seems to me the well is something you can draw on. There is infinite resource there, but we need to be in a settled condition to do that.
DBR Well, I think it is helpful to see that. That involves good relationships with one another, you are settled. I think this matter of the well is important, because I think you will always get water where Isaac is. That is Christ; He is the Giver of living water. Later on in chapter 26 Isaac is securing wells again. He goes to one and it is opposed and he calls it ’“Ezek”, quarrel, v 20. Isaac does not remain there. He goes to dig another well and it is called “Sitnah”, opposition, v 21. He does not have any part in that either. He goes and digs another well, “Rehoboth”, broadways, “For now Jehovah has made room for us”, v 22. That is Isaac, beloved brethren, no quarrelling, no contention, settled conditions. You might say that something is to be met. The power of quarrel will not meet it, and the power of contention will not meet it, but I think it needs the well, a deep, settled, satisfied state of things.
GAB Do you think it is something that exists down here which is in complete consonance with what is in heaven? We began with that, Christ in the Father’s presence, the Spirit coming down here, and does that not bring us back to John 16, “for he shall not speak from himself; but whatsoever he shall hear he shall speak”. He is in direct contact with what is current in heaven and conveys that now to the assembly.
DBR I think that is excellent, because you have a Man in a new place, and you have a power that is equal to that in the Holy Spirit down here. That is the well.
NJH Is this well at the end more interesting than the one at the beginning of the chapter?
DBR Well, I would value what you think about that.
NJH At the beginning of the journey I suppose it would be the Spirit known in Romans, the moral side, the transportation where required; but at the end it is a bit like John 14, 15, 16 and 17, He ’came from coming to’. It is amazing how the Spirit comes into this chapter.
DBR That is very fine, and it links on with what was said, that there is a certain kingdom exercise. That is Romans, “righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14: 17), but this is an advance on that. There is a link with John 14 where it says, “In that day” - that is the Spirit’s day - “ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you”, John 14: 20. That is like that well, I think. You are coming into these wonderful areas of satisfied relationships. It is a wonderful thing that we are brought in to share in what the Father and the Son enjoy in each other.
JSp The moral thing has been worked out. There is a great widening out of things. Eternal life is involved in that, do you think?
DBR Yes, I do. We are touching an ocean of divine love. It is more than a well now! You have taken us on to more than a well, it is a great ocean of divine love. One of the hymn says that, “Filled in the ocean of that love”, Hymn 400. I think it is a great love chapter.
JAB Do we have to come to it in our experience that from one point of view we cannot live without this? What the well speaks of is not just something that would be nice to have as believers. These places Nahor and Beer-lahai-roi mean these people had to live beside wells. There was not any running water. They would have died if they did not have them. Do you think what you have been bringing before us is not an optional extra for Christians? This is our life. We must have it.
DBR We must have it. That is a good note to end on. We must have it. I think it really involves the fulness of divine thoughts. I think that is what Mr Taylor had in mind when he said that Rebecca was not a type of the Pentecostal assembly. If I get the thought rightly, the Pentecostal assembly would be Peter’s ministry, but the full thought of the assembly is Paul’s ministry, and what is presented there is that Christ is there in His body, which is the assembly. That is the full thought, and I think that is what is presented in this chapter, and while it does not take us to heaven, the Lord Himself will. The Lord Himself will come and take His bride to heaven, but the Spirit’s great service is to conduct the bride to Christ now in Sarah’s tent, the area of testimony, and there is a testimony being rendered that Israel could never render, and that is a testimony of Christ and His heavenly bride. So Paul says, “but I speak as to Christ, and as to the assembly”, Eph 5: 32.
RJC He is comforted. He has what He desires in the assembly and that is what He is looking for at the present time, is that not so? We put ourselves in this direction, do you think?
DBR That is very good. That is far beyond what is for you and me, it is what is for the heart of Christ, “And Isaac was comforted after the death of his mother”.
GAB So Rebecca is not permanently lodged in Sarah’s tent. It has been pointed out that she would have her own tent. Does that really look on to Paul’s ministry being opened up in contrast to the Pentecostal assembly?
DBR Yes, and local assemblies being set up, and every local assembly governed by the universal thought. I think that is the fulness of what is in mind in securing the bride for Christ.
27th February 2010