Heart Attachment
-- The Believer's Pathway 1880

Genesis 24

I love that story of the 24th of Genesis. I think it is such a beautiful picture of a heart won for Christ. No doubt it shows salvation; but it tells the simple story, too, of a heart won, and affections all engaged with an absent loved one--with Christ. You may have read it often; but suppose we go over it again, for "the half hath not been told."

Isaac is the center object. For him the father plans; of him the servant speaks; to him the bride is brought. Isaac is all. And what a glory is his! He had recently been bound to the altar on Moriah, and the glittering knife had been raised above his head. But all this is past and gone, and now, received as from the dead, he is seated at his father's side, heir of all, waiting for the home-bringing of the bride whom the servant has gone to win for him.

What a picture is all this of the Lord Jesus! There, at the right hand of God, He sits today, the Heir of all, His sorrows and His pains forever past. The Holy Spirit has come forth from the Father and the Son to win a bride; and, on that throne, He patiently waits till the hour appointed for her welcome home. Then He will rise up, and go forth to receive her to Himself, even as He has promised.

But to follow the servant a little: Laden with Abraham's riches, he proceeds to Mesopotamia. There he meets Rebekah at the well, and at once, begins his work--the work of heart-winning. He opens a casket {chest}, and brings forth the precious jewels, placing them on her hands. Then he pours into her ear the story of Abraham's wealth, and Isaac as the heir of all. Oh, how he magnifies that son! The whole story is of him--not one word of self at all. And this is the work of a soul-winner. Preach Christ if you want to win hearts for Him. If you preach yourself, you'll steal them, as Absalom did.

Rebekah listens; and, I suppose, like Sheba's queen, there was left no more spirit in her. I'm sure, at least, there was left no heart, for it was won for Isaac. And such is the power of the gospel of Christ. It is a heart-winning gospel; it draws to Him. You have never heard nor known the fullness of the gospel yet, if your heart has not been won for Christ.

But now comes the test--the question of questions for Rebekah: "Wilt thou go with this man?" It meant, "Are you prepared to leave all for Isaac?" "How could she?" you say. "How hard to leave father, mother, kindred, home, and all for one she had never seen." Indeed, it was not hard at all; it was the easiest thing possible. But let her tell her own story. "And she said: I will go." To be sure; what else could she do? Her heart was won; and it was with Isaac long before she uttered her "I will go;" for where the treasure is, there the heart will be, and the feet will soon follow.

Has your heart been won for the Lord Jesus so? Have you so known Him that you can say, "I will go"? Has the power of His love so won your affections that you can say, "I have heard Him and observed Him. What have I to do any more with idols?" (Hosea 14:8). Or do you still cling to worldly pleasures? Have they still a charm for you? Then, surely you have never seen the beauty of the Lord, and never known the power of His love. I cannot blame you for your worldly dress, your worldly conversation, your worldly company--you know no better. The heart must have an object; and if not Christ, it must be the world. And this is why so many who profess to be sound cling to these things. Poor unsatisfied souls! Reader, are you one of them?--or have you been won by the loveliness of the Lord Jesus? Then you will not think it hard to give up anything--nay, all--for Him!

"And Rebekah arose ... and followed the man" (Gen. 24:61). Her heart was away across the desert with Isaac already; and how easy it was to arise and follow. Every link that bound her to the old country was snapped. To her it was now but "a wilderness wide," for Isaac was not there; and where he is, there her portion and her joy are found. She left all for him; and I'm certain she mounted the camel that day without a sigh, and rode off without a lingering look. Nor do we read that she ever had any desire to return again. Ah, no, she had got something better.

Is that the way you left the world behind you, my brother, my sister in Christ? When the Christ of God espoused you to be His, did His love and the glory beyond so fill and thrill your heart that there was no room left for the world? Does He still so satisfy your soul that earth's tinsel treasure has no charms for you at all? Or do you feel it hard to pass by "the world's vanity fair," without having a peep at it like other worldly ones? Many who profess to be the Lord's, leave the world and their old associates as a sort of duty, or because a bit of extra pressure was put upon them "to come out and be separate" at the time of their conversion. But somehow they soon creep back to their old holes {haunts}again, and you'll see them now in the giddy crowd, and as like it as they can be. The fact is, their hearts were never out of it; they always had a hankering after its pleasures. It was a sore pang to them to see the grand sports of the ungodly, and to think they dare not join them because they got "converted"! Then, if they had a sly dance with the ungodly, or a bit of fun, it might be known, and they would be "brought to book" {challenged} for it by some of their brethren. This is about the extent of the "separation from the world" known by some--a miserable bondage, truly; and it's not so much to be wondered at when they break bounds and go back to the world.

They were never in reality out of it in heart; and God doesn't want an outward, heartless separation--a shell without a kernel. Oh, no. God begins with the heart. He presents Christ to the heart; and when the heart is His, the "outwards" will soon follow. So it was with Rebekah. She started well; she continued to go on well; and she ended well, because she was purposed in heart. So, too, with Paul. He counted all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord at the beginning; and his heart was as true and his decision as firm the last night of his desert journey as it was the first. No drawing back; no turning aside with him; but onward, homeward, Christward, till the rest was reached.

Do you find it so, beloved? Is Christ as dear and the world as worthless as they were when you were newly converted? Can you suffer as much for Him now as you did then? and does your longer acquaintance with Him have the effect of making you long the more to see His face? Happy, thrice happy, if so it be. You will not need the "ashes" of the world when you have such a "feast." You will have the Spirit witnessing in your soul telling you of the Lord Jesus, and you will not weary save to be with Him. I cannot think the desert was a lonesome road to Rebekah. The guide was by her side, and he had doubtless much to tell her--all about Isaac; all about home. How her heart would burn as they journeyed on! How little attraction would aught they might pass by have for her!

And so with us. Our desert Guide--our Comforter--delights to speak of the Lord Jesus, and show us glorious things to come (John 16:13.). Thus, the journey home is both bright and cheerful. Beloved, do you find it so? One has said that "the shortest road between two places is to have a cheerful companion walking with you." And God has sent you the best of company--the Holy Spirit for a guide. Do you need the world too? Do you seek the counsel of the ungodly? Surely never. Think of Rebekah becoming unmanageable on the way to Isaac? How grieved that guide would have been. And shall we--by speaking this world's language, or walking in its ways--grieve our blessed Guide in seeking friendship with the world that murdered our Beloved?

Oh, let us be watchful. Keep thine heart above all things. Out of it are the issues of life. Heart-disease comes first; all others follow. The unsteady walk, the uncertain eye, the vitiated taste, the speech so like the world--these all have their beginnings in the heart that has departed from the living God.