Today’s Reading: Genesis 23-24
Sarah died at age 127. Abraham bought a plot of land surrounding a cave so that he could have a permanent burial place for his family. He, too, was getting up in age and it was time for him to find a wife for Isaac. He did not want her to marry a local Canaanite woman, so he asked his oldest servant, the man in charge of his household, to travel back to his homeland to find Isaac a wife.
So the servant took an oath by putting his hand under the thigh of his master, Abraham. He swore to follow Abraham’s instructions. Then he loaded ten of Abraham’s camels with all kinds of expensive gifts from his master, and he traveled to distant Aram-naharaim. Then he went to the town where Abraham’s brother Nahor had settled. He made the camels kneel beside a well just outside the town. It was evening and the women were coming out to draw water. – Genesis 24:9-11
When asked to perform this very important task for his master, Abraham’s servant was WILLING, he was PREPARED and he left EQUIPPED to do what he had been asked to do. He STRATEGICALLY POSITIONED himself. He was there to find a young woman, so he went to the place where the young women were known to go each day and draw water for their families. Then he PRAYED to God for success.
Abraham’s servant was willing, prepared, equipped, strategically positioned and, most of all, he prayed to God for success in doing what he had been called upon to do.
“O Lord, God of my master, Abraham,” he prayed. “Please give me success today, and show unfailing love to my master, Abraham. See, I am standing here beside the spring, and the young women of the town are coming out to draw water. This is my request. I will ask one of them, ‘Please give me a drink from your jug.’ If she says, ‘Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!’ – let her be the one you have selected as Isaac’s wife. This is how I will know that you have shown unfailing love to my master.” – Genesis 24:12-14
Abraham’s servant had been entrusted with a great responsibility. When it came time for him to carry out Abraham’s request, he FIRST took time to pray – asking God to be the one to give him success that day. His heart was genuine. He did not want success for his own merit but out of love for His master. And the Spirit compelled him to pray specifically.
Before he had finished praying…
BEFORE HE HAD EVEN FINISHED PRAYING…
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Before the words were completely out of his mouth, God specifically answered his prayer!
Before he had finished praying, he saw a young woman named Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel, who was the son of Abraham’s brother, Nahor and his wife, Milcah. Rebekah was very beautiful and old enough to be married, but she was still a virgin. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up again. Running over to her, the servant said, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.”
“Yes, my lord,” she answered, “have a drink.” And she quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and gave him a drink. When she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels, too, until they have had enough to drink.” – Genesis 24:15-19
Now my study Bible says that ten thirsty camels could drink as much as 250 gallons of water. This generous offer of Rebekah’s showed she was hard-working and hospitable. By remaining a virgin, Rebekah was also AVAILABLE for God’s plan for her life.
The servant waited patiently, watching God be God – taking in the moment when God was answering his prayer and making his journey successful. He then took time to praise God and to give honor to the God who had LED HIM ON HIS JOURNEY. God had not simply called him, He had led Him.
The man bowed low and worshiped the Lord. “Praise the Lord, the God of my master, Abraham,” he said. The Lord has shown unfailing love and faithfulness to my master, for he has led me straight to my master’s relatives.” – Genesis 24:26-27
The servant gave Rebekah a gold nose ring and two large gold bracelets for her wrists – very expensive gifts. Rebekah brought the servant back to her family and her brother immediately noticed the value of the gifts. The servant testified to Laban and his family how God had given him success in what he had been sent to do.
Delayed obedience is disobedience. Rebekah’s family wanted her to wait 10 days before leaving but the servant did not want to delay the completion of his mission. Rebekah recognized the hand of God on her life and willingly went with the servant right away, rather than taking the time to say goodbye to her family as was traditionally allowed.
I love this next part because I have experienced it firsthand: It was while spending time alone in God’s presence that Isaac looked up and saw Rebekah (24:63). I love how our faithful God speaks to us and moves in our lives during our quiet times with Him. I believe there was no doubt in Isaac’s mind and no wavering of Rebekah’s heart that God had chosen them to join together for His purposes and His plan.
Lord, we pause and wait patiently for you. We take time this morning to pray and to praise. We are willing to be used by you today. Lord, prepare and equip us to accomplish your will. Give us wisdom to know where to strategically position ourselves and how to pray specifically. Speak to us and give us an unwavering obedient heart for you. We love you and we praise you for unfailing love and faithfulness towards us each day. You are the God who provides and we look forward to watching you simply be God today. Amen.