In Genesis 24, we find the account of how Rebekah came to be Isaac’s wife. It is a truly beautiful story, on many levels. And surprisingly, there is an example of humility, loyalty, trust, faithfulness, prayer, and thanksgiving shown to us by, of all people, Abraham’s servant.
“Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. So Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, ‘Please, put your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.’ ” ~ Genesis 24:1-4
I am guessing that this unnamed man was not merely a servant or a slave, but rather an esteemed and faithful bondservant – someone who pledges themselves freely, of their own accord, to serve another, for life.
Did you know we as Christians are called to be bondservants of Jesus Christ, putting aside our own desires and our own will that we might follow after what Jesus desires and wills? Jesus gave us an example in the life He lived on earth, as a bondservant of His Father God in heaven.
” ‘Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.’ ” ~ Mark 10:43-45
“But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” ~ Romans 6:17-18
“For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:5
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” ~ Philippians 2:5-8
This servant obviously was a trustworthy man, for Abraham had placed him over all of his possessions, and Abraham was enormously wealthy.
Did you know we as Christians are called to be good and faithful stewards of God’s riches and of the gifts He has bestowed on us? Jesus told several parables about stewardship. And again, His life is a perfect example for us to follow.
“… ‘For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.’ ” ~ Luke 12:48b
“Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” ~ 1 Corinthians 4:1-2
“As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” ~ 1 Peter 4:10
Back to Genesis! As we read through this chapter (and I strongly encourage you to do so!), we follow this servant on his long journey back to the land God had called Abraham out of years before, “to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor” (Genesis 24:10). And then we are shown a delightful example of this man’s wholehearted devotion, not only to the man he willingly served, but also to the God of the man he willingly served.
“And he made his camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water at evening time, the time when women go out to draw water. Then he said, ‘O LORD God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, “Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,” and she says, “Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink”–let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.’ And it happened, before he had finished speaking…” ~ Genesis 24:11-15a
Several things to note about this man’s prayer:
* He petitioned the LORD God humbly, on behalf of another, for the will and needs of another. Humility.
* He asked for a very specific scenario to unfold. Faith.
* He expected an answer. “By this I will know”. Trust and expectation.
* God immediately answered, “before he had finished speaking”. God’s faithfulness revealed, especially since He had inspired this entire trip to begin with!
Now, I wish I could say that God always answers our prayers with a “Yes”, immediately. Sometimes we must trust and wait on Him and on His timing, for His answer of “Yes”, “No”, or “Wait”. But how awesome it is when He does answer immediately! And when God answered, what did the servant do, immediately?
“Then the man bowed down his head and worshiped the LORD. And he said, ‘Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master. As for me, being on the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s brethren.’… And it came to pass, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, that he worshiped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth.” ~ Genesis 24:26-27, 52
This humble bondservant immediately bowed and worshiped God! And then he gave God all the glory, honor, and praise due Him for His faithful provision, publicly! What an example for us. How often do I drop everything to worship and praise God when He provides for me? Thanksgiving.
Not only did this man immediately praise and honor God, but he then recounted to those around him the great ways God had faithfully provided and answered his prayer (see Genesis 24:32-49, 66). Testimony.
He also continued faithfully about his master Abraham’s business, refusing even to partake of the meal offered him until things had been settled, one way or another (see Genesis 24:33, 49-54). Faithfully serving.
Oh, what lessons we can learn from the life of this bondservant, who was deemed worthy and faithful.
* Be a good and faithful steward.
* Humbly, willingly, and obediently serve.
* Set aside our own needs for the sake of another.
* Trust God completely to provide whatever we may need.
* Have hearts full of worship, praise, and thanksgiving when God answers our prayers.
* Publicly testify of the great things God has done for us!
* Continue to go about our Master’s business, putting it ahead of all else.
” ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, keep My commandments.’ ” ~ John 14:12-15