Sunday, April 6

Lessons from Abraham's servant

At Quest, we have spent the last couple of weeks using the stories of Abraham to get a picture of what God wants the relationship between God and people to look like. This time, we moved on to the story in Genesis 24 about Abraham sending his servant to find a wife for Isaac. To summarize the story, Abraham’s servant goes back to land Abraham originally came. When he gets there, he prays that God will bring the person God intends him to choose to the well and that the young woman will offer to give him and his camels water. The first young woman he talks is Rachel, and she does exactly what he prayed for, and she “just happens” to be from the family of Abraham’s uncle. Rachel’s family acknowledges that this is something from God, and they send her with the servant to be Isaac’s wife. Again, there are a number of lessons that we can learn here:

· God listens to us when we talk to him, even if we aren’t anyone who is “important.” One of the things that we see here is that God doesn’t only listen to Abraham. It isn’t Abraham who prays that God will work in finding the right woman. It is the servant. And God hears and answers this prayer, even though he is only a servant. You don’t have to be important for God to be interested in you or to listen to you. He will respond to anyone who wants a relationship with him.

· At least sometimes, God begins to work to answer our prayers even before we ask. In this case, Rachel was there even before the servant finished praying. (Genesis 24:15) This means that God had set events in motion to answer that prayer well before the servant actually started praying it.

· The servant recognized the work of God. Once he knew that his prayer had been answered, the first thing he did, even before he explained who he was to Rachel, was to bow down and worship God and to thank God for answering his prayer. I think this gives us a good model for how we should respond when God answers our prayers.

· We also see the importance of relationships with God in our interactions with others. While it is unstated, it seems fairly certain that at least one of Abraham’s motivations for looking for a wife for Isaac among his family is that he didn’t want Isaac to marry a Canaanite woman, who would follow the Canaanite gods and who would teach her children to do the same. Abraham’s family seems to have at least some understanding of who God is, and they recognize that the hand of God is at work in the situation. Because of this, they do not hesitate to send Rachel to be Isaac’s wife. It is much easier for people who have at least some relationship with God to recognize and understand when God is working in situations.

Those are the highlights of our discussions over the last couple of weeks. In both of these stories we see that God cares about people and will provide for the people who follow him. Next week we will continued looking at stories from Genesis and what they can teach us about the relationship between God and people.

1 comment:

Miriam said...

Hi, I was just casually reading on the story about Abraham sending his servant to look for a wife for Isaac when I came across your post.
The points you brought up are interesting, except for one thing -the girl that the servant chose was Rebekah, not Rachel.