TEXT: Genesis 24
MESSAGE: “Trusting God in the Details”
Charles Taylor says, “‘Don’t you feel it? Don’t you have those moments of either foreboding or on-the-cusp elation where you can’t shake the sense that there must be something more?’”
Psalm 139:16 — “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
“…a theme is the hidden, inscrutable guidance of God…the mention of the angel is most peculiar and nothing is made of it in the narrative…likely it puts the reader on notice that this seemingly “natural” sequence of affairs consists in more than meets the eye. God is at work here. Only the discerning believer discerns the angel. Others will regard these remarkable events as “good luck.” Walter Brueggemann
What can we learn about faith and trusting God with the details of life? We see three ways in today’s text…(1. A Last Request 2. A Greater Master 3. A New Chapter)
- A Last Request (v. 1-9)
“Abraham was now old and well advanced in years, and the LORD had blessed him in every way. 2 He said to the chief servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh. 3 I want you to swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, 4 but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.” 5 The servant asked him, “What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?” 6“ Make sure that you do not take my son back there,” Abraham said. 7“ The LORD, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land’— he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. 8 If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.” 9 So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.”
- A Greater Master (v. 12-15; 23-28)
“12 Then he prayed, “O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. 14 May it be that when I say to a girl, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’— let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.” 15 Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder…Then he asked, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?” 24 She answered him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milcah bore to Nahor.” 25 And she added, “We have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for you to spend the night.” 26 Then the man bowed down and worshiped the LORD, 27 saying, “Praise be to the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the LORD has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.” 28 The girl ran and told her mother’s household about these things.”
“Here God is not actually on stage, but the servant prays to him at the beginning and the end of his meeting with Rebekah, and the whole action and dialogue in v. 15-25 are such a palpable answer to the servant’s prayer that we feel God is just behind the curtain pushing Rebekah on stage right on cue.” — Gordon Wenham
“In Genesis 24, even though the servant dictated what circumstances he wanted to occur, Rebekah, Laban, and the extended family are all persuaded by circumstances that God has indeed communicated. Rather than forcing God’s hand, we need to learn to see his fingerprints on our lives.” — John H. Walton
- A New Chapter (v. 62-67)
“62 Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. 63 He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. 64 Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel 65 and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?” “He is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself. 66 Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. 67 Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.”
“..we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another…the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting–any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” can truly say to every group of Christian friends, “Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.” The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.”
— C.S. Lewis
* What would your final request be?
* Do you believe that God hears simple prayers and answers them with His best?
“Our time frames are not in touch with ultimate reality. Our perspective on timing compared with God’s is analogous to a two-year-old’s with an adult’s. God has good reasons for making us wait a long time to see some prayers answered.” — Timothy Keller
* Do you believe that God has a bigger plan, even when it’s hard to see?
Gospel: John 2:1-5 — “Wedding feast in Cana”
“On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples.3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”