God, our Pioneer

Thursday, November 16th, 2023

Recently I was reading Genesis chapter 24. I was struck by the incredible events that God orchestrated in order to find the appropriate wife for Isaac (Abraham’s son). This is one of those cut-away scriptures where we get to see behind the scenes as to how Isaac and Rebekah met. Imagine if we could see how God weaves incredible blessings and events into our lives at any given moment? And this would just be for one person. He does this for innumerable humans in every moment of every single day! It’s really too much for us to comprehend. The part of this story that I find most intriguing is how God goes before the servant and prepares all the necessary events so that he can return with the exact wife for Isaac. We all know that God is with us, but we don’t always realize that He can, at the same time, go before us and prepare events so that everything happens exactly according to His plans. Let’s start by looking at Genesis 24:7:

The Lord God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my family, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I give this land,’ He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 

This is one of those passages that stokes the flames of my spirit. Abraham’s way of stirring up his faith is by remembering what God had done for him in the past. It’s like a burst of fuel to our fire when we can say, “God I have no idea how you are going to do this, but I remember how you fulfilled a promise/saved me from death/sickness/fear/pain/[insert past trial] and I am going to believe You at Your word that You will provide for me again.” The servant left Canaan and headed out to Nahor in Mesopotamia. It says he traveled with 10 camels and some number of other men. There seem to be a few different theories as to how far this really is. Some say 300 miles and others say 600 miles. Let’s take the lesser number along with the fact that camels travel around 25 miles in a day. This means this was about a 12 day’s journey. With all of today’s advancements we can’t really comprehend this, but just imagine preparing for a 12 day journey and “hoping” that you find what you are going there for. I am not talking about a 12-day vacation. Twelve days of hoofing it, providing food and water for all the humans and camels in the caravan, braving any weather, somehow sleeping and also making sure you travel in the right direction (with no Siri to help you). Both Abraham and the servant were clearly evidencing their faith in God by planning and taking this journey. Let’s look at another scripture. Genesis 24:14 says this:

14 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.”

The servant has made it to a well outside the city of Nahor and he prays to God asking for a sign to know the exact wife for Isaac. Now, I know we shouldn’t go around demanding signs from God. However, there are certainly times where God desires that we give Him specific requests so that when He fulfills them, we will know without a doubt that it was Him. He also wants us to understand that He truly does want to give us the desires of our heart. My family and I know that the house we are currently in is not our forever home. A few months ago, God asked us (along with our children) to make a list of all the things we would like in a future house. These are not extravagant things, but things that would give us a space fit for our family and our passions. And we pray into that list with some regularity. Right after the servant’s prayer, Rebekah comes to the well and does exactly as the servant had prayed. She gives water to the servant and his camels, tells him who her family is and says there is enough provision for all of them to stay in her father’s house. Right after all of these events, the servant says this in Genesis 24:27:

27 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.”

There was no doubt in the servant’s mind that God had orchestrated all of this. And the very first thing he did once it all unfolded was to worship God and declare his gratefulness to him. He didn’t say, “Oh I hope this works out”, or “Let’s wait and make sure we close the whole deal first”. Nope, he could see the hand of God working and his heart immediately took a posture of worship. Let’s move on to Genesis 24:40:

40 But he said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I walk, will send His angel with you and prosper your way; and you shall take a wife for my son from my family and from my father’s house.

The servant is now recapping the story to everyone in Rebekah’s father’s house. This is his testimony. He was declaring the faith of Abraham and the power of Abraham’s spoken word that agreed with the promises of God and refused to do anything that did not align with these promises. Not only has the servant seen all that God did, but now everyone in this house is getting a chance to see how they were involved in this incredible miracle. Let’s look at one more scripture. It’s Genesis 24:56:

56 And he said to them, “Do not hinder me, since the Lord has prospered my way; send me away so that I may go to my master.”

Rebekah’s brother and mother wanted her to stay for ten days. The servant however did not want to let any human get in the way of what God had done. Abraham and Isaac (unless God had told them) had no way of knowing how the servant’s journey was going. And it was going to take just as long for all of them to get back to Canaan as it took to get to Nahor. He didn’t want any delays. I respect the servant’s stand to not give into Rebekah’s family, but to recognize what God had done and to desire to see it come to completion. Something in his spirit must have told him that staying with the family for any longer was not part of the journey that God had planned.

Final Thoughts…

While I never want to pretend to be God nor try to fill His shoes, I sure would love to see all He does to prepare our paths ahead. He is ever working in His masterpiece to make sure all the right people, supplies, tools, blessings and love notes are in just the right place along our pathway. He isn’t just next to us; He is simultaneously going before us to make sure our future is even more glorious than our present. For every blessing we see and experience there may be many more that we didn’t see or didn’t realize were the handiwork of God. It takes faith to trust that a God that we cannot see or fully comprehend desires to weave all of the events in our lives (past, present and future) into something beautiful. Once we experience a small portion of His creativity, we will start to see that anything and everything is possible to Him. Instead of doubting Him we will start to say, “God, I cannot wait to see how you are going to make something beautiful out of this and I am going to shout it from the rooftop when You do!”