The Servant – Genesis 24

Being a servant of the Lord is a great honor. We are all called to be ambassadors of Jesus Christ to this world. We are on this earth to bring glory to God as servants for the cause of Christ. Here in Genesis 24, we learn some valuable lessons about servanthood. Abraham is sending his eldest servant to go and find a wife for his son Isaac. This was a very important task that would not be trusted with just anyone. This servant was well respected by Abraham and had earned the credibility to be trusted with this work. There is a lesson to be learned here by why of introduction. Just like anything in life, we must earn credibility in order to be entrusted with various tasks. If God is going to use us in greater ways, we must prove ourselves faithful in the little things. Those whom God uses mightily are those who have been tried and proven. In this chapter of Genesis, we see six things concerning this servant of Abraham that is applicable to us today.

The Commissioning of the Servant (v 1-9). The chapter begins by declaring how Abraham had been blessed by the Lord. Abraham was blessed in many ways and had become a very wealthy man. He had many servants, but, there was one servant he trusted the most. This servant was given charge over the entire house of Abraham and now he was being reassigned to a very important task; a task that Abraham could only trust with this particular servant. Abraham commissions the servant to go and find a wife for his son. Anytime a servant is sent out to do a work, there should be a time of commissioning. Such commissioning can be either formal or informal. Notice a couple of things about the commissioning of a servant.

First of all, a commitment must be made. Abraham tells his servant to make an oath. If you are going to serve the Lord, there must be a commitment. You cannot just casually be involved. God is looking for those who are all in. He is looking for those who are committed. If you cannot follow through on your commitments, then how can God use you in greater ways? To serve the Lord, it requires a certain level of commitment.

Secondly, the commitment must be made in the sight of the Lord. In verse three, Abraham made his servant swear by the Lord God in heaven. In other words, this commissioning was done in the sight of the Lord. It was not just a commitment made before men or to men. It was a commitment made before God and to God. If you make a commitment to serve, for example, in a certain area of ministry in the church, your commitment is made not just to the church, but to God. It is made in the sight of the Lord. This puts much more substance and weight to your commitment.

A final thing we see about this commissioning of the servant is that a commitment is signified by laying on of hands. Abraham had the servant put his hand under his thigh as a sign of the oath that was being made. The thigh indicates the procreative power and heritage of the patriarch’s position as the source of the family.[1] When we commission a missionary or a deacon or a pastor, we will lay hands on the individual and pray over them. This laying on of hands gives confirmation that this person is truly a servant of God.

The prayer of the servant (v. 10-14). The servant heads out on his journey and comes to the place that Abraham sent him to. The servant prays that God will give him success on his mission. He prays that the first young woman that comes and agrees to give him a drink from the well would be the woman who God wants Isaac to marry. This is what is often referred to today as praying with a fleece. This is what Gideon did when he was seeking God’s will. Praying in such a way, though seen in the Bible, is not necessarily the way God wants us to pray. Praying in such a way can be dangerous and confusing. I have prayed that way before, but, it is not something that I would regularly do. When we pray, we should do so in a way that shows our total trust in God. The point here is not on how the servant prayed, but, that he prayed. Anytime we set out to do anything for the Kingdom of God, we must wrap it in prayer. Without prayer we are powerless. It is impossible to be a true servant of God without being a man or a woman of prayer.

The prayer of the servant answered (v. 15-27). The servant’s prayer was answered immediately. I beautiful girl approaches the well and not only gives the servant water but also watered his camels too. It is remarkable how God answered his prayer so quickly. This is what we would call a God thing. God orchestrated this whole affair, it was clearly a part of His plan. It is a wonderful thing to see God do things in such a way that is clearly something that only He can do. This is something we should pray for often. We should pray that God would take control and do what only He can do. Pray that He would take charge and do the miraculous.

The provision for the servant (v. 28-33). Rebekah takes the servant to her father and the servant is provided a meal and a place to stay. God always has a way of providing for those who faithfully serve Him. When you set out to serve the Lord, you will find that He will give you exactly what you need for the task. Don’t think that God calls you to serve and then leaves you hanging. God calls the willing and He equips the called.

The report from the servant (v. 34-49). The servant speaks to Rebekah’s father and tells him all that he was sent to do and how he was led to Rebekah. His report is very clear and very concise. It is important that a servant of God share with others what God has done through them. This is not to brag or bring glory to yourself, rather, it is to brag on God and bring glory to Him. As we report on our mission it will encourage others to be involved in the work also. If no one knows what is going on, then how can they be involved? In order for others to get in on what God is doing, then they need to hear what God is doing. In order for the them to hear about what God is doing, we must tell them.

The success of the servant (v. 50-67). The servant’s mission is successful. Rebekah returns with the servant and marries Isaac. In verse 50 Rebekah’s brother and father makes an interesting statement. They say, “the thing proceedeth from the Lord; we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.” In other words, they could not argue with God. When there is something that is clearly of God, you cannot deny it. You cannot argue with it. You cannot stop it. The lesson learned here is that only God gives success. Any successes we have comes from the Lord. We can work hard in serving the Lord, but it is God that produces the results. We cannot save souls or change lives or cause the church to grow, but God can. Anytime we have success in ministry, we must be quick to give all the glory to God!

What about you? Are you a willing servant? Are you willing to do whatever God calls you to do? Will you obey?

[1] Mathews, K. A. (2005). Genesis 11:27–50:26 (Vol. 1B, p. 326). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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