Do you want the Lord to lead you or leave you alone? If you want to be left alone, you will elevate your desires and preferences and find disillusionment as you seek happiness and peace in vain. If you want to be led by God, you will submit yourself to Christ in faith and find peace as you know that your work is good and has lasting value. Today we shall turn our attention to Genesis 24 and learn about “God’s Providential Guidance” in the story of Abraham’s servant’s journey to the city of Nahor to find a wife for Isaac. Let us consider:
- Hear and Obey God’s Call (1-9). Abraham was convinced of 3 important points: 1) God promised his offspring the land of Canaan (Gen 15:18-21), 2) Isaac’s wife must not be Canaanite (lest she lead Isaac astray into idolatry), and 3) Isaac must not move away from the land (and put the promise of God into jeopardy). Therefore, he sent his servant to “my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” In faith, Abraham trusted that God would provide a wife for Isaac. It is important for Christians to know God’s Word and discern if their actions align with God’s Word.
- Trust in God’s Providential Guidance (10-27). Verse 7 gives us the proper context for this section. Abraham told his servant that God “will send his angel before you” thus guaranteeing its success. This Divine guidance indicates that the task aligns with God’s will. Abraham’s servant believed that God would make the trip successful and prayed “please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham”. The servant went, as Abraham directed, to the city of Nahor in Mesopotamia and met the right person at the right time. Was it a coincidence? Not at all. Abraham’s servant said in verse 27, “the Lord has led me in the way to the house of my master’s kinsmen”. Laban and Bethuel recognized God’s guidance in this matter and said: “The thing has come from the Lord…take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has spoken.” Christians who are living for Christ, must trust that God is working in them and guiding their steps.
- Refuse to be Distracted (28-60). Eliezer had a job to do, and it was more important than anything else. He wanted to faithfully discharge his duty and refused to be distracted from it. After recounting the story to Rebekah’s family, Rebekah’s brother Laban brought food out. Rather than being distracted, Abraham’s servant said, “I will not eat until I have said what I have to say.” Later, he said “Do not delay me, since the Lord has prospered my way.” Christians must refuse to be distracted from God’s will. There are many things (good and bad) that seek your time and attention, but we must prioritize our time and attention so that we are faithful to discharge our duty.
- Rest in God’s Faithfulness (61-67). After receiving her families blessing, Rebekah and her young women left the city of Nahor with Abraham’s servant. Isaac and Rebekah met and were soon married. She was a great comfort for him after the passing of Sarah. This section is important because it shows that God will bring His promises to completion. Paul wrote in Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Christians must not grow discouraged but know that God will bring about the proper conclusion to your life and situation.
Christian, you have good work to do from God. Trust that God will guide you and help you accomplish it. Carry out your charge in faith and hope, knowing that God will bring it to completion.
Grow Group Guide
God’s Providential Guidance (Genesis 24)
Open with prayer and then have someone volunteer to read Genesis 24. After reading the text, discuss the following questions:
- What does the text say? (What happened? What happened next? What happened after that?) What did Abraham tell his servant to do? Where was he to go? Where was he not to go? What was he to do if he was unsuccessful? Where did he go to find a young maiden and why did he choose this spot? What did the servant pray? What did Rebekah do? Why did the servant bow his head and worship the Lord in verse 26? What did the servant refuse to do and why? Who went before Abraham’s servant to “prosper your way”? What is significant about Rebekah’s family’s blessing in verse 60? How did Isaac respond to Rebekah?
- What does it tell us about God? (Discuss the nature and character of God.) Why would God object to Isaac marrying a Canaanite woman? Why would God send an angel before the servant to ensure success? Is this a literal statement or just a figure of speech? Did God answer the servant’s prayer? When did Rebekah come to the well (see beginning of verse 15)? Was it wrong for Abraham’s servant to ask God for a sign? Should we ask for signs from God? What was God’s motivation for making the servant’s journey successful (see 12, 27, 49)?
- What does it tell us about ourselves? (What are the human characters in the story doing or not doing that serve as a warning or encouragement to us?) Why do you think Abraham chose this particular servant to carry out this task? What ways did the servant demonstrate his faithfulness? Why was it important for Abraham’s servant to give lots of detail about his meeting with Rebekah? Do you believe Abraham’s servant was confident that his mission would be successful? Why or why not?
- How am I going to think, speak, and live differently because of what I learned? James writes that we should be doers of the word and not just hearers (James 1:22). It is not enough to know what the story says, it is important to apply the truth of the story to our lives. Take some time in prayer and consider some changes that you need to make in the following areas: