Ray Kroc, the driving force behind McDonald’s restaurants once said, “The two most important requirements for major success are: first, being in the right place at the right time, and second, doing something about it.” As the multitude of Golden Arches around the world attest, Mr. Kroc certainly knew a thing or two about success! Today’s passage gives us another example of being in the right place at the right time. However, in lieu of a fast-food insider, there’s an astute servant on a mission for his master—sans Big Mac, but with a God-seeking heart instead.
- When you are faced with a daunting task, what’s your process in tackling the challenge at hand? At what point do you ask God for his guidance and provision?
READ THE WORD: GENESIS 24:10-28 (ESV)
10 Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking all sorts of choice gifts from his master; and he arose and went to Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor. 11 And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time when women go out to draw water. 12 And he said, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. 13 Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 Let the young woman to whom I shall say, ‘Please let down your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.”
15 Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her water jar on her shoulder. 16 The young woman was very attractive in appearance, a maiden whom no man had known. She went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up. 17 Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jar.” 18 She said, “Drink, my lord.” And she quickly let down her jar upon her hand and gave him a drink. 19 When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw water, and she drew for all his camels. 21 The man gazed at her in silence to learn whether the Lord had prospered his journey or not.
22 When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing a half shekel, and two bracelets for her arms weighing ten gold shekels, 23 and said, “Please tell me whose daughter you are. Is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?” 24 She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” 25 She added, “We have plenty of both straw and fodder, and room to spend the night.” 26 The man bowed his head and worshiped the Lord 27 and said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his steadfast love and his faithfulness toward my master. As for me, the Lord has led me in the way to the house of my master’s kinsmen.” 28 Then the young woman ran and told her mother’s household about these things.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- In verses 10-11, Abraham’s servant executed a pointed strategy. What did he take, where did he go, and what did he do?
- Study the servant’s prayers of petition (vss. 12-14) and praise (vss. 26-27). For what did he ask? What/whom did he acknowledge? What phrase is repeated in verses 12, 14, and 27?
- While Rebekah worked watering the camels, the servant took one very long pause. What was he trying to ascertain (vs. 21)?
- We learn several pertinent things about Rebekah’s lineage and character (vss. 15-20, 24-25, 27). Make a list of everything you observe about her. Why are these things significant in light of the servant’s mission?
- What decisions are you in the process of making where you need God’s guidance? What are specific steps you can put in place to strategically seek God’s direction in your decision-making?
RESPOND TO GOD
Abraham’s trusted servant acted in ways both shrewd and sensitive as he sought a wife for his master’s son. He set himself up for success not only by being at the right place at the right time, but also by seeking God’s direction and waiting for God’s provision. And while the servant’s reliance on God cannot be denied, what simply cannot be missed is God’s faithfulness throughout the process. The servant’s words of praise reflect this: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his steadfast love and his faithfulness toward my master.”
- Still your heart before God today. Ask him for wisdom and discernment for whatever you’re facing. Pray for his direction and provision as you seek his will in specific areas of your life.
- Thank God for his unending faithfulness and love. Take some time to just praise him for who he is.