If you’re a fan of Chris Tomlin, these words will ring familiar: “Where you go, I’ll go. Where you stay, I’ll stay. When you move, I’ll move. I will follow you.” It’s a catchy, meaningful song of worship that many of us belt out on Sunday morning, while driving in rush-hour traffic, or during a run down by the lake. While it’s quite easy to agree and sing along with the words, it sure can be difficult for us to truly live them.
- How do you seek and encounter God’s will? Do you contend with it or follow in worshipful obedience?
READ THE WORD: GENESIS 24:29-67 (ESV)
29 Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban. Laban ran out toward the man, to the spring.30 As soon as he saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and heard the words of Rebekah his sister, “Thus the man spoke to me,” he went to the man. And behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring. 31 He said, “Come in, O blessed of the Lord. Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.” 32 So the man came to the house and unharnessed the camels, and gave straw and fodder to the camels, and there was water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33 Then food was set before him to eat. But he said, “I will not eat until I have said what I have to say.” He said, “Speak on.”
34 So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35 The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become great. He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male servants and female servants, camels and donkeys. 36 And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old, and to him he has given all that he has. 37 My master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell, 38 but you shall go to my father’s house and to my clan and take a wife for my son.’ 39 I said to my master, ‘Perhaps the woman will not follow me.’ 40 But he said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I have walked, will send his angel with you and prosper your way. You shall take a wife for my son from my clan and from my father’s house. 41 Then you will be free from my oath, when you come to my clan. And if they will not give her to you, you will be free from my oath.’
42 “I came today to the spring and said, ‘O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, if now you are prospering the way that I go, 43 behold, I am standing by the spring of water. Let the virgin who comes out to draw water, to whom I shall say, “Please give me a little water from your jar to drink,” 44 and who will say to me, “Drink, and I will draw for your camels also,” let her be the woman whom the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.’
45 “Before I had finished speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her water jar on her shoulder, and she went down to the spring and drew water. I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’46 She quickly let down her jar from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels drink also.’ So I drank, and she gave the camels drink also. 47 Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the ring on her nose and the bracelets on her arms. 48 Then I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me by the right way to take the daughter of my master’s kinsman for his son. 49 Now then, if you are going to show steadfast love and faithfulness to my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand or to the left.”
50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, “The thing has come from the Lord; we cannot speak to you bad or good. 51 Behold, Rebekah is before you; take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has spoken.”
52 When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the earth before the Lord.53 And the servant brought out jewelry of silver and of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave to her brother and to her mother costly ornaments. 54 And he and the men who were with him ate and drank, and they spent the night there. When they arose in the morning, he said, “Send me away to my master.” 55 Her brother and her mother said, “Let the young woman remain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go.” 56 But he said to them, “Do not delay me, since the Lord has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.” 57 They said, “Let us call the young woman and ask her.” 58 And they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go.” 59 So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,
“Our sister, may you become
thousands of ten thousands,
and may your offspring possess
the gate of those who hate him!”
61 Then Rebekah and her young women arose and rode on the camels and followed the man. Thus the servant took Rebekah and went his way.
62 Now Isaac had returned from Beer-lahai-roi and was dwelling in the Negeb. 63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening. And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, there were camels coming. 64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from the camel 65 and said to the servant, “Who is that man, walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, “It is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself. 66 And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67 Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother and took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- In commissioning his servant, Abraham made it clear that the Lord would be with him to “prosper” the way. Several times throughout this passage we encounter this idea (vss. 40, 42-44, 48, and 56). Reread these verses, noting what was said about the Lord prospering the servant’s way.
- The servant twice bowed himself in worship (vss. 48, 52). What events preceded his worship? How did he direct his worship?
- Although Rebekah was both spoken about and spoken for, few were her own words. Yet, we still learn much about her character and mindset. In verses 46 and 58, she gave two “I will” statements. The first denoted an act of service (it’s estimated that watering those ten camels with her lone jar took upwards of 1-2 hours!). The second statement indicated an act of submission—a courageous response to God’s revelation of his will for her. Take some time to reflect on the example set by these two choices she made. If you were in her shoes, would you be so quick to serve and submit? Why or why not?
RESPOND TO GOD
This passage could very well be titled The Tale of Two Servants… And One Very Faithful God. Abraham’s servant loyally acted on behalf of his master and wholeheartedly pursued the Lord’s provision of a wife for Isaac. Rebekah’s bold “I will go” reveals a willing response to God’s leading and plan for her life. And weaving throughout their tale is the promise-keeping God, putting his faithfulness and love on display.
- Ask God where he is calling you to go, stay, or move today. Pray for boldness and obedience in your response to God’s will for your life.
- Take some time to simply praise God for who he is and how he provides for you daily.