Daily Archives: February 23, 2009

Providence

Genesis 24:10-21

10Then 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. 11And 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. 12And he said, “O LORD, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. 13Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14Let 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.”

15Before 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. 16The 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. 17Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jar.” 18She said, “Drink, my lord.” And she quickly let down her jar upon her hand and gave him a drink. 19When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” 20So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw water, and she drew for all his camels. 21The man gazed at her in silence to learn whether the LORD had prospered his journey or not.

Find a miracle in the account of Abraham’s servant going back to Abraham’s homeland to find a wife for Isaac. You will look in vain. There is no miracle. But there sure is providence in big ways.

To fail to see God at work in this account is to fail to see evidence of God anywhere. Abraham tells his servant to find a wife for Isaac from his own land and his own family (verses 4 and 37f). The servant does not go to the place openly searching for the relatives of Abraham. He simply prays that God would lead him to the one that Isaac should marry. And Rebekah, a granddaughter of Abraham’s brother comes out and proves to be the one Isaac will marry.

Why did she come out at that time and why did she do as the servant had prayed the woman who was to marry Isaac should do? Because God was far ahead of everyone involved in the whole process in the first place. Rebekah, remember, is the mother of Jacob and Esau and she will favour Jacob over Esau and she will concoct a plan for Jacob to receive the blessing from Isaac instead of Esau.

She was a schemer and what she did was wrong and Paul tells us in Romans 9:10-12 -

And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, [11] though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad-in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call- [12] she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”

Rebekah was, even in her sin, fulfilling the larger plan of God. God was not guilty of the sin and Rebekah is not off the hook because God used it for His purposes. But God was seeing to it, in the selection of a wife for Isaac, that she would become his wife. What a God.

When you read your Bible, look for the over ruling providences of God in situations where people do what they should not and God uses it to accomplish purposes that He had previously determined to do.  See Acts 2:23 as perhaps the most famous example of this.

Today, rejoice in the fact that God’s purposes cannot be thwarted. He even uses evil to get His will accomplished. If He could not and did not, He would not be God.