When Abraham sent his most trusted, faithful servant, to seek a wife for his son Isaac, he was sending him into “unchartered territory,” to pursue a most daunting task, indeed, an impossible task. He was to “find” the young woman, who of necessity possessed a quality of character above those around her, one that would be well-pleasing to Isaac who would only see her when she arrived. Secondly, not only would it be very difficult to locate such a woman, and know her heart, but would she be willing to leave all to follow him to a land she had not seen, travel with strangers, and ultimately become the bride of someone she had only heard about? Such was the task of the servant of Abraham.
The more I read this story, the more I am struck first of all by the faith of Abraham. He would declare to the servant, “The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me and that sware unto me saying, ‘Unto thy seed will I give this land; HE SHALL SEND HIS ANGEL BEFORE THEE, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.” (Gen. 24:7) It must be noted that Abraham began his declaration of faith by declaring the Object of his faith, “The Lord God of heaven.” Great faith demands a vision of the greatness of God. Secondly, he recounts God’s dealings with him, His faithfulness in leading and providing for him, in leaving his “father’s house.” Thirdly, he takes his stand upon the promise of God: “Unto thy seed will I give this land.” For this, Isaac will need a wife. And lastly, he grasps in essence the hand of God by declaring: “He shall send his angel before thee.” He does not say how this will play out, or work, only that God will be with the servant, and will guide and provide.
Then we come to the faith of the servant. He is a loyal, faithful man, who is committed to Abraham. We see him praying: “O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray Thee, send me good speed THIS DAY and shew kindness unto my master Abraham.” Now, this servant is not only expecting God to work, but to do so in a most specific way which God alone can do. His petition for guidance is directed at the very character of the woman…is she also a “servant” in heart, with like faith? If she is, there will be a selfless response when he asks for a drink of water, and she volunteers to water his ten camels, even though he has servants with him. He believes wholeheartedly that God “has appointed (a certain woman) for Thy (His) servant, Isaac.” (v.14) The final evidence of such expectant faith comes when he is asked to delay his return to Abraham with Rebekah. True faith is responsive faith. And here there is no delay: “And he said to them, ‘Hinder me not, seeing the Lord hath prospered my way.”
Finally, we find Rebekah to be a woman of faith, as one must ask the question: Why is she willing to so quickly give a drink to a stranger, and then offer to water his camels? That is a lot of work for a young woman. It is because she is the servant of God, and her faith is in Him. She has learned that faith means relinquishing one’s life to God, to live for Him, to serve Him, this revealed in serving others. All else is secondary. She is free to serve, and joyful in it. She is also free to leave her family, to go with Abraham’s servant, returning with him to become the wife of Isaac. How can this be? It is because she believes this matter is of God, and she is His.
Abraham believed it to be the will of God that Isaac should have a wife, and that she should come from his far away family. The servant believed it to be the will of God to provide what he was trusting the Lord for, knowing that the “God of Abraham” would provide. And lastly, Rebekah believed it to be the will of God, and this by the outward circumstances (the story of Abraham’s servant, also with the gold earrings and bracelets), and the inward witness of God to her heart. They all KNEW it was the will of God.
So, today, this same Sovereign God, this God of Abraham, the servant of Abraham, and Rebekah, is our God, and we are His servants. Can we not trust Him to lead us, and this in a manner that is truly worthy of Him, and for which He will receive all the glory? We can, for it is the way of expectant faith.