We’re reading Genesis 24:1-27 today.
Guidance isn’t easy for believers. We want to go God’s way and we want to please him but sometimes we are not sure which way to take. Today’s passage teaches us a great deal. Abraham is making some very important decisions yet we do not read of the Lord appearing to him this time. How does he know what to do?
Abraham was old and Isaac unmarried, how could God’s promises be fulfilled? Abraham realised that Isaac needed a wife but not just any wife. He sent his servant on an errand to choose a wife for Isaac and he made two stipulations;
- The wife couldn’t come from the Canaanites. Abraham knew that he was called to be a stranger in the land and not to become like the people around him. Isaac was not to be assimilated into Canaan – he was to be different. There’s an obvious challenge here for us. If you are a follower of Jesus, you are called to be different from the people around you. To have different values and a different world view. If you are exactly the same as everyone else, how can they know you follow Jesus?
- Isaac couldn’t leave Canaan. Abraham had been called out of Ur and into Canaan. He had been promised the land as an inheritance and there was no going back; not even for a visit. God has called us to walk by faith – don’t go back.
It’s strange that Abraham had complete confidence that God would go before the servant and lead him to the right person. His words turned out to be prophetic, as that’s exactly what happened. How did he know God’s will when we find it so difficult? Paul writes in Romans;
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2)
Abraham was prepared to give God everything, he had literally placed his precious son on the altar. It isn’t surprising then that he knew God’s will. For us the challenge isn’t so much knowing the will of God – its offering our bodies as living sacrifices
Breathe on me, Breath of God, fill me with life anew,
That I may love what thou dost love, and do what thou wouldst do.
Breathe on me, Breath of God, until my heart is pure,
Until with thee I will one will, to do and to endure.
Breathe on me, Breath of God, till I am wholly thine,
Till all this earthly part of me glows with thy fire divine.
Breathe on me, Breath of God, so shall I never die,
But live with thee the perfect life of thine eternity. (Edwin Hatch)