It’s Genesis 24:28-51 today.
When my children were small, our holidays consisted of camping in south western France and I used to love swimming in the sea along the Atlantic coast. It’s the Bay of Biscay and the waves are huge. It isn’t always easy to get into the water and its funny watching as the waves pick up unsuspecting bathers, spinning them around for a bit before depositing them onto their hands and knees in the shallows. Once away from the breakers, it became a fantastic experience, being moved about in the big swell of water. You were not really in control but the sea is powerful and warm and I loved it. Sometimes it can feel a bit like that when God is at work. We get the sense of being carried along by a powerful force that is good and we just have to go with it.
The servant had started with questions:
“What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?” (24:5)
Now he acknowledged that God was in control. He had prayed (24:12), God had answered and the servant had felt compelled to bow down and worship (24:26-27). Next he shared with the family how God had led him to them. The message was urgent, he couldn’t even bring himself to eat until he had explained to the family all that had happened. It was a miracle and clearly God was working.
Bethual, Rebekah’s father, and Laban, her brother, cannot argue with the fact that God is at work; “This is from the LORD, we can say nothing to you one way or the other.” So everyone is happy – well not quite. It all sounds like these are men who know God but it probably isn’t that simple. We know from the Joshua 24:2 that Abraham’s family worshipped idols and later we will see Laban becomes angry when one of his ‘household gods’ is missing. There seems to have been a sort of readiness to accept many gods. They had seen God was at work, the fact that Abraham and Sarah had become parents in their old age and the clear demonstration of God’s guidance for Abraham’s servant should have made them pause.
It isn’t enough to believe in God; “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.” (James 2:19) Believing in God is only a first step, the next should be ‘what is he like and how can I know him?’ God exists and that has implications. He has made a way for us to be made right with him through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It’s one thing to say ‘this is from the Lord’ it’s quite another to say ‘what must I do to be saved?’
God so loved, that he gave his son to lay down his life for the sake of us
He bore the weight of our sin and shame with a cry he said, It is finished
Christ the Lord overcame the darkness he’s alive: death has been defeated
For He made us a way by which we have been saved
He’s the Saviour of the world
So we lift up a shout for his fame and renown
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord Jesus, Saviour of the world (Ben Cantelon)