Genesis 24.10-21 – Divine involvement in history
Posted: 8 July 2011 in Genesis

And [Abraham’s] servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed….. and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water. And he said O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham….. And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac….. And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out….. with her pitcher upon her shoulder. And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink . And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also….. And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not.

Presumably readers of this blog will know how the story from Genesis 24 ends. If there is one thing the Bible makes clear, it is that the Judeo-Christian God is no deist god, but a God who is very much involved in history. Here the choice of Isaac’s wife hangs upon God’s involvement, and the participants in the story are more or less conscious of God’s involvement. But that is not always the case; in the Exodus story Pharoah is certainly not conscious of God’s role in hardening his heart. That God does involve himself with his universe does not always come as welcome news to Christians. It implies that our wills are not as completely free as we sometimes imagine, and we would like to attribute to ourselves that sovereignly free will which belongs to God alone.

A failure to acknowledge God as Lord and Governor of all creation, with our freedom being relative to his will, seems to me to detract from his glory.

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