Genesis 24.1-7 – Trusting in God’s promises and providence
Posted: 12 September 2014 in Genesis

And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age….. And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house….. Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest? And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again. The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house….. and which spake 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.

When Abraham answers his servant in the above passage, he effectively says to him that, “The word of the Lord endureth for ever,” and that, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent” (Numbers 23.19). God’s words are immutable, and what he has spoken will surely come to pass. To either doubt his word, or to act in a way contrary to his stated will, is a sin. Abraham is guilty of neither sin.

Although he entertains the possibility of failure for his servant’s sake, Abraham takes it for granted that, since whatever comes to pass has been preordained by God, if it be God’s will that Isaac’s wife come from his extended family, then his servant cannot help but be successful in his mission. A little later, in the same chapter, it is said that the servant, upon learning that his mission has indeed been successful, rightly attributed his success to God’s providence, and immediately worshipped the Lord. Which, of course, is how it should be.

Success comes from simultaneously acting in accordance with God’s will, and trusting in his providence. That latter is important, because we are to trust in God, to whom belongs all glory, and we are not to trust in ourselves. Furthermore, it is our duty to disclaim credit for any successes we may have, because any glory which comes our own way is glory which has been stolen from God.

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. (Matthew 6.2)

Admittedly, that refers specifically to alms giving, but the principle is the same. As the creator, sustainer, enabler and Lord of all things, glory belongs to God alone.

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