LOYALTY IS A VIRTUE (GENESIS 24:1-27)
Once a domestic servant came to his master in great anger and told him, “Look, I am not going to serve you any longer as you do not have any faith in me though I am serving you so loyally for the past several years.”
Master: “What is the matter? I have faith in you, that is why I have given all the keys of the house including those of the safe, to you.”
Servant: “No, you do not have faith in me, I am sure.”
Master: “How do you say that?”
Servant: “I tried all the keys and not one fits the safe.”
Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the last chapter (Gen 23:19) and now he was old, and well stricken in age, 14o years old – 1oo when Isaac was born (Genesis 21:5) and 140 when Isaac was married (Genesis 25:20), so Isaac was 40 years old. His son Isaac was not married and had emotional problems with the death of his mother (Gen 24:67).
What kind of person are you at your job? What kind of relationship do you have with your employer, superior or colleagues? How can you glorify God at work? Why is work not merely work but a test of our worth, walk and witness?
Be Dutiful and Dependable
1 Abraham was now old and well advanced in years, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. 2 He said to the chief servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, "Put your hand under my thigh. 3 I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, 4 but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac." 5 The servant asked him, "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?" 6 "Make sure that you do not take my son back there," Abraham said. 7 "The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father's household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, 'To your offspring I will give this land' — he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. 8 If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there."
Research from a Institute of Leadership & Management study of over 1,000 employees found that few employees are motivated to work harder by bonuses.
The most important motivators were:
59% felt enjoyment of the job was the most important motivator
49% how much they are paid.
42% getting on with colleagues was the best motivator.
22% being treated fairly by their managers.
22% autonomy: how much control they have over their work.
Only 13% of employees said that bonuses motivated them to work harder.
What brings employees down, according to another survey? For employees who feel somewhat or not at all appreciated, not being recognized for the work they do was the top reason cited by nearly half (48 percent) as something that makes them not feel appreciated at work. In fact, not being recognized for work done is cited nearly twice as much as receiving criticism (26 percent) and heavy workload (25 percent), and more than twice as much as poor work-life balance (23 percent) and someone taking credit for the work they did (22 percent).
The trusted servant of Abraham in charge of all that he had (v 2) is presumably Eliezer his steward (Gen 15:2, KJV). Eliezer was an extraordinary and exemplary servant or employee, a dream employee and a model worker, if you may. The noun “master”(v 9) occurs 24 times in the chapter, more than any chapter in the Bible, and incredibly 19 times Eliezer addressed Abraham or Isaac as “my master” (vv 12 twice, 14, 27 thrice, 35, 36 twice, 37, 39, 42, 44, 48 twice, 49, 54, 56, 65). There was none around Abraham as dependable, as dutiful and as diligent as Eliezer. Eliezer’s loyalty was unquestioned, unparalleled, and unchallenged. The aged Abraham poured out his heart, soul and concern to the capable, committed and caring Eliezer, choosing, charging and cornering him to the first ever “oath” in the Bible (v 8), more for Abraham’s state of mind than the servant’s.
Abraham seriously, staunchly and sincerely uttered two imperatives to his servant – “put” (v 2) and “make sure/beware” (v 6), and strongly and successively asserted two “no” (vv 3, 8) and one “lest” (v 6) to Eliezer: “you will NOT get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites” (v 3), “Make sure that you do NOT (lest) take my son back there” (v 6), and “do NOT take my son back there” (v 8). The servant probably came with his master from the old country of Haran (Gen 12:5). Abraham did not want him to have or harbor thoughts of returning to the old country.