Summary: The Patriarchs Having Confidence in God’s Will and God’s Power Genesis 24:1-67 David Taylor July 10, 2016
Having Confidence in God’s Will and God’s Power
July 10, 2016
All us who follow Christ have struggled with or are struggling with God’s will in some area of our lives. Along with this struggle is wondering if God will overcome every obstacle to ensure his will is done! Do you have questions about God’s will in some area of your life today? Let’s see what God’s word has to say to us about discerning or knowing God’s will.
Sarah has died, leaving no matriarch among Abrahams tribe. Abraham is old and well advanced in years. He wants to ensure that God’s promises are secure, the promise to bless the nations by reversing the curse of sin, rescuing humanity from their sin, by a Deliverer. Abraham is thinking of God’s word to him, through Isaac he would have numerous descendants from a multitude of nations. And God’s past word of promise helped him to discern God’s will in his present circumstances. So Abraham makes his oldest and most trusted servant take an oath with three stipulations (2-4). First, he must get a wife for Isaac. Then, this wife must not be found among the Canaanites. And third, Isaac must not go to Abraham’s homeland in Mesopotamia. Why these three?
Well, the first one is obvious - for Isaac to have offspring, he must have a wife. God’s word to him in the past, the promise that it would be through Isaac that a great nation would come, as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore gave him confidence of God’s will in the present. God’s past word was that those descendants would come through Isaac and not Ishmael. And for Isaac to have descendants, he must have a wife. He discerned that this was God’s will, though God never explicitly said so. Second, Isaac’s wife must not come from among the Canaanites. I think he discerned this as God’s will for a few reasons. First, the Canaanites were cursed by God. Then God told Abraham that the sin of the Amorites, who are Canaanites, become so bad he will bring his judgment upon them and expel them from the land of Canaan and give them the land. This led Abraham to discern that a Canaanite woman was not good marriage material for Isaac. God forbid Israel from marrying Canaanites because they would draw God’s people away from their faith. As Abraham considered God’s past word, he discerned in his present circumstances that God’s will was to get a wife for Isaac from among his own people in Mesopotamia. God did not explicitly say this but God’s past word pointed to it. But when his servant asks the most natural question, “what if she will not come back with me? Can I take Isaac back there?” No, Abraham demands (5-6). Isaac must stay in Canaan because it is the land God promised to him and going back would be turning their back on the promise and not trusting God’s power to accomplish the task.
The oath he makes his servant take is a statement of faith. He is so confident that he tells his servant that God will go before him to ensure him success (7). His confidence came from knowing God’s past word to him and where it was pointing in his present situation. He is so confident that he can state that God will guarantee success by removing all the obstacles to accomplish this task, which are many - the distance to Mesopotamia, finding the ‘chosen’ woman, and then both she and her family agreeing with the request.
The servant comes to the well outside the city of Nahor in the evening, when women come to draw water (10). His instinct is to pray, filled with faith that God will grant him success (12-14). He prays for a woman who is industrious, a servant, and hospitable. She was an Alaskan woman! Then she shows up before he is done praying! God is using his power to overcome the obstacles to his will! She does exactly what he prayed for, offering to water his camels. He watches as she does this to determine if she is the “appointed” woman (21). After finding out she is the granddaughter of Abraham’s brother and talking to her family, she agrees to go with him (50-58). God has overcome all the obstacles to accomplish his will, Rebekah is of the same faith of Abraham whom God called to leave his country and his family.
I think that most of us want to have this kind of confidence in knowing God’s will and then the confidence that God will use his supernatural power to accomplish it. Many of us have concerns today. We want to know God’s will about marriage, children, work or business, changing jobs, major purchases, schooling, ministry involvement, your giving, and on and on. And we want the same confidence that Abraham had, that when we do God’s will, God will use all his supernatural and limitless power to overcome the obstacles to attain it. I think we all want to be led by God and be led with success.