Summary: A message on how God will guide and provide for his people to fulfill his plan despite obstacles.
Genesis Series #48 May 26, 2002
Title: Where God Guides, He Provides
Welcome to New life in Christ. Today we continue with message #48 in our verse-by-verse study of the Book of Genesis.
Read Genesis 24:12-63
When we last met, I shared with you four principles for receiving God’s guidance. They were knowledge of God word, commitment to God’s will, trust in God’s ways, and prayer for God’s wisdom. If we apply these principles, I am confident that we will receive God’s guidance. However, this does not mean we will never encounter obstacles as we proceed down God’s chosen path. Some people seem to think that if God is leading you, you will never be hindered. The Bible clearly refutes this idea!
The story of Nehemiah rebuilding the walls is one example of a person in God’s will and receiving God’s guidance but at the same time also encountering opposition and obstacles. Today’s passage is another, more subtle example of that same principle.
God is guiding the servant of Abraham. His and Abraham’s prayers are being answered but many obstacles must be overcome. The right girl must be located. She must be of the right character. She must be willing to leave her family and travel 500 mi. to marry a man she has never met. Her family must have that same willingness and on top of all that, Isaac must be willing to receive her as his wife. These could all be potential problems but God overcomes each one! I believe that this is the main emphasis of this text. A popular Christian phrase, which was coined some time ago, expresses the truth of these verses; Where God guides, He provides. This phrase will serve as my summary sentence of these verses in Chapter 24.
I. Where God Guides, He Provides.
With that said let us look at verse 14 where we left off last week, and see how God provided.
Read Verse 14
Abraham’s servant is looking for a sign from God. This was not an uncommon practice in ancient times. Gideon, for example, put out a fleece looking for a sign from God. Even the Apostles cast lots to find the replacement Apostle for Judas. Still today some people seek to find God’s will in such obscure ways. They might say, “God, if this is the girl you want me to marry, let her ring the doorbell three times.” Some people have even cast darts on to a paper map to determine where God would have them go to minister or start a church. I once had a person in the church counting the beams in the roof in order to find some guidance from God. Maybe you have been one of the people who has opened their Bible randomly and blindly pointed to a particular passage as a way of searching for a “word from God.”
Illustration: There is a funny story about a person who used this method of discovering God’s will. It’s about the young man who used the "flip and point" method of reading the Bible. One day while wondering what to do with his life, he flipped his Bible open and pointed to Matthew 27:5. He read, "[Judas] went and hanged himself." He thought maybe he should try again. So he flipped and pointed, this time landing on Luke 10:37, "Go and do likewise." He tried flipping one more time and arrived at John 13:27, "What you do, do quickly."