March 2020 Graham Maddison
Genesis 24 – Kindness and Faithfulness
When was the last time your boss asked you to go and find a wife for his son? What? You’ve never been asked to do that? Well, actually, nor have I!
In this chapter, Abraham asks his servant (unnamed here, but possibly Eliezer of Damascus – Gen. 15:2) to travel to Abraham’s home country, where his brother Nahor lived, to choose a wife for his son, Isaac. To us, it may seem an odd request, but Abraham was too old to go himself (v1), and presumably didn’t want to risk Isaac traveling back ‘home’ and settling there with his new wife (v6). Abraham has his eye on God’s promise (v7) that he would give the land of Canaan to his offspring, and was rightly concerned that nothing should interfere with that.
This is a long chapter, and the story is told in some detail, but the main emphasis is on the blessing of God (v1, 31, 35), in particular, his kindness and faithfulness (v12, 14, 27, 49).
It’s clear that Abraham’s servant shares his master’s faith in ‘the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth’ (v3, 7, 12, 42, 48, 52), and is depending on the Lord for a ‘successful journey’ (v21, 56).
We, too, have been greatly blessed by God (see Eph. 1:3 ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ’). We, too, have experienced God’s kindness – his gentleness and compassion. Paul speaks in Eph. 2:7 of how God has shown ‘the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus’, and in Tit. 3:4 of ‘the kindness and love of God our Saviour’. He reminds us in 2 Cor. 10:1 of ‘the humility and gentleness of Christ’. The Lord our God is ‘compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love’ (Ps. 103:8).
We have also experienced God’s faithfulness; his word is trustworthy and true (Rev. 21:5), his promises are reliable and dependable, and he has promised his presence (Ex. 33:14). The risen Christ has promised to be with us (Mt. 28:20), a promise which stretches on into eternity, and beyond (Rev. 21:3)!
Life can often be tough; sometimes we have to make difficult decisions, perhaps with huge implications for ourselves and our families. We can sometimes feel out of our depth, drowning in the complexities of life, longing to be shown a way through to solid ground. Like Abraham’s servant, bow humbly before the God of heaven and earth; patiently seek him for a ‘successful journey’, and remember that you are constantly surrounded by the kindness and faithfulness of your loving heavenly Father.