One human's Journey in The Holy Spirit

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January 15, 2013

Journey to see God: a servant's journey of faith

Not many would notice the record of an unnamed servant who worked for Abraham. However, the record spanned practically the whole chapter 24 ( in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, all 67 verses except for the first and last verse of the chapter, the longest in the book). Why did the Holy Spirit find it important to keep such detailed record of this episode of a humble servant? The watchman asked.
Then he opened the Bible and was led to read the account of Jesus in John 13, in which Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. Jesus was fully aware of Who He was, the Son of God, and yet He chose to obey His Father in heaven to take a most humble position. 
 “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.” (John 13:3-5)
Jesus knew His superior position as their Teacher and Lord (13:13). He also made sure they knew that they were His servants ( Matt.10:24-25; 18:23; 25:14) and He their Master and that they were not greater than Him (13:16; 15:20). Yet He washed the disciples' feet. He set them an example that they should do as He had done to them (13:15). “If you know theses things blessed are you if you do them” (13:17), He promised. Jesus specifically declared to the twelve disciples that “if anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)

And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called benefactors. But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table or he who serves? Is he not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.” (Luke 22:25-27)
“Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning;” “and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master...” “Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching.” (Luke 12:35, 36, 37)
“Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Luke 12:40)
In summary, Jesus expects His disciples to wait for His return, taking the faithful position of a servant, vigilant, waiting and ready at all hours, serving.
Where in the Bible is an example of a faithful selfless servant? In Abraham's time there was a record of one such person.
______Genesis 24 (the longest chapter in the book of Genesis)
This chapter recorded one main character, the servant whom Abraham entrusted to go to get a wife for Abraham's son, Isaac. The facts are summarized below:
  1. This servant is not named here but it is believed that he is the same as mentioned in Gen.15:2, Eliezer of Damascus, whom Abraham thought would be his heir as he was childless then.
  2. He is described as the oldest servant of Abraham's house, who ruled over all that he had. (v2) “All his master's goods were in his hands.” (v 10)
  3. Abraham's instruction and mission for this servant was: go to Abraham's former country and his father's family to take a wife for his son. (v4,7)
What the Scripture revealed the servant's characteristics:
  1. He believed and obeyed every word of his master, Abraham.
  2. He was totally focused on his mission. He did not waste one minute like taking his dinner before first telling Abraham's cousin his mission (v33), and he did not even want to stay one day longer than necessary despite the long journey of 800km using camels to travel. (v 56)
  3. He knew his master very well. He repeated his master's instructions accurately. He knew Abraham's words would come to pass. He believed when Abraham told him that God would send His angels to lead him and prosper his way.
  4. He even knew of the qualities of the daughter-in-law to be for his master. (There was no record of what Abraham had told him on this subject, but his action showed that he knew what the master required.)
  5. He shared his master's belief in God and his godly values in the kind of wife suitable and just right for his master's son. (Note his prayer that specified the conditions/attributes of the right person to be confirmed)
  6. He feared, honored, and trusted God. He prayed, worshiped and testified for God at anytime the Spirit led him. He gave glory to God.
  7. He spoke of himself as a servant of Abraham. His action confirmed his word.
  8. He spoke only of Abraham's instruction, God's promises to Abraham, and how God had led him, answered his prayers, given success to the whole mission just as God has promised Abraham. (Not the number of times he spoke of the 'Lord God', 'the Lord', 'my master Abraham', 'my master'.)
  9. He acknowledged and testified openly the success of his mission depended entirely on God, who would show His kindness to Abraham.
  10. He was not even concerned with his own possible personal needs, feeling, rights or comforts. He did not simply get someone for Isaac. He could have been the heir if not for Isaac. Not only he was not jealous he even made sure Isaac got the best woman as a wife, exactly the one appointed by God for his wife! (Note he spoke twice of the word 'appointed' v14 and v 44).
  11. He knew God and feared God. Note his prayers. How he prayed. The words he used. Here is a brief summary of the most 'unusual' way to get the right girl for his master's son:
  • He went and stood by the well of water (instead of going straight to Abraham's brother's house) where the daughters of the men of the city were coming out to draw water. (v 13)
  • He believed and expected that God would bring the appointed girl to him. (v 14)
  • He set the conditions of the right girl's character, knowing his master's requirements and values. (v 14)
  • His faith in God was so steadfast that he did not realize that he was setting very difficult terms to meet all at once: 1. the girl must come out at the right time, as he was waiting there with all his men and precious loads of gifts; 2. the right girl must come out (Abraham's close relative); 3. the right girl must also fit all the other characteristics of his master's requirements, hardworking, hospitable, well-mannered, kindhearted even to animals, obedient, humble, young, a virgin, and very beautiful to behold; 4. the right girl must be willing to go back to his master's house with the servant (who is a total stranger) even though she has never met the bride-groom to be or even been to the place where she will live for the rest of her life!
    In all these what did he gain for himself, this faithful servant?
Note the way the servant described what he considered as his fulfillment:
“And he said, 'Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master. As for me, being on the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master's brethren.” (v 27)
“and I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the way of truth to take my master brother's daughter for his son.” (v 48)
“And he said to them, 'Do not hinder me, since the Lord God has prospered my way; send me away so that I may go to my master.” (v 56)
 This servant was indeed greatly rewarded. He saw the hand of God in his faith journey!

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