When God Leads

Genesis 24:22-27

22 When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels. 23 Then he asked, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”

24 She answered him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milkah bore to Nahor.” 25 And she added, “We have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for you to spend the night.”

26 Then the man bowed down and worshiped the Lord, 27 saying, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”

First Time

There’ll always be 1st time in all things we do. Can you remember your 1st time in school, play, movie, fish, drive, fly, work or 1st time to walk?

Christian lifestyle is similar to a child who walks for the 1st time. Children need guidance until they mature as responsible citizen. The Word of God is our guide to mature as responsible disciples.

We can learn from Abraham’s servant how to be responsible disciples.

Earlier in Genesis 24:21, 21 Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful.

The servant of Abraham was thoughtful, honest and concerned of the best service he could give his master. Such virtue may have solidified the trust of his master, and chose him to find the best wife for Isaac.

The servant was not hasty in making decision. He did not speculate or doubt. Did God fill his mouth with appropriate words to

1. Word

22 When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels. 23 Then he asked, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”

The servant could have asked suggestive or indicative question to be more intentional like: “Are you a daughter, granddaughter, niece or relative of Nahor by any chance?” Instead, he asked about Rebekah’s parents, why?

We can recall that Abraham told him in Genesis 24:4, 4Go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.

The servant inquired according to Abraham’s instruction. To know the names of Rebekah’s parents, it satisfied and supported Abraham’s choice. Abraham desired a relative for Isaac’s wife. So, the servant’s question served as stamp that confirmed his decision. Rebekah was the right wife for Isaac.

The gold nose ring in NIV is also translated as earring in Wycliffe Bible & KJV. ASV, ESV & RSV used ring. Ring, earring or nose ring, it’s ornament or jewelry that weighed a beka. One beka is 5.5 grams or half a shekel .

It says in Proverb 25:12 (NRSV), 12Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise rebuke to a listening ear.

The term ‘wise rebuke’ points to the word of wisdom from God.

The gold ring given to Rebekah represents the word of God given to the church. When Rebekah received the gold ring, it illustrated disciples, who believe the word of God. The Lord commanded in Exodus 30:15, 15 The rich are not to give more than a half shekel and the poor are not to give less when you make the offering to the Lord to atone for your lives.

The gold ring weighing a beka or half a shekel illustrates the same amount of word of God received that saves rich or poor disciples. Salvation is not more or less good works. It’s not about more sins or lesser sins. The same amount of grace saves believers.  Ephesians 2:8-9 says, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Rebekah accepted the ring and gold bracelets painted disciples who accepted Christ, the Word and wisdom of God who was born Jesus. And, we mature spiritually as responsible part of the church, the bride of Christ.

The 2 gold bracelets weighed 10 shekels represented what? Number 10 signifies testimony, law, responsibility and completion of order among Hebrews. God gave the 10 Commandments. He required complete and responsible obedience to His Laws. Tithe is 10% of income. Tithing testifies to complete and responsible obedience to God..

Rebekah with the gold bracelets weighing 10 shekels is a picture of responsible disciples in the church. The church is the bride of the Lamb of God, the Son of God who is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

We have responsibility as Christ’s disciples. We are instructed to go and make disciples, teach all that Christ that has commanded which includes making disciples. Making and teaching disciples practically proves that the Spirit of Christ is actively at work in us. He guides and leads our lifestyle.

Abraham’s servant is a picture of disciples who go and make disciples.

When the servant gave the ring to Rebekah, it illustrates disciples who share to potential disciples about Christ, the Wisdom and Word of God.

When the servant gave the bracelets, it illustrates disciples teaching disciples who Christ is to become responsible part of the church.

With alibi or excuse of no experience, the servant was told to find a wife for Isaac. He’s no expert in finding a wife. Rebekah was the 1st and only wife of Isaac. He trusted the God of Abraham, who made his journey successful.

There will always be 1st time in going, making, teaching, and leading disciples. Like the servant, rely upon the God of Abraham to have successful spiritual journey. Christ instructed in Luke 21:13-15, 13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.

Like the servant, let’s trust the Lord for words and wisdom we need for us to have spiritual success when we go, make and teach disciples.

Like the servant, we praise God when He gives more than our wish.

2. Wish

24 She answered him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milkah bore to Nahor.” 25 And she added, “We have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for you to spend the night.”

The servant asked her parents’ name and for room to spend the night. Rebekah gave the name of her father and grandparents, and said that there’s room for them to spend the night and have plenty of food for their camels to eat. Her answers were more than what the servant wished for.

The generous hospitality that the servant received surpassed what he wished for. It’s an illustration of what Christ has promised in Matthew 6:33:

33Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

To seek His kingdom and righteousness is to be responsible disciples. When we let God’s righteousness prevails in us, we obey Him responsibly. Responsible obedience happens as we rely upon Christ’s Spirit in all we do.

As a result of responsible obedience, our Lord Jesus Christ sustains us with everything we need to live a godly lifestyle acceptable to Him. He will also include things we don’t wish, never dreamed of or imagined as bonus.

Hoovey

Life can change in an instant. We’ve got dreams but we are not sure if those dreams will become a reality. We don’t control events but God does.

In 1999 winter with 14-inch snow, a teenager named, “Hoovey” was rushed to the hospital, and doctors removed a tumour at the base of his brain. Doctors gave him little chance to fully recover. Before the surgery Hoovey said, “I’m in a win-win situation. If I die, I’m going to heaven.”

His life was rebooted or restarted and needed someone to guide him walk like a little child learning to walk. Doctor advised him not to play basketball. Fast forward, Hoovey was able to play basketball not just in high school but played basketball in college. “I think God controlled everything. The determination and hard work, I think God gave me strength for that. And getting through the brain tumour deal, that wasn’t me, either,” he said.

In  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, 16Rejoice always, 17pray continually, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Surely, it is very easy to thank God when everything is going right.

But, is it really possible to thank God when everything is terrible, when expectations fail, when love ones get sick, when short of finances, with tough personal, family or church problems and concerns?

To rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances are not suggestions to choose from. They are godly instructions that cannot be accomplished by human effort. These godly commands are instruments of God to measure practically our dependence upon the Lordship of Christ.

Apostle Paul testified about God’s grace at work in his life. He had horrible experiences but teaches us to give thanks in all circumstances. Paul did not teach anything that he did not experience personally. He said in Romans 2:21, 21You who teach others, do you not teach yourself?

Our Christian lifestyle practically testifies to what we believe in Christ.

Abraham’s servant believed when his master Abraham told him that God will make his journey a success. Abraham said in Genesis 24:7, 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.

Abraham experienced personally God’s power. His lifestyle testifies to his faith in the Lord. He personally experienced what he told his servant.

His servant trusted and prayed to the same Lord, the God of heaven that Abraham trusted. When he was very much assured, that Rebekah was the right bride for Isaac, Abraham’s servant praised and worshiped God.

3. Worship

26 Then the man bowed down and worshiped the Lord, 27 saying, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”

The servant acknowledged that God granted him a successful journey. The answer to his prayer and generous hospitality given him were practical proofs that God sent His angel ahead just like Abraham told him. That’s God’s blessing to Abraham. The servant believed and praised God for it.

To praise and worship God is an instantaneous and spontaneous response when God fills our hearts with hope and assurance. When we sense the overwhelming assurance of salvation, we cannot help but praise and worship our Lord instantaneously with no one to tell or prompt us.

King Jehoshaphat

The Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat. So, he resolved to inquire of the Lord. God says in 2 Chronicles 20:15-18, 15‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow march down against them. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”

18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord.

It continued in 2 Chronicles 20:22-25, 22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.

24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. 

Did you know that Jehoshaphat had 1,160,000 soldiers in Jerusalem? More than 1 million men carried the plunder for 3 days, wow! That war was a time to collect clothing, equipment, valuable things, food supplies.

God’s assurance of victory made Jehoshaphat and the Israelites praised and worshiped God, and it turned out according to their expectation of victory. God gave them hope. Amazingly, they did not even exert an effort. The battle was over when they arrived where their enemies camped.

Such is God’s grace at work. When God commands, He has prepared everything which leads us to praise and worship Him. So, instead of doing our best and letting God will do the rest, it’s the other way around.

When God’s grace is at work in our life, He will do His best and we will do the rest, we praise Him all the more as spontaneous result.

As Christ’s disciples, we are mandated to go, make, and teach disciples to become responsible part of His church. The servant of Abraham experienced generous hospitality more than what he wished or expected.

If you are tired of your lifestyle, it’s time for you to trust Christ as your Saviour. Trusting Christ as Saviour is practically exhibited by trusting Him as Lord. To trust Christ as Lord is to submit to the leading of His Spirit. When His Spirit prevails in us, the fruit of the Spirit defines our experience in Him.

It says in 2 Corinthians 3:17, 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

If Christ is powerful to free us from the penalty, pressure, influence of sin, He can easily free us from all of concerns or problems of life.

Ask God to give you faith to trust Christ as your Lord and Saviour completely without a doubt, and to fill your hearts with praise of God.

<‘)))>< ltsii/2018 ><(((‘>

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