As you quiet yourself for this brief time, be willing to be open to God in whatever way that may take place.
Genesis 24:1-21 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his house, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live, but will go to my country and to my kindred and get a wife for my son Isaac.” The servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land; must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?” Abraham said to him, “See to it that you do not take my son back there. The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘To your offspring I will give this land,’ he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there.” So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter.
Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking all kinds of choice gifts from his master; and he set out and went to Aram-naharaim, to the city of Nahor. He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water; it was toward evening, the time when women go out to draw water. And he said, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. I am standing here by the spring of water, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. Let the girl to whom I shall say, ‘Please offer your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.”
Before he had finished speaking, there was Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, coming out with her water jar on her shoulder. The girl was very fair to look upon, a virgin, whom no man had known. She went down to the spring, filled her jar, and came up. Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me sip a little water from your jar.” “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered her jar upon her hand and gave him a drink. When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw, and she drew for all his camels. The man gazed at her in silence to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful.
Years ago while driving past a local church in our community, the message on their sign caught my and my son’s attention. The sign simply said “to say more, say less”. If you know me or my son very well, you know we can talk, at length. To say the least, the message on the sign was profound for me. It didn’t stop me from talking a lot, but it impressed upon me to always strive to say what I mean and mean what I say. The scripture for today is rich and I’m certain many messages could be preached and topics studied from it. But what strikes me most is how Abraham and his servant sealed the promise or agreement between them.
I am not quite old enough to remember a time when a handshake sealed the deal and a person’s word was enough. Nowadays there must be witnesses and our signature has to be notarized multiple times…and sometimes that’s not enough for a person to keep their word. I guess you could say promises have lost their value in a society where they are oftentimes spoken on a whim with no real intention behind the empty words. What an awesome God we have in that, unlike our ever-changing society, he never changes and he always has and always will keep his promises. And he sealed his promise with the precious blood of his only son, Jesus Christ.
I thank you, God, that you are so good and that you are the great promise keeper. Every word you have spoken, you meant and intend to keep. Help us, Lord, to be men and women of our word; men and women who mean what we say and say what we mean. Help us to stop the endless chatter and use our words to glorify you and share the Gospel.
Go with God!