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Portrait of a Faithful Servant

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
July 4, 2022 2:00 am

Portrait of a Faithful Servant

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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July 4, 2022 2:00 am

Pastor Bob La Tour teaches from the life of Abraham's faithful servant Eliezer.

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Amen. Well, if you would, open your Bibles to Genesis 24. I have certainly prayed and asked the Lord to use me tonight to challenge us and encourage us and make us more grateful for His providence in our lives. I think the example of Eliezer is a good example of God's providence and showing His will to one of His servants. I almost asked you to go to Philippians 2 for my earlier Bible reading. I believe Jesus obviously is the greatest example of servitude, of being a servant that there could be. And at the text that we read in 1 Peter 4 basically is telling us, be yourself, be all you should be.

Use the talents and gifts God has given you to the best of your ability and for His glory. Years and years ago, there was an advertisement on TV that many of you will remember. It was an ad using the star basketball player, Michael Jordan, and it said, I want to be like Mike. It was catchy.

It caught on because he was so popular. I certainly don't want to be like Mike, but after studying this text for some time, I wouldn't mind being a little bit more like Eliezer. And I'm hoping tonight that as we look this over, that you will examine your own life and evaluate it.

How effective am I in the service of the Lord in these areas? I want to read an introduction to you just to put this in a context, and I think it shows the importance of this text. So if you would listen, the title of the message again is Eliezer Portrait of a Faithful Servant. In Genesis 15, we read, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision saying, do not be afraid, Abram. I'm your shield.

You're exceeding great reward. But Abram said, Lord God, what will you give me? Saying, I go childless. In the air of my house is Eliezer of Damascus. Then Abram said, look, you've given me no offspring. Indeed, one born in my house is my heir. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him saying, this one shall not be your heir, but one who comes from your own body shall be your heir. In Genesis 16, Sarai, who had been barren throughout their marriage, tried to fix things by giving 86-year-old Abram, her Egyptian handmaid, Hagar. And remember the result of that, Ishmael was born. 13 years after that point, God said to 99-year-old Abram, no longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be called Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. God then revealed that Sarai would now be called Sarah, which means the mother of many nations. And Abram said to God, oh, the Ishmael might live before you. Then God said, no, Sarah, your wife, shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac.

I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant and with his descendants after him. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. In our text tonight, Abraham is now 140 years old.

He had no idea that he would live 35 years longer. His great concern at that time was that before he died, he'd find a wife from his own people for his son, Isaac. Only then could God fulfill his covenant promises to bless Abraham with many descendants through Isaac and give them Canaan for their inheritance.

Folks, back in those days, parents made the marriage arrangements. And I read this extended introduction, this background because it shows the tremendous importance of Eliezer's mission and the deep, deep trust that Abraham placed in him. And I want to ask this question tonight of all of us. What can be learned from Abraham's exemplary servant, Eliezer, that can help us be effective in the ministry and in the marketplace? And when I say in the ministry, I'm not referring necessarily to the pastoral ministry.

Most of you, if not all of you, have some form of ministry. What can be learned from this faithful servant of Abraham that can benefit us in our ministry to which God has called us and in the marketplace as we're out there with the world? And the first thing I would share with you is his reliability as Abraham's steward garnered Abraham's trust. His reliability as Abraham's steward garnered Abraham's trust. Genesis 24, one through four.

And we'll read the text as we go through the outline tonight instead of reading all of it at the start. But verses one through four. Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age. The Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. So Abraham said to his oldest servant of his house who ruled over all that he had, please put your hand under my thigh and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell.

But you shall go to my country and to my family and take a wife for my son, Isaac. And under this heading of his reliability is Abraham's steward. We see that Eliezer is a man of character and competence. And that's evidenced in Abraham making him steward over his wealth.

He was a very rich man. And this man was, Eliezer was second only to Abraham. He's a man of character and competence as evidenced in Abraham making him steward over his wealth. And let me say this to you or put it in the form of a question to the people that know you best, see you as a person of character.

Do they see you as a person that they can trust? That you are truthful, that you say what you mean, that you mean what you say. Eliezer was a man of character over all of Abraham's wealth.

And then secondly, do they see you as a person of competence? Someone mentioned, I was talking someone recently about this message and the person made the comment, well, I certainly hope that people don't try to defend the faith who have a reputation of being incompetent at their work. And in the context, understand what the person was saying is, for us to be a good testimony, no matter what our occupation, no matter what our ministry, we've got to be competent in what we do. Abraham was a man of character and he was a man of competence. Genesis 13 2 states this, Abraham was very rich in livestock and silver and in gold.

Wealth back in that day in the ancient world was measured not by the land that a person owned, but by the size of his herds and the possession of silver, gold, and jewels. Abraham was wealthy. Eliezer is not named in our text in Genesis 24, but listen to this if you would. Nine times in Genesis 24 he's referred to as the man. Eight times he's referred to as the servant. Three times as Abraham's servant. One says Abraham's eldest servant. And when referring to Abraham without exception, Eliezer used the words my master 22 times in this one chapter.

What does that show me? He was a man of humble loyalty to his master. And if we're going to be commendable servants of the master of God, I believe that we have to demonstrate through our lives a humble loyalty to him. Eliezer is also a man of conviction as evidenced when Abraham directs him to place his hand under Abraham's thigh and swear by the God of heaven. Folks, unless there was evidence that the servant believed in God and the seriousness of swearing by the Lord the God of heaven and earth, his oath would mean nothing. Let me read that again.

Unless there was evidence in his life that the servant believed in God, believed himself in God and the seriousness of swearing by the Lord the God of heaven and earth, his oath would mean nothing. This is kind of a parenthetical statement. It's a sad statement.

There was a day in this country, young people, that if you looked a man in the eye and shook hands and said, I give you my word, it was as good as a contract. Now, no. Why? Character.

Lack of character. And this oath was as strong as it could get. Abraham was asking him, I want you to swear that you will do this. The placing of his hand under Abraham's thigh was an ancient Near Eastern custom by which an intimate touch affirmed an oath. And here's the punch line. An oath like this was secure from violation even after the death of the one to whom it was sworn.

Let me say that a different way. The servant had to fulfill this oath even if Abraham died. As long as it took, he would have to fulfill this oath. Now do you get a little bit of drift of why he hesitated a bit? Because we're going to say next, Eliezer is a man of commitment to his work as evidence in his request for further clarification as his master's ambassador.

Think about that. He was committed to doing it right. And he wanted to make certain that he did it right.

It was an incredible task that he wanted to get done correctly. Genesis 24 through 9. We'll not read these again, but verses 3 and 4, you'll notice Abraham made it very clear that Isaac's wife was to come from Abraham's country and family.

He spelled it out very clearly to the servant. And yet, notice verse 5, the servant said to him, perhaps a woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came? Now in that question, to me is the implication that Abraham might not be alive upon Eliezer's return.

Hey, what if I come back and I don't have a one with me? Do I take your son back to the land from which you came? What was he to do then? And keep in mind, the oath that he took was to go beyond the death of Abraham if that took place. Read with me verses 6 and 7.

So 3 and 4, Abraham made it clear. Verse 5, Eliezer asked for clarification. Verses 6 and 7, Abraham said to him, beware that you do not take my son back there.

The Lord God of heaven who took me from my father's house and from the land of my family and who spoke to me and swore to me saying to your descendants I give this land. He will send his angel before you and you shall take a wife for my son from there. It's a little bit puzzling because notice verses 8 and 9 that follow this. Abraham goes on and says, and if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be released from this oath.

Only do 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. Now Abraham is not contradicting himself. He made that statement for the sake of Eliezer, putting it in the vernacular chill.

If she won't come back here with you, you're freed from the oath. But I believe, and I think that you would agree with me, that Abraham had full faith, full confidence that God was going to lead his servant to the woman of his choosing. The second thing that we notice in this is his reliability as Abraham's steward, but also his resourcefulness coupled with complete reliance upon God. His resourcefulness coupled with complete reliance upon God.

And that was commendable. Verse 10, he prepared for his mission by using the resources at his disposal. Notice what verse 10 says, then the servant took 10 of his master's camels and departed for all his master's goods were in his hands.

And he arose and went to Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor. Now just to put things in a context, commentators tell us that the round trip was a thousand miles and would take four months. That is a huge undertaking. Round trip by camel, one thousand miles for four months. Now lest I forget it later, because it's not in my notes, you know, and I'm sure Pastor B. and Pastor K. would say the same thing, you prepare and prepare and prepare, and sometimes just before the service the Lord puts something else in your mind, you know, and you want to share the thing. That was a trip for an old man to be sure, but to go 500 miles in two months to a well and have the woman come out to you is amazing. I mean, think about that. Not only time of day, but the day to the place. Well, he prepared for his mission by using the resources at his disposal.

And beloved, that's all God expects us to do. I can remember being in that room over there in 1979 probably. I don't know what we call the class, but I co-taught it, and I cannot remember the gentleman saying, Peterson, Dr. Peterson and I taught that class.

Aaron Lynch was in the class, Aaron and Wendy may be the only two surviving people besides my wife and myself that were there, had 10 people. You know, 10 people. I'll tell you what the Lord taught me.

It doesn't matter how many are there to hear. It could be one dude and his driver in a chariot, and you know what I'm saying. The point being, God expects us to use the talents and abilities and resources that he's given us no more and no less. If I can insert here, I think that's the definition of a successful coach. You take what you've got as far as they can go.

You know, you take what you've got as far as they can go. And beloved, look at your life and ask this question, am I using the resources that God has given to me to further the kingdom? Then in verse 11, we see he not only prepared for his mission, but he planned wisely. He planned wisely. He went to the right place to observe the women in their natural setting when they went out to draw water. Notice what the verse says, he made his camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water at evening time, the time when women go out to draw water. He planned wisely. Verses 12 through 14, he petitioned God specifically.

It wasn't some generalization. Eliezer said, oh Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day and show kindness to my master Abraham. Behold, here I stand by the well of water and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, please let down your pitcher that I may drink.

And she says, drink and I will also give your camels a drink. Let her be the one you have appointed for your servant Isaac. And by this, I will know that you have shown kindness to my master. Verse 12, the words show kindness to my master Abraham. The English standard version states show steadfast love.

The new American standard version states show loving kindness. Basically, Abraham wanted God to bless his mission for his master's sake. Notice verse 13. It simply reiterates the servant's general use of common sense while depending upon God for a specific answer to his prayer. Verse 13, behold, here I stand by the well of water and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water.

I put in brackets in my notes sanctified common sense, if you know what I'm saying. Guys, if you're looking for a Christian girl, there's a place that you'll find a Christian girl. If you're looking for a bonafide Christian girl, you can find one here. We've got one available. But my point being, go to a church where the Bible is central.

It's not an add-on. And what he did is he went to a place where he knew naturally women would be coming, never suspecting that they were going to be observed, never suspecting that they might have the opportunity that this one girl was going to get. Verse 14, the first part of it, we notice that his initial request of her would be simple, and it'd be in line with a highly valued hospitality of that day. Notice the first part of verse 14. Please let down your pitcher that I may drink.

Now that's not that big a deal. He's simply saying, would you please give me a drink of water. His expectation though from her would go way beyond the norm. Now think about this, folks. This man and the men with him had traveled 500 miles for two months, just coming off the desert. And his expectation from her was without him mentioning his camels, the woman would offer to give his 10 camels a drink. Do you have a clue of how many gallons of water a camel will drink? I didn't until I looked it up, 25.

Two hundred and fifty gallons of water. No wonder that this guy was standing in wonder as you'll see. I mean she offered to give his camels water. And notice in verse 14b, he says, let her be the one you have appointed for your servant Isaac. That word appointed in Hebrews means to be right.

Let her be the right one. Let her be the one that you have appointed for your servant Isaac. Eliezer, I should say, he's not simply asking God to put his stamp of approval on Eliezer's choice, not at all. He's just saying, Lord, would you please work in this and let her be the one that you've chosen for my master. He's bathed his mission in prayer. He desires for God's will to be done, fully believing that God can send him to God's choice for Isaac. Now we start seeing some application.

We've seen a little bit so far. But in our third point, his remarkable success was dependent upon God's faithfulness to his word. And beloved, that's the way it is with us. This church operates under that truth. Success is dependent upon God's blessing. We don't try to manufacture success. We don't try to drum up success. Success is whatever God would have us have. I pray daily for several churches, Beacon being the first, Lord, will you please give Beacon the people and resources you'd have us to have. Would you please give us the people and resources that you would have us have.

His remarkable success wasn't because he was a real thinker. If I go to the well, a lot of gals will come out. And you'll see why I say that in a moment. The first thing under this heading, his prayers were in line with God's detailed providence. Notice verse 15. And it happened before he had finished speaking that behold, Rebecca, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milka, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. Now she fulfilled the requirement of being in Abraham's family, but initially Eliezer would have no way of knowing that fact. He would have no way of knowing where she came from. That's why you'll see a little bit later, he pops the million dollar question.

Whose daughter are you? She fulfilled the requirement of being in Abraham's family. But like I said, he would have no way of knowing that. Let me give you another illustration of this. Isaiah 65, 24 obviously took place years after this event. But this is what it says. God is speaking of Israel. And he says, it shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer. And while they are still speaking, I will hear. Same thing is happening here. And God knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts as well as the motive behind our prayers even before we do.

Where do you get that? Psalm 139 verse 2. He knows our thoughts are far off.

That is not referring to distance, but time. Before we thank them, he understands them. Commentary after commentary will tell you that. So she's fulfilled a requirement at this point. Abraham's clueless of that. The next thing we notice under his remarkable success, his plea was made to one of many girls.

Think about this, folks. So he comes in from the deserts to the well. And I have to ask the question, why did he go to Rebecca among scores of young women?

I have no idea how many there were. But if there were only ten, why did he go to her? And I believe with all my heart it's because of the leading of the Lord. God's leading gave him the sense this girl was the one. Now notice verses 16 through 20. Now the young woman was very beautiful to behold, a virgin. No man had known her. And she went down to the well.

I'm just emphasizing that because of difficulty. This was not an easy task. She went down to the well, filled her pitcher, and came up. And the servant ran to meet her.

Let me say that again. The servant ran to meet her. Gallus, what would go through your mind if you've come out to get water from your family and this dude is running toward you that you've never seen before? I mean he ran to her and said, please let me drink a little water from your pitcher. So she said, drink my Lord. Then she quickly let her pitcher down to her hand and gave him a drink. When she finished giving him a drink, she said, I will draw water for your camels also until they have finished drinking.

Then she quickly emptied her pitcher into the trough, ran back to the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels. And when you look at this, her appearance, her purity, her disposition of kindness, her industry set her apart. They set her apart. But as we shall see, these positive traits were not the litmus test.

She had a lot going for her. And again, to our young people, when you are considering marriage, you better think long and hard. I do premarital counseling whenever I have the opportunity. Talk long and hard.

Get beneath the surface. Try to understand who this person is that you are thinking about, making a covenant of companionship before God for the rest of your life. Because next to your salvation, that is the most important decision you will ever make.

Jobs change, cars change, houses change, locations change, and God's economy, spouses don't change and God's economy. And the point being, take it very seriously, his plea was made to one of many girls, and I believe that God had led him to her specifically. Verse 21, his patient waiting on the Lord to reveal his will.

Now think about this for a second. I'll read the verse and come back to it, make an analogy here. The man wondering at her remained silent so as to know whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not. I couldn't help but think, did Eliezer really believe that a gal was going to take her picture and give 10 camels a drink?

Now, why I ask that, there are several commentators that ask the same question. Did he really believe? Remember, Abraham had gotten him off the hook. If she won't come back with you, you're free from this oath.

But he made that statement. Now, he makes the statement in his prayer, Lord, I'll ask for a drink, and the girl who says, I'll give your camels water also, let her be the one. The words wondering at her carry the idea of whirling to giddiness, to stun, to be astonished.

Now think about that. She is doing it. She is giving my camels 10 camels water, and she says she'll do it until they're done drinking. That's amazing.

That's amazing. Imagine how long it would take for her to go down to the well and give all 10 camels water, and yet he remains silent. No priming the pump, no leading comments, simply waiting upon the Lord.

And I would think after that amount of time, I'd be giddy, too. I mean, she is actually giving these camels water as I prayed that she would. And then verses 22 through 25, his priority was on his master's will. His priority was on his master's will. Verse 22, so it was when the camels had finished drinking that the man took a golden nose ring weighing half a shekel, and two bracelets for a wrist weighing 10 shekels of gold, and said, whose daughter are you?

Tell me, please. Is there room in your father's house for us to lodge? So she said to him, I'm the daughter of Bethuel, Milka's son, whom she bore to Nahor.

Moreover, she said to him, we have both straw and feet enough and room to lodge. What do you think his response was then? What do you think his response was then? Well, first of all, when the enormous task is finished, he appropriately rewarded her efforts, but then he immediately asked that ultimate question, whose daughter are you? And the answer to that question would determine or disqualify her as God's choice for Isaac.

It doesn't matter all the other things that took place. She gave him water. She gave the camels water. This was the litmus test, whose daughter are you? Many years earlier, folks, many years earlier, following God's testing of Abraham and offering up Isaac, we read in Genesis 22, 23, it reveals that Nahor is Abraham's brother.

It specifically states that Nahor's son, Bethuel, had a daughter named Rebekah. Why do I mention that? Because in hindsight, all believers can see the hand of God directing our steps. In hindsight, when we look back at our lives, we can see God directing our steps.

We all would do well to reflect upon God's kindness and directing our paths as we trust and obey. And let me say this again to our young people. The decisions that you are making now, I hammer this home with my senior Bible class. I beg of you to understand the decisions that you are making now will have an impact on the rest of your life. Now, I've shared this with our people at Beacon before, and just a quick flyover. I, first of all, respect and love my parents, have the utmost respect for the work ethic that they taught me.

Now, I say that because of what I'm about to say. Neither of my parents graduated from high school. So for me to go 800 miles away to some Christian college I'd never seen before was huge.

Farthest I'd been from home was maybe 50 miles. The biggest deal that had happened in my life up to that point is Dad stopped and bought us fast food one time when hamburgers were 15 cents apiece. You can doubt that, but it's the truth.

It wasn't McDonald's, it was some other chain. But here's the point. That one decision, that one decision to go to a college 800 miles away led to me being in Reveal 317, and some of you recall this, and my roommate was my future brother-in-law. The other decision was do I major in art ed or straight art. I had an uncle, unsaved, and he said, you're an idiot if you go into art ed, teachers don't make any money. Little did he know I wasn't going into straight education, I would be going into a Christian school. And just to put that into perspective, Larry Huff, who graduated with me, signed a contract as an accounting major for $20,000. Now, you say that's nothing. I signed a contract to teach at Elking Christian Schools for $5,280.

You get the drift? He signed a contract for four times what I signed. But I majored in art ed.

Let me ask you a question. What if I hadn't gone to Bob Jones? And that's not for everybody, but what if I hadn't gone to Bob Jones? Probably she wouldn't be sitting there, there'd be no reason. There's a row of folks that wouldn't be here, and probably wouldn't even be the way you exactly are if you get my drift.

And the point that I'm trying to get across is the seriousness of some of the decisions we make are far longer term than we'd ever dream of them being. So I majored in art ed, and God graciously let me make it through the sophomore check. And I will tell you, I've said this as honestly as I know how, I know it was the providence of God that got me through that sophomore check.

No question. Six out of 60 made it. And I know as sure as I know my full name, I was not one of the best six out of 60. I know I wasn't.

Just being honest about it. It was God's providence, because he had a career and education for me. And I happened to go to a school that had intramural soccer.

Her brother bought me shin bands for me to be able to play that first year. I coached for 46 years. And my point is, it's not about me, and I hope that you understand that. It's about us making decisions that can have far, far reaching ramifications. And we see this. We see this in this account.

Now how did we get in the illustration? Because it would do us all well to look back on our life and see that the steps of good men and women are ordered by the Lord. And any goodness we have is all of His grace. All of His grace. And then we see this in verses 26 and 27. His praise was a tribute to God's faithfulness. His praise was a tribute to God's faithfulness. Verse 26, then the man bowed down his head and worshiped the Lord. 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. And let me say this, just this under his praise was a tribute to God's faithfulness.

That sentence, as for me being on the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master's brethren. I really believe that an awful large part of the will of God is trust and obey from day to day. Just do what you're supposed to do today to the best of your ability. To the best of your ability, do what He's put before you today, no matter what that is.

There shouldn't be anything beneath you to do. I think that's the way that we honor the Lord. Verses 28-55 record all that happened when the servant went to Nahor's house and carefully, he carefully rehearsed all the details of this mission.

That's one reason why we're not going to exposit it. He faithfully just repeats everything that's happened up to this point. But I want us to get one last major characteristic about Eliezer from these verses, all of them. And that is this, his persistence in completing his mission showed his love for and his loyalty to his master.

Let me read it again. His persistence in completing his mission showed his love for and his loyalty to his master. And I'll give you three kind of proofs of this persistence and his love and his loyalty. He was so anxious to finish his task, he wouldn't eat until he told his reason for being there. Look at verse 33. Food was set before him to eat, but he said, I will not eat until I've told about my errand. So he was going to put something that would be fine for him to do, eat. He wasn't going to put that ahead of telling him what his mission was. Upon hearing Rebekah's family give their blessing, he worshiped the Lord.

Look at 49 through 52. He's speaking and he says, now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me. And if not, tell me that I may turn to the right hand or to the left. Then Laban and Bethnal answered and said, the thing comes from the Lord.

We cannot speak to you either bad or good. Here's Rebekah before you, take her and go and let her be your master's wife as the Lord has spoken. And it came to pass when Abraham's servant heard their words that he worshiped the Lord bowing himself to the earth. Then the servant brought out jewelry of silver, jewelry of gold and clothing, gave them to Rebekah.

He also gives precious things to her brother Laban and to her mother. So we see that he was so anxious to finish the task he didn't need. Then we hear that when he learns that Rebekah's family is giving their blessing, he worships. Finally, he wanted nothing more than to return immediately to his master with his mission fulfilled. Folks, two months of rough travel on a camel. And the next few verses would be very appealing to all of us.

Notice 54 through 59. And he and the men who were with him ate and drank and stayed all night. Then they arose in the morning and he said, send me away to my master.

Wait a minute, you just got here the day before. But her brother and her mother said, let the young woman stay with us. And he said, send me away.

I messed that up. But her brother and her mother said, let the young woman stay with us a few days, at least 10. After that she may go. And he said to them, do not hinder me since the Lord has prospered my way and send me away so that I may go to my master. So they said, we will call the young woman and ask her personally. And they called Rebekah and she said to her, will you go with this man? And she said, I will go. So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse and Abraham's servant and his men.

A couple of things that I want us to notice in closing. He didn't want any convenience for himself. He was consumed with love and loyalty for Abraham.

He had no idea whether the man would be alive when he got back or not. He had a two month journey through the desert ahead of him. And he had only had a one day turnaround.

A one day turnaround. The second thing that I want you to notice is this. Rebekah's willingness to depart to a foreign land to marry a man she never met was further evidence that she was God's choice for Isaac. The account of Abraham's model servant closes with him identifying Isaac as his master. You remember when they came closer to the place there was a figure standing out in the field and she asked Eliezer who was this and he said it was my master and it was Isaac.

But it closes with Isaac and Rebekah getting married. Mission accomplished in the providence of God who is always faithful to keep his promises. Beloved tonight I ask this question, what have we seen in the account of Abraham's faithful servant?

Let's give an overview real quickly of what we've covered tonight. His reliability is a man of character, confidence, conviction and commitment. Could that be said of you? You're a person of character, you're competent in what you do, you know what you believe and you stand firm on what you believe and you are committed to the service of Christ. Could that be said?

Now all of us have room for improvement in that area. Second thing we looked at, his resourcefulness coupled with complete reliance upon God. It wasn't that he was just going to get this done because of his wisdom and his ability. Now his resources coupled with complete reliance upon God. He prepared for his mission using whatever resources he had.

Now he had a lot but remember the widow's mite. All God expects us to do is use what he's given us. We saw that he planned wisely, sanctified common sense.

He went to a well where women came for water. And then we noticed God, he petitioned God specifically, Lord I want the one that you want for Isaac. And then we concluded with this series, his remarkable success was dependent upon God's faithfulness to his word.

His prayers were in line with God's detailed providence. Do you pray, Father I ask that your will be done in this. I ask that your will be done.

I don't need to give an illustration of that. Every one of you sitting here has had to make that prayer I'm sure, unless you're very young. Father I ask that your will be done in this thing. His plea was made to one among many girls and yet we see the unseen hand of God on him going, running, to the very one God had for Isaac. We notice next his patient waiting upon the Lord to reveal his will.

Ten camels, give or take 250 gallons of water voluntarily given by this young lady. His priority was on his master's will. Abraham said take a wife for Isaac from my family. And even though he saw all these things come true before his eyes, he waited for the answer to whose daughter are you. And then the last two things, his praise was a tribute to God's faithfulness, I being on the way the Lord led me. And finally, his persistence in completing his mission showed his love for and his loyalty to his master.

From start to finish, this competent man of character was persistent in fulfilling his master's wishes and was quick to petition and praise God for his faithfulness. And beloved, the question that each of us should answer tonight is, how do we stack up in these areas? We're not going to bat a thousand on all of them. We're not going to do all of them perfectly. But I think every now and then it would do us good to just think back on our lives, the good times, the bad, the victories, the defeats, and realize that every one of them was in the providence of God for our lives.

And it's sometimes, it's sometimes those very tough times that polish us the most. I trust that this will give you food for thought tonight. Let's pray. Father, as I come before you, I do pray that you'd help each of us to examine our hearts. It is a privilege to be in service for you. Lord, you've told us to use the resources that you've given us in a way that would honor and glorify you not to try to be something or not, but to be who we are, but to be all that we should be for your glory. We thank you for this church where the word of God is central. We thank you, Lord, for the ministries that you've given this church. And we ask that you'd help us to be faithful in them. And Lord, I can't help but think of our missionaries, the Valhalla's and Laverne and the many others that we have. Lord, I ask that you would prosper their efforts, that you'd bring forth fruit from their labors that would glorify you, that you would protect them, that you would provide for them. I pray for those especially who have been injured or are sick. We have several acts that you'd work in their lives. Lord, once again, we thank you for your grace and your mercy that quickened us to life, that granted us repentant faith, that showed us our need in your provision in Christ. We praise you for that in Jesus' name. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-23 18:55:10 / 2023-03-23 19:10:49 / 16

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