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September 23, 2022 6:00 am
Pastor Rick has a topical message
The Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. That's what we want God to do to us the end we want God if we should live long enough we want him to bless us that they would be freed from our labor in this life that when we think about this life we don't think about the vacations and the fine things that we've been privileged to enjoy but we reflect on how we have served the Lord. This is cross reference right with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston.
Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville.
Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Genesis. Please stay with us after today's message more information about cross reference specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching, but for now let's join Pastor Rick in the book of Genesis chapter 24 as he begins his message Abraham's unnamed servant. Genesis chapter 24 verse 30 says in their he stood by the camels at the well, that's a snapshot it's a picture of what's going on. A moment of this great work of God's presence of God doing what he does like no other.
And I think that most of you know this is the story of Abraham sending his servant to find a bride for Isaac and this picture here in verse 30 I think is fitting because I well water well, that is, spoke of Isaac as altars would speak of Abraham as we study the life of Abraham. He's always building an altar and worshiping God as we study the life of Isaac. He's always digging a well and in bringing water which is life in that world which is in what life anywhere in the world. And so again also fitting to start off a consideration about this servant as he stood by the camels at the well and so my outline will run this way will speak about the story that is its background will discuss the servant and his success, and then the symbolisms and types that are involved in this 24th chapter. So who is the man and why is he by the well will historically view this section of Scripture historically. It is the story of Abraham sending out his oldest servant hundreds of miles away, perhaps a month's journey to his destination, and a month journey back to fetch a bride for Isaac.
Isaac was content to allow his father to choose for him.
His wife don't try that here.
I'm not saying that's better. Good. I am only saying that that culturally that was practiced and it often worked out well in this culture that we have today is not practiced in marriages often do not work so well so you can take it from there. But this is a story of marriage in this 24th chapter. It is the longest chapter in the book of Genesis and I don't.
I think that that that it is on purpose that is so much is devoted to this story of marriage. Not only between a man and a woman as sanctified, as that is. But more so about Christ and his church that is the holy union that we Christians are supposed to be very concerned with.
And as we go through the story we look at the faces of the people and we let them tell the story by themselves. It's really not much commentary to make except for the historical events and the types that are here because the story gives it to us and yet the Holy Spirit is able to us to still squeeze out the applications necessary to keep us as Christians running as we ought to run service of God, so that is it. Historically but spiritually it is one of the greatest stories of servant hood and all the Scripture. It illustrates the role of the Holy Spirit as that member of the Trinity that is bringing the believer to Christ. It illustrates the ideal way to serve the father of Jesus Christ and that is particularly important to us. It's important that we see both of them.
Not one at the cost of the other. Now this is this is background what were going to move into the servant himself in a minute. So we briefly discuss this section historically and spiritually, and symbolically. We've mentioned the Holy Spirit but also in the types that are found in this section we have the Trinity that is the father the son and the Holy Spirit. Each one is seen in the characters working through this chapter. Abraham is the father and type. Isaac is the son, the servant, the unnamed servant is the Holy Spirit. And then there is the church's Rebecca and then there is Laban who is the carnal character in the story and then there are those on the outside who are also in the house of Laban and I think that that is very helpful for all of us to see how the our God works in our lives and in every time in history is working towards this one goal to get us into heaven. This is this is an important review – as our enemy. The Bible says that it is because of the pain that it causes to us right now and often times when God allows death we are perplexed as to why he would let this happen from our end. It is God why are you allowing this but from God's in his if you knew where I am bringing your loved one to you be fussing about why I haven't done it sooner. And so to constantly keep before us God's perspective is healthy to our faith, and that is this servant the whole time he keeps Abraham's perspective before him, and he stays out of trouble and he accomplishes his goal and so our text finds the servant in the midst of divine activity and so, again reading reading… And there he stood by the camels at the well is in the midst of divine work God is doing something. We know this because we read the story but he didn't know it as he's doing it. He's just being faithful is trusting in the Lord even though he had moments of doubt himself.
But Abraham was there to help him with it. This servant is Abraham's go to man for Abraham's final move concerning his most prized earthly relationship.
Isaac Sarah has gone she is no longer here she is with the Lord. Abraham is looking to find a bride for his Isaac and he wants it to be a masterpiece is determined to have this be perfect.
He is old now. Abraham is and he has been blessed yet. He knows that he is to prepare himself and so look at verse one of Genesis 24 and there we read now Abraham was old well advanced in age and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. That's what we want God to do to us in the end we want God if we should live long enough we want him to bless us that they would be fruit from our labor in this life we think about this life we don't think about the vacations in the fine things that we've been privileged to enjoy but we reflect on how we have served the Lord. The people who have served us in kind to us, people we have been kind to ourselves and so the servant is entrusted with this task and 14 times in this chapter of the 15 times the word servant shows up 14 of them are applied to him. Now they're going to be a few of these. There are will weigh all all wait to we get to them. But this is the first when we come to that he is indeed clearly presented as a servant in the Scripture has it some and it said so many times that it does not want us to lose sight of this and wants us to learn as to why there is such an emphasis placed on this man in the midst of this story even though he is not the hero of the story, but he's a centerpiece of as mentioned, much to learn remains unnamed throughout because the story is not about him, and yet you cannot miss him. And that's how it is enough to be in our Christian lives is not about us, it's about Christ. Yet with were supposed to be in this light that is set on the hillside. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
That is supposed to be the church. We are part of that experience.
If you are hiding your Christianity you cheating those around you. Your cheating the Lord cheating yourself not become lights in this world to be put out. We have been like made lights in this world to shine and now we come to an interesting part of this is were discussing this servant in Genesis chapter 15 in the second chapter we read of another servant of Abraham, and there it is. LEs of Damascus, and so the question is is this unnamed servant, that servant who Abraham loves so much that he was going to bequeath all of his earthly possessions to God said no it's not going to be Ellie LEs are of Damascus going to be your son Isaac, but it does introduce to us this character into the camp of Abraham, but there are two reasons why I do not believe that this servant this oldest servant as he is presented will get to that in a moment. There is two reasons why I do not believe this is LEs are of Damascus.
The first one is this is 52 years later.
This is 52 years after the scene in Genesis chapter 15 Isaac is now 40 years old. Ishmael has borne. He's 53 years old bear almost 53 years old there about that is the first reason why I think this eliminates LEs are from this difficult trip. The second one is that this man LEs are evidently was an illustrious character of figure such as him would have had his named gladly inserted into the story to lend power to the story and yet it is left out is left out because this is a different one. We don't know who he is because were not supposed to know who he is, because it fits the type and it fits the lesson the parabolic illustrations deal with the parallels that illustrate the work of the Holy Spirit and the parallels that illustrate the work of the servant and the power of the Holy Spirit.
So his name is kept in the background so that in the foreground is that of the master that of God, that of Jesus Christ eloquently in verses two and three and there we read and Abraham said to the 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, God of the earth that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell. Abraham is going to emphasize this with a fierce determination don't you take a bride from these Canaanites for my boy Isaac in that is the New Testament doctrine, the commandment that Christians are not to be unevenly yoked with unbelievers. We are not to find a situation where Christian marries an unbeliever. Now it happens sometimes it happens in this sense they're not saved when they get married.
One of them becomes a Christian and then hopefully both, but other times is just God is been put into the back seat, that individual may believe that God is the way the truth and the life, but not the master Lord of their life.
They know better and you know once you start giving your heart to the strange seductions and delicacies of the world. The battle is on and you can lose if you're not careful and you can lose much and you going to break the hearts of those around you and you going to most of all break the heart of the Lord called in the New Testament grieving of the Holy Spirit, and so we work hard to protect against this, in spite of all that we do all that we teach. There are still those who try to pull it off and so this is not Eliezer are. This is another servant and he puts his hand behind the thigh of Abraham. It was a gesture to ensure that they would remember that moment that the covenant was made, it would take away from the servant.
I know I don't. Time limits something about something, but I'm not sure go. This is something that's a little weird and it is, you know, I'm glad we don't do it anymore, but it was a powerful and when we come to it in Scripture. In our culture we we see it right away. In fact, in India there is a gesture among some of those who live in India when they are in the presence of the. The patriarchs of their family. There is a gesture with a sort of bowing and and touched behind the legs of the one that they're showing respect to in this likely required that the servant knelt down before Abraham and and sealed the agreement that he entered in, but this too much to talk about how he went about this. He is the chief steward all that Abraham has. Even though, as we've discussed, I don't believe he is Eliezer and he is one of the most attractive minor characters in all the Bible that alone stands out to me because that means I can be a minor character whose outstanding and you cannot miss him and you cannot miss any servant of God who assumes the role regardless of how minor it may be considered to be amongst men, and with his quiet good sense his faith and his devotion to Abraham. We are drawn to him. Listen to what it says in Proverbs 1816 a man's gifts make room for him and brings him before great men. That's this man. He is gifted and God has brought him before Abraham, whom God has blessed more than anyone alive at this time and yet this man is servant in Abraham's home entrusted with everything that is dear to Abraham from his worldly possessions to the future of his son outstanding remarkable.
We watch him firmly seeing matters through with loyalty and success which is supposed to say to us, loyalty and success.
There's a concept that something we don't see today.
We do see it sometimes, but it is not dominant.
These are not dominant virtues in our society people are loyal to Satan there loyal to themselves. If you can call it loyalty with a sense of duty since the victory, victory is a scriptural I dear right now this is the church militant, but the time is coming when we will be the church victorious. We would've conquered, we would've ceased from all of our labors because of wood. God's promised because what he is doing what he has done and will do we take this by faith, which will enter into the story and so this servant has acquired insight into human nature as servants do are entrusted with that which is in the hands of their masters. In other words, by being entrusted with this. He is getting experience and the experience that he is getting is about people and is using this experience about people to better serve his master. That is what he exist for.
Look at verses four and five of Genesis 24 Abraham says, but you shall go to my country into my family and take a wife for my son Isaac in there again is the principal of being properly yoked with the people of God, and in an illustration. It has a historical meaning that is what it literally meant when Abraham spoke it and then it has an application in the New Testament and that we see God said, you shall not take those outside of the blood of Christ to be your spouse. Those within the family of God. In verse five he continues in the servant said to him. Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land as I take your son back to the land from which you came. And that's Abraham's letter goes off. I told you look at verse six. But Abraham said you where you do not take my son back there again is driving that point homeless and on the plane with you the support of conversation is having with his oldest and most trusted servant, and so what we also getting out of this. In addition to that, he has this insight into human nature know she might not want to come. We also see that is still free will. She has a choice. She has a say-so that almost gets lost as we begin to see Laban enter into the picture, but it's not.
It's part of the story because it was part of the culture she had every right to say I will not go just as unbelievers have every right to say to Jesus, I will not go just as believers have every right to say I will not go anymore any father any longer. However, you want to phrase it. The servant brings up the possibility of failure. Abraham answers that possibility with faith. 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 spoke to me and swore to me saying to your descendents I give this land. He will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from their that's Abraham's answer to doubt the other one brings up possibilities. Abraham brings up faith.
Does it win the servant doesn't change does it impact has Joe says how forceful are right words are these words right absolutely. By the time the story is over.
He's going to be preaching those identical words of the household of Laban is going to be talking about faith and the angel of the Lord and going to see just how much he learned from a from Abraham.
So we watch him carry out his word and his work before we even realize were liking him before we even know what's going on is reading through this chapter, he becomes someone that we are paying attention to before we know about types before we know about. He is the Holy Spirit and type before we know about. He is the servant in the church and type. We are still attracted to him carries out his word and his work as I mentioned as a master servant sort of oxymoron servants, not the master, but he has mastered being a servant of Jehovah is not just Abraham serve Abraham's God is his God and this empowers him to be this man as a text that says, and there he stood by the camels at the well.
The whole time he standing there. He's knowing God is unfolding. The answer that his master sent him to get that's faith that string. This is something that is beautiful. We are educated by his textbook service.
We wanted to be so because we know is right. We know this is yes this is that this is what I'm not finding in the workplace.
This is what I'm not finding in the universities is what I'm not finding somewhere in life, but I'm finding it here in God's word. This is what I have been looking for and I did not even know it until I've been exposed to it. The many Christians need to hear everything I just said about service, but also what I'm about to say he is a servant and a gentleman. How many times have you come across a Christian who is not a gentleman. How many times have they been quick to tell you that there saved that they go to church, that they are being used by God but they're not a gentleman shows us satisfying blend of dignity and humility as he moves from one part of that world to another part of that world. He never stops being the man that Abraham appointed him to be one card to say that of me one God says you've moved through this life. Everywhere that I have found you, you never stop being the man I have been making you to be in Christ Jesus. That's what I want God to do for me. That's why love this. That's why think all Christians should love this man well seasoned with wisdom and the execution of his task how many Christians you find it lacking the Nazis and they had no experience yet that quick to want to be the leader that quick to want to have a dominant position of visible position. A say-so do not execute their task as they ought to do will see him also moving through this 24th chapter. Maybe not tonight within your own reading time, smoothing the way for all hands that are involved. He makes things happen that otherwise would not have happened because surprises have popped up because resistance it has surfaced, but he moves over those things. He answers the objections and the ones that he cannot answer. He moves forward in spite of them cautiously but effectively his handling of crafty Laban's antics is extraordinary and insightful. Turn with me to verse 55 now this is the latter part of the story while while he was by the well. Laban eventually comes out brings him into the city into his home and after he closes the arrangement solidifies the covenant that indeed Rebecca is going to be the wife of Isaac. Laban wants more time so he can work his call so that he can be find the opportunity to be opportunistic who you've been listening to cross reference the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Pastor Rick is teaching from God's Word each time you tune as we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast is teaching is available free of charge at our website. Just visit cross reference for road.com that's cross reference.com would also like to encourage you to subscribe to the cross reference podcast subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick you can do firstname.lastname@example.org or search for cross reference in your favorite podcast app store. That's all for today. Join Pastor Rick for more character study right here on cross-reference