A Few Thoughts on Eliezer of Damascus

A Few Thoughts on Eliezer of Damascus
Genesis 24:1-4 NET Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years, and the LORD had blessed him in everything. Abraham said to his servant, the senior one in his household who was in charge of everything he had, “Put your hand under my thigh so that I may make you solemnly promise by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth: You must not acquire a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living. You must go instead to my country and to my relatives to find a wife for my son Isaac.”
Eliezer was the CEO of everything Abraham owned. He was the chief servant, for Abraham was extraordinarily rich. (See this article and Genesis 13:1-2 NET So Abram went up from Egypt into the Negev. He took his wife and all his possessions with him, as well as Lot. (Now Abram was very wealthy in livestock, silver, and gold.)
Abraham sent Eliezer on a mission, a particularly important mission. A mission to find a wife for his son, Isaac. Arranged marriages were the norm in those days for both family and financial reasons. Note however, that Rebekah had a choice in the matter: Genesis 24:57-58 NET Then they said, “We’ll call the girl and find out what she wants to do.” So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Do you want to go with this man?” She replied, “I want to go.”
We learn from this
B1 Delegation. Abraham did not do this himself
B2 Trust in Eliezer to accomplish the mission
B3 Importance of knowing the people around you, for Eliezer had to have proven, godly character traits
B4 Knowledge of what was needed, because Abraham gave specific instructions
B5 Ultimate trust of Abraham in Yahweh to guide Eliezer
B6 Importance of knowing the societal standards and characteristics of the people whom a potential wife could be found
Genesis 24:5-8 NET The servant asked him, “What if the woman is not willing to come back with me to this land? Must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?” “Be careful never to take my son back there!” Abraham told him. “The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and the land of my relatives, promised me with a solemn oath, ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ He will send his angel before you so that you may find a wife for my son from there. But if the woman is not willing to come back with you, you will be free from this oath of mine. But you must not take my son back there!
Eliezer asked some questions of Abraham, namely what to do if she does not agree to come, and could I go to your hometown to search for a wife?
Abraham shows faith to obey God’s instructions concerning where to live. Abraham is in that land.
Abraham trusts God to send divine guidance to Eliezer.
We learn
B1 It is wise to ask questions to clarify the mission and of alternate possibilities in case the mission cannot be completed as ordered.
B2 Trust in those under our authority to accomplish what is requested
B3 Faith in God’s Words. Note, Abraham understood God’s word in the plain, normal sense and determined to obey God. This shows trust and a reasonable faith, for Abraham had many dealings with God.
B4 A plan how to proceed, if the initial plan does not work
B5 Trust that God will in some way make the mission successful
B6 Acknowledgement that humans do have a measure of libertarian free will
Genesis 24:9 NET So the servant placed his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and gave his solemn promise he would carry out his wishes.
The servant takes a vow. We don’t need to take vows today, for Jesus said: Matthew 5:37 NET Let your word be ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no.’ More than this is from the evil one. Nevertheless, if we are required to take an oath, it must be an honest oath. The difference between an oath and a vow. An oath is a solemn promise that one is telling the truth. A vow is a promise to perform some act.
We learn
B1 Sometimes a situation is very formal, and we give our promise with a vow.
C1 An oath, a formal, legal affirmation of telling the truth: Hebrews 7:19-21 WEL For the law made nothing perfect, but bringing in a better hope [did], by which we draw near to God. 20 And none of this happened without an oath, 21 For indeed, they were made priests without an oath, but this one with an oath by him who said to him, “The Lord swore and will not repent, ‘You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.'”
C2 A vow, a formal, legal affirmation to keep a promise: Matthew 5:33 WEL 33 “Again you have heard it said by those in the past, ‘you must not make a solemn promise but must keep your promise to the Lord concerning your vows.’
B2 A godly servant will keep faith and perform what was required. Hebrews 3:14 NLT For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.
Genesis 24:12-15 NKJV Then he said, “O 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.” And it happened, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder.
The servant prays for wisdom. Here, he asks for a sign. Remember this is descriptive, not prescriptive. It is what he did. We are not to seek signs.
B1 1 Corinthians 1:22-23 WEL For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom, 23 But we preach Christ crucified. To the Jews [this is] a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness
B2 Mark 8:12 NLT When he heard this, he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why do these people keep demanding a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, I will not give this generation any such sign.”
The test for her comes Rebekah. The servant sticks to his plan and watches.
We learn
B1 To pray for wisdom: James 1:5 WEL If any of you lack wisdom, then ask the God, who gives to all profusely and doesn’t scold, and it will be given to him.
B2 Let us not be foolish: Proverbs 10:21 NET The teaching of the righteous feeds many, but fools die for lack of wisdom.
Genesis 24:16-21 NKJV Now the young woman was very beautiful to behold, a virgin; no man had known her. And she went down to the well, filled her pitcher, and came up. And the servant ran to meet 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. And when she had 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 the man, wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not.
The servant observes closely.
John Trapp in his commentary writes on verse 21: Wondering at her.] At her courtesy; but more at God’s good providence, and so sweet a return of his prayers. The Greek hath it, He considered her, and held his peace.
We learn to observe and wait for God’s will to be done. Sometimes the answer comes quickly and sometimes later, but it will come.
Genesis 24:26-28 NKJV 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.” So the young woman ran and told her mother’s household these things.
The servant is thankful and worships Yahweh.
We learn to do the same.
Genesis 24:55-56 NKJV But her brother and her mother said, “Let the young woman stay with us a few days, at least ten; after that she may go.” And he said to them, “Do not hinder me, since the LORD has prospered my way; send me away so that I may go to my master.”
The servant is successful and wants to hasten home to his master as he has been told.
The servant also wants to follow Abraham’s wishes so does not decide to enjoy himself with a few days of feasting.
We learn to complete our promise.
Genesis 24:57-58 NKJV So they said, “We will call the young woman and ask her personally.” Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.”
Rebekah confirms her will to go and fulfill God’s wishes.
We learn to agree with God’s will. Note, it must not be an experience we trust in but evidence. The evidence was in what Eliezer said and in the riches of his gifts.
Genesis 24:66 NKJV And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done.
The servant gives his report of all that happened.
We learn to give an accounting.
In summary,
B1 The servant was sent on a mission.
B2 The servant clarifies what his master wants.
B3 The servant gave his word, his promise.
B4 The servant prays for wisdom.
B5 The servant tests what is happening to see if it fulfills the facts.
B6 The servant observed and waited for all to happen.
B7 The servant is thankful.
B8 The servant worships.
B9 The servant tells the truth.
B10 The servant does not keep the riches for himself.
B11 The servant hastes to complete his mission.
B12 The servant gives his report. He gives an accounting of how he fulfilled the mission.
We are servants of God.
Let us in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds be good servants of Jesus Christ.
Posted by Choco in 2019 at 17:59
Labels: Eliezer, God’s servants

 

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