The Key to Real Success

Genesis 24 was a timely reminder this morning.
Abraham sent a trusted servant out to find a wife for Isaac from among his own people—another one of the patriarch’s precautions in not having really close dealings with the pagan world that surrounded him (See Genesis 14:21-24; 23:7-16). He wanted a believing woman as wife to his son (24:1-4). The son of the covenant couldn’t have divided loyalties within his own household.
The task wasn’t a simple one and the servant was justifiably nervous. But he was also a man of faith. Genesis 24:12 (NIV) tells us, “Then he prayed, ‘O Lord, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.’” Then he asked for a specific sign that would tell him which woman was the one God had chosen for Isaac.
There is some excellent counsel in this story for those looking for life partners. It is essential that a believer marry a believer. But not just any “warm and breathing” believer will do. God had a specific woman for Isaac even though there were probably other women who might have qualified.
But beyond, God-style, there is another lesson here. It’s the lesson of a man who asks for God’s definition of success. True, the servant had a very specific goal in mind, one that he believed was God’s will for his master. But at the same time, he did not presume that he knew how to reach that goal without God.
We all have goals for today—things that need to be done. We may even have an idea of how we need to go about accomplishing that “to-do” list. But that shouldn’t stop us from committing the process to God,
Is it possible that the servant was just going through the motions here? The servant’s statement, after the mission was complete, shows us his sincerity. He describes more of the prayer that he had offered at the beginning of his search: “Now if you will show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so I may know which way to turn.” (24:49, NIV). He wasn’t looking for a “rubber stamp” from God. He was looking for the will of God.
And that’s a good plan for today’s “to-do” list.


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