Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from the Scripture
Gen. 24. 1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh, 3 that I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, 4 but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”
The Bible paints evangelism several different ways. Using various similes and motifs. Sowing – planting, and watering is one (Mark 4, 1 Cor. 1.26 & others). Fishing is another (Matt. 4.19 and Matt. 13.47). Harvesting is a third (Matt. 9.37-38). And marriage is a fourth. Marriage because that is the aim of evangelism. We look to reconcile the lost to God. Not just in terms of rebellious creatures being reconciled to the gracious Creator. Though that is certainly true. But in the sense that God’s ultimate goal in saving the lost is to make them into a bride for His Son. A quick look at the language of Eph. 5.23-32 makes this abundantly clear. You can also find it in Jer. 3 and Hosea 2. It is John the Baptizer’s model in John 3.29; Jesus’ way of expression in Luke 5.34-35 and the picture of the consummation of all things in Rev. 21.9.
I want to make it clear, that Gen. 24 is NOT a passage ABOUT evangelism. It is about Abraham getting a bride for his son. Yet the similarities brought out in this seeking-a-bride motif might still yield some instruction as we examine the parallels. Paul’s language in 2 Cor. 11.2 helps us draw this connection. “I feel divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.”
This was the goal of Eliezer in Gen. 24. He was sent out to find a bride for his Master’s son. And if I may, this is in fact one of our great goals. To go out and seek a Bride, or better, to seek members of the Bride, for our Master’s Son. The Son of God. Evangelism can be cast in the shape of this quest.
I cannot imagine the task of seeking a husband or wife for one of my friends. I could not imagine doing it for my own daughter. And by God’s grace, she did much better than I would have. Yet this is precisely the immense, unspeakable privilege the Father has granted to us. As though we were His most trusted servants. Like Eliezer who had charge of all Abraham possessed. We too are stewards of the mysteries of God. (1 Cor. 4.1) Entrusted with the very riches of Heaven. We are sent out to seek a bride, an eternal mate for The Son.
Think about it Christian. Evangelism is daunting. Not because it is so hard. But because it is so high. He would have us see it in this light. To count it such a glorious thing. To see it for what it really is. We will see as the passage unfolds, He has made all the provision. In truth, we cannot fail. All He asks is that we go. That we take what is His, and seek out those who will respond. Those who will hear the invitation and respond. Those, who will become recipients of all the riches the Father bestows upon the Son in inheritance. To receive all, just for believing. Believing demonstrated in following.
This then is our first lesson. To learn the exceeding high honor given to us in evangelism. To see it not as a fearsome duty, but as an unspeakable privilege. See how the Father trusts us. See what things He places in our hands. See what a true stewardship has been committed to us. See how good our God is. How He calls us to enter into the most intimate of divine things. To seek a Bride for His Dear Son. His ONLY Son. His own heart.
Evangelize as one who loves the Son. And seeks His happiness. Seeks His love. Seeks she, who He will make His very own.