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.”
What an honor it is to announce to the world, there is an answer for their sin and separation from God. Deliverance from the coming and just wrath of God. The Gospel of Jesus Christ. And what a charge to be given to the fallen sons of Adam, to be about the business of seeking the souls of the lost. Those who will hear the good news and believe in Christ Jesus as their saving substitute at Calvary. And what joy to be able to depend wholly upon our Lord for the power, opportunity and providence to accomplish this wondrous commission. But neither our narrative, nor our mission end there. Placed within our hands, are truly gracious PROVISIONS to get the job done.
When I say “provisions”, I have two things primarily in mind. The first emerges from verse 10 of our text. Eliezer took with him ten camels loaded with “all sorts of choice gifts from his Master.” And so should we.
It is a pity that many imagine evangelism as a stark and stingy task. Not communicating freely the good things God has in store for those who are reconciled to Him in His Son. But that is not our example here. Have you ever wondered if in your evangelism you could pray for the needs of those who are not Christ’s yet? Of course! We are quick to tell them how merciful He is. How full of grace He is. How forgiving He is, long suffering, patient, kind and gentle. We show them tokens of our God’s good intentions by treating them with all goodness ourselves.
I wonder, how many of those 5000 Jesus fed on the hillside that day in Galilee, He interviewed first to see if they were worthy? Or those whom He healed – did He quiz them first to see if they ought to be recipients of His mercy? Or does the record simply see Him responding over and over to the needs brought to Him? I believe the greater testimony is to the latter.
Fallen man already suspects God of some dark perversity. The Devil’s lies from Eden still echo in their ears. Still in the ears of the saints, let alone the lost. Ours is to divest them of those wicked notions. To strip away the caricatures that have been painted before their eyes. To bring light to their darkened minds. To bring love to their broken, God-hating hearts.
Ours is the cry of PEACE! God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself (2 Cor. 5.19) This is the warrant whereby we implore them on His behalf to be reconciled themselves. That if they will come, He will receive them because of Christ. We do not tell them they are safe already. We do not imply that their sin makes no difference simply because Christ has died. Indeed, their position is dire. They live under the abiding wrath of God already for their part in Adam’s sin. But He is willing to receive them still. Though they be His mortal enemies. Though they live every moment in rebellion against them. Yet a day is upon them when the Gospel is declared. When forgiveness for all who will believe is tendered. We take our camels full and tell them what riches the Master has. Riches, that are theirs only if they become the Bride. Only if they give up their right to remain under their natural father’s roof. Only if they will lose their name to take on His. Lose themselves, to become His. Receive the forgiveness He sends us as His emissaries to proclaim.
So it is we see Eliezer in verse 22, adorning Rebekah with bracelets and a ring, just for her response in the encounter. Beloved, bless those you meet who receive you in any ordinary way. Bless them. We have been given the character of Christ by virtue of His indwelling Spirit. How we ought to leave them with the taste of His sweetness on their lips after an encounter with us. Do they smell the fragrance of His aroma when they are around us? Is that smell sweet and holy? Does it speak of the excellencies of Him whose we are? Do they get it, that it would be good and pleasant and glorious to meet the One we belong to? Certainly for some, that same aroma is the smell of death, even as it is of life to others. But is it there at all? Or do they only encounter us, and not the graces He has freely bestowed upon us? Kindness. Goodness. Graciousness. Sweetness. Approachableness. Compassion for the ravages of sin in their loves. Easy to be entreated.
Sinclair Ferguson notes that when you meet a striking, stately, intelligent and gifted woman, you always wonder what kind of man was able to win the heart of such a woman? Is that the dynamic with those who meet us? Do they wonder what kind of God it is that has ravaged our souls with His love? What kind of love have we experienced that we would speak so wonderfully of Him? What we have received from Him that we can be so generous to others? What kind of security we have that we can speak of peace in the the deepest sorrows of life? And if not, why not?
Take the Father’s riches with you as you go. Let it be evident we serve no common King – but the Lord of all. The Lord of Glory. Leave men with the distinct impression that our God is a God to be sought out with all one’s might. To be desired above anything and everything else.