Genesis 24:22-50: The Master’s business.
“22 When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels.23 Then he asked, ‘Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?’ 24 She answered him, ‘I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milkah bore to Nahor.’ 25 And she added, ‘We have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for you to spend the night.’ Then the man bowed down and worshipped the Lord, 27 saying, ‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.’ 28 The young woman ran and told her mother’s household about these things. 29 Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he hurried out to the man at the spring. 30 As soon as he had seen the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her, he went out to the man and found him standing by the camels near the spring. 31 ‘Come, you who are blessed by the Lord,’ he said. ‘Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.’ 32 So the man went to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and fodder were brought for the camels, and water for him and his men to wash their feet. 33 Then food was set before him, but he said, ‘I will not eat until I have told you what I have to say.’ ‘Then tell us,’ Laban said. 34 So he said, ‘I am Abraham’s servant. 35 The Lord has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36 My master’s wife Sarah has borne him a son in her old age, and he has given him everything he owns. 37 And my master made me swear an oath, and said, “You must not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live, 38 but go to my father’s family and to my own clan, and get a wife for my son.” 39 ‘Then I asked my master, “What if the woman will not come back with me?” 40 ‘He replied, “The Lord, before whom I have walked faithfully, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, so that you can get a wife for my son from my own clan and from my father’s family. 41 You will be released from my oath if, when you go to my clan, they refuse to give her to you – then you will be released from my oath.’ 42 ‘When I came to the spring today, I said, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come. 43 See, I am standing beside this spring. If a young woman comes out to draw water and I say to her, ‘Please let me drink a little water from your jar,’ 44 and if she says to me, ‘Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels too,’ let her be the one the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.” 45 ‘Before I finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came out, with her jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water, and I said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 46 ‘She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and said, “Drink, and I’ll water your camels too.” So I drank, and she watered the camels also. 47 ‘I asked her, “Whose daughter are you?” ‘She said, “The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milkah bore to him.” ‘Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms, 48 and I bowed down and worshipped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right road to get the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49 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.’ 50 Laban and Bethuel answered, ‘This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other.” NIV UK
‘Count the number of times in which he contrives to introduce the two words, ‘’my Master’’…This identification of his thought and speech with his master’s interests is full of teaching for us all. He could talk of nothing else, was only anxious not to fail for Abraham’s sake, and took the favourable reply as kindness shown to him whom he represented.’ F.B. Meyer: ‘Devotional Commentary’, p.23.
The re-telling of the story does not detract from it in any way. Rather, it reinforces its lessons. It impresses upon us the wonder and reality of God’s guidance. The servant repeatedly pointed to God’s activity in leading him to Rebekah (26, 40, 42-45, 48. It brought Laban and Bethuel to the point where they had to confess:
‘’This is from the LORD; we can say nothing to you one way or the other’’ (50).
In the light of the above, they were willing to act accordingly (51).
As we read this beautiful story, may it lead us to a renewed commitment to be praying people:
‘…it is good dealing with those who by prayer take God along with them in their dealings.’ Matthew Henry.
PRAYER: I pray that prayer will be woven into every moment and every part of the fabric of my life.