What if someone called on you to do something for them. What if it was a “special mission”? What if it was so important they wanted you to take an oath that you would go and get it done? How would you respond? Would you trust him? Would you honor your word to him?
Today’s reading we see Abraham who doesn’t want his son Isaac to marry a local girl, but one from his own kind. Abraham calls his oldest servant and asks him to go and find such a girl for Isaac. The servant realizes that God blesses his master. The servant also realizes that the person may not want to come back leaving their family behind. Let’s watch this play out and see how the servant honors Abraham and how God honors the servant for his obedience and trust.
Courting of Rebekah1Now Abraham was old, advanced in years, and Adonai blessed Abraham in everything.2Then Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household who managed everything that belonged to him, “Now put your hand under my thigh,3so that I may make you take an oath by Adonai, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from among the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I am dwelling.4On the contrary, to my land and to my relatives you must go and get a wife for my son Isaac.5But the servant said to him, “Suppose the woman were unwilling to follow after me to this land? Should I then have your son go back to the land you came from?6Abraham said to him, “See to it that you don’t return my son there.7Adonai, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from my native land and who spoke to me and made a pledge to me saying, ‘To your seed I will give this land’—He will send His angel before you and you will take a wife for my son from there.8If the woman is not willing to follow after you, then you will be free from this oath of mine. Nevertheless, you must not return my son there.”9So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and he made a pledge to him concerning this matter.10Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and left with all the best of his master’s things in his hand. Then he arose and went to Aram-Naharaim, to Nahor’s city.11Then he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at evening time, the time for the going out to draw water.12“Adonai, the God of Abraham my master,” he said, “please make something happen before me today, and show loyalty to Abraham my master.13Look, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are going out to draw water.14Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please tip your jar so that I may drink,’ and she will say, ‘Drink—and I’ll also water your camels’—let her be the one You have appointed for your servant Isaac. So by this I’ll know that You have shown graciousness to my master.”15Now before he had finished speaking, behold there was Rebekah (who was born to Bethuel son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother) going out with her jar on her shoulder.16Now the young woman was very good looking, a girl of marriageable age, and she was a virgin. She went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up.17Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me sip a little water from your jar.”18So she said, “Drink, my lord,” and she quickly lowered her jar onto her hand and gave him a drink.19Now when she finished giving him a drink, she said, “I’ll also draw water for your camels until they’ve finished drinking.”20So she quickly poured out her jug into the trough, ran back to the well to draw water, and drew water for all his camels,21while the man continued to pay close attention to her, keeping silent in order to know whether or not Adonai had made his way successful.22Now after the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a nose ring of gold weighing a half-shekel and two bracelets on her hands weighing ten shekels of gold.23“Whose daughter are you?” he said. “Please tell me. Is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”24She said to him, “I’m the daughter of Bethuel, son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.”25She also said to him, “There’s both straw and plenty of feed with us, as well as room to spend the night.”26Then the man bowed down and worshipped Adonai,27and he said, “Blessed be Adonai, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His loyalty and His truth toward my master. As for me, Adonai has guided me in the way to the house of my master’s brothers.”28Then the young woman ran and told her mother’s house these things.29Now Rebekah had a brother and his name was Laban, and Laban ran outside to the man at the spring.30As soon as he saw the nose ring and the bracelets on his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister saying, “Thus the man said to me,” he went to the man. There he was, standing by the camels at the spring.31So he said, “Come in, blessed of Adonai. Why are you standing outside when I’ve tidied up the house and there is room for the camels?”32So the man came to the house and he unloaded the camels. Straw and feed were given to the camels and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.33Food was placed before him to eat, but he said, “I won’t eat until I’ve stated my business.” So he said, “Speak.”34“I am Abraham’s servant,” he said.35Adonai has blessed my master very much so that he has become great, and He has given to him flocks of sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male slaves and female slaves, camels and donkeys.36Now Sarah, my master’s wife, gave birth to a son for my master after she was old, and He gave him everything he owns.37Then my master made me take an oath, saying, ‘You must not take a wife for my son from among the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I’m dwelling.’38Instead you must go to my father’s house and to my family, and take a wife for my son.’39But I said to my master, ‘Suppose the woman won’t come back with me?’40So he said to me, ‘Adonai, before whom I’ve walked continually, will send His angel with you, and He will make your way successful, and you will take a wife for my son from my family and from my father’s household.41Then you’ll be free from my oath—if you come to my family and if they don’t give her to you—then you’ll be free from my oath.’42So I came today to the spring and I said, ‘Adonai, the God of Abraham my master, if You are really going to make my way upon which I am walking successful,43look, I’m standing by the spring of water. So let it be that the unmarried girl who is going out to draw water, to whom I’ll say, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jug,”44and she’ll say to me, “You drink, and I’ll also draw water for your camels”—let her be the woman whom Adonai appoints for my master’s son!’45I had not yet finished speaking to my heart, and behold there was Rebekah going out—her jug was on her shoulder and she went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’46And she quickly lowered her jug off of her and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll also water your camels.’ So I drank, and she also watered the camels.47Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ Then I placed the ring on her nose and the bracelets on her hands.48I bowed down and worshipped Adonai and blessed Adonai, the God of my master Abraham, who guided me on the true way to take the daughter of my master’s brother for his son.49So now, if you’re really going to show loyalty and truth to my master, tell me. But if not, tell me and I’ll turn to the right or to the left.”50Then Laban and Bethuel answered, and they said, “The matter proceeds from Adonai. We cannot speak to you bad or good.51Rebekah is before you. Take her and go, and let her become a wife for our master’s son, just as Adonai has spoken.”52Now when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed down to the ground to Adonai.53Then the servant brought out articles of silver and gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious gifts to her brothers and to her mother.54Then they ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and spent the night. When they arose in the morning, he said, “Send me off to my master.”55But her brother with her mother said, “Let the young woman stay with us a few days—or ten. Afterwards she may go.”56But he said to them, “Don’t delay me, since Adonai has made my way successful. Send me off so that I can go to my master.”57So they said, “We’ll call the young woman and let’s ask her opinion.”58Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go.”59So they sent Rebekah their sister off with her nanny, and Abraham’s servant and his men,60and they blessed Rebekah and said to her: “Our sister, may you become thousands of ten thousands, and may your seed possess the gate of those who hate him.”61Then Rebekah got up, with her maids, and they mounted the camels and followed after the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed.62Now Isaac had come from visiting Beer-lahai-roi and was living in the land of the Negev.63Isaac went out to meditate strolling in the field at dusk. Then he lifted up his eyes and saw, behold, camels were coming.64Rebekah also lifted up her eyes and saw Isaac. Then she fell off her camel.65Then she said to the servant, “Who is that man there who is walking in the field—to meet us?” The servant said, “He is my master.” So she took the veil and covered herself.66Then the servant recounted to Isaac all the things he had done.67Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother, took Rebekah and she became his wife—and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after the loss of his mother.–from Genesis 24
God can and will help you if you are willing to invite Him into the situation. He will give you signs to show you the right way, the right path, the right decision, and complete the good work He has planned in advance for you to do. God’s plan is good!
What will it take for you to turn from your old ways? What will it take for you to turn back to Jesus? What will it take to transform you life and become a new creation? Let’s check out Saul and how Jesus got a hold of his heart and transformed the rest of his life… Imagine going from number one enemy to the biggest champion of the cause. Imagine taking all the knowledge you had and being able to turn it from trying to tear something down to building something up! Imagine such a world! Words have power so choose to build up!
Saul Turns from Murder to Messiah1Now Saul, still breathing out threats and murder against the Lord’s disciples, went to the kohen gadol .2He requested letters of introduction from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women belonging to the Way, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem.3As he was traveling, approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.4Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”5“Who are You, Lord?” Saul said. “I am Yeshua—whom you are persecuting.6But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”7The men travelling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.8Saul got up from the ground—but opening his eyes, he could see nothing. They led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.9For three days he could not see, and he did not eat or drink.10Now there was a disciple named Ananias in Damascus. The Lord said to him, “Ananias.” He said, “Here I am, Lord.”11The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street named Straight, and ask in the house of Judah for someone from Tarsus named Saul. For look, he is praying;12and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and laying his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.”13But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man—how much harm he has done to your kedoshim in Jerusalem.14And here he has authority from the ruling kohanim to tie up all who call on Your name.”15But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a choice instrument to carry My name before nations and kings and Bnei-Yisrael.16For I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.”17So Ananias left and entered into the house. Laying hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Yeshua, the One who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming—has sent me, so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh.”18Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was immersed;19and when he had taken food, he was strengthened. Now for several days, he was with the disciples in Damascus.20Immediately he began proclaiming Yeshua in the synagogues, saying, “He is Ben-Elohim.”21All those hearing him were amazed. They were saying, “Isn’t this the one who made havoc in Jerusalem for all those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to bring them as prisoners before the ruling kohanim?”22But Saul kept growing stronger, and he was confounding the Jewish people living in Damascus by proving that Yeshua is the Messiah.23When many days had passed, these Jewish people plotted to kill him—24but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night, to kill him.25But the disciples took Saul by night and let him down over the wall, lowering him in a basket.26When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he made attempts to join up with the disciples—but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple.27But Barnabas took him in and brought him to the emissaries. He described to them how Saul had seen the Lord on the road and the Lord had spoken to him, and how he had spoken boldly in the name of Yeshua.28So Saul was with them, going in and out in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.29He was speaking and arguing with the Hellenists, but they were trying to kill him.30When the brothers found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.31So Messiah’s community throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had shalom and was built up. Walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Ruach ha-Kodesh, it kept multiplying.Signs and Wonders Follow Peter32Peter went here and there among them all. He came down as well to thekedoshim living in Lydda.33There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years—he was paralyzed.34Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Messiah Yeshua heals you. Get up and pack up your bed.” Immediately, he got up!35All who lived in Lydda and the Plain of Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.36In Joppa, there was a disciple named Tabitha (which translates as Dorcas). She was full of mitzvot and tzadakah, which she continually did.37In those days, she became ill and died. When they had washed her for burial, they placed her in an upstairs room.38Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples—hearing that Peter was there—sent two men to him, begging him, “Please come to us without delay!”39So Peter got up and went with them. When he arrived, they took him to the upstairs room. All the widows were crying, showing all the tunics and other clothing Dorcas had made while she was with them.40But Peter sent them all outside, and he got down on his knees and prayed. Then, turning to the body, he said “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.41He gave her his hand and raised her up. Then he called the kedoshim and widows and presented her alive.42It became known throughout Joppa, and many came to believe in the Lord.43So it happened that Peter stayed on in Joppa for several days with Simon, a tanner.–from Acts 9
Imagine running for you life and then God tells you to go and find the guy who has been hunting you down. Imagine how much you would have to allow your faith in God to overrule your fear. Imagine how much you would have to trust God in order to step out and meet the person who has been going all over the place trying to kill you. Imagine the stories if you were the person God used to change their lives and the history of the world!
Fear Not, Just Believe!
We will all be tempted! We will all face trials of many kinds! We will all have troubles! BUT don’t be dismayed! Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds! Be an overcomer when you face troubles!
Today’s reading concludes with Jesus being tempted by the devil, using God’s Word and trying to see if he could trip up Jesus…
Overcoming Temptation with God’s Word1Then Yeshua was led by the Ruach into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.2After He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, He was hungry.3And when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are Ben-Elohim, tell these stones to become bread.”4But He replied, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”5Then the devil took Him into the holy city and placed Him on the highest point of the Temple.6“If You are Ben-Elohim,” he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written, ‘He shall command His angels concerning you,’ and ‘upon their hands they shall lift you up, so that you may not strike your foot against a stone.’”7Yeshua said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put Adonai your God to the test.’”8Again, the devil takes Him to a very high mountain and shows Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.9And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”10Then Yeshua says to him, “Go away, satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship Adonai your God, and Him only shall you serve.’”11Then the devil leaves Him. And behold, angels came and began to take care of Him.–from Matthew 4
Left to our own ways, we would just get ourselves into more trouble. But if we will turn back to God and follow after Him, we will find joy unspeakable that won’t go away, peace that goes beyond all understanding. Not that we won’t have problems, but God will be with us! Not that we won’t face trials of many kind, but God will be with us! Not that we won’t have troubles, but God will be with us! So ask Jesus into your life! Allow Him to heal your heart and protect your mind! Put on the full armor of God!
Yeshua Withdraws to Seek God12Now when Yeshua heard that John had been handed over, He withdrew to the Galilee.13Leaving Natzeret, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali.14This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,15“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations—16the people sitting in darkness have seen a great light, and those sitting in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.”17From then on, Yeshua began to proclaim, “Turn away from your sins, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”–from Matthew 4
So will you raise up others? Will you be a leader who raises others up? Will you call them to their full potential? Will you see them where they are at and call them to what you see they could be? Will you be someone who gives them a hand up instead of a hand out? Will you help them to step out and become the person they were created on purpose, with purpose and for a purpose to be?
Raising Up Fishers of Men18Now as Yeshua was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter and Andrew his brother. They were casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.19And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”20Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.21Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, Jacob the son of Zebedee and John his brother. They were in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and He called them.22Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him.23Yeshua was going throughout all the Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and sickness among the people.24News about Him spread throughout all Syria. And they brought to Him all the sick—those tormented by various diseases and afflictions, those plagued by demons, the epileptics, the paralyzed—and He healed them.25And large crowds followed Him from the Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.–from Matthew 4