The setting today began with a search for a marriage partner. My how this process has changed through the years! I was 17 when I met Gary. My plans after high school were: college, teaching job, and then marriage. Instead, the love bug bit hard and I married at 18 then went to college. In centuries past, marriage arrangements were often planned by families sometimes with the bride and groom having never met before the ‘I do’s”… I can’t imagine!
Abraham sent his servant off to seek a wife for his son Isaac. Yet as odd as this search is to our mindset, I find a lesson in the servant’s prayer that we can apply today… not just regarding marriage. Abraham sent his servant back to his homeland to find in his extended family a bride.
When the servant came to a well near Nahor, he prayed to God and basically asked for a sign. He laid out a specific request regarding a conversation with the women approaching so that he would know which one was sent by God. Then he said-
The scene at the well unfolded with said conversation between the servant and Rebekah, a relative of Abraham’s. The servant then bowed down and worshiped the Lord for his faithfulness and kindness to Abraham. At supper that evening, the servant recalled to Rebekah’s family all the details including his specific prayer. I’ve wondered before why the book of Genesis in one chapter includes both the whole story and a complete retelling of the story when the author could have said, ‘the servant retold all the events’. Could it be the author like the servant wanted the readers to pause and really take in how God acted toward this specific prayer?
From this story of the servant’s prayer, I see a God who delights to answer the prayers of his faithful. Maybe God answers a specific request for a sign just as it was asked as in this case or maybe God sends signs to his people as he has to me in past months. I’ve been praying for a specific event that hasn’t been answered fully… yet. However, God has sent many signs and words of encouragement through friends, through the Word, and through podcasts I’ve listened to. Over and over, God has let me know that he hears and that it will be answered in his perfect timing. I’m so thankful for a God who hears, responds, and encourages his people! As we move forward into today, let us go with confidence to the throne of grace and ask God to show us his presence, to encourage us, and to reassure us that he has heard our prayers. Dear brothers & sisters, God delights in responding to our prayers! Amen!