ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Understanding Genesis 24: Being Called Out

Updated on August 26, 2015
Source

Read the entire chapter 24 of Genesis on your own. You can read a variety of versions, from contemporary English to literal translations. You can download bible apps, websites (blueletterbible.org or biblegateway.com) or buy one from your local bookstore. I will use King James Version because some of the nuances are missing from other translations. When you read the chapter, don’t just read it—study it with questions and try to make sense of it.

A Faithful Worker

And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: Genesis 24:2,3

A few years have since Sarah’s death, and Abraham is old and mulling over Isaac and his future descendants. Abraham doesn’t just choose a young, able-bodied servant for this important task; but chooses his chief servant, his second-in-command, the wisest, and perhaps his closest friend, having worked together for so long. Not only does Abraham trust this servant with his household, but he also trusts this servant with the task of finding a wife for Isaac, the mother of God’s chosen people.

As Christians, we also have a duty to our employer, not because we must regard our manager higher than God, but because as Christians, we have a duty to represent God to our secular co-workers, customers, etc. We must be faithful workers, and do all we can to the best of our abilities. The Bible urges diligence and intelligence above sloth and negligent.

"Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men." Proverbs 22:29 "Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds." Proverbs 27:23 Even the shepherds, who were socially looked-down upon, are urged to be diligent in their task.

Keeping a Promise

The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence. And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter. Genesis 24:7,9

The servant, having lived with Abraham for so many years, knows God and has seen the miracles that God has wrought in Abraham’s life. He also has faith in God’s faithfulness to Abraham and when Abraham tells him that God has sent his angel before him, the servant believes on this promise and makes the vow.

The Hebrew word for “thigh” is yarek and it seems to be used interchangeably with “side” and “loins.” "All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls were threescore and six;" Genesis 46: 26 Either way, the cultural meaning of this method of sealing a promise, seems to be highly regarded and intimate. The servant chosen for this task was highly regarded by Abraham, and the servant deeply loved Abraham to make such a gesture and keep his vow.

Specific Prayers

And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master. Genesis 24:14

The servant, from witnessing Abraham’s relationship with God, prays a prayer of faith. He asks for specific things so the he would recognize God answering his prayer. And before he finishes his prayer, God answers it. Oftentimes, we pray and then wonder what God’s answer is; or won’t accept God’s answer. But we should also pray with faith and assurance that God will answer the prayer. Whether it’s a “yes” or a “no,” God will answer it.

"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." Romans 8:26 When we don’t know what to pray for, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and helps us to know what to pray for. The Holy Spirit was here with the faithful servant, giving him guidance on what to pray for. The servant asked for kindness in his future mistress, which he had often witnessed in Abraham’s household.

"And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." Matthew 17:20 If you don’t have any faith, there are no more options except a prayer to God, the Holy Spirit will help you to pray and God’s faithfulness will answer it. Nothing will be impossible.

Fills the Longing in Our Hearts

And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go. And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death. Genesis 24:58, 67

No age is given about Rebekah, but she was young enough to look unmarried and beautiful. Something about her was so pure, that of all the maidens that the servant saw at the well, he sought her out and asked her for water. Living among pagans, Abraham’s brother still maintained some semblance of a Godly life. When the servant explained his task, they saw the hand of God directing them and they willingly submitted.

For a young girl, to leave her family and all that was familiar, to go away with a stranger, and to live among strangers for the rest of her life—it must have been truly daunting. But Rebekah was seeking something more in her heart, than the life she was living. In fact, she was a blessing to Isaac and he found comfort in marrying her, after mourning his mother’s death.

"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Romans 12:3 Every person is given faith but some put their faith on the wrong person or thing. They seek after satisfaction from other beliefs, or objects or people—but don’t see their Creator. A relationship with our Creator, learning who He is, why we are born, loving Him and being loved—can satisfy the longing in our heart. Rebekah living in a heathen country knew something was missing, and when she saw the hand of God guiding her, she obeyed.

Abraham couldn’t force his brother to follow him out of Mesopotamia; but by seeking out his family, he was able to save his niece, and bless her in being an ancestor of Jesus. "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:16,17 "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Revelations 18:4 "For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness." Psalms 107:9 God is calling us to be separate from the world; He will not force us, but it is up to us to listen and obey.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Yung Mi profile image
      Author

      Yung Mi 2 years ago from New York, NY

      Hi Jay,

      What do you think of Jesus’ second coming mentioned in Revelation? What do you think it means when the goats and the sheep are separated?

      When you say, Jesus “drew” from it—are you questioning that Jesus is not God, and was not present at all the incidents in the Old Testament?

      I love that you love God and see His goodness. Because He is good and did all He could to save ALL His children. The flood, the destruction of Sodom, the destruction of Jericho really happened—they are not fables.

      I wonder if you’re reading my comments, because I do address this issue of why there is destruction. God loves all and wants to save all, but they have to WANT to be saved.

      The wars that broke out were because of the arrogance and hard-heartedness of men, but they were also wars of gods. The heathens were stubbornly clinging to their gods and not believing in a God who loved them and would have saved them. Only 8 people were saved in the flood, and sadly some children died in the flood. Only 3 were saved in Sodom, and I’m also sure there were some children in Sodom. Only Rahab and her family survived Jericho. If God had allowed these cities to live, they would have slowly destroyed God’s people…as it turned out to be true. As sin slowly strengthen, God’s people again and again, turned away from Yahweh and lived heathen lives.

      Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? Ezekial 18:23 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Revelation 2:21 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. Luke 15:10

      Jay, I would encourage you to keep studying the entire Bible, question God and pray for understanding.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Perhaps you misunderstood me. I said, "I renounce all descriptions of God that are negative in favor of the description given by Jesus: loving, merciful, forgiving and healing."

      This means I renounce all blasphemy against God. This includes any description, story or sermon which projects Man's negative emotions onto God. God is good, always good and Man is not.

      I am not renouncing the entire OT as I recognize Jesus drew much from it. What bothers me is the idea that God would harm anyone, at all, ever. For example: Joshua killed many subservient women and children and then says God gave him the authority to kill children. This is false. My God does not do any such thing. Does yours?

    • Yung Mi profile image
      Author

      Yung Mi 2 years ago from New York, NY

      I’m glad you see God in a positive light, and know that God loves you.

      Scriptures in New Testament are often quotes from the Old Testament. Jesus, growing up Jewish, studied the Scriptures (which is the Old Testament). Paul, as a Pharisee, studied the Scriptures. The 12 disciples were all Jewish and had knowledge of the Scriptures. Jesus chose them because they had a foundation of faith. But it’s ironic that you would quote Jesus to judge no one, but it sounds like you’re judging the OT.

      Have you read it with eyes that love God? Have you questioned it wondering why a loving God would do what is written?

      Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18

      God wants you to get to know Him better, and you do that by learning more about Him. Would you only want to know someone only from the day you met that person? Wouldn’t you want to know all about that person: their past, their character? God welcomes your question and your desire to get to know Him better.

      Actually, do you know who calls God a jealous God? In Exodus 20, God claims to be a jealous God and I’m so glad He is. He is jealous for you, not of you. He is possessive, protective, desirous; He wants me so bad and I thank God that He loves me this much.

      He claims He is jealous and cautions His followers not to leave Him. Do you know where He claims this? In the Ten Commandments. Do you believe in the Ten Commandments? Do you Love God and Love Others? The Ten Commandments were given in the Old Testament.

      I’m glad you’re letting Jesus lead in your life; I pray that you will find the answers you’re seeking.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Refer to the teachings of Jesus in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) and the Adulteress (John 8:4-11). In neither story did the father (or Jesus) condemn the person. He did Not judge.

      The father ran to his son and welcomed him before the son said a word. "But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him." Luke 15:20.

      The adulteress said not a word of repentance to Jesus and He said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again." Repentance had nothing to do with the story. John 8:4-11.

      Let us follow the God of Jesus, not the God depicted in Judaism (Old Testament). To be Christian one must renounce the God of the OT (wrathful, warlike, killer of children), the God of Israel.

      Jesus said, "You judge by human standards; I judge no one." John 8:15

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Somehow my submission for a comment may have been lost. I will try again.

      Jesus is my guide because he provides the best teachings. The Old Testament (OT) is renounced because it depicts God as jealous, vengeful and wrathful. To describe God as jealous...is blasphemy.

      I renounce all descriptions of God that are negative in favor of the description given by Jesus: loving, merciful, forgiving and healing. Jesus said I condemn no one. That means all condemnation is of Man, not God. All negativity is a projection of Man, not God. Jesus taught all people, not some chosen people. Do you understand?

    • Yung Mi profile image
      Author

      Yung Mi 2 years ago from New York, NY

      Hi Jay,

      I hope you’re looking at the bible for your answers and not just me or any other writers.

      If you read my answer, I also wrote: The struggles in the Old Testament isn’t about land or people, it’s about faithful people vs. unfaithful heathens.

      I’m glad you can see the love of God, but I also hope you can see that God chose Abraham’s descendant to be the light to the world, and the stories in the Old Testament are not just fables, but real people who struggled with faith, just like us.

      Jesus often quoted the scriptures of the Old Testament, and used them to correct the misunderstandings in the New Testament. "He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.'"

      Mark 7:6 "It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God. Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me." John 6:45

      I gave no proof that God favors one group over another, but again, the only distinction for God is faithful and faithless; He loves the Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Christians, Wiccans, etc. and wants ALL to be saved.

      God bless.

    • Yung Mi profile image
      Author

      Yung Mi 2 years ago from New York, NY

      Hi Jay,

      I hope I can answer these to your satisfaction, but rather than taking my answer, you should sincerely pray for guidance and ask the Holy Spirit to show you.

      Not only Abraham, but many ancestors of Jesus intermarried. In fact, Judah, son of Jacob, married a Canaanite woman. Boaz, the grandfather of King David, married a Moabite woman. Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism” Acts 10:34 God loves ALL of His children.

      But as sin became prevalent, God needed a people who would stay faithful to Him. Seth’s line tried until Noah, and Noah’s family were the only ones faithful to God before the flood. Only 8 out of millions were saved. Again, God saw potential in Abraham out of millions to stay faithful to Him, and took Abraham out of Ur. This is where Abraham was trained to trust God, because he had grown up in a heathen country.

      Abraham knowing the influence of a good or poor marriage, wanted his son to stay faithful to God and protect his line. He knew the promise of the Messiah would come through him, so he did what he could to protect Isaac. As you see down history, some chose to stay faithful and many turned away. If God had let sin keep growing, even the most devout would have eventually been lost. Even now, we struggle as Christians in a secular society.

      As you see in Exodus, the Hebrews did lose what was taught to Abraham and Isaac, while living among the Egyptians. The time spent in the wilderness was time for God to teach them over again to trust Him (if they had obeyed God in the beginning, they could have learned about God in the comfort of a home).

      The struggles in the Old Testament isn’t about land or people, it’s about faithful people vs. unfaithful heathens. Don’t we as Christians struggle today? It may seem God was saving the Israelites over the other nations, but they had opportunities to repent and become faithful to God like Rahab and the Ninevites. Rahab heard about God while living in Jericho, and she was saved. "And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you… And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death." Joshua 2:9,13 "So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them." Jonah 3:5

      Noah preached for 200 years warning people to get inside the ark, and no one did. Abraham and God rescued the Sodomites, a miraculous hand blinded them when they were about to sin, and they still did not repent. 40 years, the heathens heard about the Hebrews wandering in the desert, and they did not repent. It may seem harsh, but all the heathens had opportunity to repent and learn about God—but they didn’t. Their judgment day was the end of their lives. We still have time, but we argue and delay our surrender to God.

      God isn’t destroying the sinners because He wants to kill, He wants to save ALL, but they have to want to be saved. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16 "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3,4

      God loves the world, wants all people to be saved. The only distinction He makes is faithful and faithless: "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Revelation 18:4 The gospel of this chapter, isn’t that Isaac got married and was comforted, but that Rebekah chose to see the hand of God and obey, leaving her family to go to God’s family. We are being called out and we need to respond.

      Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to cover all your questions. I use the King James, all books of the bible, but I have no problem with NIV, NLT or other updated translations (I do have a problem with the Mormon’s bible or other books that have been changed). Everyone thinks they worship the loving God of the New Testament, but the God of the Old Testament is the same, in fact I feel He's loving and patient. Nor has He changed his character, becoming “more loving” since Jesus. "If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him." John 14:7 "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." Hebrews 13:8

      Hope this helps. Keep praying and studying the Bible. God bless.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      You wrote:

      "Not only does Abraham trust this servant with his household, but he also trusts this servant with the task of finding a wife for Isaac, the mother of God’s chosen people."

      Who is God's chosen people? How do you know?

    • Yung Mi profile image
      Author

      Yung Mi 2 years ago from New York, NY

      Praise the Lord! God does not want anyone to be lost, but all to be saved. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 2:3,4

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      I have many questions on this article. Let us start from the beginning.

      And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: Genesis 24:2,3

      1. Abraham married a Canaanite as did many Hebrews so weren't they interbred? Related?

      2. Isn't Abraham acknowledging he is in the land of the Canaanites and not his own?

      3. Did The Lord appear on earth to take land from the Canaanites and give it to the Hebrews?

      4. Did The Lord authorize the use of deadly force in taking the land (Including killing subordinate women and children)?

      5. Where is the proof that The Lord chooses one group of people over and above another?

      6. How many books are in the Bible you use?

    • profile image

      Kevin Goodwin 2 years ago

      Very interesting subject and very well written I enjoyed reading it.