July 23, 3023 . . .“Bible prayers: Eliezer prays for Isaac’s wife” Genesis 24:12

July 23, 3023 . . .“Bible prayers: Eliezer prays for Isaac’s wife” Genesis 24:12

July 23, 2023

“Bible prayers: Eliezer prays for Isaac’s wife”

Genesis 24:12

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Feeling a little bit lonely with a little too much time on your hands? Why not consider contacting a matchmaker?

What’s a matchmaker, you ask? Well, let me tell you! A matchmaker is someone who arranges a match, a relationship, and even a marriage between two people.

Remember the song from Fiddler on the Roof? (Some of you could probably sing along!) “Matchmaker, Matchmaker, make me a match, Find me a find, Catch me a catch. Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Look through your book, And make me a perfect match.”

Apparently, (and I didn’t know this), matchmaking is still quite the thing! In fact, not only are there online dating services, there are also bona fide matchmakers who will work to find you the perfect match, (assuming you have anywhere between $500 and $250,000 in your back pocket!)

For example, one company called Ambiance Matchmaking is said to be “a high-end matchmaking service devoted to conscious leaders, creatives, and entrepreneurs.” It’s even been featured in major publications such as the Chicago Tribune and The New York Times!

When 39 year-old Alana Ketchel, a health-care consultant in Denver, was asked why she contacted a matchmaker, she said, “I had been doing a lot of online dating that hadn’t resulted in anything. My hope was that a matchmaker could find me a different crowd, and because of the financial investment required, the men would be committed to finding a partner.”

Another woman, a 76 year-old retired financial executive from North Carolina named Susan, turned to a matchmaker because, she said, she needed a quality person to share her life with, and she felt she needed a professional to help her accomplish it. She said she owed herself to at least try.

And sure enough, on the eighth try, she knew right away that the relationship would work. And now they’re on the path to marriage.

It seems that matchmakers have been and always will be part of our lives.

And in the book of Genesis, we meet a man who was much like that, a man sent by Abraham and led by God to find the perfect wife.

I’ll read the words of Genesis chapter 24: “Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had…‘Swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac’” (Genesis 24:1-4). Then it says, “But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there” (Genesis 24:8).

Let’s step back for a moment to see what’s going on.

As the Bible says, by this time, Abraham was old, as in 140 years old. And since the Lord had once promised that he, someday, would have as many descendants as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, he believed that he would. The only problem was his son, Isaac, was still very much a bachelor, as single as single could be. And he was forty years old!

Needless to say, if the promise would hold true, Isaac, sooner, rather than later, sure better find a wife!

So what to do? Well, just as in our day, matchmakers were very much a thing in the past. And apparently, back in the day, families were very much involved in finding life partners for their daughters and sons. As one commentator wrote, “Fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, grandparents, and older siblings all participated in the symphonic composition resulting in ‘Here comes the bride.’”

And while all this might come as a shock to those of us who live in the West, to the people in the East it’s not surprising at all! In fact, it was even understood, especially among wealthy families, to make marriage arrangements through an intermediary, as in a trusted, faithful servant.

Which takes us to a man named Eliezer.

So who was Eliezer? The Bible says in verse 2 that he was “the oldest of Abraham’s household, who had charge of all that he had.”

If you’d look closer at the text, you’d see that Eliezer had been with Abraham right from the very beginning. He was with him in Egypt at Pharaoh’s court (Genesis 12:10-20). He helped him rescue Lot and his family from a marauding army (Genesis 14:1-17). He witnessed the birth of Ishmael by Hagar (Genesis 16:15). He rejoiced with Abraham and Sarah at the birth of Isaac (Genesis 21:1-7). And he watched as Abraham and Isaac walked away early one morning toward Mt. Moriah (Genesis 22).

Through thick and thin, good times and bad, Eliezer had been Abraham’s oldest and most trusted servant and friend. So it was both normal and natural that he would be the one to find for Isaac a wife.

And let me tell you, there was quite a lot riding on the line! For one thing, Abraham was extremely wealthy, so whoever Isaac would marry would become the fellow heir to quite a lot of land and fortune. Imagine if you, by marriage, were suddenly put in charge of hundreds of acres of land, thousands of livestock, and millions of dollars!

But even more than all that, what was most important was that she, by marriage, would become part of the family line, the Messianic line. Someday, from her, would come not only King David and King Solomon, but most importantly, our Savior Jesus Christ!

So you see, not just “any girl” would do! That’s why Abraham said to his servant Eliezer, “Swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will…go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac” (Genesis 24:3-4).

So as it says in verse 10, off he went with ten of his master’s camels as well as a treasure-trove of rich, luxurious gifts of silver and gold, all the way east to Mesopotamia, six hundred miles away, to the city of Nahor.

And what did he do when he got there? Notice what he didn’t do. He didn’t advertise that he had just arrived, in town, to find a wife for his rich master’s young, handsome, eligible son. And neither did he offer to hold a “Miss Mesopotamia” contest where only those who were the most beautiful and most talented would be allowed to enter, and the winner would become the wife of Isaac.

You see, none of that would do at all, because none of those things mattered at all. What did matter is if the girl loved God above all else.

Let me pause there for just a moment. Whenever people seek a life partner, they often do so for very wrong reasons. But do you know what’s the right reason? To find someone who loves God above all else. After all, that’s what the apostle Paul once wrote to the Corinthians: “Do not be mismatched with unbelievers, for what…does light have in common with darkness?” (II Corinthians 6:15 NASB).

Let’s get back to the text to see what happened next.

Well, if Eliezer wouldn’t advertise around town and if a “Miss Mesopotamia” contest just wouldn’t do, what would he do? Simple! He prayed!

Let’s eavesdrop in on his prayer. Verse 12: “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Let the young woman to whom I shall say, ‘Please let down your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ’Drink, and I will water your camels’--let her be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that You have shown steadfast love to my master” (Genesis 24:12-14).

So why was “watering camels” such a test? Because camels are big and camels are thirsty, as in ten camels times twenty-five-gallons-each thirsty. Do the math, and you know you’ll end up drawing a whole lot of water!

So when Eliezer prayed, “Let the young woman say…’Drink, and I will water your camels,’” what he meant to say was, “Lord, give me a sign! Send me a girl, not so much with the right looks or the right hair or the right eye color. None of that really matters. Instead, send me one who’s hospitable to strangers, kind to animals, and willing to go the extra mile to help others.”

And do you know what happened just as soon as he prayed? It’s really kind of funny if you think about it. Before he had even finished praying his prayer, the Lord answered his prayer! He didn’t even have the chance to say “Amen,” when, all of a sudden, along came a girl, a girl named Rebekah, who was carrying a jar of water on her shoulder. And just as soon as he saw her, he ran down to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jar.” And almost as if on cue, she said, “Drink, my lord…And then I’ll draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking” (Genesis 24:18-19).

And in awe and wonder, Eliezer bowed his head and prayed once more, “Praise the Lord, the God of my master Abraham!” (Genesis 24:27).

Carol Peters-Tanksley of Austin, Texas is an author, speaker, personal coach, and a licensed OB-Gyn. For years, she even hosted a weekly radio program called The Dr. Carol Show.

But as a young professional, she went through quite a time of severe distress that made it nearly impossible for her to even function. And even though she sought out professional help, she spent long hours crying, and was sometimes literally curled up on the floor. She knew God had the answer, but she wasn’t finding it. And after spending endless hours searching and praying for relief, she began to wonder if she was someone who was destined to live her life broken.

But that’s when a friend came to her and said, “When you pray, you need to plead the blood of Jesus.”

And so, in time, after years of suffering mental and emotional torment, not to mention the death of her husband, she learned to pray, “I plead the blood of Jesus over my life today--my spirit, my soul, my body. And I plead the blood of Jesus over my children.

“I plead the blood of Jesus over everything in my life that may be troubled--my fears, my anxiety, my sickness, my confusion, my brokenness, my sin, my anger, my worry about other people, my future, my job, my money, my eating, my time, my entertainment, my thinking, my sleep. I place it all under the blood of Jesus, and I leave it there.

“Let nothing affect me or my family that does not first come through the blood of Jesus--nothing from the enemy, from other people, or from the natural world--any habits, any material things, any thoughts, any people. And I choose to remain under the blood of Jesus, and claim His protection, His provision, and His direction today.”

And she said, “Without Jesus shedding His blood, there would be no victory. And we cannot experience victory without His blood.”

So what can we learn from all of this? I’ll leave you with just one thing. Just as Eliezer once prayed to the Lord and found a wife for Isaac, so we too can come humbly and boldly, trusting Him to answer. Pray, knowing full well that He’ll take care of the rest.

That is, after all, what Paul once wrote to the Philippians: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

We thank You, Father, for the power, the privilege, and the peace we find in prayer. Help us, each day, to trust in You wholly and completely, pouring our hearts out to You in prayer, for Jesus’ sake. Amen