“Eliezer, come here. I need you to promise me something.” Abraham was watching his son walk to the field again. A habit the young man increased since his mother’s death.
Eliezer approached his master and bowed. “What is it, my lord?”
“We must find Isaac a wife. It’s time for him to start his own family.” Abraham’s gaze locked onto Eliezer’s eyes. “Promise me you won’t let him marry one of the women from this land.”
Eliezer nodded. “Okay.”
Abraham grabbed his hand. “Go to Haran. Bring a woman from my brother’s family.”
Eliezer swallowed hard. “What if the young woman won’t come back with me? Shall I bring Isaac to her?”
“No!” Abraham looked around. “God promised me my descendants will inherit this land. If she refuses to return with you then you’ll be absolved of this oath.”
Eliezer placed his hand under Abraham’s thigh. “I promise to bring back the woman God has chosen for Isaac’s bride.”
The rest of that day was filled with loading camels and ordering four other servants to pack for the trip north.
Eliezer was now glad he had watched the town of Haran disappear over the horizon when they left so many years before. It had more buildings now, but the mountains behind it were the same.
After the ten camels were all kneeling around the watering trough he looked at the four men with him. “Take some figs and raisins, go under that tree and take a break. We must wait now.”
He knelt by the trough. “O, God of Abraham, here I am at the place the women come to gather water. Show me Isaac’s bride by having her offer me a drink when I ask her for one.”
A camel sneezed.
“And let her offer to water all the camels as well for proof that You are in this.”
When He stood he saw a young woman approaching the well with a jug. He had never seen a woman so beautiful. She could have been Sarah’s sister a generation before.
When she lifted her jug from the well Eliezer walked up to her. “May I have a drink of water?”
She held the jug at her waist and tipped it. “Of course.”
After he was finished she looked at the camels. “I’ll give your camels a drink, too.”
Eliezer enjoyed watching her as she spent the time making sure all of the camels were satisfied with water.
She splashed some fresh water on her face. “Wow. You must have traveled quite a distance. These guys were really thirsty.”
Eliezer walked over to one of the camels and untied a bundle. Then he brought a nose ring and two gold bracelets to her. “Tell me, please, whose daughter are you and is there room for us and our camels to spend the night at your father’s house?”
She hoisted the water jug up to her shoulder. I’m Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel. His parents are Milcah and Nahor. We have plenty of room for you and your camels.”
Eliezer fell to his knees. “Praise the God of Abraham for leading me so quickly to his family and making my journey prosperous.”
Rebekah dropped the jug and ran to town.
Since this is a post about prayer I could tell you five to ten things Eliezer did right to bring about such a quick answer to his prayer. A publisher could catch wind of this and offer me a contract to build this into a book that would sell tens of thousands of copies. The problem would come when tens of thousands of folks become disillusioned because their prayers aren’t answered the same way.
That’s because God isn’t a genie in a bottle waiting for us to tell him what we want so He can give it to us.
God is God and He doesn’t answer to anybody.
The reason Eliezer’s prayer was answered so quickly was God was working behind the scenes before Eliezer ever showed up on the scene.
The fact that Rebekah came out to the well by herself tells me she didn’t have any real friends in Haran. That’s why she was so willing to go back with him so easily.
God timed Eliezer’s arrival at the well as He did so they would meet to display God’s hand in fulfilling His promise to Abraham to occupy the land promised to him.
Eliezer’s prayer was his act of submission to God to declare his dependence for successfully accomplishing his mission of finding Isaac’s wife.
There are times we must wait for God to answer our prayer.
Isaac and Rebekah waited two decades for the birth of their twins. Abraham waited longer then that for Isaac.
God is too creative to answer prayers the same way.
Jesus healed some folks with a word, others with a touch and one guy had to wash mud off before he saw an answer to his prayer.
Occasionally God lets us test Him in our prayers.
Gideon asked twice for a sign to assure him God had the right man. Eliezer wanted to make sure Isaac was getting a hard worker as his partner.
Don’t give up on your prayers. God is working behind the scenes to accomplish His will. All things will work out for good, God’s definition of good, not ours.
As my friend Wayne Stiles points out: “We want God’s plan so we can trust the plan. God hides the plan so we will trust him.”
Your heavenly Father wants what’s best for His children. Never doubt that.
Keep asking. Keep seeking. Keep knocking.
The door will open on His timetable not yours, necessarily.
Don’t be surprised when the answer to your prayer comes as you’re praying for it.
God delights in surprising us when we least expect it.
Nobody saw the cross as an answer to prayer.
Without that surprise we’d all be lost.
Pray faithfully and let God be God.
You are the dependent child not the parent here.
I’ll see you later. Wade