Faith of Our Fathers

What would it look like if we told God that we would do anything for Him? And what if we actually did it?

This morning as I was reading the Bible, my eyes were opened to the faith of Isaac and Rebekah. We often talk about Abraham’s faith in leaving his home town, trusting God for a child, and then being willing to sacrifice his son. What the Bible doesn’t say specifically is how Abraham succeeded as a father to Isaac. Some men of great faith have sons who walk away from God, but Abraham’s son followed in his father’s footsteps. Isaac had great faith, just like his dad.

Abraham set a legacy. Not only did his son have great faith, but so did his closest servants. When Abraham sent his top-dog servant to look for a wife for Isaac, God was faithful and led him straight to Rebekah. She appeared at the well and followed the script perfectly (of course, she didn’t know it at the time). She even offered him a place to sleep. If I was the servant, I would probably let out a sigh of relief and pat myself on the back. But the servant immediately, “bowed down, worshiped the Lord, and said, ‘Praise the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not withheld His kindness and faithfulness from my master.'” (Genesis 24:26-27) His response wasn’t, “Wow, I did a great job picking out this wife,” but instead, “Wow, God, you are so faithful.” I can’t help wondering whether Abraham’s faith set an example for his servants.

If I had been in Rebekah’s place, I probably would have been skeptical. A man arrives from far away, alone, and wants me to go with him? I see all sorts of red flags flying up. And if I were part of her family, I would have been a little suspicious too. But their response? “This is from the Lord; we have no choice in the matter.” (Genesis 24:50) They trusted God so much that they were willing to do anything – even sending their daughter away from home to marry a man they had never met. As is only reasonable, Rebekah’s family did ask if she could remain with them for a few more days to say good-bye. Not a few more years, a few more days. The servant was ready to get home though. Rebekah simply responded, “I will go,” (Genesis 24:58). Woah. How many times have I heard God telling to go speak to that person across the room or across the street, and I come up with excuses? “Um, God… I’m not really ready. I have my friends to catch up with. Somebody else will talk to her. Or maybe she doesn’t even want someone to talk to her.” What would happen if I just said, “Sure God, I will go”? 

So, Rebekah goes. Isaac loves her. She comforts him after his mother’s death. It is a great marriage, except no children. Genesis 25:21 says, “Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was childless. The Lord heard his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived.” Let’s be honest, what do we usually do in times of trouble? We try to figure it on our own. We ask our friends’ advice. We stress. We worry. And then as a last resort, we ask God for help. Or, maybe that’s just me. Instead of worrying, Isaac asks God for His intervention. He trusts that God cares about the details of his life and recognizes that God is in control. All the time. That is great faith.

These are stories that I have heard time and time again, but God is teaching me new things as I commit to reading His Word. Stepping out in faith is scary. The unknown is unsafe. But if we take that first step, God is right there to hold our hand. Abraham’s servant stopped at a well to find a wife for Isaac. God brought Rebekah. Rebekah left home to marry a man she didn’t know. God blessed her marriage. Isaac prayed for his wife to have children. God gave them not one, but two little boys. All this to say, God rewards us when we step out in faith. Sometimes it won’t be tangible. Maybe it will be in the legacy we leave, like Abraham. But our obedience does not go unseen. Praise God!

– – Phebe


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