TEXT: Genesis 24:48
INTRO: If you’ve ever travelled at all, you know the importance of good directions. Many of us have known the misfortune of getting directions from someone that really doesn’t know where they are going. In today’s message, a servant named Eliezer reaches his desired destination, and when he does, he testifies that he did so because he had been given good directions. Notice Genesis 24:48. “And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the Lord, and blessed the Lord God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter unto his son.
Today, most of us have goals. The goal that some of us have is to reach that “expected end” that Jeremiah preached that God has for us. If that is going to happen, we are going to have to be sure that we are getting good directions. Let’s take a closer look at how Eliezer reached his goal.
HE FOLLOWED THE RIGHT PEOPLE
If you want to arrive at the destination that God has for you, be sure that you’re following the right people. In Eliezer’s case, he chose to follow Abraham. In Genesis 24:1 we read, “And Abram was old, and well stricken in age: and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.” In the minds of many today, Abraham would not have qualified as one who gives good directions simply because he was old. Some might conclude that Abraham could be “out of touch” or that he might not understand simply because of his age.
In more than 35 years of ministry, I have found that many people are more prone to seek “directions” from their peers than they are their elders. It also seems that this mindset is more prevalent today than it has ever been. The afore-mentioned prophet, Jeremiah, testified in Jeremiah 5:5, “I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the Lord, and the judgment of their God…”
Most great (older) men don’t attempt to stick their noses in the business of others. When our children became adults, my wife and I determined that we did not want to be “those” parents. When some of them married, we determined that we most definitely did not want to be “those” in-laws. We are here for our children and their spouses, but we are not intrusive. It is up to them whether they seek direction from us or not. Eliezer made the wise choice of listening to what Abraham had to say.
HE WAS IMPRESSED BY THE RIGHT THINGS
Sometimes we fail to get directions from the right people because we are not impressed with the right things. We are easily impressed by education, financial success, charisma, or popularity. In ministry, we are oftentimes impressed by size. If someone’s ministry is experiencing explosive growth, then we want to read everything they’ve written. We might begin to emulate their style and integrate their methods. It has gotten many of us into a lot of trouble.
There is a descriptive phrase found in the latter part of Genesis 24:1 that could easily be overlooked. There the Bible states, “…And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.” Simply put, Abraham had the blessing of God upon his life. Maybe we should give more attention to that, than some of the other things that oftentimes impress us. Those who are educated might be a great help to us as we seek leadership, but our greatest help would surely come from educated ones who have the hand of God upon their lives. If popularity is going to impress us, let’s be sure that the popularity is a result of God’s magnification of a man and not that man’s self-elevating practices.
HE FOLLOWED THROUGH ON THE RIGHT DECISIONS
Along our journey, each of us is going to make decisions. Some will be good decisions, and some will be regretful. In verses 2-3, Abraham challenged Eliezer to make a decision. The elder man provided the conditions and asked the servant to make a decision as to whether or not he would agree to the conditions. In verse 9 we read, “…And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning the matter.”
As I look back over my life, I realize that the life that I now enjoy is due to choices and decisions that I have made. As a younger man, I made decisions involving purity. I have tried to follow through on them. I made some decisions involving my commitment to Christ and His church, and I’ve tried my best to honor them. I made some decisions concerning my involvement in getting the gospel to the world, and I am still trying to make that decision a priority in my life and ministry. If your decisions are going to help you reach your desired destination, you can rest assured that Satan will attempt to dissuade you from keeping them. Like Eliezer, we must follow through on our right decisions, regardless of the circumstances.
HE LISTENED TO THE RIGHT VOICE
As we travel through life, we are going to hear many voices. There will always be someone that wants to influence us, and sometimes, those people can be pretty loud. If you’re trying to gather information that will assist you in your direction, Google will always be willing to help. There will always be a blogger that will readily speak to you through his or her writings. Yet, I have found that arriving at my desired destination has more to do with me listening to His voice than the voices of all others.
Let’s notice what Eliezer had to say in Genesis 24:7. “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.” The voice of God often speaks, but seldom do some listen. In order to hear His voice, you must be in tune with Him. He speaks softly. He is not demanding. He is not demonstrative. Yet, in a still, small voice, He guides and directs His children along the pathway of obedience. Eliezer listened, followed and arrived at his destination.
HE YIELDED TO THE RIGHT WILL
On his journey, in search of a wife for Isaac, the servant happens upon a well. He has spoken to God, and has asked the Lord to do some very specific things. He plans to ask a lady for water, and if she is the one that God has chosen for Isaac, he expects her to offer to water his camels as well. As he is explaining this to God, notice what Eliezer says in Genesis 24:14. “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.”
Notice in this passage that the servant was not asking that his will be done, but that God’s will would be done. He could have developed his own criteria based upon the damsel’s appearance, experience or financial status. Instead, he asked the Lord to reveal what He wanted. He submitted what could have been his will to the Father’s will. That is oftentimes our problem. We want what we want, more than we want what God wants. Did you know that God will get you where He wants you to be if you’ll just get out of the way?
HE HEEDED THE RIGHT REBUKE
Eliezer goes to the well and there he meets Rebekah. He puts this petition out to the Lord. When he asks her for water, Rebekah does offer to water his camels, and the next thing he knows, he is at Rebekah’s house, talking to her family. He explains the purpose of his journey and the events that had brought him to that place, and then in Genesis 24:49 he says, “And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.”
The servant wants someone to be honest with him. He wants them to tell him if he has gained their approval. He wants them to tell him if they will give Rebekah their blessing in returning with him to become Isaac’s wife. He wants them to tell him, and he plans to listen.
As we journey through life, God will place people in our path to help direct us. Sometimes that direction will come in the way of rebuke. If we listen to those rebukes, it will help us reach our destination. If we ignore them, it can bring tragedy. In Proverbs 29:1 we read the words of the wise man. “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” It is so important that we learn to listen to the people whom God has placed in our lives to give us direction.
What a wonderful thing to arrive at your destination and be able to say, “The Lord led me in the right way.” God does lead, and He uses people and circumstances to give us good directions. What a wonderful Saviour!