Monday, February 22, 2010

“Him, Who?” Part 7

I think I might limit this series to Genesis for now.  Someday I would love to see these ideas made into a book, and perhaps "The God of Genesis" might be the first chapter.  The passage for this week comes from Genesis 24 again.  I would have wanted to get a little further along, but I felt that this passage had one more "Him, Who?" moment that could be extremely helpful.  The quote comes from the story of Abraham sending one of his servants to find Isaac a suitable wife from his own people.  The task is not a simple errand; Abraham commands the servant to make a promise in a very strange way.  Abraham asks the servant to place his hand in a very personal place on Abraham's body, the inner thigh.  This strange act might come across as a borderline homosexual act, but that was not the intent in the least.  The ESV Study Bible says that this was possibly understood as a sign of submission to that person's strength and authority.  We know from the story of Jacob wrestling the angel, that when the angel touches his hip, it is a crippling injury, and so we see that the thigh/hip area is seen to be the seat of strength, and therefore extremely vulnerable (privacy issues aside).  We know the servant is faithful to his promise, and when he arrives in Mesopotamia, he kneels down and prays, "O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham."  We know at the end of the story, this errand produces Rebekah as a suitable wife for Isaac, but for the purposes of this article, I would like to look specifically at how the servant addresses God.  Obviously, this servant has a personal relationship with God, or he would not pray to Him directly.  What is interesting, however, is that he calls God, "God of my master Abraham."  What this seems to show is that the servant's faith is founded on the faithfulness of his master, Abraham.  In other words, it is likely that the reason the servant was a godly man was because of the influence of his godly master.  The blessing asked of steadfast love is a testimony to this truth.  Do you live a life of faith such that those under your influence can call out to God in such a way?  Do you thank God, as you worship Him, that He has put people in your life to be a godly influence on you, without which you would not be worshiping Him?

-Mark Whitaker
Minister of Music and Worship
Interim Minister to Students

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