Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Promise, The Prison, The Palace





This message was preached by Colin D via zoom  
Word of Grace Church, on Oct  18th 2020. For the audio please click here.. For the worship please Click here


Romans 8: 28 – “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose.”

It is an amazing truth! How is God working for our good during bad things? How does He work disappointment and distress for our good and for His glory? Let’s look at it in the life of Joseph.

Jacob leaves Canaan with nothing, but he returns with a lot of things. Jacob is a transformed man and God changed his name to Israel. The hostility between the brothers also ends.

Genesis  37

These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives. And Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.

We see that Joseph is born into a dysfunctional family. His father loved and favoured one child over the rest. The difference in his treatment of Joseph is obvious and so the brothers did not like him. Then we see the prophetic in his life.

Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed: Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

Then he had another dream

Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” 11 And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.

This is his initial life. In Genesis 37:18-36

How can we see Jesus in here? Joseph was a shepherd loved by his father just like Jesus. Jesus was also hated by his brothers. Joseph spoke his future sovereignty, his robe was stripped out, was sold into slavery, etc and we see many parallels to the life of Jesus.

Sometimes it is our family and the people closest to us who will misunderstand us. Why did these bad things happen to joseph? Was God with him? Even in the midst of the difficult situations we are going through, we know he is working out everything for our God.

Joseph is faithful and remains faithful in the coming chapters as well.

Genesis 39: 1-2

Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master.

Even in the darkest of situations, God did not let go of Joseph. The plans he has are to prosper you and not to harm you. Joseph was faithful to his father, and was faithful to Potiphar. He entrusted more to Joseph as he saw his faithfulness and that God was with him.

From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field.

Joseph’s presence in that house brought favour to the entire house as well as the fields. When we are faithful with what God gives us, he will bring blessing for our sake to the companies and colleges and institutions we work at.

Joseph was tempted in this situation with Potiphar’s wife. What is his response?

Verse 8-9 “Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”

Joseph must have been very disappointed in life. But his disappointment did not lead him to disobey God. We can be many disappointments in life, but the test is – will we be obedient to God even in our disappointment.

Then a second time Joseph loses his cloak and it put him once again into a pit – verse 19-20 “19 As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, “This is the way your servant treated me,” his anger was kindled. 20 And Joseph's master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison.” Now he is not just a slave but a slave prisoner.

Psalm 105:  17-18 “he had sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave.18 His feet were hurt with fetters; his neck was put in a collar of iron;”

If there was a time for disappointment, this would have been it. But God is with him even in there as it says in verse 21“But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

No matter what you are going through, God is with you. Be faithful in what He has called you to do? Joseph became a servant, became a blessing, he resisted the temptation, was falsely accused, attempted no defence, was cast into prison even though he was innocent – there are a few things that mirror the life of Jesus as well.

God gave Joseph success in whatever he did.

2 notable prisoners – the baker and cupbearer were also in the same prison. Both of them had dreams and Joseph takes note of the faces of the people. Both of them share their dreams and he interprets them with the help of God and then he says “Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house.” But when the cupbearer was released “Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.” For another 2 years, Joseph was in the prison. But God is sovereignly at work in all the details of our life.

God raises us, Joseph, later on and the Pharaoh puts Joseph in charge. In Gen 41:42 “Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph's hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain about his neck.” This is the third time we see that Joseph received

Joseph was numbered with the transgressors – Jesus was crucified on the cross with the criminals. Joseph pronounced judgement on one of the prisoners and blessing on the other – Jesus did the same on the cross. Joseph was stuck in the prison for another 2 years and Jesus also was sent to the grave before God raised him up.

We can be disappointed and dejected in life, but what is important is how we behave. When we are forgotten will we continue to remember God, knowing he has our lives in His hands. God’s purposes are greater than we can imagine. God used Joseph’s life to protect and preserve the lives of His people.

Let’s be people who don’t take offence and misunderstand people. Let’s pray.

  

    Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org. 

 

 

 

 

 


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Jacob before the encounter


 This message was preached by Manesh P at Word of Grace via zoom on the 11th of Oct 2020. For the audio please click here

“The Jacob before the encounter”

 

Scripture for the message

Birth of Jacob & Esau         -     Genesis 25:19 - 28

Esau sells his birthright     -      Genesis 25:29 -34

Jacob deceives Isaac          -      Genesis 27:1- 29

Esau plans to kill Jacob      -      Genesis 27:41-42

Jacob is sent to Laban        -      Genesis 27:43 – 28:5

Jacob’s encounter               -      Genesis 28:10 - 22

 

Jacob the younger son of Isaac and Rebekah deceives His father to get the blessings of His older brother Esau. When Esau comes to know about this, he plans to kill Jacob after Isaac dies. But Rebekah gets to know about Esau’s plan and sends Jacob to her brother Laban in Paddan Aram. On the way to Paddan Aram, while Jacob is sleeping, he has an encounter with God in a dream and God blesses him. Jacob later names this place Bethel which means house of God.

Who was Jacob before he had an encounter with God at Bethel?

1.      Jacob was the chosen one.

 

Genesis 25:23 NIV

The Lord said to her,

“Two nations are in your womb,

and two peoples from within you will be separated;

one people will be stronger than the other,

and the older will serve the younger.”

 

God said to Rebekah that Esau the first-born son will serve the younger son Jacob before she bore them.

 

Romans 9:10-13 NIV

10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

 

Before Jacob was born, God chose Jacob over Esau even though both children were conceived at the same time and both were answers to Isaac’s prayer.

 

It is written in Malachi 1:2-3 that God loved Jacob and He hated Esau. Does that mean God didn’t love Esau? Once a Women said to Charles Spurgeon “I cannot understand why God should say that He hated Esau.” Spurgeon replied “That is not my difficulty. My trouble is to understand how God could love Jacob.”

 

In Luke 14:26, Jesus said “If anyone comes to me and doesn’t hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters - Yes, even their own life - such a person cannot be my disciple. Does that mean we should not love our father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters? No. What Jesus meant is that we should prefer Jesus more than any other relationship. Jesus should be our first love. Similarly, when it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” It means God preferred Jacob over Esau in His election.

 

So, God chose Jacob before he did anything good or bad. The election was not based on his works. Similarly, we are saved by grace and not by works.

 

Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

 

God gave us the undeserved unmerited new life in Christ. This is Grace.

 

When we become Christians, we know we have got the salvation which we didn’t deserve. But as years pass, we think we have grown spiritually, and we have blessings because we deserve it. This is a dangerous state of pride. We never deserved and we will never deserve any blessings.

 

Even in our worldly matters, we cannot say we deserve to get anything. We cannot say we deserved to be promoted, we deserved the job, we deserved that money etc. All we ever deserve is hell. Every good thing in our life are a free undeserved unmerited gift from God.

 

So, we should always be thankful and grateful for salvation and the good things in our life.

 

2.      Jacob had flaws.

 

Why did Spurgeon say it is difficult to understand how God could love Jacob? Jacob had many flaws. The name Jacob means ‘Heel – catcher’. It also means ‘Supplant’ – One who uproots someone to take his place.

 

(a)    Jacob tricked his brother (Genesis 25:29 -33).

(b)   Jacob deceived his father (Genesis 27:18- 29).

 

Deception is Satan’s work. Satan is called the deceiver of the world (Revelation 12:9).

God detests deceitful (Psalms 5:6).

 

(c)    Jacob lied to his father.

 

Genesis 25:18-20,24 NIV

18 He went to his father and said, “My father.” “Yes, my son,” he answered. “Who is it?” 19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.”20 Isaac asked his son, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?” “The Lord your God gave me success,” he replied.

24 “Are you really my son Esau?” he asked. “I am,” he replied.

 

Jacob lied to his father multiple times and even took Lord’s name to lie.

 

Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). When we lie, we co-operate with the kingdom of darkness. God detests lying lips (Proverbs 12:22).

The world says it is okay to lie as long as it is white and does not harm anyone. There is nothing called a white lie in the bible. A lie is a lie and the source of all lie is Satan. When we believe that weakness is okay, we give that weakness permission to stay.

 

(d)   Jacob was impatient.

 

Jacob should have trusted in God for the fulfilment of a promise. Instead, he was impatient and took matters into his hand. He used trickery and deception to get birthright and his father’s blessings. When things don’t happen as promised by God, we should submit our worries to God and be still before God and wait patiently for Him (Psalms 37:7). God’s timing is always perfect.

 Even though Jacob had so many flaws, God blessed him. When he rested after all the plotting, deception and worrying, he heard from God. When he was sleeping in Bethel on the way to Paddan Aram, God visits him in a dream and blesses him. This is Grace.

 Genesis 28:13-15 NIV

13 There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

 

Jacob is changed after this encounter. In the encounter, there is a death. When we became born-again, we had an encounter with God and our old man died.

 

Like Jacob, we have received God’s Grace. God clothed us with His son’s righteousness. We can see this picture when Jacob deceives his father Isaac (Genesis 27:1- 29).  Jacob is clothed with Esau’s garment. We are clothed with the righteousness of Jesus. Isaac gives Esau’s blessings to Jacob. God gives His son’s blessings to us. The difference is Isaac didn’t want to give Jacob the blessings. God wants to give us His son’s blessings. Also, Esau didn’t want to share his blessings with Jacob. Jesus wants to give us His blessings.

 But does Grace give us the license to sin? NO

 Romans 6:1-2 NIV

1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

 

After the Bethel encounter, Jacob is taken to the institute of Laban where he is tested and trained. The way Jacob deceived his father, Laban deceives Jacob and make Jacob marry Leah instead of his love Rachel. Jacob endures deception and waits and works patiently for 14 years to get Rachel (Genesis 29). Jacob handles deception and learns patience here.

Similarly, we should undergo training in righteousness. We became as holy as Jesus in the spirit when we became born-again. But our mind is still not renewed. It must be reprogrammed.

Grace not only saves us but trains us to live a godly life.

 Titus 2:11-12 NIV

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,

 We must pursue holiness (Hebrew 12:14).

 How can we pursue holiness?

 

(i)     Know the Love - When we love God, we will obey His commandments (John 14:15). We love God when we know and experience God’s love.

 

(ii)    Know the truth - When we know the truth, the truth will set us free (John 8:31-32) and the truth is God’s word (, John 17:17).

 

Through God’s word: -

# Know the truth about our identity – Know that we are a new creation. Know that we don’t have sin nature. Does a lion eat grass?

# Know what is right and wrong – the world will say Homosexuality is okay, lying is okay, lusting is okay. Let bible be our reference for our right and wrong.

 

(iii)  Acknowledge the truth – If you are not able to overcome any weakness, acknowledge the truth to God. Pour out your heart to Him (Psalms 62:8). Seek God’s help to overcome areas of weakness.

 

3.      Jacob valued birthright.

 Although the way Jacob got the birthright was not correct, he valued birthright. For Jews, Birthright not only gives the double portion of the inheritance, but makes him the spiritual head of the family. It has spiritual significance.

 But Esau despised birthright (Genesis 25:34).

 God was not pleased with this. Esau is called ungodly because he sold his birthright for one meal (Hebrews 12:16).

 We have also received many birthrights. Not because we were born in an earthly family but because we were born-again in God’s family.

 We have following birthrights.

(a)    A New Image.

(b)   Authority.

(c)    Blessings (Co-heirs with Jesus).

(d)   Co-worker with God in expansion of His kingdom through sharing of Gospel.

(e)    Spiritual gifts.

We should value these birthrights. These are gifts from God. How would we feel if our spouse throws our gifts in a dustbin in front of you?

2 Timothy 1:6-7 NIV

6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

 We should fan into flames the gifts God has given us. Do not let fear stop you from using the gifts God has given us to bless others. Don’t be like the servant who hid his talent in the ground because of fear (Matthew 25:14-30).

 To conclude, be thankful and grateful for your salvation. Seek God’s help to overcome areas of weakness. Value the word of God, the prophetic words spoken over you (1Thessalonians 5:20), the dreams God gives you and the spiritual gifts God has given you.

 

  

Monday, October 12, 2020

God's Plan, The Pot, The Plot and God's Prevailing Plan

 

This message was preached by Navaz D via zoom  Word of Grace Church, on Oct  11th 2020. For the audio please click here.




GOD’S PLAN, THE POT, THE PLOT, THE PREVAILING PROMISE OF GOD

Gen 25, 26, 28.

GOD’s PLAN

We are in a series going through major events in the Old Testament. We saw how God made big promises to Abraham, that his descendants would be more than the sands on the shore and stars in the sky. God did it in His time. Isaac was born. A son of promise.

Now the son of promise, Isaac has no heirs. He prays to God and God hears his prayer 20 years after marriage(Gen25:26). He saw God as one who answers prayer in His time. God’s plan was on course.

However there are not only two babies in Rebecca’s womb, but they are two boys from whom two nations will also be birthed. (Gen25:23)

Personalities.

The two boys were born and were very opposite not only in looks but in personality as well. One was red and hairy and a man of the wild. He loved to hunt, he was hot-headed and impulsive. The other was smooth-skinned and more domestic who preferred to the indoors and cook. He was cool but calculative and cunning.

Prophecy.

 Even before their birth, their destiny was marked out for them. The older would serve the younger (Gen25:23). God had a plan and a purpose. It was his sovereign will (Rom 9:11)

In the same way, God has a plan for your life. 

Today because we are Christ-followers, we have come into Abraham’s blessings. 

 Also, I am sure Rebecca had shared this with Isaac and the boys and they must have grown up with this knowledge. 

This is an oral culture that passed down family genealogy, history and stories from father to son. 

THE POT- Passing pleasure leads to perilous pain.

The boys are now young men. One day Esau goes out hunting but comes back with no game and is famished. His brother happens to have just cooked some delicious stew. (Gen25:29). He asks his brother to share his stew.

 He asked for his brother’s birthright. At a human level look at this ask! Was it an equal exchange? Stew for in exchange for a Title deed and inheritance?  Shocking, right?

This is exactly what happened. Esau exaggerated his need. Could he not have gone into the family kitchen and got something to eat? 

 He was driven by his senses that needed to be satisfied in that instant. 

Esau did not have a long-term look on life. He did not see that he too was Abraham’s descendant and in that, he too would be blessed.  Was serving his brother was such a bad thing?

He gave into the old lie of it will not be enough, and that one had to be in competition with your brother and be at the top. He did not think of the repercussion of his decision on future generations.

Esau too was a child of Abraham. We are all in Christ but we can live as carnal Christians. We can live for the moment, with no thought to our eternal destiny nor to the generations that follow us. 

 Our choices have consequences, as we will see. A momentary pleasure can cause us to lose something of eternal value. Passing pleasures can lead to perilous pain. We get to choose our sin but not the consequences.

Do not invoke grace because the right application of Grace is that grace would have empowered you to do the right thing. Grace is not a license to sin; rather, grace keeps you from sin. 

Predestination.

We see the same mistake of Abraham repeated here. One would have thought that they would have learned that God has his way to make it happen and He does it in his time.  Jacob felt he had to grab it rather than waiting for God to give it to him and did not wait for God’s timing to work things out. 

Some of us can feel were not the scales tipped in Jacobs favour from the start. Yes, God chose Jacob over Esau.

A woman once said to Mr. Spurgeon, ‘I cannot understand why God should say that He hated Esau.’ ‘That,’ Spurgeon replied, ‘is not my difficulty, madam. My trouble is to understand how God could love Jacob.’” 

THE PLOT.

Chapter 27

Now Isaac is old and his eyes have grown weak. He was about 137 years old. He thought he was going to die but he did not. He lived another 43 years and died at the age of 180 years. (

Verses 1-5

He asks Esau to make him some food so he could eat and then confer on him his blessing.

Let us stop and think about this. What is strange about this verse? Isaac knew of God’s prophecy over Jacob but insists on blessing Esau !!! How strange is that? Why was he trying to subvert God’s plan?  Surely, he also saw the consequences of taking matters into one’s own hands and how that turned out for his dad!

The plot thickens

Rebecca hears Isaac talking to Esau and decides to thicken the plot. She plots on how this plant should be prevented.

 She like her mother-in-law tries to help God bring the prophecy to pass.

She schemes with Jacob to trick the father. Jacob, who snatched once, was ready to take it all – lock stock and barrel.

 (v18- v17 )He cooks a meal, wears his brother’s clothes to smell like him, and puts goat’s skin on his hands to feel like his brother.

Jacob doubts and asks several times, “is it you my son Esau?” The tragedy in this is all four of them did not trust God, nor was there trust between each other.

It is only later when Esau comes in that Jacob realizes that he was truly deceived. The Bible tells us he trembled (27:33). It does not mention why he trembled. I suggest two reasons for you.

He may have realized he should have followed through with his doubt and called Rebecca in on this. It could be the fear of God fell upon him because he well knew that this was God’s intent all along and he was trying to prevent it from happening.

He recognizes and resigns himself to God’s plan when he says to Esau “And indeed he shall be blessed.” V33. And Hebrews records it as faith !! Heb. 11:20 by faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. What amazing grace!!

Gen 28

We see Rachel continuing to scheme. She knows that Jacob is no longer safe around his brother’s murderous rage. She uses a ruse of wanting to find a wife for Jacob among ‘their own people’, to send him off to her brother Laban.

We know how that turns out for Jacob. He met his match in his father-in-law

In spite of his scheming God does not go back on his promise. He speaks to Jacob in a dream and reminds him of the unconditional covenant.

Gen28:15-22

I am with you

I will watch over you

I will bring you back

I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised. (Gen28:15)

Jacob unfortunately still has trust issues. And he wakes up and makes a conditional promise to God

Verse20

If God will be with me…

Then God will be my God

You see the grace of God here. God still chooses to be known as the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob – all 3 deceivers. His call on our lives is a covenant call, no matter how much we mess up. The promise will not be revoked.

If you have messed up and tried things in your own strength, look at these three and take heart. Come to God who is ever willing to forgive and put us back on track. Jacob could not rely on heritage but he had to forge his own history with God.

My story – how I have had to wait for promises of God with regard to songwriting etc. God made it happen and is still making it happen in His time.

CONCLUSION

GOD’S PREVAILING PROMISE

So we see that all four messed up but God’s purpose prevailed but not without consequences.

Thank God, we have one greater than Isaac and Jacob.

Jesus in the dessert was tempted to give up His birthright, His identity as a son is questioned and God’s promise of protection was mocked. If you are the son of God, throw yourself down. If you are the son of God bow to me. If you are the son of God make these stones bread. Thank God, Jesus did not sell his birthright for a piece of bread, or for a counterfeit title and inheritance to Satan who had not the power nor the authority to give them to Jesus in the first place.

Praise God, Jesus overcame and we can overcome by the blood of the lamb.

In addition, Jacob made a feeble attempt to cover himself in the robes given to a first-born. We today are covered or clothed in Jesus’ robes of righteousness, which qualifies us to receive an inheritance that will ever spoil not fade. Amen.

 

   Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

The Big Fat Jewish Wedding

 


This message was preached by Colin D via zoom  
Word of Grace Church, on Oct 4th 2020. For the audio please click here.. For the worship please Click here


Imagine you're sitting at home sipping a cup of hot tea with nice vada pav. Your teenage daughter comes home with an expensive gold nose ring and gold bracelets. Along with her come a few men asking for your daughter's hand in marriage for someone in their family.
How would you feel?

In Genesis 24, we see a beautiful love story. This is the longest chapter in Genesis. In fact the creation of the world was narrated in 31 verses while this love story was narrated in 67 verses.

In verse 1, we see that Abraham was old and well advanced in age.
In verses 2 to 4, Abraham called the chief servant and asked him to find a wife for his son, Isaac by travelling to his own country. That's a tall order! How can someone find a wife like that?

In verse 5, the servant asks Abraham, what if the woman he finds is not willing to come along with him to this land?
Should I take your son back to that country?
Abraham says, "No."

In verses 7-8 Abraham says that the God of heaven, who brought him out of his father's land and promised him an oath saying that he'd give this land to his offspring will send his angel before the servant so that he can get a wife for Isaac.

Then immediately the servant starts his journey by taking 10 camels with him.
Those days, camels were like Mercedes Benz. People with camels are known for their wealth. The journey was very long. It was about 500 miles.

In verse 10, we see that the servant reaches the town of Nahor. Near a well, outside the town, the servant made the camels kneel down. There he saw many young women coming to the well to draw water. Looking at the women, the servant prays to God - Lord, when I ask a woman for water, may the one for Isaac give me water and also say that she'd give water to my camels. Before he finished the prayer, Rebecca, daughter of Bethuel came to the well. When the servant asked her for water, she says, "Drink, my Lord. I will draw water for your camels too until they had enough."

We got to admire Rebecca because a camel drinks about 1600 litres of water after a journey. Imagine the number of times Rebecca would've drawn the water.

In verses 22, we see that the servant put an expensive gold nose ring and two gold bracelet on Rebecca and asked about her. Rebecca takes the servant to her father Bethuel who welcomes the servant with happiness.


Before even he had the food served to him, the servant told them about Abraham and how he had come this far to find a wife for Isaac. He told them about the prayer he made and that God answered by letting Rebecca come to the well and draw water for him and also the camels. Immediately Bethuel and Laban believed that this was from the Lord. They have Rebecca to the servant and asked him to take her and go.

The next morning, Laban and his mother wanted Rebecca to stay with them for 10 days and then go. But the servant asked that he be allowed to go back to his master.
So they all decided to ask Rebecca.
When Rebecca was asked, she said, "I will go."
Wow! What a woman of faith!

Today's end of this story we see that while Isaac is in the field, he sees the convoy approaching him.
The servant gives Isaac an account of everything that had happened in the town of Nahor.
And then Isaac and Rebecca get married.

 When we read this story, we need to know what it says about God the Father, Christ the Son and Holy Spirit.

In Luke 24:27, Jesus himself explains what was said in the old testament concerning himself.

Luke 24:27 - 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

So in this story of Isaac and Rebecca -

* Where do we see Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
* Where do we see ourselves?

Let's go back to Genesis 24.

We see 3 things -

1.     Faith of Abraham


Abraham was considered a friend of God, Father of all nations.
He was faithful and full of faith.

We see this in Abraham's movement from his father's land to a place he didn't know.
We also see in Sarah conceiving at a very old age.
Yet again we see it when Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his one and only son Isaac. Abraham knew that God promised that many nations will be blessed through his offspring, Isaac.
Still, Abraham trusted in God and took Isaac and made everything ready to sacrifice him. God provided a ram in place of Isaac.

 Now Sarah died. The promise given by God needs to be fulfilled. For this, Isaac needs to get married. So Abraham asks his servant to go to his Nation and find a wife for Isaac.

 He told his servant not to go to Canaan to find a wife for Isaac. This is because the Canaanites were worshipping the idols and Abraham knew that this place will be destroyed too just like Sodom and Gomorrah.

 It is very important to find the right person to marry. If you are single, the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:14, do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.

 

2 Corinthians 6:14 - 14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

 

The person you marry can either propel you towards the purposes of God or chain you back from fulfilling the purposes of God.

Here, we see our Father in heaven looking for a perfect bride - blameless, for His one and only beloved son, Jesus.

All of history is moving towards one climax - Marriage of Christ and his bride, the church.

 

Ephesians 5:23 - 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

  

2.     Faithfulness of the servant

 The servant Abraham chose was -

* The oldest of all
* In charge of everything
* Entrusted with a delicate matter
* Faithful

 We see 2 main things in the servant –

 

i)                A man of obedience

Verse 10 says that the servant was quick to obey his master. The journey was very long. It's 500 miles. Can you imagine?
Despite these facts, the servant was quick to obey his master.

 Genesis 24:10 - 10 Then the servant left, taking with him ten of his master’s camels loaded with all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim[b] and made his way to the town of Nahor.

 

ii)              A spiritual man

In verse 12, we see that the servant prayed to God.
Later on, when he found Rebecca, he worshipped God.

 Genesis 24:12 - Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. 14 May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”

Genesis 24:26 Then the man bowed down and worshiped the Lord, 27 saying, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”

 At Bethuel's home, even before he started to eat, he wanted to say whatever he was supposed to say.

 Genesis 24:33 Then food was set before him, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told you what I have to say.” “Then tell us,” Laban said.


The servant knew his priorities and he relied on God for guidance.
Towards the end of the story, in verse 66, we see that the servant gave an account of everything that happened. He was accountable.

  Today, if you are a believer, you are the servant in this story. You are given the commission to find the bride. We are entrusted with the most delicate task i.e., to find a bride. The bride is not one but many from all nations. That’s the church.

 In the story, we don't know the servant's name. But he played a very important role. The key role! The servant found Rebecca for Isaac and both of them had a son, Jacob. And through Jacob, all the nations are blessed.

 

We're entrusted with a mission. We need to go and preach the gospel.
Matt 24:14 says that the gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations. Only then will the end come.

 Matthew 24:14 - 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

 There are many people groups who haven't heard about Jesus.

Gospel is yet to be preached to all these groups.

 Rev 7:9 says that a great multitude from every Nation, tribe, people and language stood before the throne and before the lamb worshipping the Lord.

 

Rev 7:9 - After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

 This morning, we are like that chief servant. Will we be faithful like him? Will we be obedient like him?

 

  

3.     Favor and Faith of Rebecca

 

In verse 16, we see that Rebecca was a beautiful woman, a virgin (holiness) and very hard-working.

 Genesis 24:16 - 16 The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again.

 In verses 18 and 19, we see that Rebecca agreed to give water to the servant and did not wait for him to ask her to give water to his camels.

 Genesis 24:18-19 18 “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink. 19 After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.”

 

We see the willingness to serve and also humility in Rebecca.
This nature of hers changed the whole story.
God's favor was upon her.

 

After Bethuel agreed to send Rebecca with the servant to get married to Isaac, the next morning, Rebecca's brother, Laban and his mother asked the servant if Rebecca could stay for 10 days and then go with him.
The servant asked them to let him go back to his master. So they decided to ask Rebecca.

 

Genesis 24:54 – 57 - 54 Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there. When they got up the next morning, he said, “Send me on my way to my master.” 55 But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the young woman remain with us ten days or so; then you[e] may go.” 56 But he said to them, “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.” 57 Then they said, “Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.”

 

In verse 58, when Rebecca was asked if she's willing to go with the man, she said, "I will go".

 Genesis 24:58 - 58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?” “I will go,” she said.

  

Rebecca didn't know anything about the man. But she decided to go with him because she believed what the servant explained and put her faith in God.

 

How do we see ourselves here?

 If anyone hasn't put their faith in Jesus yet, would you do it this morning? When you do that, you become a part of the bride for Jesus Christ. All the inheritance of God the Father belongs to you.

 In Rev 21:2, we see that the new Jerusalem comes down out of heaven, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

 Revelation 21:2 - 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

 We, the church is going to be presented as a beautiful bride for Jesus.

 Today is the day of salvation. May I urge you to put your faith in Jesus if you haven't.

Like Rebecca, make the decision so that you could be a part of this beautiful love story of Jesus and his bride - The church.

 The father wants to find a bride for his one and only beloved son.

The servant goes to find a bride.
Rebecca put her faith and becomes the bride.


   Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.