God’s Sovereign Favor

He said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I have walked, will send his angel with you and prosper your way. You shall take a wife for my son from my clan and from my father’s house’” (Gen. 24:40).

- Genesis 24:34–41

Genesis 24:33 testifies to the devotion of Abraham’s servant to his task. His refusal to eat until he completed his work, as John Calvin writes, “is a proof of his diligence and fidelity” and may rightly “be regarded as one of the benefits which God had vouchsafed to Abraham, that he should have a servant…so intent upon his duty.”

These words aptly introduce our next two studies. Beginning in today’s passage, the patriarch’s servant tells Rebekah’s family how he came to be in their land and how he met the wife appointed for Isaac. This dialogue is not unnecessarily repetitive; Hebrew narrative typically says much in only a few words. Moses’ probable reason for including this portion of the historical events is to teach us about God’s sovereign favor and our responsibility.

Today, we witness the Lord’s sovereignty as depicted in Genesis 24. The patriarch’s servant describes God’s hand in his travels by highlighting the Lord’s blessing on Abraham (v. 35) and His sending of an angel to prosper the servant’s efforts (v. 40). In the verses chosen for tomorrow’s study, the servant explains the marvelous way his prayer was answered, thereby revealing the Creator’s approval and ordination of the events described in chapter 24 (vv. 42–48). Rebekah “happened” to be in the right place at the right time, but astute readers realize that the Almighty knows no coincidences. His decrees establish all things, even seemingly chance events (Prov. 16:33).

Previous verses allude to God’s meticulous providence in the quest for Isaac’s wife. Rebekah’s enthusiastic hospitality (24:19–20) is akin to Abraham’s reception of the angels in Genesis 18:1–8. Only a sovereign Lord could give this woman the same godly character as Isaac’s family. Laban’s assertion that Abraham’s servant was “blessed of the Lord” (24:31) was likely only a polite greeting in his mind. But given what we know about Abraham, Laban, under God’s superintendence, spoke more wisely than he knew (Prov. 16:1).

These proofs of the Lord’s control help to comfort all generations of His people. God’s sovereignty motivates us to trust Him to make our paths straight (Prov. 3:5–6).

Coram Deo

God sovereignly chose to bless Abraham, and the history recounted in Genesis 24 shows us how He remained true to His promise to give many sons to the patriarch (12:1–3). All who believe in the Savior have already been sovereignly blessed with every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3), and the Lord’s control over all things gives us comfort and hope. Know that if you trust in Christ, God is straightening your path just as He did for Abraham’s servant.

Passages for Further Study

Exodus 7:1–5
1 Samuel 2:22–25
Isaiah 45:5–7
Ephesians 1:11–12

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