‘I will say to one of them, “Please, lower your jar and let me have a drink”. If she says, “Drink, and I will also bring water for your camels”, may she be the one that you have chosen for your servant Isaac. If this happens, I will know that you have kept your promise to my master.’
Before he had finished praying, Rebecca arrived with a water jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel, who was the son of Abraham’s brother Nabor and his wife Milcah. (verses 14, 15)
Read Genesis 24:1-27
Sometimes people feel they shouldn’t ‘put God to the test’ by saying to him, ‘If you, then I .. .’ or, ‘If you want me to, then you .. .’ What we have here is one of several passages where Old Testament people ‘put God to the test’. Another person is Gideon, who asked that God give him two signs involving fleeces. In that case and also here, God did what he was asked to do.
Does it still happen? Many people ask God to give them a clear sign of what he wants them to do or the best way to go. People say, ‘God spoke to me and said . . .’ However, many people ask things of God and believe they get no answer.
God knows why he does what he does. Sometimes he makes things very clear to us. At other times we really struggle to know what it is that God wants.
So sometimes we find it hard to make ‘the right decision’. Sometimes I wish God would make something as clear to me as he did to Abraham’s servant. Or to Gideon. But I can be confident that I can prayerfully act and go forward. If I’m wrong, I can be comforted that I always live in the grace of God’s forgiveness.
Father, help me to trust that you will guide my actions, and that you do control my life. Amen.
by Bob Turnbull, in ‘God’s Promises for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1999)
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