Genesis 24:27 (NIV84) 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
Oh many people find themselves in events, they never could have imagined and wonder if God is still there. A turn of an election, a report of a doctor, a whim of the boss, a swipe of a car, God what is going on?
The story of God is a story of kindness and faithfulness. It is a story of a God who never leaves even though sometimes WE leave. It is a story of a God who does not abandon. Yes, sometimes he leads us through dark shadows, the fear of death, the presence of enemies, and a path of correction; but even then he is the same Good Shepherd. He is the same good shepherd who leads by green pastures, quiet waters, prepares a table for us, and restores our souls.
This servant is on a journey to find a spouse for Abraham’s son Isaac. It is a big journey and an important journey. There are many reasons to fear. But he looks at the God of the Past, anticipates the God of the Future, and finds then he can trust the God of the Present.
1) Look at the God of the Past
God had called Abraham and led Abraham. When Abraham wandered, failed to act, failed to trust, God was still faithful and kind, he never abandoned. When he took him even past the place of promise, he never abandoned him. So, as his servant retraces those steps back to the homeland to find a bride for his Master’s son, he knows he can trust God to be with him.
So for me, I have a long heritage to look to. William and Joseph Murphy were known as the Murphy boys in the last half of the 1700s. They were baptists in Virginia when it was against the law to be anything but Anglicans. They were imprisoned for their stance for freedom of religion. They served their country in the Revolutionary War. Under their preaching Colonel Samuel Harris was converted and became the greatest Baptist Preacher of his generation. The Murphy boys had a nephew named William who gave birth to Daniel Richard Murphy in 1802. He was my Great Great Great Grandfather. He moved to Missouri. Under his ministry, over 30 years he is said to have baptized 3000 people and started between 25-30 churches in the early days of Baptist work, west of the Mississippi. God was faithful to him, he served as a Union Chaplain in Missouri, during the Civil War when the state was trying to be neutral.
My Great Grandfather Vance Patterson was a traveling preacher and Pastor and God took him through.
My Grandfather, Lester Patterson, was called to preach as a teenage boy, but was running from the call. he had served in the Army in San Francisco, far from his home in Oklahoma. He was fishing one day in the far upper part of the Northwest, it was late winter early spring and there was still ice on the river. The ice opened and my grandfather fell in and the ice closed up. It was his “Jonah moment” and he knew God was saying “are you going to preach or not.” He quickly said “yes” to God’s call on his life, the ice opened and he crawled out and began hitchhiking home. He served the Lord as a pastor the rest of his life.
My paternal grandparents, Carl and Frances Goforth had married, my grandfather a baptist but “backslidden” and my grandmother a Presbyterian faithful to the Lord. My grandfather didn’t attend church with her because he said “I’m a Baptist and not Presbyterian, and I don’t have any church clothes. So, when my father was born, my grandmother quietly prayed that night, “Lord call him to preach and I will raise him to hear you call.” My grandfather didn’t share that prayer yet, but she prayed. Well one Sunday my grandmother came home from church and announced “Carl you better get some church clothes because I joined the Baptist Church today and you are going next Sunday.” He did and got right with God and served him faithfully for 60 years. They were faithful to the Lord who was faithful and kind to them and never abandoned them.
So it has been with my family. So it has been in my life. God has never abandoned, he has always been faithful and kind. So … I can
2) Anticipate The God of the Future.
He has been good, he has been faithful, he has been true. So I can anticipate how he will continue to do what he has promised. Faith is being sure of what we have hoped for, Certain of what is not seen. God has led me this far and he didn’t lead me out here to leave me. His past performance points to future performance. I have hope. Hope is the substance we hold on to until the thing of substance shows up. Then hope is replaced with substance.
So then I can
3) Trust the God of the Present
So Abraham’s servant looked at what God had done, believed what he would do and said “as for me, he has led me on the journey” and I believe he will complete this task. And he did.
Some trust in chariots and horses but we trust the Lord.
Presidents and Potentates come and go but God is on the throne. Paul says in Romans 13 that God his hand IN it all. Oh we don’t have to get OUT of it to find God, he is IN it.
Trust doesn’t fight God, trust doesn’t stay home when God says go, trust does what God says and knows the outcome is not my responsibility.