I received a new bible recently, and while reading it I found myself dwelling on Abraham’s servant. This nameless man who was asked by Abraham to find a wife for his son, Isaac. To some, this story might seem unimportant, but to me, it revealed something profound and weighty.
As it begins Abraham is too old to take a 500 mile journey to his homeland, to find a wife for his son. It’s an urgent matter because the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham is dependent upon Isaac getting married and having children.
God had told Abraham ” I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed will possess the gates of His enemies. And in your Seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed.”
Abraham is adamant with his servant that Isaac not marry any of the women in the land where they presently reside. So this unnamed, yet loyal servant, takes an oath to find a wife for Isaac, and embarks upon the journey.
At his arrival in the city of Abraham’s relatives, he settles his caravan and prays to God about finding the right woman for Isaac. It is unclear whether or not he knows God for himself. He addresses God as “O Lord, God of my master Abraham”, yet he fully believes God will answer him. Twice the Bible records he “bowed low and worshiped the Lord.”
As he succeeds in finding Isaac’s wife, Rebekah, he again, acknowledges the God of his master by saying, “Praise the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. The Lord has shown unfailing love and faithfulness to my master, for he has led me straight to my master’s relatives.”
Rebekah agrees to come back with him and become Isaac’s wife and the promise of God passes on to Isaac and Rebekah to be fruitful and multiply, so the descendants of Abraham will become like the stars of the heavens and all the nations of the earth will be blessed.
But this servant, this man who stepped in and helped bring about this paramount aspect of God’s promise to Abraham, is never mentioned again. Nowhere is he mentioned or given credit for what he did on Abraham and Isaac’s behalf. Yet, had he not been exceedingly loyal and faithful, the promise given to Abraham could have ended at this point.
He had no notoriety, no fame, no platform, and was not mentioned by his name. The oath he took, the long journey, the success of his mission…none of it was about him. He did none of it for himself. Even his prayers were not about himself…they were for his master, his master’s son and for us — the descendants of Abraham. He acted from a heart of great servanthood.
This unknown servant reminds me of the greatest servant who would journey from heaven to earth, to embrace and fulfill one mission…the saving of mankind.
“I did not come to be served, but to serve…” Jesus