Please read Genesis 24:34-49.
When you read this passage, you are immediately struck by one thought: “I’ve already read this, haven’t I?” Indeed, these verse are simply the servant’s recitation of the events from earlier in the chapter. While it’s not a verbatim quote of the earlier narrative, it does describe the same events from the servant’s perspective.
I’m reminded of Paul’s retelling of his conversion story, and how Luke records it multiple times in the book of Acts. Or of the constant refrain in the Book of Judges: “everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” Or even of the similarities across the three synoptic gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Why did God see fit to repeat himself so often in His Word?
If I had to speculate, I would say that it’s because we, the human race as a whole, are generally quite stubborn. We know what God is saying, but often need him to repeat himself. We pay dutiful attention to studying God’s Word, but it just doesn’t sink in. Sometimes we feel like Emmet in the Lego Movie, and say, “great, I think I got it. But just in case… tell me the whole thing again; I wasn’t listening.”
While I try so hard to hear God’s Words and obey, I often find myself doing the exact opposite of what He was telling me to do. Yet, God is so gracious, so patient, so loving, that He dutifully repeats Himself to an ignorant, rebellious, petulant child like me.
In case you were skimming over the earlier part of chapter 24 in your daily Bible readings because you looked ahead and saw how long the chapter was, or didn’t think it was particularly relevant to you, God goes ahead and repeats the whole narrative. This should be a sign to us: “pay attention! This is important!” Which leads us to ask the question: why is this narrative so important that it is repeated twice in Scripture? All Scripture is God-breathed and useful. Why is this passage repeated? Maybe we should take a second look at it…
When we look back at this passage, we again see the wondrous provision of God. God has provided for Abraham throughout his life, and God will provide a wife for his son. God will provide for Abraham to have descendants more numerous than the sand on the seashore, just like He promised He would. What’s more, God will provide for Abraham’s servant. God will bless him on his journey and give him success. As the servant tells the story to Rebekah and her family, the implication is clear: God will provide for Rebekah too if she will venture on this long journey back to Abraham and Isaac. But Rebekah and her family are now tasked with taking their own leap of faith. Will they let her go, or not?
For that, you’ll need to read tomorrow’s blog. But in the meantime, be encouraged that, just as God has provided for Abraham, and his servant, just as God will provide for Rebekah and her family, God will also provide for you. God repeated this whole narrative so that you can understand this one simple point: whatever you are going through right now, GOD WILL PROVIDE. No matter how difficult the future may seem, GOD WILL PROVIDE. No matter how big the financial crisis may be, no matter how stubborn the children are acting, no matter how hard this isolation or this health crisis or this recent death may feel, GOD WILL PROVIDE.
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