Daily Word

Chicken or egg? | Genesis 24:15-21

15 Before he had finished praying, he saw a young woman named Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel, who was the son of Abraham’s brother Nahor and his wife, Milcah. 16 Rebekah was very beautiful and old enough to be married, but she was still a virgin. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up again. 17 Running over to her, the servant said, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.”

18 “Yes, my lord,” she answered, “have a drink.” And she quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and gave him a drink. 19 When she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels, too, until they have had enough to drink.” 20 So she quickly emptied her jug into the watering trough and ran back to the well to draw water for all his camels. 21 The servant watched her in silence, wondering whether or not the Lord had given him success in his mission.

Genesis 24:15-21 (NLT)

Chicken or egg?

Remember the servant’s prayer of yesterday, that God would indicate the right woman by the one who not only gives him water but also waters his camels. We may wonder about this test – whether all women coming to the well, out of courtesy, would have offered water for the camels as well. But considering the sincerity of the servant, and knowing his master was a herdsman businessman, he knew the culture, so such an act would likely have really stood out.

Now, another question could arise. Where did the servant get the idea for this question? Did he come up with it and God orchestrated Rebekah to show up and have this heart of a servant? Or, did God put this idea into the servant? What came first, the chicken or the egg? It doesn’t matter. Rebekah did indeed show up. Not only was she from Abraham’s family, she was beautiful and eligible!

Immediate answer

What should not seem shocking is that the prayer was answered immediately. But God certainly doesn’t always answer that way. The servant just had to look at the life of his master, Abraham, who waited quarter of a century for the promised son, Isaac. 

The servant was not hasty. Verse 21 tells us he took some time to observe her to confirm if this was the one God had selected. Clarke, somewhat jokingly, adds, “And he was so lost in wonder and astonishment at her simplicity, innocence, and benevolence, that he permitted this delicate female to draw water for ten camels, without ever attempting to afford her any kind of assistance!” (clarke commentary)

RЯeflection

  • When we ask God in prayer, do we expect Him to answer? A more important question is: Are we willing to obey His answer? And are we willing to wait for his answer? It will rarely take 25 years and only sometimes happen instantly. Count on somewhere in between is my experience. What’s your experience?
Chicken hatching. Image from Pxfuel.com

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1 Comment

  1. David Knox commented, “A thirsty camel can drink 20 gallons! So 10 camels could have drunk 200 gallons. That’s 1600 pounds of water! That’s a lot of water to haul from a spring.” This led to Jenny Schreiber asking where the men of the place were; why didn’t they do the work?

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