Daily Word

His Business First | Genesis 24:29-33

29 Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban. Laban ran out toward the man, to the spring. 30 As soon as he saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and heard the words of Rebekah his sister, “Thus the man spoke to me,” he went to the man. And behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring.

31 He said, “Come in, O blessed of the Lord. Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.” 32 So the man came to the house and unharnessed the camels, and gave straw and fodder to the camels, and there was water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33 Then food was set before him to eat. But he said, “I will not eat until I have said what I have to say.” He said, “Speak on.”

Genesis 24:29-33 (ESV)

Oriental hospitality

We’ve been introduced to oriental hospitality already a few times with Abraham. For example, how he treated the three men who came to visit him before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. It runs in the family. Laban shows it to the servant. He saw the jewelry and heard Rebekah repeat the conversation and he ran out to meet the servant and invite him home to stay. 

He pulled out all the stops in welcoming him and the other men, making them feel quite comfortable. Then he prepared a meal, of course. We’ll interact with Laban for the rest of this chapter. He will come back on the scene when it’s time for Isaac to get a wife for his son. He turns out to be a bit dishonest.

Business first

But business first. Before eating and celebrating, the servant wanted to make his business known; the purpose of this lengthy trip. Does this seem a bit out of place, maybe even rude? Or, we could see it as Spurgeon does.

“Like every true servant of Christ, he put his master’s business before his own ease or comfort; even before the question of necessary food. When a man begins to think more of his eating than of doing the will of God, he ceases to be a true-hearted minister.” (Spurgeon

RЯeflection

  • Do we put the Lord’s work ahead of our own pleasure and comfort? That doesn’t mean life is always difficult and free of comfort. It does mean that we should keep that task of pleasing the Lord front and center. We are not our own, we were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
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