“The servant asked, “But what if I can’t find a young woman who is willing to travel so far from home? Should I then take Isaac there to live among your relatives in the land you came from?”
“No!” Abraham responded. “Be careful never to take my son there. For the Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and my native land, solemnly promised to give this land to my descendants. He will send his angel ahead of you, and he will see to it that you find a wife there for my son.” Genesis 24:5-7 NLT
I know this seems random, and it surely isn’t the book of Matthew, but I just had to share with you the “WOW” God shared with me today about these verses!
Let me give you a little background: Abraham left his people many years prior to this moment at the command of God. (Full story of Abraham in Genesis chapters 12-25.)
“The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1 NLT
[God also tells Abram:] “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations! What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations.” Genesis 17:4-5 NLT (Abram is Abraham; I’m talking about the same person.)
Abraham is nearing the end of his life and he wants his son Isaac to marry a woman from the people of his hometown, and not the neighboring Canaanites. So he tells his trusted servant this is his desire and they make a vow that the servant will go back and find a wife for Isaac.
(Okay, yeah I know this seems wild in our lifetime, but stick with me because that’s not what blew my mind!)
The servant agrees, but you can see he is a little worried so he asks his master:
“But what if I can’t find a young woman who is willing to travel so far from home? Should I then take Isaac there to live among your relatives in the land you came from?” Genesis 24:5 NLT
This is where it gets exciting! Do you see what Abraham says to him (us)?
“No!” Abraham responded. “Be careful never to take my son there.” Genesis 24:6 NLT
Abraham’s tone is one of authority and he is adamant (No! Never) that while God made the initial covenant with him to be a father of nations, he understands clearly this includes his generations going FORWARD!
To net that out he is saying, “DON’T GO BACK!”
I think the biggest mistake we make as believers is to “go back.” We hit a snag in the road and rather than follow our faith and what we know is the way we are to go, we go back to whom we used to be or what we had. Why? Probably because we get comfortable, it’s easier, or maybe we just can’t see the way to go.
We especially do it with heartache or sin. We allow those two things to sometimes define who we are rather than living forward as redeemed and forgiven by Jesus, heading to the Promised Land.
But Jesus wants us to understand when He has given us a call to “leave” and “go” he doesn’t want us to go back! Is your mind blown like mine with this revelation??? (I’m kind of excited here!!!!! Is it a coincidence my iPhone app just told me to pause and breathe, i.e. settle down?)
Here is my “Abraham” story: I received the call that I was to “leave” teaching at our church and “go” in the spring of 2014. The original call to leave came in January but I may have ignored it (I did), because I wasn’t sure why (I am a detail girl), so I just pretended I didn’t hear the call. (God, why are you asking me to tell on myself again?)
When I was praying over the class before it started I heard a voice say:
“What are you doing?”
Oh. My. I knew I was in trouble! I was scared because I knew I was being disobedient. I prayed that God not take my sin out on the class and I promised I would stop teaching after it ended and I would not “go back.” I still didn’t know where I was going, but I knew I had to leave there.
(Just so you know what a handful I am for God, a friend asked me to teach a lesson for her a few years later, and this time I was smart enough to pray about it first. God’s response was very clear: partial obedience is not obedience! Do you see the translation there? DON’T GO BACK!)
Eventually, God revealed my “go,” which is to write a book. I was super excited at first, but then I realized where He was going and what He wanted me to share. It’s been over two years and I’ve started, and I’ve stopped, and I’ve started again. However, I DID NOT GO BACK! I’ve stood still a lot, but God has been faithful with me in my stoppages:
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14 NIV
I like comfortable things and comfortable tasks, so this call to “go” has been the most difficult thing the LORD has ever asked me to do. I am about 2/3’s finished and it is hard, and I’ve cried a lot, and I’ve stopped a lot. But, I am NOT going back. Amen.
Closing Prayer: LORD! I love this revelation you gave me today because it gives me strength and courage! I pray it encourages others as well. Thank you for the excitement I have for what You want me to do, and may I finish it well, according to Your timing, and for Your glory. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.