Eliezer the Matchmaker

God and Abraham had quite a history together. For that matter, God, Abraham, and Isaac had some pretty crazy stories to tell. Isaac’s birth was somewhat unusual as was his first recorded mountain-top experience. Why should his arranged marriage be any different?

Abraham had no desire to be the father-in-law of a pagan Canaanite, so he thought to choose from among his relatives in another country. Of course, being “well stricken in age” made it somewhat difficult to travel; his trusted servant would have to do for the family matchmaker.

So the wealthy and powerful master of the house sent Eliezer on the errand. Nothing too grand or stressful. Just go to a land you’ve never seen, greet my family you’ve never met, and choose a bride for my only son. She must meet a very short list of requirements, namely be willing to leave her family and the only land she’s ever known to marry a stranger. How hard could it be?

Oh, did I mention she should be a perfect wife?

Poor Eliezer! He had years of experience making decisions and being in authority, yet how could any of that prepare him for such a task? Whether Eliezer’s experiences prepared him or not, the ways of his master certainly gave him an idea of where he could start.

He loaded the camels and set out with a prayer. He prayed for a good journey and kindness for his master’s task. Then he got specific; he asked that as the young ladies of the town gathered at the local well to get the day’s water, one of them would answer his request for a drink with an offer to feed his ten camels. Again, nothing too spectacular — just volunteering to do exhausting physical labor for a complete stranger.

God did it for him, too. A lovely young niece of Abraham was the girl Eliezer approached, and she agreed. She brought up load after load of water until all ten camels had their fill after that long desert run.

When was the last time you loaded your camels and set out with a prayer? Perhaps Harmony Hill Youth Camp this year would be the place for a specific answer to prayer.

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