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his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand : and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water. And he said, O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee send me good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham. Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also : let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac ; and thereby shall I know that thou hast showed kindness unto my master. And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her : and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up.
And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. And she said, Drink, my lord : and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and
gave him drink. And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. And
she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels. And the man wondering at her held his peace, to'wit whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not.”
It was to the Lord that he looked for good speed. He knew that all the wealth of his master, and all his own prudent management of the affair, might fail. But he knew that the God of Abraham could give success to the means which he employed. And the Lord prospered him in a most remarkable manner. All is natural, but all is providential; and the combination of all the links in the chain is a miracle of Providence. The time of his arrival was providential—in the evening, at the time when women go out to draw water. He was not obliged to make inquiries, or loiter about the suburbs for a length of time. 1 He comes in the very moment that ensured the immediate meeting with Rebekah. it into his mind to make such a strange request to God, with respect to the daughters of the men of the city who should come out at that time to draw water? And what power made the answer so wonderfully correspond to the prayer ? Could one out of a million of chances secure such a coinci. dence, without an overruling Providence ? What brought out Rebekah at that very moment ? Why Rebekah, more than any other of the daughters of the men of the city ? Rebekah came—she came even before he had done speaking. God often answers the prayers of his people, even while the word
is in their mouth. Let Christians who seek a wife, ask one from the Lord. He can give what is suitable-he can remove all difficulties. Abraham's servant, as far as we see, made the request from the suggestion of his own mind. There was no direct revelation given to him on the matter. He himself plans what he was to ask from the female who should come to the well; and also what she should answer. And, in giving him an answer, Rebekah speaks not by revelation, but from the impulse of her own mind, conscious of nothing but kindness to a stranger. Yet the correspondence between his request to God, and her answer to him, could be effected by nothing but by Divine Providence. They both spoke from themselves : they both spoke from the Lord.
In the prayer of Abraham's servant, we have a full recognition of the important truth that the Providence of God overrules and directs the free resolves and very words of men. Had not this been his belief, he would not have requested that the damsel applied to for water should not only comply with his request, but form her answer in the very words which he dictated for her. What a puzzling question would this be to the authors of theories of inspiration? Their silly philosophy would strive in vain to solve this difficulty. But Abraham's servant, without respect to any theory, looked to God for an answer from the mouth of one with whom he.had no acquaintance, in the very words which he himself chose to dictate. In one point of view, she
gave her own answer in her own words ; in another point of view, she gave that answer from God, or words which God providentially put into her mouth. The most unlettered of the people of God often know about God, what the presumptuous philosophy of the wise will not suffer them to see.
On receiving Rebekah's reply to his request, in the very words which himself had dictated in his prayer to God, Abraham's servant was astonished and overwhelmed with wonder and gratitude; and he refers all to the presence of the Lord with him. “ And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth : I being on the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master's brother.” He knew the city in which Abraham's kindred resided, and, doubtless, he would make all proper inquiries on his journey. But, after all, it was the Lord who led him to the place, and who prospered his message. In all our success, after all the exertions of our minds and bodies in effecting our purposes, we should give all the glory to the Lord. We should see God in all the events of our lives, and walk before him ever on earth.
Abraham was very rich, yet the obtaining a suitable wife for his son was a matter of great importance in the
of this man of God, his servant ; for which he expresses thankfulness with the deepest humiliation. 6 And I bowed down my head," said he, “and worshipped the Lord, and blessed the Lord God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way, to take my master's brother's daughter unto his son."
Such was the success of Abraham's servant hitherto. But, had the Providence of the Lord ceased to direct the event, the issue might still have been otherwise. Notwithstanding the wealth of Abraham, and all the favourable circumstances in which his servant made his entrance into the house of Bethuel, the suit might still have been unsuccessful. The destiny of Rebekah was, by this marriage, much beyond any prospects which she could have had in her own country. But on unbelief these prospects would have little influence. Abraham was now a stranger and a pilgrim in the country where he lived ; and, to unbelief, his future possession of the land would be utterly incredible. Prejudice, also, against his singularity in religion might have had more weight with Rebekah and her father's house than all the riches of her suitor. A thousand whims might have prevented the marriage. But, in the Providence of God, the suit was agreeable to both Rebekah and her family. “ Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the Lord; we cannot speak good or bad.” “ And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she answered and said, I will go." Divine Providence secured the consent of all who had a right to interfere.
Marriage is the most important relation in life. Nothing so much concerns happiness in this world