Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Destiny is Not an Ugly Word

Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, "Please let down your pitcher that I may drink," and she says, "Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink"--let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac...And it happened, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder..." (Genesis 24:14-15).

You, dear reader, have a destiny. You will either become an abomination so hideous that you will only be fit for hell's fury, or you will become an object of such beauty that if we could see you in such splendor now, the rest of us would be tempted to fall down and worship you. Such was the assessment of C.S. Lewis, and I agree with him. And though your destiny is firmer than concrete, all of your eternity hinges on your response to the good news of the resurrection of the sin-bearer, Jesus Christ.

I have no doubt that God ordained the very moment that Rebekah would leave her home carrying that pitcher to the well. I have no doubt that God gave Abraham's servant a willing and obedient heart to faithfully fulfill his task; he knew the servant's prayer and thoughts before he uttered them. I have no doubt that God knew that Rebekah would return to Canaan with Abraham's servant, and thereby become the grandmother of all Israel. Does your knowing that God orchestrated these events ruin the romance and surprise of the story? It certainly doesn't for me. I rejoiced again as I read it this morning, and I have known the ending for years.

The reason is because the characters do not know the end, and they have real decisions to make. The servant doubts that the woman will return with him to Canaan (Gen. 24:5). He wonders if God will make his mission succesful (24:14). Rebekah has to choose for herself whether or not she will immediately return with the servant (24:57-58). She was certainly anxious, as was the servant, as was Abraham, and probably Isaac as well. But the servant and Rebekah obeyed and went in faith, and God granted the success that He had ordained from the foundation of the world.

The Master of All Lives is a compelling story teller, and He moves the drama forward with such faithless characters. He leads them in mysterious and inscrutable ways so that they are a real part of the drama. I try to imagine what joy must have been felt by Isaac, the servant, and Rebekah when they first met there in that field. I wonder how much it rejoiced the heart of God for this day to come to pass.

The story of the righteous did not end in Genesis; it continues to this day. God is crafting us into something of beauty, if only we will believe and follow. The story of God's faithfulness in your life is, I am certain, filled with drama, romance, and failure, all upheld by a powerful and loving God. We can be certain that there is always such a happy ending for the faithful, and that even though your life may seem dull and uneventful to you, for the heavenly perspective it is filled with grace and glory. I look forward to meeting you at the end of this journey and hearing the path through which the Savior brought you. There is a seat at the Master's banquet for you, beloved. It is our destiny to be there, to know each other, and to adore the King of Kings.


Anonymous said...

I look forward to meeting you at the end of this journey and hearing the path through which the Savior brought you.

...when the roll is called up yonder...

Anonymous said...

That may just be the time we finally meet, Pastor Brad. Until then, I'll see you in the blogosphere...

Anonymous said...


I am on board with the readings.