Genesis 24:1-9 –
1Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 2And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh, 3that I may make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, 4 but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” 5The servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?” 6Abraham said to him, “See to it that you do not take my son back there. 7The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘To your offspring I will give this land,’ he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 8But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there.” 9So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter.
Abraham sends his servant back to his ancestral homeland to find a wife for Isaac. A country that he left over 100 years previous he still refers to as “my country”. This is not unusual and we see this all the time from even long term immigrants to a country.
The act of faith in Abraham in this account is his insistence that Isaac not go back with the servant. This is to keep Isaac from settling there, a possibility that might arise if Isaac liked it there or if his future wife refused to leave.
While Abraham loves his native homeland he also loves his God and wants Isaac to receive the benefits of the covenant made with him. What an encouraging note this is. How many missionaries, pastors, ordinary believers are in a place not of their choosing because they believe they are where God wants them? God does not give us a hatred for the place that we came from, but He does give us a love for Him and His cause, that is bigger.
Today, we should labour with all our might, realizing that we are in the service of God in the place where He has put us, and we should be thankful that we can look back with fondness on the places of our birth and know that God used that place to fit us for the work we am now doing here.
This can also be applied in a spiritual sense. Jesus Christ has rescued us from a past life that was ruining us for eternity. There may be temptations to go back at times but where God has put us is far, far better.
Let us also remember that Jesus Himself left glory for us and when He was about to be handed over to be crucified and felt the temptation to run, prayed “not my will but yours be done.”
Today, see your location, your situation, your circumstances, as an opportunity for service to the God who has you where you are for the purpose of demonstrating Him to the world.
What a God we serve.