The FISHERS Magazine (Issue 225)

Servanthood

Christian Living


Servanthood is all about a person serving his or her master and this is a very important matter that Christians must never stop learning about. How do I, as a follower of Christ, develop to become a good and faithful servant of the Lord? The Bible teaches us with numerous examples, one of which is Abraham’s servant.

According to Genesis 24, Abraham had a servant who was the oldest of Abraham’s household and was in charge of all that Abraham owned. When Abraham was advanced in age, he asked this servant to seek a wife for his son Isaac. Faithful to his master, this servant went and did all that Abraham asked of him.

Based on what was recorded in Genesis 24, there are four things that we can learn from this faithful servant.

Willing Servanthood
Abraham was about 140 years old when he entrusted his servant with the task of finding a wife for Isaac. His wife Sarah had passed away three years earlier, and his son Isaac was still single. Determined to find a suitable wife for Isaac, he gave clear instructions to his servant.

According to Genesis 24:2-6, Abraham gave his servant four commands. First, he was not to take a wife for Isaac from among the daughters of the Canaanites. Second, he was to go to Abraham’s relatives to find a wife for Isaac. Third, he was not to bring Isaac to the woman, should she be unwilling to follow him back to Canaan. Lastly, Abraham wanted his servant to swear by the LORD that he would do all that he asked of him.

It is important to note that Abraham was entrusting to his servant a very difficult task. Based on estimates, Abraham’s servant was probably about 80 or 90 years old. The long and arduous journey from Canaan to Mesopotamia would have taken him months. It would not be an easy journey either, because he could encounter robbers along the way. When he reached his destination, he would have to search for a woman who was suitable for Isaac in an alien environment. When he found that woman, he would then have to convince her family to let him bring her back to Canaan, a place totally foreign to her, and far away from the protection of her family. Nothing was easy about this task that Abraham had assigned him.

Yet, this servant agreed without hesitation and proceeded to do what Abraham asked of him. He was a willing servant. Faithful to his master, he was willing to perform even the most difficult of tasks. We, as servants of Christ, ought to have that same kind of willingness and faithfulness to do our Lord’s work, in whatever circumstances.

Prayerful Servanthood
Abraham was a wealthy man at that time. He had large flocks and herds of animals, and silver and gold. Other than that elderly servant, he also had many other manservants and maidservants working for him. Yet, it was that servant who was put in charge of all that Abraham owned. He must have been a very capable man for Abraham to entrust him with everything!

When he reached the city where Nahor lived, he already knew exactly how he would go about finding a woman who would be a suitable wife for Isaac.

When he approached the city of Nahor, he waited by the well outside the city at evening time because that was when women would come to draw water. His plan was to ask them for water and see which one of them fulfilled his criteria.

Once he was ready to execute his plan, he prayed to God and asked Him to grant him success (Gen 24:12-14). He relied not on his own intelligence or experience, but instead trusted in the God of his master Abraham to show lovingkindness to his master.

After Rebekah had given him and his camels water to drink and he got to know that she was the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Nahor, who was Abraham’s brother, and that there was room in their house for him to lodge, he immediately worshipped God for He had guided him to the house of Abraham’s brothers directly.

After Laban and Bethuel agreed to let Rebekah become the wife of Isaac, Abraham’s servant bowed down before the LORD again. He was a faithful servant who worshipped, prayed and trusted in the God of his master.

During his ministry, Jesus spent much time in prayer. He obeyed His Father’s will and completed the work of redemption. Likewise, we are to pray without ceasing so that we may have the strength to serve our Lord to the end.

Devoted Servanthood
Not only was he intelligent and capable, he was also a servant who was devoted to his mission. Once he reached the city of Nahor, he immediately went to the well outside the city to wait for the women to come and draw water. When Laban invited him into his house and prepared food for him, he told Laban that he would only eat after he had explained the reason for which he came. After Laban and Bethuel had agreed to let Rebekah marry Isaac, he immediately presented Rebekah and her family with precious gifts. The next morning, he again wasted no time and asked to leave straightaway with Rebekah so that he could return to his master Abraham.

He was a servant who put his master’s business as his top priority. He was devoted to the task that his master Abraham entrusted him to do. That task was more important to him than his own needs and wants. Are we devoted to our Master’s business? Are we seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness, or are we seeking to satisfy our own needs first?

Humble Servanthood
This servant was in charge of all that Abraham owned. He successfully completed the task of finding a wife for Isaac. He was a very capable man indeed. Yet, nobody knew his name. Even when he introduced himself to Laban, he called himself the servant of Abraham and did not divulge his own name.

To him, his master Abraham’s name was more important than his own. He did not need others to recognise him. He only wanted them to know his master Abraham. Even when he prayed to God, he prayed only for his master and his master’s business, “O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness to my master Abraham” (Gen 24:12).

He used his intelligence and capabilities to serve his master and do what his master asked him to do. He did not seek his own benefits, and he was happy to remain the nameless servant.

What about us? We serve a Master who is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Should we not humble ourselves and serve Him wholeheartedly? Should we not be like the nameless servant, devotedly doing our Lord’s work, for His glory and not our own?

In conclusion, let us strive to become good and faithful servants of God. Let us learn from the example of Abraham’s servant, and become servants of Christ who are willing, prayerful, devoted, and humble to the extent of giving up our names for His Name and for His glory.

Chia Ngang Kung
- Chia Ngang Kung is an elder of The 'Fisherman of Christ' Fellowship.This article was translated from its original written in Chinese.

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