BLOG ENTRY #5 January 26, 2012
From “Discipleship and Discipline”, by William H. Hicks, copyright March 2005:
“In Genesis 24, we find that Abraham is now old and has been blessed by the Lord in every way. Abraham now concerns himself with finding a wife for Isaac, his son by Sarah, his wife. (It is important here to note God’s verification of the sanctity of marriage and its use as the vehicle for translation of the blessings promised to Abraham and through him to future generations. However, a full exposition of this subject requires another book!) He commissions his chief servant, “who had charge of all that he (Abraham) had”, to go back to Abraham’s people in the land of Ur to find a wife for Isaac. This chief servant, who goes unnamed in the text, accepts the task, prays for divine guidance, goes to Abraham’s birth country, is shown Rebekah by divine guidance, successfully petitions Rebekah’s family to allow her to return with him so that she can marry Isaac, and brings her back to Isaac. Rebekah and Isaac wed. Note that the name of the disciple is not important in this context (we find out in another context that his name is Eliezer). The Scriptures focus on WHAT THE DISCIPLE DOES AND HOW HE DOES IT. Thus, we may deduce that the WAY of a disciple is part and parcel of his/her reputation AS a disciple. It is what he does that sets this individual apart. The Scriptures also imply the disciple’s humility as an aspect of his character. A disciple neither needs nor craves recognition for his efforts on behalf of his Master. Being a disciple is not merely a designation! ‘Disciple’ is not a “title” to be coveted. And, as we shall see, this disciple’s WAY is defined exclusively and completely by the will of his master.
Upon closer examination, the wisdom of the Holy Spirit in choosing this example, or paradigm, to demonstrate discipleship is made clear. The object of our study is not Abraham, but his unnamed chief servant. The fact that the chief servant is the chief servant of Abraham is important in that Abraham is the first step in the means by which God provided access to the household of faith for all believers. Romans 4: 16 – 17 says: “For this reason it is by faith that it might be in accordance with grace, in order that the promise may be certain to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (as it is written, “A father of many nations have I made you”) in the sight of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.”