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While all of the stories we read in the Torah are meaningful, sometimes the events we read about can seem to hold more relevance, especially for those of us who are followers of Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah. One such event is the calling of Abraham that we read about in Genesis 12:1:
“Then Adonai said to Abram, “Get going out from your land, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you,” (Gen. 12:1).
Every believer in Yeshua can point to a moment in time when they heard the call of G-D’s voice speak to their heart in a very similar manner, as we read in John 6:44:
“No one can come to Me unless My Father who sent Me draws him—and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Another example of an event that we read about that holds within it overwhelming meaning and significance for us as believers takes place only a few chapters later. In Genesis chapter 24, we read the narrative leading up to and including the marriage of Isaac to Rebekah, which as we all know is the first time in history that a woman fell for a man.
While this story of the joining together of Isaac and Rebekah is a beautiful story in and of itself, the story also contains an underlying lesson for us today that provides an unmeasurable level of G-D given freedom to believers in Yeshua that can and should be life-changing.
Let’s review the story. Abraham knows that Isaac needs a wife. So, Abraham makes a covenant with his servant and sends the servant to go out and find a bride for Isaac. The servant goes out and invites Rebekah to become Isaac’s wife. Rebekah accepts the invitation and the servant brings Rebekah back to Abraham’s home to be joined in marriage to Isaac. On the surface, this is already an amazing story. However, let’s dig just a bit deeper into the story and see how it relates to us as believers.
In the story, we begin with a father who, through a miracle, brought a son into the world. The son needs a bride, so the father calls his servant and makes a covenant with the servant. The servant’s calling is to go into the world and share a message with the one who would become the bride of the son. The message is an invitation to become the bride of the son and the servant is to share as a part of the invitation about all of the blessings that belong to those who are part of the father’s family. The servant is not to force anyone to become the bride, but rather to simply provide an invitation. Notice in the story the one who is invited to be the bride has to make the decision to become the bride of the son on her own. The story of course ends with one who was invited accepting the invitation and returning to the father home.
Do you see how this directly relates to us as believers in Yeshua? Just as in this story, our Father desires a bride for His Son. Just as in the story, the Father calls His servants (you and I) to go into the world and share an invitation to become the bride. Just as in the story, the one being invited has to choose to accept the invitation to become the bride. Just as in the story, the one who accepts the invitation has to make the journey to the Father’s house in order to become the bride.
This is such a powerful picture of our Great Commission. I believe that one of the reasons that the servant described in Genesis 24 is not named is because, figuratively, we are to insert our name into the story as the servant who is called, who enters covenant, who shares the invitation and who makes the journey back to the Father’s house with those we share the invitation with.
However, although the above story is a powerful word picture of our calling, there is an important part of the story that I have not yet mentioned. The part I left out is one of the most important parts of the story because it is this part that sets us free from condemnation and feelings of failure.
When Abraham enters the covenant with his servant, the servant asks Abraham an important question. The servant’s question is: “What if the person I invite doesn’t want to come with me?” Abraham’s response to his servant not only applies to the story we read about in Genesis, it also applies to us today. Abraham says: “If the woman is not willing to follow after you, then you will be free from this oath of mine…”
Notice when Abraham sent his servant out with an invitation to the bride, Abraham didn’t make the servant responsible for the bride’s answer. The servant was only held responsible to share the invitation. Likewise, you and I are only responsible to share an invitation to become the bride. We are not responsible for the outcome or choice of those with whom we share the invitation.
Too often, we can feel as if we have failed the Father when we share His invitation and the one we invited rejects His invitation. The truth, however, is that as long as we share the invitation for someone to become the bride of the Son, we have succeeded already because we have kept our covenant and fulfilled our calling and commitment.
We, like the servant of Abraham, are only accountable to share the invitation, and, like the servant, we are set free from the responsibility if those with whom we share the Father’s invitation reject His invitation.
Eric Tokajer is the author of “Overcoming Fearlessness,” “What If Everything You Were Taught About the Ten Commandments Was Wrong?,” “With Me in Paradise,” “Transient Singularity,” “OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry,” “#ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer,” “Jesus Is to Christianity as Pasta Is to Italians” and “Galatians in Context.”