Our Lectionary readings from Genesis run long and unfold erratically, because long sections of the book get omitted.
When the aging Abraham enjoined his servant to find a wife for Isaac from among his kin, the servant fulfilled Abraham’s instructions perfectly. The servant returned with Rebekah, who was Abraham’s niece by marriage.
Let’s notice two things: 1. Abraham’s adamantine resistance to the idea of Isaac leaving the land of Canaan.
Abraham focused everything on God’s promise. The promise of God had established an alliance, and Abraham would not break it. Here’s what our Holy Father says about Abraham’s faith in his encyclical:
Abraham’s faith [was] always an act of remembrance. Yet this remembrance was not fixed on past events but, as the memory of a promise, it becomes capable of opening up the future, shedding light on the path to be taken.
2. When the servant traveled to Mesopotamia to find the wife, he prayed and bowed down before the Lord at every step of the way.
The servant fulfilled his promise to Abraham by approaching the whole business with Abraham’s faith. Abraham had told the servant that his promise no longer bound him if the woman refused to return to the land of Canaan. So the servant did not try to exert control. He put everything in God’s hands. At the crucial moment, Rebekah’s mother and brother asked her, “Do you want to return to Canaan with this man?” And she replied, “I do.”
In other words, the history of Israel began with the free response of people who believed in God and hoped in His promises. We, too, believe in God, with Abraham. And so we hope in God, too, like Abraham’s servant did, and like Rebekah did.
And the Lord provides.