Ng Wee Keong
One of the earliest recorded prayers in the Bible came from the servant of Abraham.
Then he prayed, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a girl, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,' and she says, ‘Drink, and I'll water your camels too' – let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.” (Genesis 24:12-14)
At this point in the narrative, Abraham wants a bride for his son Isaac and tasked his trusted servant to go back to the land of his relatives to find one among his kinsmen. The servant’s sincere and heartfelt prayer reveals the loyalty of his heart towards his master; nothing else seems to matter except for God to show kindness to Abraham.
Most of us are either working for someone, preparing to work for someone or have worked for someone. Even the few of us who have been our own bosses all our life are under some authority somewhere in our circle of relationships. How many times have those of us who worked under a “master”, dreamed of getting better treatment and remuneration, only to complain, gossip or moan behind their backs at the “unfairness” we have received?
In Genesis 15, some 50 years before the birth of Isaac, we get a glimpse of Abraham’s fears of not having an heir to his name. In the depth of his insecurity, he openly declared that all he owns will go to his head servant, a man by the name of Eliezer of Damascus.
But Abram said, “O Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” (Genesis 15:2-3 NIV)
Scholars surmise that this Eliezer is the same trusted servant who was sent many years later to find a wife for Isaac. If so, then here’s what's so amazing about his heart – he was possibly the FIRST rejected heir, long before Esau was rejected. The fact is when Isaac came along, Eliezer was no longer considered to inherit Abraham’s estate.
Imagine the potential for bitterness and shame growing in Eliezer’s heart: one moment being declared the sole recipient of a fortune and the next, back to the life of a servant. If I were him, it would have been better if Abraham had not said anything that lifted my hopes in the first place! Despite being relegated back to his old life, Eliezer, years later, still maintained a fierce loyalty to Abraham, so much so that the bride-hunting mission became PERSONAL. He was a stakeholder who is invested in this quest. He prayed and begged God to grant kindness to Abraham, the man whom he had served for decades, the same man who rejected him as heir.
His wholehearted devotion to Abraham is further revealed when we read that he would be released from his vow to Abraham even if he had failed to bring back a bride for Isaac. Yet he didn’t give a mediocre effort. He gave his best despite Abraham providing a way out for him!
Today, I serve God Almighty, who is the ultimate authority of this world. Do I do better ONLY when I feel He blesses me more? Do I moan and complain about tough times and situations despite doing too much already?
When my best is not good enough for men, do I turn to God or do I turn on men out of frustration or sadness?
Consider Eliezer who showed such loyalty to Abraham, a mere human; what if I pledge my loyalty to God more than men?! I think by refocusing on my loyalty to God, the challenges in life may not go away, but the dividend is a faithful spirit, a good attitude at work and a peaceful demeanour. I will take that any day.
Ng Wee Keong
After serving in the full time ministry for 25 years, Wee Keong stepped out on faith to seek outside employment and continue his adventure with God. He is now doing mediation work and considers his salvation, his wife and sons and his spiritual experiences the greatest gains in his life.