Friday, October 21, 2011

The Blessed Mission

Genesis 24:3 "but you will go to my country and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

A Blessed Mission, 0ver 2,000 years before Christ
Abraham, the great patriarch of what would become the Jewish nation, is growing old and is concerned about his son having a wife.  In the prior chapter, Genesis 23, Abraham's wife Sarah dies.  Clearly his advanced age is prompting him to a realization that his son must marry in order to carry on the promise that God spoke to him concerning his descendants. 

Genesis 24 certainly is historical, and it tells the account of Abraham sending his chief servant Eliezer to search out a bride for his son, a bridegroom, Isaac.  This account helps the reader to see how God is still keeping His promise to Abraham that through his son Isaac would come the ultimate "seed" or promise of salvation.  Remarkably, this same chapter gives us a great picture of what God is doing right now as He, by the Holy Spirit, is sending out the saints of God with the life changing gospel, so as to gather a "bride", the church, for the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. 

To be blessed means God's guarantee of success 
The servant, Eliezer (whose name by the way means "helper") asks Abraham a legitimate question about his mission in Genesis 24:4 "The servant said to him, “Suppose the woman is not willing to follow me to this land; should I take your son back to the land from where you came?”  How is it that Abraham is so convinced that his servant's mission to find a bride for Isaac is going to result in success?  Abraham and the whole chapter of Genesis 24 bases that conclusion on the fact that God's blessing is upon the servant and Abraham Himself. 

What does it mean to have God's blessing?  In Genesis 24:27, we discover that after finding the bride - Rebecca, the servant of Abraham states - He said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His lovingkindness and His truth toward my master; as for me, the LORD has guided me in the way to the house of my master’s brothers.”  On six occassions we find the word "blessed" throughout Genesis 24, revealing to us the main thrust and theme.  On three occassions we find the idea of God's blessing being associated with the word "success" (Genesis 24:21,40,42).  Thus the servant was successful in his mission, because he had God's blessing.

The Blessed Mission, over 2,000 years after Christ
As we noted earlier, Genesis 24 is a picture of how God, The Holy Spirit, works through Christians to search out and find those who, by grace through faith, will believe and become a part of the bride of Christ.  Jesus says these words in the Great Commission text of Matthew 28:20 "teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."  So when Christ pledges His presence with his church doing the work of Evangelism, He is blessing it.  That is, Christ is guaranteeing the success of the Great Commission.  It too, like Eliezer's search for a bride for Isaac, will be a successful mission. 

What measures success in the Blessed Mission?
When you or I go out and share the gospel of Jesus Christ, whose responsibility is it to compell, persuade, position that person to trust and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ?  If it were the Christian's responsibility to get that person saved, then we would have to deem the task of world-wide missions a failure.  However, when we look at scripture, we discover that only the Holy Spirit of God, being God, can convince, persuade sinners to trust in Christ.  Thus the measure of success is not on how many souls are won, the measure of success is: have you and I shared the Gospel?  Have we went out to do the bidding of our Master?  With that thought, everytime you and I share the Gospel, we are achieving 100% success. God's blessing and glory is the measure of success.

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