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Right-hand man

“O Lord, God of my master,” he prayed. “Give me success and show kindness to my master, Abraham. Help me to accomplish the purpose of my journey.” — Genesis 24:12

The special assistants of great persons become accustomed to being given extraordinary tasks. So they need to be fine persons, too.

Frequently the great ones draw all the attention, and the assistants fit conveniently into the background. Yet without someone behind the scenes, those in the foreground would often have difficulty functioning.

Abraham was a great man, and he had a truly fine assistant. There is reason to believe that the name of Abraham’s assistant was Eliezer (see Genesis 15:2). Whatever his name, Abraham’s assistant was “the man in charge of [Abraham’s] household” and “his oldest servant” (24:2).

Abraham charged his assistant with a very difficult assignment. The assistant was instructed to find a suitable wife for his boss’s son. Imagine! He not only had to find a girl whom the boss would approve of, but no doubt he would want to find a girl whom the young man would be excited about, too.

It is worth noting that if the man was indeed Eliezer, the arrival of the boss’s son on the scene had robbed him of the chance to inherit Abraham’s vast fortunes. Reason enough in many situations to cause deep resentment on his part toward Abraham’s son. But this man was a fine man!

His task was not made any easier by the specific instructions that he was given and the severe restrictions that were placed on his choice. He was not allowed to take the young man with him, and he could not look for a wife anywhere other than in Abraham’s family. This necessitated his traveling a considerable distance from home, back to where Abraham had lived before God called him to the Promised Land.

When he asked for help from Abraham, the assistant was told, “The Lord, the God of heaven, … will send his angel ahead of you, and he will see to it that you find a young woman there to be my son’s wife” (24:7). With that assurance, he began his walk of faith.

When he arrived in the vicinity of Abraham’s extended family, he realized how slim his chances of finding the right girl were. So he prayed about it, asking God to do exactly what Abraham had told him God would do. And God did. Rebekah, the Lord’s beautiful choice, arrived on the scene, proved herself a fine woman, and agreed to the proposal.

The star of this story is not the big man, Abraham. No, the star is the quiet, unassuming, faithful, prayerful, reliable man behind the scenes—the man who honored and served his earthly master and loved and trusted his heavenly Lord.

Our world needs more like him.

For further study: Genesis 24:1-27

Content taken from The One Year Book of Devotions for Men by Stuart Briscoe. Copyright ©2000. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.