The AMI QT Devotionals for November 27 to December 3 are written by David Son, who serves as the college pastor at Symphony Church in Boston. David, a graduate of UC Berkeley (B.S.) and Gordon-Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Grace, who teaches at a public school.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
“Asking for Confirmation”
Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking all sorts of choice gifts from his master; and he arose and went to Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor. And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time when women go out to draw water. And he said, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Let the young woman to whom I shall say, ‘Please let down your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.”
Growing up, I always believed it was utterly wrong to ask God for a sign, and not without good reason! There are many examples from Scripture where it was clearly wrong to ask for a sign: For example, when the Israelites tested God at Massah (Ex. 17), or when Jesus was tempted by Satan to throw himself down from the temple (Matt. 4), and also when Jesus rebukes an “evil generation” that seeks for a sign (Luke 11). But on the other hand, there are also some examples where it was right for people to ask God for a sign: When Gideon received his call, he asked for several consecutive signs to confirm his anointing as a judge over Israel. In 2 Kings 20, Hezekiah asks for a sign to confirm that he would indeed be healed of his deathly illness. Furthermore, in the book of Malachi, God even invites His people to put Him to the test when it comes to tithing!
In our passage today, Abraham’s servant asks God for a sign, that the woman he asks to give him a drink would also extend herself to water his camels as well. Lo and behold, God grants him the sign, and he ends up meeting Rebekah. But what made this servant’s request appropriate? It was because he was acting within the realm of God’s will. He had already taken ten camels, all sorts of gifts, and had traveled an incredibly long distance, for no other reason than out of obedience. In other words, asking God for a sign of confirmation becomes appropriate when we are in the context of God’s will, and we are walking in obedience.
Of course, there is a point where asking for signs can become dangerous, not only to ourselves but to others as well. (An easy way to tell this is if the sign itself becomes more desirable than the actual obedience to God. This can be called “testing”.) But I believe that when we ask God for confirmation of His will, and we have the heart to obey, He will respond. It may be through Scripture, through the wise words of a friend/mentor, through prayer, or even our circumstances. Let us not be afraid to ask our Heavenly Father to speak to us!
Prayer: Lord, we desire to hear from You, because we want to walk with You. Open our eyes to be able to see Your hand at work around us. Help us to sense Your presence, even in the unlikeliest of places. Our desire is to be able to join You in Your Kingdom work each day. Help us to do so. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah 33-34