Genesis 24:32
So the man came to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and feed were brought to the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of his companions.
Sermons
Divine GuidanceJ. Irons.Genesis 24:32-49
LessonsG. Hughes, B. D.Genesis 24:32-49
The Marriage TreatyT H. Leale.Genesis 24:32-49
The Unfolding of the Divine PurposeR.A. Redford Genesis 24
Wherefore standest thou without? The character of Laban has been well explained by Blunt in his ' Coincidences.' It is one of consistent greed. He was sincere in inviting Eliezer because he saw the bracelets on his sister's hand, and expected still further favors from a guest who can so lavishly bestow gifts. Christ asks us to enter his kingdom, but he expects nothing from us in return but love. We may adapt this inquiry of Laban to souls as yet outside the Church.

I. THE POSITION OCCUPIED. "Without." Probably they have no realized pardon, no enjoyment in religion, no future prospects of joy. Life is a dread mystery to them. They are saying, "Who will show us any good?" They may be just awakened spiritually, like the Philippian jailor. They may be under the condemnings of law and conscience, and in dread of the consequences of sin. Those within the true Church know in whom they have believed, and rejoice in forgiveness and the prospect of heaven. They are no longer outside the gates of mercy. We may be in a visible Church without being of Christ's fold. It is penitence, faith, and character that determine our position, and not birth, rank, or ceremonial observances.

II. THE REASONS WHEREFORE MANY RETAIN A POSITION OUTSIDE THE CHURCH.

1. Accustomed to the state, and unwilling to change. They are like the prisoner who, after many years' imprisonment in the Bastile, was liberated, and went forth only to find all his friends gone and himself a mere burden to society. He went back and entreated to be allowed to retain his cell until he should pass out of the world.

2. Many, because they are ignorant of the fullness of Divine mercy.

3. Others, because they think there is so much to be done ere they can be fitted to be received within, and are looking to their own efforts to prepare themselves.

4. Many, because they fear their opportunity of admittance is past.

5. Others, because undecided as to whether they shall give up the pleasures of the world for the privileges of Christian fellowship.

6. Others, because they lack faith in their faith and its power to justify.

7. Many stand outside because they think themselves as secure outside as within. They forget that Christ demands open confession, and that to be united openly, to his Church is one way of confessing his name before men. Let there be a personal and searching inquiry, "Wherefore standest thou without?" The invited guest passed within, and found his highest expectations more than realized, because God "had prospered his journey." - H.







Led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter unto his son.
I. ITS RELIGIOUS ELEMENT.

1. The sense of instant duty.

2. A recognition of God's gracious dealings.

3. A solemn sense of responsibility.

(1)To man.

(2)To God.

II. ITS ECONOMIC ELEMENT. The steward gives an account of Abraham's wealth and position (ver. 35). He knew that the parents of this well-bred damsel would never consent to give their daughter to a man of mean circumstances and living one hundred miles away, nor to one of ignoble or degraded family. He takes care, therefore, to state that his master is rich, and that the bride would have a suitable home and congenial society. Still, with that pious feeling which marked him hitherto, he takes equal care to note that the riches of his master were righteously gotten. "The Lord hath blessed my master greatly" (ver. 35). He also gave suitable presents (ver. 47). He treats her as one who is to enter such a distinguished family. In all this transaction the religious and the economic elements are mixed in due proportion. The men who most believed in the supernatural, and who had most abundant witness of it, were the men who used the most care in the employment of common prudence and skill. This man does not blindly rely upon miracles alone, but uses human means and proprieties to their proper extent and trusts for the blessing of God.

(T H. Leale.)

I. DIVINE GUIDANCE. God's gracious way of saving sinners is a "right way."

II. THE IMMUTABLE CHARACTER OF THE GUIDE.

III. THE DEVOTION OF THE GUIDED MAN.

(J. Irons.)

1. Fidelity makes servants own and honour their masters in performing their trust, especially in the Church (ver. 34).

2. Pious souls know and acknowledge God to be the only author of the prosperity of His servants.

3. Prosperity of believers is God's blessing. This maketh rich and adds no sorrow (Proverbs 10:22).

4. God is not strained towards His in outward things, when they are good for them.

5. Greatness of estate and honour sometimes God uniteth unto godliness. So it was here with Abraham (ver. 35).

6. God's miracles should be related when they make to His praise, and His people's good. So doth he.

7. The heir of promise may be the heir of all things here below. So Isaac. So eminently Christ was.

8. It is but rational in seeking marriage to declare the state in measure which God hath given (ver. 36).

(G. Hughes, B. D.)

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