Genesis 15:1-6 - After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great." But Abram said, "O Lord GOD, what will You give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" And Abram said, "Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir." And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: "This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir." And He brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then He said to him, "So shall your offspring be." And he believed the LORD, and He counted it to him as righteousness.
I have wondered a bit about Eliezer. He was the heir of Abraham's house, and a member of his household—most likely the steward, the trusted senior manager in charge of everything. How did he feel about this promise when he heard of it?
It isn't an easy thing to be displaced. As a good manager, he should be happy his master is going to have a son—especially after so many years of childlessness. But that same son will close off whatever personal hopes Eliezer might have had for himself—dreams of becoming himself rich, honored, and powerful. It would be easy for Eliezer to become bitter and jealous—even to stop doing his job the way he ought. It would be easy to resent the child after he was born, and even to resent the God that sent him by miracle.
But as far as we can tell, that didn't happen. Most scholars think that Eliezer is the same faithful servant who traveled years later to a faraway town to find a wife for Isaac when he was 40 (Genesis 24). If that is true, it's amazing how faithful the man is. Abraham trusts him with this most delicate mission—that has to say something about the man's faithfulness and goodness all those years, doesn't it? And the man carries out his mission saturated in prayer. He does nothing without asking the Lord to guide him. This is clearly a man who loves and serves God, not just because his master Abraham does, but because he himself has tasted and seen that the Lord is good (see Psalm 34:8).
Eliezer might have lost out on a good thing, but he gained the best thing of all. He gained a true, faithful, loving relationship with the God who gave him far more than he could ever imagine. Eliezer became not just a servant, not just a rich man—but a son of God, adopted through his Savior, Jesus Christ. Christ's life, death, and resurrection in the far-distant future meant that Eliezer was blessed already, in his own time—no longer a servant, but a son. Not left out, but brought into the heart of God's family. And by the look of Eliezer's life, he knew it—and was happy.
WE PRAY: Dear Lord, give me a place in Your family like Eliezer's, as a child of Your own. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. When have you felt left out or slighted?
2. How did you cope with those feelings?
3. What does God offer you that is worth more than anything you have lost?
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