By Lee R. McCleery, Senior Pastor, Central Church of the Nazarene, Lenexa, Kansas,

Summary: Eliezer is an excellent example of a dedicated steward—one who manages the affairs of another. As a steward, Eliezer is a man of prayer, persistence, and persuasion.

Scripture Genesis 24:1-14

Key Text ?Then he prayed, ?O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham? (Genesis 24:1-14 NIV).

Introduction

This is one of the most beautiful love stories in the Bible. This is also one of the finest stories of stewardship in the Bible. Eliezer is an excellent example of a dedicated steward—one who manages the affairs of another. As the story unfolds we see in him the characteristics of a good steward.

1. A person of prayer

Charged with the serious task of finding a wife for his master’s son, Isaac, he earnestly prayed about the matter, seeking above all the guidance of God. His notion of success was simple—the will of God as a kindness to his master. His journey was not an ego trip; he was about his master’s business. His prayers were not empty rituals; he prayed from his heart (verse 45). Eliezer believed in a God who answers prayer. Likely, he had learned that from his master, Abraham, who was a man who lived in constant communion with God.

2. A person of persistence

In the house of Bethuel he refused to eat until he had accomplished his business for Abraham (verse 33). First things first! This faithful steward would not be sidetracked from his priorities. He persevered. His persistence is reflected also in the way he handled the pressure to stay with Bethuel’s family for 10 days. He saw no good reason to linger, though he would have received many privileges and pleasures as a welcome guest. God had answered his prayer, blessed his mission, and he was eager to get home and report to his master.

3. A person of persuasion

Bethuel and Laban agreed quickly to Eliezer’s plea, realizing that God was with this faithful steward. From what we later learn about Laban, we know that he was not easy to convince. Only when they conceded, This is from the LORD. (verse 50), did Eliezer present them with costly gifts from Abraham. The gifts were not bribes to persuade them but were expressions of gratitude to those already persuaded. Someone has said The world steps aside to let the man pass who knows where he is going. Men of purpose, vision, and faith are persuasive.

Conclusion

Eliezer’s stewardship gave him a place in something more important than this one happy marriage. From Abraham, through Isaac, would come the people of Israel, and through them would come the Messiah, our Savior. Every faithful steward is accomplishing more than he or she can know at the time. Are the marks of a faithful steward, which shine so conspicuously in Eliezer, true also of your life? Nothing lies beyond the reach of prayer except that which lies beyond the will of God.

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January–March, 1998

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