A SIGN OR A DEMAND?
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.” Genesis 24:14
Because of Jesus’ harsh words in the Gospels about asking for a sign, I can wrongly conclude that asking for such a thing is displeasing to God. But this story is just one passage in the Old Testament that proves God gladly gives signs. The difference between an acceptable request and an unacceptable request is the reason someone makes it.
Eleazar was on a mission for his master, Abraham. Not just any girl would do for a wife for Isaac. Eleazar knew that her life would be blessed but very difficult. It would require unusual character and stamina, someone who would go the extra mile and not take shortcuts. While other young women might offer a stranger a drink and be done with it, there would perhaps be one who would go above what was asked, to extend the invitation to drink to all his weary camels.
There is a great difference between asking for a sign and making a demand. The latter comes from unbelief. The undertone smacks of blasphemy. In a dark period of anger and unbelief, I remember putting God in a corner. “If you love me, You’ll reveal Yourself supernaturally to me in the next 24 hours.” He didn’t and my anger grew and accusations abounded. Humility goes a long way to bring answers to prayer.
If signs were evil, then why would God give Jesus as a sign? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Is.7:14 When His people, in the context of relationship, looked longingly for salvation, God gave the best sign of all. His only Son!
Perhaps God has spoken to you about your future. You know that God is a covenant keeping God. You have been standing in faith, watching for the fulfillment of what He has promised. But let’s face it, there are discouraging days. We have an enemy who assaults us on all sides and undermines God’s character. We cry out to God for a sign, for a commemorative event that will strengthen our weakened hearts. God knows the deep weariness that plagues His people in the midst of their obedience. He is the one who sent angels to minister to Jesus in the wilderness when He was depleted and weary. He is the Father who rewards faith with signs and answered prayers.
Thank you for the many signs You’ve given, all in good time. Thank you for not rewarding bratty behavior but waiting to develop in me a true seeking heart. Amen
Journal Question: Is there anywhere in your life where You’ve put God to the test. “If He loves me, He’ll do this!” Would you be willing to let this go and humbly ask for forgiveness? This weekend, do a short study on those who asked for signs in scripture and why.