Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh, that I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” Genesis 24:1-4
Who near you is willing to serve as a spiritual ally for your family? I’m speaking of someone who loves members of your family just because you love them. Someone who will invest in their future as a parent would. Think of how many deathbed requests along this line have been made. “Please take care of my child, or my wife, in my absence.” Even Jesus, though near death on the cross, couldn’t stop thinking about his mother and asked John to consider her as his own mother. For the rest of Mary’s life, she was in John’s household.
Abraham knew he was at the end of his life. He believed God for the promise of future generations. As long as he was alive, he could obey God and see the line blessed. But soon out of the picture, the outcome seemed fragile. For instance, his son, Isaac, now living near the Canaanites, could marry one of their women. How many families have taken a bad spiritual detour because of a bad marriage!
There was one man nearby to whom Abraham could entrust this critical situation. Eleazar, the long-time steward of his household. What a comfort for this old father to know that Eleazar would accept the challenge and responsibility for Isaac’s future.
Some have large families and know the benefits of having many blood relatives who will nurture the spiritual lives of their children. Others have little family, so they lean into the relationships inside of God’s family. With a chosen few, they enjoy a bond like that of Abraham and Eleazar.
How many mentors have raised other children and kept them on God’s path? A lot. The promise Eleazar made to Abraham would mean a long journey to find Isaac’s wife. Love for God and love for Abraham fueled his journey and he saw it through to its righteous conclusion.
Order my steps to last beyond my own life. Amen