Asking Vs. Demanding

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 one is the reason behind the person making 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, such as extending the invitation to drink to all Eleazer’s weary camels.

There is a great difference between asking for a sign and making a demand. The first comes from trust and dependence and the latter comes from unbelief.   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.  Accusations abounded.  Humility was removed from the forefront.

 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 He is a covenant-keeping God.  You are standing in faith, watching for the fulfillment of what He has promised.  Along the journey, there have been some discouraging days but you cried out to God to strengthen your weakened heart. God knows what plagues you while you wait.  He is the one who sent angels to minister to Jesus in the wilderness when He was depleted and weary.  Only heaven will reveal the many ways He quietly held you and gave you spiritual wind for another day.  

I anticipate the stories of Your faithfulness to me.  I see them now with eyes of faith. Amen 

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