1. THIS IS FROM THE LORD 28-53 a. Introducing Laban 28-33. After having met the servant Rebekah runs home and tells her family what just happened. But Rebekah had a brother named Laban. Now when we get to the story of Jacob living with Laban we will see more of the man and his character, but Moses perfectly distills his character down to one sentence. “As soon as he saw the ring and the bracelets…” As soon as Laban saw the cash and that his sister could marry into that wealth, he jumped up and ran. Clearly, he was not just seeking to be hospitable. He was seeking the almighty dollar. This is the main trait that we see of Laban in the Bible. He was a man, not driven by family or faith but by money. So Laban goes out to the servant and what does he do? He begins to schmooze him. He has straw and fodder for the camels and water for the servant and his men to wash up. Then he brings out some food for everyone. But the servant will not be distracted from his mission. He is a man on a mission from God and he will not indulge in the feast that Laban has spread until he finishes the business that has brought him there. And so they tell him to “speak on”. b. Greatly Blessed 34-36 The servant begins with the fact that he is a servant of Abraham. He is showing the family connection. He has come from Abraham their kinsman. Then he tells them about how God has greatly blessed Abraham. They’ve already seen a small demonstration of Abraham’s wealth that is hanging on Rebekah. The servant explains that he has flocks and herds, gold and silver, and more servants than the ones that are in their presence. God has poured out material blessings on Abraham. For most families this would have already sounded like the beginning of a great marriage contract. Then the servant says that all of his master’s wealth will go to his son. This deal just keeps getting better. c. A Clan Wife 37-38 The servant then tells Rebekah’s family about the oath that Abraham put him under. This clearly shows that he is trusting in God not in his negotiation skills. He says that Abraham made him swear to find a wife for Isaac not from the Canaanites but from his own clan. This really narrows the pool of potential women that the servant could pick from. It would seem that the ball is in the court of the family to agree or refuse to allow one of their daughters to be married to their relative. d. The Escape Clause 39-41. Now, the servant goes even further. He explains to the family that Abraham had given him a way out of this oath. There was an escape clause. If the family refuses then he is not bound by the oath. Why would he say that? The oath is the one thing that he could have held over the family. Hey, I made an oath here. You have to give me Rebekah. No, he basically tells them upfront that they can refuse if they want to. Why does the servant do this? Because he knew the angel of the Lord was with him and would prosper his way. We can’t see into the servant’s heart, but his actions are showing us that if there is fear of failure then it is well hidden. Henry Law said, “In our heavenward course troubles will beset us on the right hand and on the left. But let no fears depress us. The Lord will strengthen and refresh us. He will cause our graces to blossom like the rose. His mighty power shall be manifested in our behalf, and we shall stride victorious over all hindrances.” e. The Good Providence 42-48 The servant then tells the story of how he came to meet Rebekah, which we looked at last time. The emphasis of is upon the Lord, Yahweh. “Let her be the woman whom Yahweh has appointed.” “I bowed my head and worshiped Yahweh and blessed Yahweh the God of my master Abraham.” The servant says it was the Lord that led him by the right way. The good providence of God had brought him to the right place at the right time. The day’s events might have seen ordinary or unconnected, but God was building something all along. John MacDuff once said, “We cannot envision the thoughts and intents of the architect or engineer in the first clearing of the ground for the foundation of some gigantic structure. The uninitiated eye can discover nothing but piles of unshapely rubbish—a chaos of confusion. But gradually, as week by week passes—we see his thoughts molding themselves into visible and substantial shapes of order and beauty. And when the edifice at last stands before us complete, we discern that all which was mystery and confusion at first—was a necessary part and portion of the undertaking. So is it, at present, regarding the mysterious dealings of God. Often, in vain, do we try to comprehend the purposes of the Almighty Architect, amid the dust and debris of the earthly foundations. Let us wait patiently, until we gaze on the finished structure of eternity.”