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  • The God of Chance

    1 posts, 1 voices, 427 views, started Apr 26, 2011

    Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 by Denise Richardson


    • Diamond

      "O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show loving kindness to my master Abraham." Genesis 24:12  

      Grant – While the literal meaning is much rougher, it helps us see something that is lost in the smoothened translation. The phrase literally says, "let it cause to occur before me today." The verb is qara, a word that is associated with events that happen beyond human control. In other words, this verb is about what we would call chance or accident. What Abraham's slave really says is something like this: "God, please cause to occur those events that are completely beyond me so that there is no random accident in what will transpire before my eyes." Once said, the slave puts conditions on God's answer. The girl he seeks will offer him a drink and then offer water to all of his camels. As far as the slave is concerned, the first girl who does this is the one God has chosen.

      This is an extraordinary prayer. It is bold and audacious. It carries absolute finality. Here are the conditions and whoever meets them will be accepted. This prayer puts God to the test – and expects without hesitation that God will answer. This prayer commits all the "accidental" circumstances into the hands of the Lord and then waits for "chance" to confirm the test.

      Do you and I pray this way? Are we completely ready to put accidental circumstances into the hands of God and accept any result that follows? Or do we want a few more checks on the outcome? Suppose Rebekah was ugly or crippled. Suppose she didn't come from the right family or the right neighborhood. Would we have balked? "This can't be the answer, God. It doesn't fit what I expected. I guess I'll have to pray again until I get what I wanted." By then, God has moved on.

      I wonder if we are confident enough in the sovereign God to speak this kind of prayer. I wonder if we don't pray anticipating a certain kind of response. I wonder if we are ready and willing to accept any answer from the hand of God. It seems as though we claim to believe in a sovereign God, but we are hesitant to act on this sovereignty. We get answers, but then ignore them because the answers we get seem like chance. No wonder we are afraid to cast lots.

      When we become as confident as the slave of Abraham, our prayers will change. Nothing is an accident if God is sovereign. Do you really believe that?


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