Having considered two basic assumptions that must inform our effort to know God’s will, we move on to look at a Biblical example of a person seeking and knowing God’s will.
In Genesis 24, Abraham sends his chief servant to find a wife for his son Isaac. He did not want Isaac to marry a Canaanite woman, and thereby make allegiance with the wicked Canaanites of the land. Instead, he told his servant to go and find a wife for Isaac from among Abraham’s extended family back in Haran. Abraham assured him that God would “send his angel before thee” to guide his search (7). The servant agreed, and set off for Mesopotamia.
As he drew nigh to the city, he stopped by the local well. As he waited there, he prayed that God would lead him in a particular way: he asked that the girl who offers him and his camels water would be the one that God had “appointed for
The servant’s explanation to Rebekah of what had just transpired is well-known: “I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren” (27). The servant’s example is important. He was already doing what he knew to be the general will of God for him—obeying his master in seeking a suitable wife for Isaac. God then answered his prayer to lead him more specifically to the woman he had chosen.
Thus we see our two basic assumptions at work in the way the servant sought God’s will. He understood that God wanted him to make a good decision, and so did not treat the matter lightly or proceed carelessly. Rather, he prayed that God would enable him to “get it right.” Also, he understood that good decisions reflect God’s revealed will. He did what he already knew to be God’s will, and prayed that God would, in a sense, take care of the rest.