Ernest Robinson - Genesis 24 - Silverdale II, New South Wales - January 1994

Genesis 24 is where the servant of Abraham was sent to find a bride for Isaac. This is the Gospel in a nutshell. It is the story of a father sending his servant to find a bride for his son. Heaven is going to be the perfect fulfillment of the purest form of love. The happiest marriage is only a little hint of something very wonderful that God is preparing and the most beautiful human relationship that ever was is nothing compared to the depth of joy that God is preparing for those who are going to become the true Bride and taste of eternal life.

Abraham's servant didn't seem to worry too much about how he was going to contact that person. He understood that it would be a certain person that God Himself had chosen. To go to a far country and look for a person amongst all those people would be like looking for a needle in a haystack, but he simply prayed to God to guide him to that person.

When we talk to people in the world and they find out how we contact people, they often say, "I have never heard of anything so negative." Actually there is nothing so positive. If Philip had plastered posters all over Jerusalem about what he believed and preached, all day and night, he would have missed the very one that God wanted him to meet. It was the most difficult one, riding along in a chariot in the desert. But it was no problem. God saw him there and was able to bring him into contact with His servant. It is dead accurate and God does it in a way that the world knows absolutely nothing about it. It is always a miracle.

In Korea one time, my companion and I were sent to a certain place. We landed in this little village and I felt so depressed. It was terribly backward. There were soldiers everywhere because it was a big military base. It looked like the most unlikely place to go. Anyway, we had to spend a night or two in a little inn and we prayed that God would help us to find some place - it didn't matter if it wasn't too comfortable - where we could be brought into contact with honest souls.

I can only say that God heard our prayers when I say that it wasn't too comfortable! However, the postman brought our mail every day and we invited him in to chat. Today there is a Sunday morning meeting in his home and their children are professing. On one side of us there lived a high school girl and now she has been in the Work for a number of years; one of the gems.

A young soldier came to us and asked us to teach him English. I said, "I will teach you as long as you don't mind if I use the Bible." Well, that man never made it but his younger sister has been in the Work for quite a while. Just a little prayer, and God can take us to the exact spot. One thing that I learned from that is that we don't go by our feelings as we go into a new place with the
Gospel, we just go by faith.

One thing that Abraham's servant did worry about was if the woman would not be willing to follow; days and days on that journey on the camel's back, leaving her home with a stranger. Abraham said, "That is not your problem. You just go and bring the message and God will send His angel to do that." If there is one thing that I am thankful for it is that convincing and persuading people is not
our problem. We only bring the Gospel in simplicity. To persuade people is reserved for God. If we, with our personality or speech, could persuade people in, then you can be sure that the devil would be able to persuade them out again.

When I left my office to start in the Work, my boss said, "You are the biggest fool I have ever come across. You will never appeal to anybody. You have a good job. Stay where you are." It doesn't matter how we can or cannot speak; it is not our problem. There is no other power on the face of the earth like the power of the drawing of the Spirit of God.

That is why we are not afraid to tell people what they are in for; denying themselves and taking up their cross. Jesus said, "No man cometh unto me except the Father draws him." If God is drawing them, we cannot stop them.

Faith comes by hearing. A young man started to come to meetings just to learn English and when he understood what the Worker was speaking about for they are not brought up in a Christian atmosphere, came to us and said, "This thing that you are talking about, living forever and being happy forever; if that were true, you would have to be insane not to go for it. I cannot believe that." Well, we couldn't persuade him but the Spirit of God persuaded him and now he is telling others about that.

Abraham's servant said, "Supposing she won't come, can I take your son to her?" The answer was, "Absolutely not! The bride has to come here." He will never come down to please the Bride. Sometimes there are an awful lot of empty seats in the Gospel meetings and we would do anything to fill those seats except to lower the standard. This servant had all the goods of the master in his hand. This world is full of preachers who can speak wonderfully but cannot show a thing of the Master. If you cannot see forgiveness, loving one another, if we don't have them in our hands, it would be like trying to play on a string without the violin. That is what puts the Stradivarius behind the violin string.

When the servant came the first thing they wanted to do was to give him something to eat. He said, "I will not eat until I have told my errand." Isn't that exactly the opposite to the religions of the world? They won't tell their errand until they have eaten. Some time ago I read in a newspaper of a woman who was fed up. The minister never visited her and it was suggested that she invite him for a meal. So she went to a lot of trouble and the minister and his wife came, had their meal and didn't stay very long. Would you believe that at the end of the month the minister sent the woman an account for professional advice? She was disgusted.

The late Willy Jamieson told us once of the curse that was put upon the serpent. The serpent is the symbol of the false prophet. Genesis 3:14, "Upon thy belly thou shalt go." Willy said, "Where will you ever find a false prophet that would preach you a sermon before he first has a guarantee that his belly will be filled?" Jesus said, "Don't worry about what you will wear or eat, seek first the Kingdom of God."

An older Worker told us that when he started out the most difficult thing for him was to get up and speak to people, to get that courage. As time went by, he got a little more used to it and then the problem was what to say. He said, "But now I am an old man and I am not so worried about getting up to speak, or what to say. The thing that really worries me is the preacher, the person who
is preaching; to have it in my hands and not only on my lips."

When you read this story do you find any reference at all to the reward that this servant got? He had explained everything to Rebekah and her family said, "Wilt thou go with this man?" She said, "I will go." This is something that I suppose none of you except those who are in the Work would understand of what went on in his heart.

I will never forget my first year in the Work. I had a very small part in it but a couple kept coming with their two little girls. One night it was snowing and we didn't think they would come, but they came and there was just something in the spirit of the meeting that night that moved my companion to test the meeting, and they stood up. After the meeting I went into the room and I couldn't even kneel by my bed. I couldn't pray, I couldn't even laugh or cry.

All I can say is that there is nothing to describe that joy in the heart of the servant when you see clear evidence that the Spirit of God has been working and they stand up and say, "I will go." A sister Worker put it like this, "I am so thankful that God has given me the privilege of standing by and looking on where He has been working."

One day, a young man came to visit us in that same place. We invited him inside and it was tiny in there, not very comfortable. He said, "You two men live in this room, wash your own clothes, cook your own food and even go to market for yourselves, And you don't even have a wife! I couldn't do that for all the money in the world!" So I said to him, "I wouldn't either!" That is true, but what he didn't know was that it is not money that is the reward of the servant.

We don't know who it is going to be, or when, or where, but we have the hope in our hearts that the Spirit of God will work in people's hearts and we will have the joy of seeing someone stand and say, "I will go." It is a miracle every time. Sometimes we speak about our hearts as being like a musical instrument - something tugs at the heartstrings. There are some heartstrings that are very deep and it is only the person that you love the most in this world who can tug at them. But there is another one and only God can touch that one.

Rebekah's family said, "She can go, but not now. Give her at least ten days." I don't know if there is anybody who is feeling troubled tonight. There is a voice telling you that you must do it, but not now. It is not a matter of whether you will or not, but will you go now? An old servant of God in South Africa often told about his little sister. They listened to the Gospel together when she was twenty-one. When the meeting was tested he stood up but she didn't and as they walked home she kept saying to him, "I feel so terrible, I know I should have stood up in that meeting but I am only twenty-one and I do want to taste a little of the world first." With tears in his eyes he used to tell us, "She never reached her twenty-second birthday." If only she had known it, the question was very serious, "Will you go now?"

A young man came to Gospel meetings in Korea quite a while ago. He had a younger sister who was twenty-two and she was unusually good looking, but it didn't do her any good either. One night he managed to get her to come to the meeting and she sat right at the back. I don't know if I ever saw anybody looking so bored in a meeting. It doesn't make it any easier for us to speak.

She didn't come back again but later she got sick and something went terribly wrong. Unfortunately the doctor made a serious mistake and the medicine he gave her was actually a poison for her condition. She went very quickly and her brother asked us if we would have a word at her funeral. The thought came to me, "Not so long ago she heard my voice but if she had only known that this same voice was going to be speaking next by her coffin, she surely would have listened with a very different attitude." If you just knew what was around the corner, you would listen with a different attitude.

On our way to Korea over twenty-seven years ago, we met some of the Workers in Greece. Afterwards one of the Sisters wrote to me and one day I got a letter that surprised me greatly. In those days they couldn't have Gospel meetings in Greece, and a young man had visited with them. One day he came to them and said, "I have made my choice that I am not going to listen to this Gospel any more." They asked, "Why? What has happened?" He said, "I have just heard enough to know that this Gospel is going to spoil my plans. I am not prepared to change them but I am not such a fool to think I can face eternity without God. I will come back when I am thirty-five and listen to the Gospel again." They couldn't persuade him otherwise but felt so sad.

However, not many weeks later he turned up again and said, "You know, I have gone out and tried to do all the things I wanted to do and already this Gospel has ruined it. So I am not going to wait until I am thirty-five. I am going to do it now." In that letter the sister Worker said, "We have just come back from that man's funeral and he was thirty-four. He never made thirty-five." Will you go now?