Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 24:10-14

10 And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor.

11 And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water.

12 And he said, O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham.

13 Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water:

14 And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.

Abraham’s servant takes an impressive show of wealth with him, including ten camels and, as we will find out later, precious gifts and jewelry. He travels to Nahor, which was both the name of Abraham’s brother and his grandfather. So perhaps this city is named after one of these individuals. Perhaps the brother, given that his son Bethuel and grand-daughter Rebekah now live there.

And when the servant arrives at the outskirts of the city he comes up with a test. He petitions God, asking that the first woman to follow a certain procedure will also be the one who is meant to marry Isaac. The procedure is not random, though, it is a way meant to identify a good and worthy woman.

For starters he is looking for a woman who is diligently serving the needs of her household, coming down to the well to draw water. Then he is looking for one who is kind, willing to give water to him when he asks. Finally he is looking for one who is generous and industrious, who goes the extra mile by offering to also draw water for each of his camels. And while I’m not an expert on camels, it said that he brought ten of them, which sounds like an exorbitant amount of large animals to be drawing water for!

A woman who has each of these qualities would make a wonderful companion indeed, but then there would be the matter of whether she was an eligible member of Abraham’s kin. The servant’s prayer is that she would be.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 7:17, 21-23

17 And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.

21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:

22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

Water is a great dichotomizer. It bears some things up to its surface, and it sinks others down to its bottom. All things that enter into this medium must ultimately be borne to one end or the other. Ascend to life as the ark did, or descend to death as all other forms of earth life did.

Which is, of course, a symbolism of our mortality. Our purpose here is to see whether we will allow ourselves to be borne up by the vessel of Christ’s body, carried above suffocating trials and temptations to where we can truly breathe, or whether we will sink to rock bottom, expiring in our own despair.

We all thrash about in the middle to begin with, but no one stays there forever. The question is whether you insist on making it to the surface by your own power, which strategy will fail once your strength inevitably runs out, or whether you accept the hand reaching to pull you up by His power.

Worthy Vessels- John 5:19, 1 John 4:19

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

We love him, because he first loved us.


The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do
Each one of us has seen others doing good, and even been the recipients of that good. And having experienced this, naturally we desire to do good things to others, and we try to follow the pattern of those that showed us the example.
But those that did the good things to us were themselves only following the example of others who previously did good to them, and so on and so on. Each of these paths of goodness ultimately leads to the same singular source. As Jesus taught, even he only followed the example of his father. His proclamation is total: the son can do nothing of himself. He does not say that the Father taught one virtue and that then he, Jesus, riffed his own new ones off of it, he claims that any good act done on earth first had its template written in heaven.

We love him, because he first loved us
I have seen the truth of that in my own life. For many years I was fully capable of fearing God, but I couldn’t sincerely love Him until I felt His own love bursting into my soul. I had wanted to love Him, but I had to have Him teach me how. As Graham Cooke so eloquently put it: God loves us first, and then He allows us to love Him back with that love.

Graham Cooke’s message starts at 1:15, quote comes from 4:35

Worthy Vessels- 2 Timothy 2:21, 1 Corinthians 3:16

If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?


If a man purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, meet for the master’s use
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
As we have examined, we are the vessel only, and God is the goodness that pours forth. But this does not remove all responsibility from us. For if God is going to use us in His work, then He needs us to be clean. When we do try to do good while living in sin, it is like pouring water out of a pot whose inside is lined with rotting meat.
I have tried to live a double life in my past, making a great fuss about helping others while also nursing addictions on the side. It just didn’t work. My heart couldn’t be in it, and none of my efforts ever brought the Spirit of God into the moment. I would do polite things, and the recipient would politely thank me, but all we felt was a spiritual vacuum.
Bad habits need to be changed, lingering addictions need to be fought, harm to others need to have restitution made. We need to scrub off what we can, and let Him scrub off what we can’t. Obviously God is not expecting you to achieve perfection before He starts using you as His vessel, but He is waiting for you to take the steps of repentance. Then, even if you are still not perfect in all things you can still be perfectly clean, washed by the atonement of His son.

Worthy Vessels- John 2:3, 4, 6-10

And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.


Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim
The ruler of the feast tasted the water that was made wine

I have mentioned previously that God is able to use us in ways that exceed our capabilities, we do not have to wait until we are perfect before we can serve a role in His kingdom. But…we do need to provide Him something to work with.
Jesus did not make wine out of thin air, he ordered that the empty pots be filled with water first. He did not make enough food to feed 5,000 out of nothing either, he gathered what fish and bread was available, and then made do with it. Elisha did not bless sheer emptiness to produce the ceaseless oil, he expanded the output of one pot that already held some. Moses couldn’t speak eloquently…but he could speak. Peter did not know how to fish for men…but he did know how to fish.
God is similarly not going to wield you out of nothing either. Meaning that while you do not have to be perfect, you do need to be trying. He expects you to put forth what little you can, even if it is only a pot of water or a few little fishes. He can work with that and expand it to meet the need.

The Resurrecting and Enabling Power of Jesus- John 11:39-41, 43-44; Matthew 14:25, 27-31

Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
Straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?


And he that was dead came forth.
And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water.
Jesus is empowered to do the impossible and the improbable. As I mentioned yesterday, no matter what your own individual situation is, you are not so removed that his power cannot reach you.
Lazarus was dead. He was not sick, he was not wounded, he was not mostly gone but still holding onto a shred of life still. He was dead. Maybe you feel like parts of you have died as well. Not just parts that have been hurt, or parts are weak, but ones that are actually dead. No light and no life in them. Jesus can work with that, after all he is the life and the light.
Peter had never walked on water before. This wasn’t some skill that he had been struggling with and wanted to do better at. Maybe you feel at times like you are asked to do something you simply cannot do. It isn’t something that you are just weak or unskilled at, it is literally something you have never done before because for you it is impossible. Jesus can work with that, too. So long as you have the faith, he will empower you to do the things that couldn’t be done.