The Faith of Laban (Genesis 24:50)

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I have one daughter. She’s six now, but I have spent the last several years laying a soft groundwork for her future marriage.

She needs to look for someone Godly, someone that will support her and encourage her, and — ideally — someone that won’t threaten my position as her favorite person ever.

(Kidding on that last part, of course, before anyone starts throwing spears at me.)

I don’t know much about Laban’s parenting, but it seems he’s a little more cavalier with Rebekah than I am with my daughter.

Imagine the scene. Here comes a servant from the middle of nowhere, who meets your daughter at a well not far from your house. 

This man gives her gold and jewelry, then somehow convinces her brother that he’s “blessed by the Lord” (Genesis 24:31). Before you know it, he’s at the dinner table talking about how he’s your brother’s servant who has travelled to find a wife for your nephew.

But I thought Abraham didn’t have a son, you ask yourself. Wrong, claims the servant! Not only does he have a son, but his wife Sarah had him when she was in her late 80’s. Crazy!

As the story continues, he tells you that your daughter is the answer to his prayers…literally. God sent your daughter to him, so that he could marry her off to his master that lives in a different part of the world. They leave tomorrow, by the way.

And all of this, before the appetizer is even finished.

How would you respond?

Of course, we know how Laban eventually responded. He agrees to let Rebekah leave — after they try to finagle a few extra days with her because, after all, who can blame them? But why was Laban so trusting?

For starters, he knew his brother. He might have even heard about Isaac. And, it’s possible that he had even met this servant before.

But the real key is in what Laban says in Genesis 24:50: “This is from the Lord; we have no choice in the matter.”

I am not arguing for a fatalistic approach to spirituality here. There are way too many people who forego preparation and good sense by just saying “Jesus, take the wheel!” That’s not Laban’s attitude.

In a day and age where they heard from God more directly, it’s not surprising that Laban absolutely believed the man’s story. And if he had any doubt, he could just use that as an excuse to go visit his brother to find out for sure.

What it really shows is the faith that Laban had — both in the servant and the Lord. He views this as a directive from God Himself; who is he to stand in the way? (Genesis 24:51).

I hope I have that attitude toward God. I have my own thoughts and wants and objectives, but all of that pales in comparison to what God wants. If I look in Scripture and the Bible plainly tells me to do something — even if I don’t want to do it, don’t think it’s a good idea, think I have a better way — I need to still do it.

That was Laban’s attitude, and it should be mine as well.