Abraham—Called by God, by Witness Lee

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Abraham’s living was a practical living in oneness with the Lord. Abraham did not suddenly have a vision in which God told him that He had a high purpose to carry out on earth, that He needed him, and that Isaac had to be married in order for God’s purpose to be fulfilled. There is no such vision in chapter twenty-four. Rather, the record in Genesis is common and human. According to this record, a man had a son in his old age. When this son was thirty-seven years old, the wife and mother died, and the father buried her in a very meaningful way. The father and the son, both of whom were now unmarried, were left alone, living together in that sad condition for three years. The son might have said, “Father, where is my mother?” and the father might have replied, “Son, where is your wife?” The father was burdened to take care of his son. Perhaps he said, “I have lost my wife, and my son is now forty years of age. This surely is the right time for him to get married. But we are surrounded by Canaanites, none of whom would ever be accepted by God.” There is no record that God said, “Abraham, let Me charge you to send someone to your own country to get a wife for Isaac. I will never allow you to take a Canaanite woman as a wife for your son.” Although there is no record of God’s saying this, Abraham did have this understanding. From where did he derive it? It came from his living in accordance with God’s concept.

Abraham was a man who lived in oneness with God. If I live in oneness with a certain brother day after day, there will be no need for him to tell me of many things. I will already know what he likes and what he does not like, what pleases him and what offends him. If I love him and live in oneness with him, whatever I say and do will be in accordance with his likes or dislikes. I am sorry to say that many Christians do not live in oneness with God. When important matters arise, they kneel down and pray, “O Lord, what is Your will?” Eventually, they do not follow God’s will but their own concept. We do not know God’s will by praying in such a way. If we would know God’s will, we must live in oneness with Him. If we live in oneness with Him, He will not need to tell us what He desires, because we shall already know it by being one with Him.

Although Abraham was desperate to take care of his son’s marriage, he would not accept a Canaanite as Isaac’s wife. If we had been Abraham, we might have taken the easy way and said, “There are many girls here in the land of Canaan. Why can’t I choose one of them as the wife for my son? There may be one very nearby.” Abraham did not think this way, but sent his oldest servant far away, back to the country from where he came, to find a wife for Isaac. Although God never told Abraham to do this, what Abraham did was according to God’s inner will and concept. As we have seen, Abraham knew God’s will and mind because he was living in practical oneness with Him.

Abraham was not the only person who had such a living. All those mentioned in this chapter were living in an atmosphere of oneness with God. Abraham, the oldest servant, Rebekah, Laban, Bethuel, and Isaac were all living in oneness with God. I hope that everyone in the churches will see that we need such a living for the fulfillment of God’s purpose today. We do not need to pray and seek after God’s will; we need to live in oneness with God. When we live in oneness with Him, we shall share His concept, and whatever we think and do will be in accordance with His feeling. God will not need to say anything, for we shall sense what He senses, knowing His inner feeling because we live in oneness with Him.

MOVING IN ACCORDANCE WITH GOD’S ECONOMY • Abraham moved in accordance with God’s economy (vv. 3-8). What he did in obtaining a wife for Isaac was for the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose. We long to see that all the marriages in the churches will be for the fulfillment of God’s purpose. This kind of marriage requires a daily living in oneness with God. Young brothers, if everything you do is in accordance with God’s economy, even your marriage will be the carrying out of His economy. You need to say, “Lord, what I am doing here today must be in accordance with Your economy. I am single now, but one day I will be married. May my marriage be for Your economy.” This is the main revelation in Genesis 24. The primary thing in this chapter is not that Isaac is a type of Christ as the Bridegroom and that Rebekah is a type of the church as the bride. I say again that the primary thing revealed here is the practical living in accordance with God’s economy for the carrying out of His eternal purpose. We need a life which resembles that of Abraham. His motive, action, and everything he did were in accordance with God’s economy.

I doubt that Abraham was as clear about God’s economy as we are today. Nevertheless, he told his servant that God had called him, had promised to give the land to his seed, and that the servant had to go to his country to find a wife for Isaac. In the light of the whole Bible, we can see that this was the carrying out of God’s economy. How we need such a life today! Our motive, action, and all we do must be the carrying out of God’s economy. This does not simply require that we know God’s will and then do certain things. No, we need a daily living that is in oneness with God. We must be this kind of person. If we are such a person, whatever we say will be God’s expression, and whatever we do will be for the fulfillment of His purpose. This is the life that we need for the church life today. Do not say, “Oh, I don’t know the Lord’s will concerning my marriage or my schooling. I must fast and pray for three days and nights.” Let me tell you honestly that although I tried this for years, it never worked very well.

Consider the example of Abraham, the first of God’s called ones. Since he was the first called one, we see in his case the principle of the first mention. Abraham did not act in today’s traditional, religious way, fasting and praying to seek the Lord’s will. He did not suddenly have a dream in which he saw Rebekah in the land of Chaldea waiting for Abraham’s servant. As verse 40 indicates, Abraham walked before the Lord. As a person walking in the presence of the Lord, he did not need to fast or pray in order to know God’s will. Since he walked in the Lord’s presence, whatever he did was God’s will and according to God’s economy.

(Abraham—Called by God, Chapter 24, by Witness Lee)