Although certain aspects of God’s will seemed obvious to Abraham, the actual choice of a bride for Isaac wasn’t fully known. What was her name, and what would she be like? Such questions simply are not known as one steps out to do God’s will. One hardly ever knows the end from the beginning. God alone is aware of such knowledge. Mankind lives in the moment and is aware only of present circumstances. The future holds his hopes for the fulfillment of his present labor, but nothing is guaranteed, or is it?
In Abraham’s walk with God he found that God is always true to his word. He may not have been always fully aware of the truth of this later understanding; he may not have even had so much as a suspicion of the Lord’s real intent when God called him out of Mesopotamia. Nevertheless, in the end of his days, he was able to assure his chief servant that the Lord would guide him on his journey and cause him to be successful in his endeavor to acquire a wife for Isaac (Genesis 24:7). Abraham was too old to take the journey. He was unable to do, himself, what he believed was the will of the Lord, his God. He was totally dependent upon the Lord to bless his efforts and make them successful, but he was perfectly content to leave the value of his life’s journey in those powerful and all knowing hands.
Abraham made two covenants with God. First, he left his homeland and his family Genesis 12:1-4), and secondly he remained separate from the people in whose land he dwelt (Genesis 17:9-17, 23-24). The first covenant established Abraham as a nation, and the second let all other nations know that he (Abraham and his descendents) belonged to the Lord, his God. So, the first covenant guaranteed Isaac would have a wife, out of whom would come that promised nation, but Isaac was not to return to the land he had left. The second covenant further defined the first in that, he who separated himself to the God of Abraham would inherit the promises God made to Abraham. This is why Isaac could not take his wife from among the people of the land whom God judged would be driven out of that land.
The guarantee of both covenants that the Lord made with Abraham was defined in Genesis 15:7-18. God made himself surety for the promises he made with Abraham. God as much as told Abraham that he would bring everything he promised to pass through his own power and wisdom. It was because Abraham believed the Lord, his God (Genesis 15:6) that faith became his righteousness. In fact, in the end of his life that is all Abraham had left—his trust that the Lord would guide the efforts of his servant and make him successful (Genesis 24:7).
At the end of the day, this is all we really have as well. It is the trust we have in God, that he will make our efforts in his will fruitful, that makes the difference. Our righteousness isn’t made up of the things we do—the good we do, but in the belief that God will make our good works count and be of lasting significance. What power do we have, really? We may be able to feed, clothe and shelter others, but what lasting significance will that be, if those we help would be of a different mind. If the good we do has significance only today, adding to the present culture, adding life to the present course of this world, how have we done better than anyone else? How much better is our way of life, than the people of the land? How can we point to God with the good we do, if that good matters only for today—only to add strength and vigor to the present order of things? Can we do the will of God by building up what he has judged and intends to destroy (2Peter 3:7-13)?
Herein is our righteousness witnessed by all who know us. Although we have not seen, yet we trust in the Lord to bring it to pass. Although many who have gone before us have never received the promises as stated in God’s word (Hebrews 11:39-40), and even we who trust in Christ have received only the down payment of what should occur (2Corinthians 1:22), yet we still trust in him to bring it all to pass, confident that we shall never be ashamed (Isaiah 50:7; Romans 9:33; cp. Hebrews 11:16).