The importance of chapter twenty-four is immediately seen in the length given to this story. The story is about getting a wife for Isaac. But that’s not its real point.
Isaac does not have the luxury of selecting a wife for himself – that was not the custom. This puts Abraham between a rock and a hard place. He cannot stomach the thought of Isaac marrying one of the Canaanite girls. The implication is always that the Canaanites are detestable people because of their behavior. Abraham also cannot risk sending Isaac back to Haran to select his own wife. As the story unfolds later, Abraham’s family is conniving and if Isaac goes to the home of his ancestors, he might not return (it will take Jacob twenty years to get himself free from Laban).
The whole focus of the story is on the work of God. Abraham leaves it in God’s hands to direct his servant to the proper place and person. The servant leaves it in God’s hands to show him the proper wife for Isaac. Throughout, there are reminders of God’s providential care:
*24:7 – “The Lord, the God of heaven, . . . —he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. (see also verse 40)
*24:12 – Then [the servant] prayed, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, give me success today . . . (see also verse 42)
*24:26-27 – Then the [servant] bowed down and worshiped the Lord, saying, “Praise be to the Lord, . . . who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. . . . the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.” (see also verse 48)
*24:50 – “Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other.”
*24:56 – But [the servant] said to them, “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.”
Note there is no “plan B.” Abraham expects God to act. If He doesn’t, the servant is released from his oath and everyone is on their own. This is the hardest thing for God’s people to do: to put complete trust in God. And yet, it is the only way to success. Solomon will write: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).