(This story is based on Genesis 15:2, and chapter 24.)
Across the semicircular, glass-topped desk from me sat one of the most powerful men in Indonesia. Abe was not only wealthy, and a political power to be reckoned with, he was my boss, and my friend. It was I who had helped him learn the customs of my country when he first arrived on my shores. And it was I who had helped him become established in the petroleum industry. I had been there when his knowledge of Indonesian had limited his ability to negotiate. Together we had built this empire with offices housed in one of the most prominent towers in Jakarta overlooking the entire city. At one time, Abe had suggested that when he passed on, his empire would become mine, but that was before the birth of his son, Isaac, twenty-two years ago.
Now Isaac, the heir, had just graduated from the university and, though he was still very young, was showing a lot of promise in managing his father’s assets. It was understandable that Abe would want to give every advantage to his only heir. But what he had just told me was a totally unexpected bombshell.
“I have no one else that I can trust with such an important assignment. The success of this assignment will determine the future of this oil empire.” Abe pushed the contract papers toward me. On the top of the pile sat a tiny velvet-covered box–a ring box! I had flown around the world for Abe, had negotiated contracts, opened foreign petroleum markets, and even located a funds’ embezzler in our operation. This, however, was the most challenging thing that he had ever asked me to do–find a bride for Isaac in Abe’s birth country. Still I could not refuse my life-long friend. I had lifted my pen to sign, when Isaac burst into the room.
“What? You are going to ask Eliezer to go to the U.S. and find a bride for me. Don’t you think that I am old enough, and intelligent enough to find my own bride, thank you very much. I have met several promising young ladies at the university. I am thinking of pursuing a serious relationship with one of them. If I need your help, I’ll ask for it!”
“Sit down, Isaac.” Abe countered in a quiet but firm voice. Isaac, his upbringing and manners helping regain control of the situation, sat down as his father had asked.
Abraham continued. “For years, your mother (God rest her soul) and I longed for a son. Finally, God answered our prayers, and you were born. Never could we have imagined what a blessing you would be to the two of us. We did our best to teach you the principles of our Christian faith, and bring you to the point when you would invite Christ into your life and surrender control to Him. We knew that decision was crucial to your having God’s guidance in your decisions, and His help in your endeavors. Likewise, your mother and I wanted you and your life partner to have a similar background, and especially that she would share your faith. Such a woman would be able to help you teach and bring up your children (our grandchildren) in a godly manner.”
Isaac’s response was quiet, almost reverent, “Yes, Christ is my Lord. Yes, I do want to honor Him in all that I do. Yes, I also want to honor you, my Father, in your need to have my wife come from your birthplace. However, I have some characteristics and traits that I want in a wife as well. May I add them to your list? If Eliezer’s choice meets our qualifications, and most importantly, if I feel she is God’s choice for me, then I will marry her. If not, all bets are off!”
I signed the contract and turned to leave. Isaac walked out with me, and handed me his list of characteristics and traits for his future bride. “My prayers go with you Old Man. Find THE girl and you will be rewarded. But if you mess up, when my father joins my mother in heaven, and I am in charge here, your job will be TOAST!”
(to be continued)