The Unnamed Servant.

Genesis 24:1-4

“1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, Put your hand under my thigh, 3 that I may make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, 4 but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

Throughout the Bible, you will often find that many of the main characters interact with a person who is obviously a servant, but whose name is not mentioned.  Now I’m sure the person in real life did have a name, it’s just that the Holy Spirit has chosen not to document it.  Why?  That is the subject of this study. 😊

The Law Of First Mentión.

There exists in Bible exegesis something called “The law of first mention.”  It states that the first time any word or subject is mentioned or introduced in scripture it establishes an unchangeable pattern which remains constant in the mind of God.  It’s an indication that there is something very important to learn.

The first mention of the “Unnamed servant” is here, in Genesis 24 where Abraham sends his servant to procure a bride for his son, “Isaac,” but not from the surrounding peoples; he sent him instead to his own relatives in Harán, adamant that Isaac NOT leave home to find a wife. 

This chapter “happens” to be the lo-o-o-ongest in the entire book of Genesis.  Why?  Because it’s the story of the father procuring a bride the Beloved son from His own family.  Does this theme sound a little bit familiar?  It should!  Who is God’s family today?  US, Church!  Since the Israelites all descended from Abraham, his other family were Gentiles, a picture of the church today which is primarily comprised of non-Jewish people. 

Second Mention.

It is in this chapter that we find the SECOND MENTION of the word, “love,” appearing!  Whereas chapter 22 contained the FIRST MENTION, where Isaac went up Mt Moriah with his father portraying Our Father’s LOVE for His Son,  chapter 24–the SECOND MENTION–is the story of The Son’s LOVE for His Bride!  Let’s continue the story:

Genesis 24: 4-10

“…4 but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”  5 And the servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came?”

6 But Abraham said to him, “Beware that you do not take my son back there. 7 The LORD God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my family, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I give this land,’ He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 8 And if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be released from this oath; only do not take my son back there.” 9 So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.

10 Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, for all his master’s goods were in his hand. And he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor.”

Well, we all know how that story ends.  God gave the servant great success, he procured a bride for the beloved son, and brought her back to Isaac.  (Anyone who wants to read the entire amazing story may follow the link below:

Isaac And Rebecca: Patriarch Series Part 2

In this beautiful story is another first mention covered below.

The Unnamed Servant’s Prayer.

Genesis 24:11-14

“11 And he made his camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water at evening time, the time when women go out to draw water. 12 Then he said, “O LORD God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’—let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”

This is the first record of someone kneeling down before God and making a very specific prayer request.  Ask yourself:  What is the Holy Spirit’s greatest desire?  To procure a suitable bride for the Beloved Son and to bring his Master, the Father, great success!

The name of the place where this prayer was uttered is called, “Nahor.”  It’s root word describes a society’s central and enclosed source of heat, like a kiln or an oven.  Does this also sound familiar?  Again, it should!  This is picture of God in the OT as a consuming fire and scorching oven.  When anyone comes before God and humbly makes a request, God hears and answers.  This unnamed servant spoke out in his request EXACTLY what happened as if he were a prophet!  

(You may follow this link to read about God as the consuming fire:

Next we are going to visit the story of another unnamed servant found in the story of Joseph. Let’s dig in!

Joseph’s Steward.

Genesis 43:16-17

“When Joseph saw Benjamin with themhe said to the steward of his house, “Take these men to my home, and slaughter an animal and make ready; for these men will dine with me at noon.” 17 Then the man did as Joseph ordered, and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house.”  18 And the men were afraid because they were brought to Joseph’s house, and they said, “It is because of the money, which was replaced in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may assault us and fall upon us to make us servants and seize our donkeys.” 

19 So they went up to the steward of Joseph’s house and spoke with him at the door of the house, 20 and said, “Oh, my lord, we came down the first time to buy food. 21 And when we came to the lodging place we opened our sacks, and there was each man’s money in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. So we have brought it again with us, 22 and we have brought other money down with us to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.” 23 He replied, “Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you. I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.

This is the SECOND time Joseph’s brothers came into contact with him as Pharoah’s Viceroy.  When they met him the first time, they did not know that he was their brother.  Now they have returned to Egypt and are about to find out his true identity with the help of Joseph’s faithful servant. 😉

As you can see, not all unnamed servants in the Bible are called “servant.”  In this case, he is called a “Steward.”  I’m sure we all know the story line so I won’t bore you with the details.  Anyone interested in more may follow the link below to part 1 a series of 5-part series on the topic:

On this trip, as demanded by Joseph, the brothers had to bring their youngest brother, Benjamin, with them or else they would not be able to purchase that for which they came.  Why make such a request?  The Holy Spirit is drawing picture for us again!  

His name means, “Son of my right hand.”  Later on, we will see how differently Joseph treated him as compared with his other 10 brothers and why.

Anyway, they were invited to Joseph’s private home to have dinner.  They were understandably frightened thinking they were in hot water because of the money that was found in their sacks of grain the last time.  Instead, they had a sumptuous meal and a very enjoyable time, though Joseph ate in a separate place, apart from them.  Egyptians, you see, don’t associate with non-Egyptians.  It was detestable to them, which the brothers would have expected.  Let’s read on…

The Money In Their Sacks.

Genesis 44:1-5

“1 And he (Joseph) commanded the steward of his house, saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack. 2 Also put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and his grain money.” So he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken. 3 As soon as the morning dawned, the men were sent away, they and their donkeys. 4 When they had gone out of the city, and were not yet far off, Joseph said to his steward, “Get up, follow the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good? 5 Is not this the one from which my lord drinks, and with which he indeed practices divination? You have done evil in so doing.’ ”

Here were go again!  This is the second time Joseph commanded that the money be put back into his brothers’ sacks of grain that they just bought.  Both of these occurrences are prophetically significant in their own right, each for a different reason.

The first time speaks of the Jewish people who, though  they were dispersed through all nations of the world, wherever they have gone, they have been a greater blessing and more prosperous than any other group of people.  

Here’s the problem:  They don’t know why or Who “Put the money in their sacs.”  But we know, don’t we Church?  Jesus is the One Who looks out for them and blesses them in every way by giving them creative, inspired ideas.  The only thing He cannot do is intervene in their lives in a more tangible way because they do not have the full covenant, which would be to accept Jesus as their Messiah, whose first coming they missed.

The second time, Joseph did not allow his brothers to get very far before He sent his “Steward,” the Holy Spirit, after them to call them back.  In these last days, He is pursuing Jesus’ natural family, Israel, and more are being added to the Church than at any other time in history.

Now, Joseph put that money in their sacks this time not only to test them, but to ultimately reveal to them who he really is, like Jesus will do after the 7 years of tribulation when that entire nation will be saved in one day! ♥️ 

Joseph reunited with his brothers.

When at last Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, he was joyfully and tearfully reunited with them. They sat down and ate at his table, as equals this time, and he doubly blessed all his brothers except Benjamin. To him he blessed five times as much as the others.

He was the youngest of all the brothers and, as such, a typology of us who live in the end times. We are the sons and daughters of His right hand. In these last days, God has poured out His Spirit on us in greater measure than ever before. The Benjamin generation has been blessed with His grace and the knowledge of the true gospel of grace!

Jonathan And His Armor Bearer.

1 Samuel 14:1-3

“Now it happened one day that Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the Philistines’ garrison that is on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. 2 And Saul was sitting in the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree which is in Migron. The people who were with him were about six hundred men. 3 Ahijah the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord’s priest in Shiloh, was wearing an ephod. But the people did not know that Jonathan had gone.”

Ever feel like nothing is going right and that God has forgotten you?  Is the grass looking a greener on the other side of the fence? You’re not alone.  The army of Israel was feeling just like that at this point in time. Those troublesome Philistines were at it again.

Jonathan Took Action.

Jonathan and his young armor bearer, however, were not satisfied with just sittin’ around and moping about things.  They left his father, King Saul, and the other troops, unbeknownst to the king, determined to go over to the Philistine garrison and defeat them in the name of The LORD!  Let’s follow the story:-
1 Samuel 14:4-5
4 Between the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistines’ garrison, there was a SHARP ROCK on one side and a SHARP ROCK on the other side. And the name of one was BOZEZ, and the name of the other SENEH. 5 The front of one faced northward opposite Michmash, and the other southward opposite Gibeah.”

If you go to Israel today, you can stand at Michmash and look down toward the deep wadi that Jonathan and his armor bearer had to cross.  The picture above shows just how steep and rocky the terrain was.  Not easy to negotiate! 😮

Jonathan Trusted God.

It sure seems like the way is steep, rocky, and difficult when circumstances are against you.  But God is NEVER against His people. He is always for us!  

Jonathan understood this. He expressed his faith by declaring it to his armor bearer.  He recognized that the LORD is never limited by the lack of our abilities, powers, or resources.  He didn’t look at the size of their problem; He saw the Problem Solver!

Secrets In The Hebrew Language.

SENEH,” one of the two sharp rocks mentioned above, means  “Thorn bush.”  The same word used here is used of Moses’ burning bush.  Thorns are a typology of the curse.  The Israelites were sure feeling like they were under the curse. Bozez means “Shining.”  To them, things were sure looking brighter on the other side.

The two sharp rocks are a picture of the Law, which is like a two-edged sword.  When Jesus came, He was measured by it, fulfilled the whole Law in our place, reversed every curse (thorn), and came to the other side, shining with great glory. Hallelujah!!!

The Unnamed Servant.

You’ll notice that Jonathan had his armor bearer with him, who is unnamed. This unnamed servant appears in many places in scripture.

Most notably, his first appearance is in Genesis 24 where Abraham sent his servant, also unnamed, to get a bride for his beloved son, Isaac. He appears in the story of Joseph, whose unnamed servant prepares for Joseph’s arrival to have dinner with his long lost family. And he appears here in the story of Jonathan and his armor bearer.

He is that faithful servant who always does his master’s bidding, performing every task with excellence, without complaint. Who is he? The Holy Spirit!

Israel at this time was under the leadership of King Saul, who had just been informed that his kingly line would end with him and given to another.  As you can imagine, he was NOT happy about it. In fact, he was sulking.  More importantly, the Spirit of The LORD was no longer with him. He knew it and he felt it. 

You see, in those days because their sins were only covered, the Holy Spirit could only be dispensed on a temporary basis. He could only rest “ON” individuals. He had to come and go because of sin IN them.  Thankfully, in these days, we are so blessed because He comes to live IN us and NEVER leaves. Jesus has cleansed our INSIDE!  He never has to leave because our spirit man has been forever cleansed of sin.

The bottom line:  Not much headway was made against their enemies, the Philistines, as a result of the sulking and the absence of the Holy Spirit.  Saul was just lazing around on the outskirts of his capital, Gibeah, pouting and accomplishing a whole lot of nothing.

Jonathan, on the other hand, saw the Philistines for who they were:  Uncircumcised, having no covenant with God like they did.  He was not depending on the might of armies and did not put any faith the flesh like his father. He had faith in God.

Just like Israel, you and I have a covenant with God today.  Theirs was sealed by circumcision of their flesh, ours by circumcision of the heart.  Our enemies, who do not fear The Lord and are uncircumcised (without a covenant), DO NOT HAVE GOD ON THEIR SIDE.

The Prodigal Son Of Luke 15.

Luke 15:11-13“A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.”

We all know the story of the Prodigal son, I’m sure.  This brash, rebellious, disrespectful son demanded all of his inheritance from his father.  Then he turned around and blew it on “Riotous living.”  Predictably, when the money ran out, so did all his fair weather “Friends.”–

Did he go running back home to his father’s house?  Nope.  He dug his pit a little deeper and went somewhere else to work at the most degrading, menial job on the planet: Feeding pigs. 🤦‍♀️ He got so desperate and destitute, in fact, that he ended up eating what they did!  That’s about as low as it can get for a Jewish boy. 😓 Let’s follow the story:

The Prodigal’s “Repentance?”

Much is often made of the phrase where it says “He came to himself,” as if this act of his was somehow repentance.  Well it is…..and yet it isn’t.  Let’s look a little closer at this, “Repentance,” of his.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!”

See?  He was starving!  He wasn’t thinking about his father or how he must have wronged him.  He was listening to his growling stomach. 😳

“18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son….”–He put together a noble-sounding, rehearsed speech, hoping to get back into his father’s good graces.  Hmmm…So far, so good. But then he adds the next line:“MAKE ME LIKE ONE OF YOUR HIRED SERVANTS.”’ 🤨

Hmmm…..not so good. 🤨 Now he wants to EARN his way back into the Father’s favor. 🤦🏼‍♀️ But what is his motivation?  “How many of my father’s hired servants have BREAD ENOUGH AND TO SPARE, and I perish with HUNGER.”  There is not a hint of remorse for what he did.  He went back home because he was starving.  He remembered the goodness and the more-than-enough bread back of his father’s house.  But…..Look at the Father’s response! ♥️ 

20″ “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off,…….1. The Father “saw” him 2. The Father “had compassion,”3. The Father “ran”4. The Father “fell on his neck.”5. The Father “kissed him.”

The Father did 5 things even BEFORE the boy had a chance to blurt out a single word of his rehearsed speech!  5 is the number of Grace.  The Father showed him His Grace!  Then, he began his little speech:

21″ And the son said to him,‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

That’s all he got out. Notice what’s missing?  Yep. He never said the part about “Make me like one of your hired servants.”  How could he say he wanted to earn His father’s love in the presence of his superabounding Grace?  He couldn’t.  It’s almost seems as if the Father didn’t care what he said.–The Father’s response to the son before or after the speech. He was accepted LONG BEFORE he said a single word!  And the father, the “Finder,” was overjoyed! 💖

Luke 15: 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; “24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.”-Notice, though it is plural, the servant or servants are unnamed.  

This is a picture of what the Holy Spirit did for this boy and what He does for all of us:  A robe was put on him, signifying sonship, a ring was put on his finger, signifying authority, and sandals on his feet, signifying ownership of the land on which he was standing.  You see, unlike Moses who was instructed to take OFF his sandals because he was standing on hallowed ground, this boy was a SON of the FATHER and heir to all that he had, hence the shoes ON his feet.  Moses, who lived before the cross, could only be credited as righteous until Jesus died years in the future.  His “credit card debt,” as it were, was then paid in full! 

Ruth And The Law Concerning Gleaning.

Last, but not lease, let’s look at one more instance of the unnamed servant and what He does for Jesus and for us.  You can see it so clearly all over the story of Ruth but particularly in this part about the law concerning gleaning found in Leviticus 23.  Let’s follow the story:

Leviticus 23:22.
“22 ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the Lord your God.’”

Ruth had heard a lot from her mother-in-law about the amazing God she worshiped.  The wonderful stores she had heard no doubt drew her to Him and caused her to want to serve Him, too.  But she had obviously heard about some other things.  It’s clear from her statement to Naomi that she knew somewhat about the law concerning gleaning.  She was determined to go out and do this menial task in order to provide food for herself and her mother-in-law, whom she loved so dearly.

All those who regularly reaped in the fields for Boaz were hired servants.  But as a poor person and a foreigner, Ruth was not qualified to do reaping. She followed after the paid reapers to collect whatever they left behind, kind of like a servant to the servants. It was a very menial task.

The Unnamed Servant.

Sometime after her arrival, Boaz, the owner of the field, came to check on his reapers, speaking to his servant who was in charge of them.  You’ll notice that his name is not mentioned.  The “Unnamed Servant,” is a common theme throughout the Bible.  Who is he?  We’re about to find out.

Ruth 2:4-7  “4 Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you!” And they answered him, “The Lord bless you!” 5 Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?” 6 So the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered and said, “It is the young Moabite woman who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. 7 And she said, ‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.’ So she came and has continued from morning until now, though she rested a little in the house.”

As Boaz is a picture of our Lord Jesus, so the Unnamed servant is a picture of the Holy Spirit.  He is there, throughout the scriptures, faithfully carrying out the wishes of His Master.

He is there as the servant of Abraham who went to find a bride for the beloved son, Isaac, a picture of what the Holy Spirit is doing in the world today:  He is going here and there, looking for a Bride for the Son, Jesus.  That’s us, Church!  He is building His Church!

He is there in the story Isaac who wanted a bride for the beloved son, praying the very first recorded prayer answered in every detail by God.  

He is there in the story of Joseph, who spoke to his unnamed steward, representing the Holy Spirit ministering to and watching over natural Israel.  He feeds and cares for them, though they don’t all understand what’s going on, until the moment Jesus, the greater Joseph, appears at the door of his house at the time of the noon meal.  

He is there in the story of the Prodigal son, doing the Father’s bidding in regard to us, His sons and daughters.  

And He is there in the greatest love story of all, that of Boaz and his beloved Ruth, whose name comes from the same root word as that for “Covenant.”  We are the ones who have a covenant with God because of Jesus.

That’s God’s gift to all of us:  Pictures of the Holy Spirit and what He does for us in the person of The Unnamed Servant. ♥️ 

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