Water My Camel
In the book of Genesis (chapter 24) we read the beautiful story of Issac and Rebekah and how their marriage was “arranged”. In many countries of the world, arranged marriages are a way of life; seldom do the couple decide on their own. Dowry, caste, and other considerations determine who marries who.
The time came when Issac’s father, Abraham, was very old and wanted to make certain that his son would not intermarry with the heathen where he lived, but would marry someone in his family. So he called in his servant and ordered him to go back to his home place and seek a wife among his kindred. The servant was apprehensive. What if the woman did not want to come with him? Abraham’s response was to remind the servant of God’s promise to give his seed the land in which he dwelt as a stranger. “He shall send his angel before you,” Abraham told him.
So the servant took ten camels and went into Mesopotamia unto the city of Nahor. When he arrived outside the city, he first made his camels to kneel down by a well of water. Several women had come to draw water from the well also. The servant silently prayed a prayer, “Lord, let it come to pass that whomever I say, ‘give me a drink of water’ and she says, ‘yes, and I will give your camels water also, then let her be the one you choose.” And so it happened with a young girl whose name was Rebekah. As the camels were drinking, the servant asked her whose daughter she was and if they might have a room for him to stay. Rebekah told him that she was the daughter of Bethuel, a son of Milcah, wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor! So Rebekah returned with the servant and became wife of Issac. An astonishing answer to prayer!
This particular story became the basis of two miracles that happened in my life. One happened in Dallas, Texas:
It was raining very hard as I drove along Loop 12 south of Dallas, on my way home. As I neared the exit, I saw a Volkswagen car parked along the road. The hood was up, and a man was working on the engine. I thought to myself, “how unfortunant to have car trouble during such a rainstorm”, but passed on by him. After I got under the freeway and was almost ready to make the last turn to my apartment, the Lord spoke to me. “Go back and water the man’s camel!” “Water his camel?” What camel? I was so puzzled—I was not thinking of camels…all I wanted to do was get home out of this rainstorm.
But then the voice came again: “Go water the man’s camel!”
I stopped the car and was thinking about it. What did this mean? The only phrase that kept coming to me reminded me of the story of Rebekah in the book of Genesis. Was God trying to tell me that the Volkswagen car was out of gas and I needed to go help that man?
I was apprehensive. Dallas was not a safe city…but surely the man needed help. I decided to go back.
It took me about five minutes to return back to the Volkswagen. When he saw me park behind him, he came up to the window. I rolled down the glass and said to him, “I see you need help. Are you out of gas or something?” “Yes, I am,” he replied.
I knew there was gas station just over the hill. “Get in my car, and I will drive you to the next gas station and you can get a gallon of gas to get you home.” So he did.
When we got there, he had no money to pay for the gas. He even had to rummage in a trash barrel to find an empty container to put it in. Then he got into my car.
“I saw you pass me by the first time…why did you return to help me?” he asked.
I hesitated a bit—would he know what I was talking about? “Well, sir, if you know your Bible there is a story about a woman named Rebecca—the Lord spoke to me to come back and water your camel!”
He began to laugh. “Woman, I ran out of gasoline and got out to try and push my car over the hill, for I knew there was a gas station nearby. But I got so tired. I could not get the car to start. So I got inside and began to pray—for I am a man of God, a preacher. I asked the Lord to send me someone to help me, and He did! He sent you to water this old camel of mine!”
We both had a big laugh about it, but also rejoiced in his answer to prayer and how God spoke to me just across the freeway---