Abraham sent his servant Eliezer to find a wife for his son Isaac. The name Eliezer (אֱלִיעֶזֶר) literally means “God of Help.” As Eliezer went forth to procure a bride for Isaac, he relied on the God of Help to assist him. An angel went before him.
When we set out to do the work of God, we need to rely on Him for help, especially in the matter of evangelism. After all, we are not trying to make converts to a religious creed; we are trying to change hearts. This is an impossible task for a human being. Even the greatest psychiatrists cannot change the human heart. Therefore, like Eliezer, we rely utterly on the God of Help.
Then the servant took ten camels from the camels of his master, and set out with a variety of good things of his master’s in his hand; and he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. (Genesis 24:10)
As we go forth to proclaim the good news, we bring the good things from the household of God. In the midst of a lost and hurting world, we have the goods that people need. What are these good things of our Master’s house? They are acts of loving-kindness, forgiveness, wholeness, peace, and that most precious of all commodities: hope. Many people have never experienced unconditional love. They have never known real kindness, real friendship, real compassion. Many people have lived most of their lives without even modest hopes. These are things we have received in abundance through Messiah, and we can pass them on to others, but only if we bring them with us.
Eliezer brought the gifts from his master’s household with him in order to establish his credibility. If he had simply appeared in Aram, claiming to be looking for an attractive young girl to bring back to some faraway prince, the men of that place would have driven him away as a scoundrel and kidnapper.
Is it any different with us? If we start to speak into people’s lives about God and faith without first having provided them with evidence of the fruit of our faith, they will drive us away as religious fanatics. The world has plenty of religions and ideologies for sale, each one clamoring for attention like obnoxious salesmen.
The good things of our Master’s house establish credibility: “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). The fruit of the Spirit is irresistible to the thirsty soul. A person of genuine faith and conviction who lives out his faith and manifests his convictions in godliness and real kindness, without phoniness or pretense, naturally attracts others.