Labor of Love

Part of the “Sar-El Difference” is the personal care and attention that we invest in the services we provide, assisting a client at a hospital for example and all the necessary support and guidance that goes along with it.  Kindness and offering real help and grace during people’s time of need is our highest form of service to our clients and friends.

The Bible tells us that “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:17).  In other words, while faith is essential and indispensable as the foundation of man’s relationship with the One True God, it must be expressed through actions to become visible and be confirmed.

The Apostle added, saying, “But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith BY my works” (emphasis added James 2:18). So while faith is a crucial exercise of our “spiritual muscle” toward God as we frame our relationship with Him through trust; actions that follow provide the concrete that is poured into this framework and makes our case for God solid and resilient.

Consider the story of Rebekah in Genesis chapter 24 when Eliezer, Abraham’s servant, was sent to bring a bride for Isaac. Eliezer asked God for a miraculous sign, and the sign was that the girl of God’s choosing will reply to his request for a drink by saying “Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink.” (Genesis 24:14).

And so it was, “Now the young woman … went down to the well, filled her pitcher, and came up. And the servant ran to meet her and said, ‘Please let me drink a little water from your pitcher.’ So she said, ‘Drink, my lord.’ Then she quickly let her pitcher down to her hand, and gave him a drink. And when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, ‘I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.’ Then she quickly emptied her pitcher into the trough, ran back to the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.”

Seemingly a simple and beautiful story about a kind-hearted virgin who showed hospitality to strangers, until you pause and consider the actual implications of the text. According to the Genesis 24, Eliezer traveled with a caravan of ten (10) camels loaded with goods, supplies and gifts, and the journey from Canaan to Mesopotamia covered roughly 700 miles.

A thirsty camel can drink up to 50 gallons (200 liters) of water after a long journey. Multiply that by ten camels, and you quickly realize that Rebekah wasn’t joking when she offered to water Eliezer’s camels. She committed to draw possibly 500 gallons of water (2,000 liters) from the well, by hand, using her personal pitcher, and the scripture reads “until they have finished drinking,” meaning this was not just a first sip.

We also read that Rebekah “descended” (VS. 16) to get the water, alluding to some steps or a latter to climb down to the well or the spring. Because, if the water source had been easily accessible, they could simply lead the camels down to the water and let them freely drink, but we read that a trough was used for the camels’ watering. The task probably took her hours to perform!

In short, Rebekah volunteered for a momentous task for a complete stranger since the watering of the camels went far beyond social protocol. But the story has a happy ending. Rebekah was richly rewarded and honored having been invited to join the blood line of Messiah through Israel’s legacy of the national Fathers and Mothers.

Her labor of love proved her to be the answer to Eliezer’s prayer, and God’s chosen wife for Isaac.

We pray that our labors of love here in Israel, and yours, wherever you are, will not only be a blessing to those whom we serve but that they will also bring joy to God’s heart.