The Essence of Rebekah
A look back to set the story of Rebekah.
Her faith made Sarah able to have a child. Although she was past her childbearing years, she knew that God had made her promises that He would honor. There was no natural way she could possibly conceive a child at her age.
Abraham exclaimed, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” (Genesis 17:17)
She did — and named him Isaac, which means “laughter.”
Sarah was very close to Isaac, he was her pride and joy. When Isaac was 37 years old, his beloved mother died at the age of 127. Soon afterward, Isaac began thinking about taking a wife for himself. Abraham did not want Isaac to marry a Canaanite woman.
So Abraham spoke with his trusted servant, “You shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac” (Genesis 24:4).
Abraham dispatched his servant to Mesopotamian, city of Nahor, the land of his birth. There, the servant began the search for Isaac’s wife. Accompanying the servants were other men from Abraham’s household and ten camels. The camels were loaded with gifts. When they arrived outside the city wall, they found the well, where the women of the city came to fill their jugs with water.
The servant prayed, “Lord, if I am speaking to the woman who is supposed to be Isaac’s wife, I will ask her for a drink of water, and she will offer me some from the jug on her shoulder. Then she will offer to get more from the well in order to water the ten camels that are with me”.
As soon as he finished his prayer, he sees her from a distance, approaches her as she fills her jugs, and asks for a drink. She was anxious to serve him and gave him as much water as he needed.
“After she had given him a drink, she said, ‘I’ll draw water for your camels too until they have had enough to drink.’ So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels.” Genesis 24:19-20
He knew immediately that she was the one for whom he had been searching.
The servant inquired, “Whose daughter are you? Is there room for us to stay at your father’s house? She answered, “I am Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel and yes, there is room for you and your men to stay with us.” The servant gifted her with a ring and several golden bracelets.
Rebekah ran home to tell her family. Her brother, Laban, went to the well to meet the men and bring them back to their house. When the servant arrived at her home, he told the family that his master had God’s favor. He told them of his prayer and how Rebekah had graciously offered water not only to him but to his camels.
The family listened to the servant tell his story. They asked Rebekah if she would like to return with him to the land of Abraham? She responded simply, “I will go”.
After bidding her family farewell, she departed with her maidservant and followed the stranger to fulfill God’s plan. As God brings them safely to the land of Canaan, they see a man walking in the field. At that moment something tugged at her heart and she asked the servant the man’s name.
“This is the man who you will marry”, the servant answered. (The ensuing cousin marriage, with Rebekah and Isaac, both members of the same kinship group, serves to emphasize the importance of their lineage).
She is soon introduced to Isaac and he asked her to return with him to his home. That night, they married and she was “loved” by her husband.
Rebekah found a new family with Isaac, and Isaac found a person who could bring healing to his grief over his mother’s death.
After twenty years of marriage, Rebekah was unable to conceive. Isaac continued to pray to God. In God’s timing, his prayers were answered and Rebekah was able to conceive.
“Do not be anxious about anything., but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
A divine message was spoken to her when she was pregnant, making her the only matriarch to receive a direct message from God. He proclaimed that “two nations” were in her womb and would contend with each other. This message foreshadowed the tensions that characterized the relationship between her sons, Jacob and Esau.
The Hope of Strength- Today
Rebekah is one of the most prominent women in the Bible. She was a woman of remarkable courage and faith, considerate, compassionate, caring, helpful, and willing to do the right thing. She desired to do all that was required of her…and then some.
Rebekah grew up in a home where her parents believed in Jehovah God. She was spirited and remained morally pure. Her family had many servants but she was not treated like a princess. She was raised to work hard and had heavy chores, including drawing water from the well to meet the needs of her family every day.
This wasn’t like getting a few glasses of water. There were 10 camels. Each camel could easily drink 25 gallons of water. Imagine having to draw out and carry 250 gallons of water in the hot sun!
What does her act of service reveal about her character?
One can conclude that she was not above hard work. She was generous, patient, kind, resourceful, hospitable, and very strong! Her “and then some” act of service was an answer to the servant’s prayer. While she fulfilled her duty (and then some), God was about to fulfill her destiny.
How could Rebekah have known that her extra-mile attitude would give her a place in the lineage of Jesus? She would not only become the bride of Isaac and mother of Jacob, but she would also become the grandmother of the leaders of the 12 tribes of Israel. Rebekah’s story in the Bible began with an act of service.
Her family gave a prophetic blessing to her before she left, words that would be fulfilled. “And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.”
Have you ever been in a situation where life doesn’t seem fair?
It is easy to look around and compare our lives to others. It is easy to think, “why them and not me? ” But God.
Remember it is during those journeys that you don’t see the whole picture. But God can. He chooses what is best for you and that may look different from what He chooses for someone else.
“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
What did we learn about Rebekah?
She was selected by God for Isaac. She was a beautiful woman of faith, willing to leave her home to live in the Promised Land, all while believing in the promises of God. She was eager to show hospitality, industrious, humble, and showed much strength.
It takes a woman who is strong in the Lord to wait and to trust through years of unanswered prayers. We should turn toward God, not away, in our moments of spiritual crisis.
“So we fix our eyes, not on what is seen, but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. ” 2 Corinthians 4:18
When extraordinary things happen, it is not by chance but by God. He always takes care of you.
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
The next time you have an opportunity to serve, remember Rebekah’s story and go beyond what is expected.
Lord, thank you for Rebekah’s example. Help me to go the extra mile for others, to be willing to serve. Help me to do more than what is expected of me. Give me the desire to recognize and to be kind to strangers that you place in my life. Help me to see others through Your eyes. Thank you for caring for each detail of my life.