Rebekah’s story begins in Genesis 24 when she is chosen as a bride for Abraham’s son, Isaac. Theirs is one of the most well-known love stories in the Bible. It is an example of how all relationships should be – brought about and blessed by the hands of God. However, even though Rebekah was a beautiful woman, and Isaac loved her, their marriage was not without some problems. When they were in old age, and their two sons grown, Rebekah helped the youngest son, Jacob, deceive Isaac and stole his brother’s blessing. What can we learn from this considerate, Godly woman who was not without her flaws?
1. Rebekah was a kind person who cared for humans and animals alike. When Abraham sent his trusty servant to find a wife for his son, Isaac, the servant asked God to send a sign that the girl he chose would be the right one. The servant waited by a well of water with his camels until the time when the women of the city came out to fill their pitchers. When Rebekah arrived at the well, the servant asked her to let him have a drink of water. Rebekah readily gave him a drink and then proceeded to draw water for all his camels to drink too.
There was no way Rebekah could have known that this was the sign the servant had asked for. Rebekah could have just given the servant a drink of water and forgot about the camels. The fact that Rebekah went the extra mile shows she had a heart full of genuine kindness. She did not just think about herself. She did not give the water because she knew she would get a husband if she did. Rebekah gave without expecting anything in return for her kindness.
In every way that we can, we should show kindness too. We should give, not to get; but because we have an authentic love for God and His creation – people, animals, and nature.
Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” As Jesus followers, we have a duty to be kind, to love, to care, to show concern for the wellbeing of others. When you lend a hand, you can never know just who you are helping up – perhaps an angel, perhaps your future husband 🙂
2. Rebekah showed trust in God. The Bible gives no indication that Rebekah was sitting around her parents house moping that she was still a single lady, complaining about her current situation, and wasting time wondering when she would have a guy of her own. When Abraham’s servant finally did come along, Rebekah was ready to make the right choice.
It’s obvious that Rebekah was close to God to know without any doubt that agreeing to be Isaac’s wife was His plan for her life. Hello? The two had never even met before. There was no such thing as Skype or Snapchat in those days. And it’s not like the servant had a Polaroid picture to show Rebekah what Isaac looked like. Rebekah showed great trust in God by making the decision to follow the servant back to Abraham’s home and become a bride.
The closer we get to God, the easier it will be for us to make the right life decisions. When we trust God, we will be content just seeing one puzzle piece because we know that He sees the entire picture. We may only see the first stair, but God sees the whole staircase.
If we are willing to walk by faith, God will be with us each step of our journey. He has our best interests at heart. He will never lead us astray.
In all things – family, friends, school, money, and relationships – we must trust God like Rebekah did. Do you want to have devoted friends for life? Trust God to give you some. Do you want to have academic success? Trust God to help you succeed. Do you want to have a beautiful love story? Trust God. He writes the best ones.
3. Rebekah tragically thought that God needed her help. Later in life, despite her kind heart and trust in God, Rebekah made a bad decision based in deceit and trickery. When she was pregnant with twins, Rebekah wondered why the two unborn children struggled together inside of her. According to Genesis 25:23, God told her, “Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger.”
Soon, Rebekah did give birth to twins. The oldest, Esau, was big, hairy, a skillful hunter and Isaac’s favorite son. The youngest, Jacob, was smooth-skinned, mild-mannered, a fantastic stew-cooker and Rebekah’s favorite son. When the boys grew up, and Isaac began to lose his eyesight because of his old age, Rebekah helped Jacob deceive Isaac into blessing him instead of Esau.
What Rebekah did was wrong and caused the brothers to hate one another for many long years. Even to this day, problems still exist between the two nations that came from Esau and Jacob because of their mother’s deception.
God had already told Rebekah that the younger twin would be over the oldest one. Maybe Rebekah thought God had forgotten His words. Maybe she got impatient, started to think God was taking too long in raising up Jacob, and decided to start making things happen her way. God did not need Rebekah’s help in bringing His word to pass. And He does not need our help either.
When we become edgy waiting on God’s timing and jump ahead of His plans, we will be left to live with the negative consequences that come with doing things on our own. Keep calm and wait on God. Rarely does He move when we think He should or when we want Him to, but God always moves on time.
Image credit: Ben Heys, Entertainment Mesh