Rebekah wasn’t without equal. In fact, some of the stunts she pulled would get Mrs. Bennett waggin’ her finger! Nope, Rebekah didn’t always do right by her family. That is, if you consider tricking your dying husband, blatantly favoring one son over another, and cheating your firstborn out of his inherent blessing, wrong.
Who can blame her, though. It seemed to run in her family. Laban, her brother, was a trickster himself; using people to his own advantage without any consideration. No doubt Rebekah learned a thing or two from him and then passed her “gifting” on to her own son, Jacob, whose very name prophesies his future as a “supplanter“.
Well, after reading all about her in the latter chapters of Genesis, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to be on her bad side!
However, before we throw Rebekah under the camel, we need to remember that God divinely chose her to be Isaac’s wife and we all know the type of influence a wife can have over her husband.
Thankfully, Rebekah had many beautifully redeeming qualities; qualities that make me wish I would’ve known her personally.
–Led by the spirit. When Abraham’s servant was sent to find a wife for Isaac, he prayed that the Lord would lead him directly to the right woman. He had two very specific requests. She had to willingly give him a drink and offer to water his ten camels also. Rebekah, sensitive to God’s voice, came along and did exactly that. She gave this complete stranger water and… his camels as well. Her obedience to the Lord’s leading eventually led her to her husband! I wonder how many times I’ve missed out on God’s blessing because of my refusal to obey the Holy Spirit.
–Hard working. “Now when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw also for your camels until they have finished drinking.” Genesis 24: 20 Not only was she spirit led, but she was unafraid of hard work! Do you know how much water one camel drinks? Up to 30 gallons! Can you imagine drawing water for even one camel let alone ten? And all for a complete stranger! Talk about a hard day’s work. Rebekah went the extra mile for someone she wasn’t even acquainted with. Her admirable character shines through and inspires me to,well, in plain English, stop being so lazy!
– Unafraid of the future: When the time came for the servant to return to his master with Isaac’s future wife by his side,”They (her family) called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man? And she said,” I will go.” Wow! Rebekah didn’t even hesitate. She didn’t stall or contrive reasons to delay and remain in her comfortable, familiar home for a few more days despite the fact that her family tried to make her feel fearful. No. She saw how God answered the servant’s prayer. She knew this was the Lord’s will for her and by faith, she left everything and everyone she knew, to fulfill her God-given role as Isaac’s wife! Now that is inspiring! What if God called me and my family to leave our comfy home and go to a strange land to start all over again? Would I be as willing as Rebekah?
-Rebekah was virtuous: Rebekah was beautiful and she was a virgin. This shows that she was submissive to the cultural “rules” put in place to protect women from unruly men. She guarded her virginity and protected her virtue. Testifying to her impeccable standards we read the following verses in Genesis 24: “Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from the camel. She said to the servant, “Who is that man walking in the field to meet us?” And the servant said, “He is my master.” Then she took her veil and covered herself.” Genesis 24: 64-65. Amazing! She sees her future husband for the first time and feels compelled, not to flaunt her beauty, entice his senses or prove her worthiness, but to cover herself! This action screams humility, submission, reverence for God and respect for Isaac! So many times I’ve hoped in my appearance to gain affection. Not her. She hoped in the Lord!
She seems pretty amazing doesn’t she?
I don’t know what happened to her in her later years. I wrestle with how such an amazing woman could end up being so deceptive! This I do know, we all make mistakes, we all try to manipulate circumstances to our pleasure and we all hurt others. Thankfully, God is in the business of using flawed human beings to accomplish his divine purpose!
How is He using you? Better yet, are you a willing participant in His plan for your life?