Men & Women in the Word: Old Testament

Day 9: Rebekah

Genesis 24:1-67, Genesis 25:19-26, Psalm 37:23-24

 

To our modern ears, the story of Rebekah sounds a bit strange. The young woman meets a stranger by a well, gives the man and his camels some water, and before long she’s receiving a marriage proposal— though not from this stranger, exactly. He’s only a representative of her would-be father-in-law. But the strangest part of the story? She agrees to go with the servant and his camels to a place she’s never been and marry a man she’s never met.

This whole episode grates against much of what we believe about dating and courtship. Rebekah is given little information about Isaac—what he looks like, his personality type, his likes and dislikes. She doesn’t get to go on a series of blind dates. And she isn’t given a trial period to see if he’s a good fit for her. All she has is the servant’s word.

But that word is all that really matters. The camel-toting servant of Abraham tells Rebekah and her family that God has chosen her for Isaac. He then explains about Abraham’s charge, his own prayer on the journey, and the sign that Rebekah unwittingly gave him. It all starts smelling a lot like God’s plan. As Laban and Bethuel put it, “This is from the LORD; we have no choice in the matter” (Genesis 24:50). Only Rebekah does have a choice—to follow God’s direction or ignore it. Her father and her brother speak for her—”Rebekah is here in front of you. Take her and go, and let her be a wife for your master’s son, just as the LORD has spoken” (Genesis 24:51)—but the choice is still hers alone.

In faith, Rebekah decides to trust what she is hearing—to trust God. She leaves everything familiar behind. She follows a man she has just met to a place she’s never been, to meet another man she’s never met in order to become his bride. God took her faith and turned it into the story we know as the rest of the Bible. From Rebekah and Isaac came Jacob and Esau. From Jacob came the twelve tribes of Israel. And from that nation, from the line of Jacob, down through David, came Jesus, the Savior of the world.

You and I have much in common with Rebekah. If you’re a follower of Christ, then at some point someone gave you a message that demanded a response. That message was the gospel, and it required you to leave behind all that was familiar in order to commit yourself to a Man that, up until that point, you’d never met. But the God of Rebekah’s story is the God of ours as well. It is never a mistake to trust His Word. As we read the radical commands of Jesus in the Gospels, let us remember His words can be trusted. He knows the story He is writing, and He’s inviting us to be a part of it.

Written by John Greco