Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Women of the Bible: Rebekah


Genesis 24:58 And they called Rebekah and said to her, "Will you go with this man?" She said, "I will go."

Romans 9:10-12  And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls-- she was told, "The older will serve the younger."

Rebekah was the one whom God appointed for his servant Isaac for she was the one who met the requirement of Abraham servant’s proposal to God. Rebekah among all the daughters of the men of the city was the one who was advanced in kindness than all the other females who came to the well. She was the only princess who said to Abraham’s servant, “Drink and I will feed your camels also.” This sweet feminine spirit is of an unusual kind for she not only cares for the condition of the man but also of the animals. She loved all of God's creation and would not bid them to go thirsty.

We read of Rebekah like we read about Sarah that she was very beautiful in appearance, a maiden whom no man had known. Here we behold her feminine purity, saving herself to the man whom God has appointed for her. Her waiting was not in vain but was met with the highest of blessings in the sense that she was to marry the Son of whose father the Hittites called the prince of God and to whom God had chosen to bless the nations and through whose loins the Messiah will come.

Rebekah was to have her Isaac and all this she knew not - for she was about her task faithfully, fulfilling her father’s wishes to go by the well and draw water. Little did beautiful Rebekah know that omnipotent hands was shaping her destiny, fashioning her future for her highest good. Rebekah, engaging in her regular routine was to be blessed by a servant of Abraham who will change her life forever. O daughters of Eve, do not grow weary of your daily task, be faithful and kind in your doings like attractive Rebekah; and who knows what sovereign hands may have in store for you. Sovereign hands may have prepared for you your Isaac, He may have for you the open door which will change your life forever - O just be faithful in your duty - be pure in your living and diligently follow that sweet law of Christ which bids you not to lust after a man in your heart - lust not but seek God and his Christ.

In this early encounter with Isaac’s wife discoverer, we discover that Rebekah is a woman of great hospitality. She would not deny a stranger a place in her Father's house; she would welcome the sojourner and not look him with an awful eye but with warmth and hospitality. Rebekah ran home with a feminine delight at the news of a holy matrimony which will soon commence; like the women at the well with meek Jesus, she left her water jar for the message heard was far too sweet to be weighed down with an earthly burden.

It was finally time for Rebekah to leave her Father's house having spent her entire life there. She knew the mandate of marriage that a Man must leave his Father and his Mother and hold fast to his wife. Happy Rebekah was not hesitant to the working of the Lord and knew that all this God had appointed for her so she delayed not in her uniting with Isaac.

It was now time for Rebekah to meet Isaac and before their eyes meet we hear of Isaac that he went out to meditate. O what a godly man, a man who meditates on God, what a catch this is for Rebekah that she found a man who loves God. Isaac was not prying because he knew that they would arrive at this hour but he was a genuine seeker of God - he loved those divine exercises by which we converse with God and with our own hearts.

When Rebekah saw Isaac she dismounted from the camel and took her veil and covered herself. Rebekah behaved very decently not being overwhelmed to charm Isaac with her beauty because she knew of his wealth, but she covered her face. Her actions are a token of humility, modesty and subjection. Her beauty, courtesy, willing consent, modesty, all made her deservedly attractive, and secured Isaac's love at once and permanently. Look how different she is to Adah and Zillah who openly displayed their scenic feminine figure in order to gain the love of a man, but stunning Rebekah would not have it so. She would have Isaac to love her because He loves her. He would have her see that beautiful quiet spirit which is precious in God’s sight. Although later in their marriage march, Rebekah’s beauty tempted Isaac when in Gerar, through fear of being killed for Rebekah's sake, to say she was his sister. All compromises of truth, through fear of man, bring their own punishment.

They were brought together at last and poor Isaac having much affection for his dead mother (Sarah) was now only comforted by Rebekah. Isaac had lost his queen but now he has gained a princess. God gave Isaac a cross with the passing of his mother and a comfort with the marriage to Rebekah. O daughters of Eve, God has always for you a comfort, your beloved Isaac who is Christ. To him you may come any time, at any hour, only veil your face, yes come in humility, in modesty and in subjection and look how Christ will embrace you bringing you to His Father's tent and comfort you with his blood which washes away all of your impurities and makes them white as snow.

What a treasure Rebekah found in Isaac - she was his wife and Isaac loved her - He loved her so much that she was the only satisfaction that could heal his mourning heart. His heart had bled so long for the passing of his mother but here now is the salve to soothe it - to stop this bleeding and replace it with the life that has been lost. O daughters of Eve, I pray that you may be a Rebekah to your husbands that they may love you and you may be to them better than the finest gold and the choicest silver.

Rebekah was barren and in conceiving was to be one of her greatest ailments and undoing because she loved one over the other in such a great measure that she forsook the training of one only to focus her motherly maternity on the child of her heart.  This is a warning to all Mothers and to those desiring to be Mothers, for was it not the wives of the un-loved son who made life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah. They made it so extremely bitter like drinking vinegar and gall that poor Rebekah loathed her own existence and forbade her beloved Son to marry from the tribe to which these untrained wives descend.

Rebekah loved Jacob and hated Esau so much so that she exerted all of her womanly strength and cunningness to take away his blessings and have it bestowed on the child of her heart to whom the divine voice long ago uttered to her that the older will serve the younger.  Before they were born she was told this in answer to her inquiry of the Lord and as the apostle to the gentiles will later unfold to us in Rom_9:10-12, that this happened according to the "the purpose of God, according to election, not of works but of Him that calleth," inasmuch as it was when “neither had done any good or evil.”

When it was time for a Father to bless his first born Son and grant him his blessings and give him all his properties, housewife Rebekah was present and listening to Isaac’s demand to Esau before He would bless him. Rebekah remembering the divine prophecy made known to her in her prayers and the tently motherly discussion between her and her beloved Son Jacob about Esau selling him his birthright, crafty Rebekah acted smoothly and decisively. She called her Son and instructed him to act deceitfully in order to gain the blessings. Here we see Rebekah’s unbelief for her blindness to the power of God to fulfill his promise in a holy way is compromised for she did evil that good might come. But God in his Sovereign ways works all for good to fulfill his unchangeable purposes.

Such methods of deceitful Rebekah are not spoken well of in scripture and wives are to flee from such a method as far as the east is from the west. But we all have our dark spots, we all have our shades of grey, we all have those impenitent sins which old age or history will bring to light. Some Mothers do have their Jacob’s and their Esau’s but you will do well daughters of Eve if you exert your motherly love to both your children in equal measure, purging what is bad in them and pruning what is good in them.

O poor Rebekah to have raised a son like Esau who wanted to kill your beloved Abel. Esau was almost a Cain and if not for wise Rebekah’s quick thinking, Jacob’s blood would soon be speaking from the ground, and how broken hearted Rebekah would have been. For she was broken hearted when she send Jacob away to find a wife and escape the wrath of her ungodly son, she knew not that she was sending him away from her forever and thus she brought on herself by the one great sin the loss of her favourite’s presence for the rest of her life, for she was not alive when Jacob returned, Isaac alone survived. Rebekah was buried in the same tomb as Abraham, Sarah and Isaac.

K.Oni

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