Monday, March 10, 2014

Book 2 - Day 2 Rebekah

The women of the bible are interesting. I enjoy studying these women for their strength, their courage, their testimonies and the situations where each rose to the occasion before her.  Rebekah is a fascinating woman.  I find it intriguing how she would in full confidence go to marry a man she knows nothing about.  I find her servant’s heart admirable and her desire to seek the Lord encouraging.  Rebekah was hand chosen by God for Isaac; born and molded perfectly to fit his personality, body and spirit.  God had a plan for this young woman, for out of Rebekah’s son would bring a nation of the Lord’s people.
            In young Rebekah’s journey, her story begins with faith.  Faith in Abraham for his servant to bring back a wife, Eleazar’s faith to find the wife, Laban and Bethuel’s faith in God to send Rebekah to Isaac, and Rebekah’s faith to pack up and leave to an unknown land.  Our God desires our faith.  Rebekah mimics Abraham’s call to “leave your household and your father’s land to the land which I am giving to you.” Blindly Abraham goes and blindly Rebekah follows the promptings of the Lord.
            We first see Rebekah getting water for her family towards the cool of the evening.  Answering the call to serve, a stranger asks for a drink of water. She willingly gives the unknown man a drink from her jug and offers to feed his animals.  A servant’s heart God has given her, Rebekah generously gives of her time to a stranger.  This reminds me of Hebrews 13:2,Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it”, for in a sense, she was entertaining an angel.  Genesis 24:7, “…to your offspring I will give this land, he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there.”
            Rebekah, beautiful, young, a virgin, and a sweet servant, was God’s answer to Abraham’s prayer and Isaac’s broken heart from his mother’s death.  She willingly left her father’s house to meet the man she would marry.  I am sure exceedingly excited with anticipation for her future husband, Rebekah would indeed marry a man who loved her greatly, but she would also feel the heartache of a barren womb.
            Just as her mother-in-law before her, Rebekah would spend twenty years seeking, praying and believing for children.  I’m sure witnessing births, just as Sarah, Rebekah longed for a family of her own.  In the time deemed by God as right, this beautiful servant became pregnant.  Although exceptionally thrilled with the pregnancy, Rebekah is concerned with the “jostling” of the babies in her womb (Genesis 25:22).  And this is what I love about Rebekah the most, “So she went to inquire of the Lord.” (Genesis 25:22).  “The Lord said to her, ‘Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.’” (Genesis 25:23). Remember this bit of information, for it will come in handy when the “babies” are of age to receive Jacob’s blessing.
            The two boys could not be more different.  Esau, a hunter, mighty, strong and prideful, had his father’s favor for Isaac loved the game his son brought to him.  Jacob, a homebody, witted, secretive, schemer and manipulator, had his mother’s favor for he was the exact opposite of Esau.  Esau had also taken “foreigners” as his wives, Hittite women. Esau was a “worldly” man, who enjoyed the fruits of God’s bounty including women, food and self pleasures.  Remember, Esau was the one who sold his birthright for a bowl of soup.  His desire for immediate gratification reminds us he lacks self-control, the importance of his spiritual blessing and duties to his family.  His lack of self-control desired women his mother detested! “Then Rebekah said to Isaac, ‘I’m disgusted with living, because of these Hittite women.  If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women, like these, my life will not be worth living.”
            For Rebekah, yes, she favored Jacob, but remember what the Lord had told her regarding these two boys, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger that the other, and the older will serve the younger.” (Genesis 25:23). As Mary treasured all the things surrounding the birth of Christ in her heart, Rebekah treasured the Lord’s words and kept them in her heart.  I am sure she was reminded daily of Esau’s abrasive attitude toward the family.  I am sure Rebekah watched as Esau become more and more entrenched with the world around him. 
I believe after taking the women as his wives, Rebekah had had enough.           
            Encouraging a son to deceive his father is ungodly, but the circumstance around Esau receiving Jacob’s blessing and giving the “inheritance” to ungodly, pagan women was more than Rebekah could allow.  We all know the rest of the story, but the “deception” many portray Rebekah to play is somewhat unfair.  The Lord gave her a word of knowledge regarding the two men; the older would serve the younger.  Oddly, this seems a theme in the Old Testament.  Joseph received the same dream regarding his brothers bowing before him, while God chose David, the runt of the family to serve as King.  Moses was also the younger sibling who was called a friend of God and used to deliver his people from bondage and Jacob blessed the younger of Joseph’s two sons when he in turn blessed his own family.
            As Christian women, what can we digest from Rebekah?  I believe we are to walk by faith and not by sight, to obediently following the promptings of the Lord when asked to “go and tell” and train our children in the way they should go and when they are older, they will not depart from it.  Rebekah walked by faith, leaving her family in to the family of God’s chosen.  We except Christ as our Savior and leave the desires of the world for the desires of God’s heart.  As Christian women, we are pray as Rebekah and “inquire” of the Lord.  She knew something was different about the pregnancy and just as Hannah ran to the High Priest, Rebekah sought the Lord for answers.  When our hearts inquire of knowledge, we are to seek the Lord’s will and not our own.
            Rebekah’s story is one of service, prayer and hope.  She had a servant’s heart as we are to serve the Lord.  She was a barren woman, as many before her, but continued to pray to the Lord for a blessing.  Christian, we are to never give up hope, but be as the persistent widow in the Gospel of Luke, always seeking the Living God, his plan and purpose for our lives, treasuring all the Lord gives us in our hearts.  I pray her story blesses you today.  I pray you “inquire” of the Lord, seek his face, anoint him with your prayers, never give up hope for change in Christ and believe God will work out all things for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). 

Let us pray and “inquire” of the Living God, the same God Rebekah “inquired” of!

            I desire the heart of a servant.  I know my attitude should be the same as Christ’s for it is written, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:5-11).
            I pray to be quickly obedient and submissive to the plans and purpose you have for me.  May I be a loving wife who holds her husband with great esteem.  May I be a mother who will “inquire” of the Lord when questions arise with the children.  I pray to train them in the way they should go and when they are older, they will never depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
            I pray for the faith that can move mountains.  I pray to know you and the power of the Cross.  I pray to boldly stand for the Christian faith, no matter the persons present or the obstacles that appear in the way. I will treasure, as Mary and as Rebekah, all these things in my heart.  I thank you for listening to my prayers.  I thank you I can “inquire” of the Lord anytime I want, need and desire to spend time with my King.  In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray, Amen.

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