Saturday, October 1, 2016

Rebekah

Women of the Dawn
"Rebekah"

Key Scripture: Genesis 22:23: Chapter 24; 25:20-28; 26:7-8, 35; 27:5-15, 42-46; 28:5; 29:12; 35:8; 49:31; Romans 9:10.

Her Name Means: Her name probably means: "Loop" or "Tie."

Her Character: From the first scene in a setting of romance and wonder, we seem to sense the kindness of Rebekah's heart, to hear the music in her voice, and to see the grace of her emotions. At the same time, we know she is chaste, courteous, helpful, industrious, and trusting. No young woman in the Bible is so appealing.

Her Sorrow: That she was barren for the first 20 years of her married life, and that she would never see her favorite son, Jacob, again after he fled from his brother Esau.

Her Joy: That God had gone to extraordinary lengths to pursue her, to invite her to become part of His people and His promises. Mother of twins, Esau and Jacob.

Her Place in God's Divine Plan: As a young girl, God had invited Rebekah to play a vital role in the story of His people. Like Sarah, Rebekah would become a matriarch of God's people, and Like Sarah, her heart would divide itself between faith and doubt, believing that God's promise required intervention. Finding it difficult to rest in God's promise to be, she resorted to achieve it. Rebekah was assertive in a time when women were expected to be submissive. This quality helped her become Isaac's wife but caused trouble when she pushed one of her sons ahead of the other.

Her Story: It was that she came to the well, carrying her pitcher on her shoulder with other women, young and old, who had come to draw water. She took the well-worn trail to the town watering place. Though she was unaware of it, she was being observed by a meditative old man, (Eliezer) a stranger from far away, who stood with ten thirsty camels. He had just arrived from a long and tiresome trek from Canaan, home of his master, Abraham. He had been given the responsibility of choosing a wife for his master's son, Isaac. He had approached his task prayerfully and ask God for a sign to make the right choice. A young woman that would volunteer to give water to his thirsty camels after he ask for drink for himself would possess the traits of character he was looking for in a wife for his master's son. How little Rebekah knew of her high destiny that awaited her.

Rebekah must have had to make several trips in order to carry enough water to feed the thirsty camels. Eliezer watched in silence, believing all the more in God's goodness. Before asking who her kindred were, he rewarded her with an earring and two bracelets, all of heavy gold. Then he asks, "Whose daughter art thou, I pray thee, is there room in thy father's house to lodge in?" Rebekah told him that she was the daughter of Bethuel, whom the servant knew to be his master's nephew.
After Eliezer explained to Rebekah's family, the purpose of his visit, he gave lavish gifts to her family. Rebekah learned that her future husband, Isaac, was her second cousin, and Heir to his father's large amount of wealth. But greater than that was the fact that God has established His covenant with Abraham and his son Isaac, and Rebekah would be a participant in the covenant.

When her family ask "Wilt thou go with this man?" She replied without hesitancy "I will go." After a long trek home as they approached Damascus, they passed a field with a man walking who looked to be a holy man who appeared to be in meditation. After Abraham's steward explained all that had taken place on the journey, Isaac took Rebekah into his mother's tent. A sacred place to him and she became his wife. Isaac rejoiced when he saw in Rebekah, a reflection of the endearing qualities of his beloved mother Sarah. And he loved Rebekah very much. Rebekah and Isaac's marriage was the first monogamous marriage on record.

Isaac was now forty, and we can assume Rebekah was some 20 years younger. Her husband was a wealthy man and we can assume these were satisfying years for Rebekah. There is little record of her life during the 20 years after her marriage to the birth of twins. Only one blessing was lacking in Rebekah's life. She had not conceived. Like her mother-in-law Sarah, Rebekah was also barren. Isaac prayed to God and Rebekah conceived twins. The Lord told Rebekah what would happen to her sons

"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 25:24, NIV)

"And the children struggled together within her; and she said, if it be so, why am I thus?" and she went to enquire of the Lord." Genesis 25:22 This is the first recorded instance of a woman's immediate appeal to God.

They named the twins Esau and Jacob. Esau was more material minded and his father's favorite and Jacob was more spiritual minded and his mother's favorite. There are no actual historical details recorded, but we can be sure that Rebekah pondered deeply over her son's destiny. When the boys grew up, Jacob tricked his older brother into selling his birthright for a bowl of stew. Later, as Isaac was dying and his eyesight had failed, Rebekah helped Jacob deceive Isaac into blessing him instead of Esau. She put goatskins on Jacob's hands and neck to imitate Esau's hairy skin. When Isaac touched it, he blessed Jacob, thinking it was really Esau.

Though her actions were indefensible, her motive was pure. Rebekah did not falter in her purpose. She saw her blind husband prayerfully bestow on her favorite son, Jacob, the blessing which never could be revoked. When Esau learned what had been done by his mother and brother, he threatened to kill his brother. Rebekah must now suffer her wrong. She must give up what she loved the most. Her son Jacob. Rebekah's deception caused strife between Esau and Jacob. Many years later, however, Esau forgave Jacob.

An old woman now, Rebekah bade her beloved Jacob good-bye as he left with her brother Laban for Mesopotamia. Rebekah would never see Jacob again. More than 20 years would pass before Jacob returned. Rebekah would spend her last years with Esau who would always remember his mother's part in deceiving him and she and Isaac both would grieve over the actions of Esau's two Hittite wives. When Jacob returned, his mother would be sleeping by the side of Abraham and Sarah.

Rebekah's Accomplishments: Rebekah married Isaac, one of the patriarchs of the Jewish nation. She bore two sons (Esau & Jacob) One who became a leader of nations.

Rebekah's Strengths: Rebekah was assertive and fought for what she believed was right.

Rebekah's Weaknesses: Rebekah sometimes thought God needed her help. She favored Jacob over Esau and helped Jacob deceive Isaac. Her trickery led to a split between the brothers that has caused turmoil to this day.

Lesson We Can Learn from Her Legacy: Impatience and lack of trust made Rebekah interfere with God's plan. She did not consider the consequences of her action. When we step out of God's timing, we can sometimes cause a disaster we have to live with. God's faithfulness, despite our waywardness, is evident both throughout Scripture and throughout our lives. He still promises that He will be faithful.  "Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keeps his commands." Deuteronomy 7:9

Hometown: Haran
Occupation: Wife, mother, homemaker.
Family Tree:
Grandparents - Nahor, Milcah.
Father. Bethuel.
Husband - Isaac
Sons - Esau and Jacob
Brother - Leban
Death: When Rebekah died, she was buried in the family tomb, a cave near Mamre in Canaan, the resting place of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, and her daughter-in-law Leah.

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Jo