Rebekah and Isaac were a match made in heaven. Learn how a faithful servant prayed and trusted God to lead him to the right woman for his young master.
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A Wife for Isaac
Abraham was nearing the end of his life and sent his servant, “the oldest of his household,” in search of a wife for his son Isaac. Abraham made the servant promise that he would travel to Abraham’s homeland in search of a woman willing to pick up and leave everything she was familiar with to marry a man she’d never met.
No wonder the servant thought it wise to seek God’s guidance.
In Genesis 24:10-14 we read about his preparation for the journey and the prayer that led him to Rebekah:
”Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking all sorts of choice gifts from his master; and he arose and went to Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor. And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time when women go out to draw water. And he said, ‘O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Let the young woman to whom I shall say, “Please let down your jar that I may drink,” and who shall say, “Drink, and I will water your camels”—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master’” (ESV).
A Surprise for Rebekah
When Rebekah traveled to the well that day to draw water, I’m certain she didn’t expect the turn of events the Lord had in store for her.
We learn she was a gracious and generous woman. After all, it’s one thing to offer a stranger a drink. But to offer to draw enough water to satisfy ten thirsty camels as well? That definitely speaks to her character.
This scenario also reveals God’s grace. He chose to answer the servant’s specific prayer. The Lord assured the man he was on the right path as it were. Verse 21 says, “The man [Abraham’s servant] gazed at her in silence to learn whether the Lord had prospered his journey or not” (ESV).
As he was gazing at her, I wonder if he was just a little awestruck that his master’s God had answered so specifically.
Gifts for Rebekah
The servant gave Rebekah the gifts he had brought for Isaac’s future wife and asked whose household she belonged to. When she responded that she was a descendant of Nahor, the servant was overcome.
“The man bowed his head and worshiped the Lord and said, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his steadfast love and his faithfulness toward my master. As for me, the Lord has led me in the way to the house of my master’s kinsmen’” (Genesis 24:26-27 ESV).
Even though there was abundant evidence that the Lord had chosen Rebekah to become Isaac’s wife, the servant would be released from his vow if she refused to return to Canaan with him.
The man would present his case and to Rebekah’s family, who seemed pleased to send her on her way—after at least ten days. However, the servant didn’t want to delay any longer, and Rebekah’s family asked if she was willing to leave immediately—without having time to say goodbye to family and friends, without having time to learn more about the man she was going to marry, without having time to really think things through.
She simply said, “I will go” (Genesis 24:58 ESV).
Did she trust God’s plans and purposes for her life that much? Was she willing to walk in obedience even if she was uncertain what the future would hold? Was she as noble as the story seems to indicate?
If she really didn’t want to go, you would think she’d take those ten days to try and convince her family that she’d rather stay close to home and marry someone else.
What can we learn from Rebekah? In what ways should we seek to become just like her?
We ought to be willing to graciously meet the needs of those whose paths cross ours and we should be willing to do more than the bare minimum.
While it’s true that there are only so many hours in the day and we can only take on so much, when an opportunity to generously meet the needs of the person directly in our path presents itself, let’s seek to do so. And who knows what blessing the Lord is waiting to pour out as a result?
Watching for God’s Plan
We should keep our eyes open for God’s unfolding plan for our life.
Has the Lord ever blessed you in unexpected ways? One of my favourite evidences of this is when I went to Bible college, determined to prepare to serve the Lord and not find a husband. Long story short, God had other plans. I didn’t get a degree, but I did meet the man who would become my husband. (We have now been married over 35 years.)
Learning to Trust God
When the Lord’s involvement in our circumstances becomes evident, we must learn to trust Him.
We ought to be diligent students of God’s Word and develop relationships with others who also dive regularly into the Scriptures. In this way, we will be able to more readily recognize when the Lord is leading us on an unexpected adventure. Rebekah didn’t have access to God’s Word, but she could clearly see His hand guiding her steps.
And when it does become clear that the Lord is at work in our life …
While God commends those who study the Scriptures diligently, He also commends those who obey the commands He gives in its pages. We must be careful not to make excuses for failing to obey those directives that are clearly laid out. There will always be more to learn, but we are to live up to the truth we understand at any given time—in the Lord’s strength of course. If we didn’t need help, Jesus wouldn’t have needed to die to pay for our sin.
We ought to be willing to lay aside everything that’s familiar and comfortable in order to follow the path God sets before us.
This may be the most difficult aspect of the story. We’re willing to obey as long as it doesn’t take us too far out of comfort zone, as long as we can hold onto the people and situations we cherish, as long as God’s plans fit nicely into our own.
Will we, like Rebekah, put our trust in the Lord’s plans and purposes for us?
Today and in the days to come, may we keep watch for God’s unfolding plan for our life.
Images courtesy of:
Redhead – snicky2290
Camel – 8moments
Woman – wolferl
Woman in Harbour – Engin_Akyurt
Follow Me – Eliens
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Stephanie is a freelance writer and a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio. Read and hear more from Steph Nickel on the contributor’s page or at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests.
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