Rebekah was chosen to become the wife of Isaac. She was also chosen to become the mother of two distinctive nations. A promise that will continue the legacy that God has promised Abraham and Sarah. But there are choices she made for her children that somewhat relatable for our own decisions these days.
Let us find out how Rebekah is People Just Like You.
Rebekah’s Back story
Abram (later called Abraham for he will become the father of a multitude of nations) went to the land that God has promised to show him. This promise was followed by blessings from God.
Abram took his wife Sarai (later called Sarah for she will become the mother of nations), his nephew Lot, all his possessions and the people they acquired while they were staying in Harran. They went on a journey to the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
After some time, there was a famine in the land so Abram went to Egypt to live for a while for the famine was severe. After the incident about his wife with Pharaoh in Egypt and to king Abimelek in Gerar, Abram became rich and gained riches and flocks. Then he continued to move from one place to another. Despite the promise of the Lord to make Abram become a great nation, Sarai remained childless.
So they made a mistake of choosing to take control and Sarai gave her servant Hagar to Abram. The servant conceived and gave birth to Ishmael. But the Lord had promised them more than what they knew possible.
In their old age, the Lord talked to Abraham and said that Sarah will get pregnant. He laughed and was not convinced that Sarah can still conceive in her old age. But the Lord had promised that she will be pregnant and they will call the child Isaac (which means laughter, because they laugh at the thought of being pregnant in old age).
Now Sarah got pregnant and bore Abraham a son. They certainly named the child Isaac and he was loved dearly by his parents. One time, God tested Abraham’s faith and asked him to sacrifice his only son. Abraham did not hesitate and did what the Lord had said and before he touched Isaac with the sword, God provided a ram in exchange for the son. Isaac was spared because of Abraham’s faithfulness.
Sarah died and Abraham was old. He wanted Isaac to marry a woman from their clan so he sent his servant away from the Canaanites and take someone back from his hometown.
God chose the perfect woman for Isaac, a girl from Abraham’s clan named Rebekah. And from her came two great nations that will continue the legacy of Abraham.
see the full story of Rebekah in the Bible:
see the full story of Abraham and Sarah in the Bible:
Abraham was now very old, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had,
“Put your hand under my thigh. I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.”
The servant asked Abraham what he will do if the woman won’t come back with him. Shall he take Isaac back to the country he came from? Abraham said to make sure not to take Isaac back there. For he was promised by the Lord that he will be given a great nation if he stayed in the promised land of Canaan.
And if the woman for Isaac will not go with the servant, then he will be released by the oath. So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.
“Rebekah gave a stranger and his camels a drink.”
Then the servant left with ten of his master’s camels loaded with all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim and made his way to the town of Nahor. In the evening, he had the camels kneel near the well outside the town. It was the time the women go out to draw water.
12 Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. 14 May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”Genesis 24
Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was very beautiful, a virgin. A suitable partner for his master. Rebekah went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again.
The servant ran towards her and asked for a little water from her jar.
18 “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink.
19 After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.”
She quickly lowered the jar and gave him a drink. After she had given him a drink, she drew water for his camels and quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran and fetched more water and did so until they have had enough to drink.
(We can clearly see here that Rebekah is kind and courteous. She knows when a person needs something and she has a heart of a servant.)
Without saying a word, the man wondered whether or not the Lord has made his journey successful. When the camels finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring and two gold bracelets.
23 Then he asked, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”Genesis 24
She answered she was the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milkah bore to Nahor. And she added they have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for them to spend the night.
Then the man bowed down and worshipped the Lord.
27 saying, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”Genesis 24
“Rebekah trusted the servant of Abraham.”
Rebekah rushed back home to tell her family about these things. Now she had a brother named Laban, and as soon as he saw the ring and bracelets, he hurried out to the man at the spring. He prepared the house and invited them in.
They unloaded the camels, handed him and his men water to wash their feet, and the food was set before him. But the man said he will not eat until he has told them what he has to say.
He told them he was a servant of his master Abraham. That his master became wealthy and his wife Sarah bore him a son. Now Abraham was old and want a wife for his son Isaac. But he wanted a woman suitable for Isaac from his family and to his own clan. So he sent him on a journey and ended up in the spring that same day.
Then he told them about his specific prayer to the Lord.
If a young woman comes out to draw water and asked her for a drink, and she says to him “Drink, I’ll draw water for your camels too”, then she’ll be the one the Lord has chosen for his master’s son. Then the servant asked her whose daughter she was and she said that she was the daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milkah bore to him.
He then put the ring on her nose and two bracelets on her arms, and he bowed down to worship the Lord, the God of his master Abraham because He led him to the right road to get the granddaughter of Abraham’s brother for his son.
50 Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. 51 Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.”Genesis 24
Abraham’s servant brought out gold and silver jewellery and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother. Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there. The next day, he asked to send him on his way to his master. They tried to delay their journey for ten days or so.
56 But he said to them, “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.”
Then he asked if Rebekah will go with this man. She said, “I will go.”
59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,Genesis 24
“Our sister, may you increase
to thousands upon thousands;
may your offspring possess
the cities of their enemies.”
Rebekah and her attendants got ready and mounted the camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
“Rebekah waited patiently for a child.”
Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. One evening, he went out to the field to meditate. As he looked up, he saw camels approaching. Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got out of the camel and asked the servant who was the man in the field coming to meet them. He told her he was his master, Isaac. And she covered herself in a veil.
The servant told Isaac all he had done. Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
Abraham died in a good old age. His sons Ishmael and Isaac buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron. He was buried with his wife.
Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah. He prayed to the Lord on behalf of Rebekah, for she was childless. She waited patiently until the Lord granted their wish.
After twenty years, the Lord answered his prayer and she became pregnant.
23 The Lord said to her,Genesis 25
“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.”
Indeed, Rebekah gave birth to a twin. The first came out red and hairy so they named him Esau. After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heels, so they called him Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.
“Rebekah took action for herself.”
The boys grew up with their own different personalities. Esau was a skilful hunter, a man of the open country. Jacob was content in staying at home among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
One day, Esau came home from hunting and was famished. Fortunately, Jacob was cooking some stew.
He said to Jacob,
“Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!”
Jacob took the opportunity to take Esau’s birthright in exchange for the stew. Esau said, “What good is the birthright to me?” But Jacob was adamant and made his brother swore an oath to him selling his birthright.
Then Jacob gave his brother some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drunk, and got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.
When Esau was forty years old, he married daughters of the Hittites, people who worshipped pagan gods and was despised by God. They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.
After some time, Abraham was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see. He called for Esau and asked him to go to the open country to hunt some wild game for him, prepare the kind of food he liked and bring it to him to eat so that he will give Esau his blessing before he dies.
Rebekah was listening to their conversation in secret. After Esau went out to the open country to hunt, she rushed to Jacob and told him about this.
“Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, 7 ‘Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the Lord before I die.’ 8 Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you: 9 Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it. 10 Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies.”Genesis 27
Jacob was doubtful about this plan. He was afraid that Isaac would find out he was bluffing and instead of a blessing, he would bring a curse on himself. But she said let the curse fall on her.
13 His mother said to him, “My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me.”Genesis 27
Rebekah prepared some tasty food from the flocks Jacob brought, just the way his father liked it. Then she disguised Jacob with Esau’s best clothes. She also covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with the goatskins. Then she handed Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made for Isaac.
When Jacob went to his father’s presence, he said he was Esau and have come to give him food and finally get his blessings. Isaac had his doubts because the voice was Jacob’s but his skin was that of Esau. However, he ate the food that Jacob brought and drank the wine. He asked his son to come closer and kiss him.
27 So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said,Genesis 27
“Ah, the smell of my son
is like the smell of a field
that the Lord has blessed.
28 May God give you heaven’s dew
and earth’s richness—
an abundance of grain and new wine.
29 May nations serve you
and peoples bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.
May those who curse you be cursed
and those who bless you be blessed.”
After Isaac finished blessing him, and Jacob barely even get out of the room, Esau came in from hunting. He too prepared something for his father to eat. Isaac was confused and asked who was it then the first one to come and received the blessing for his firstborn? He already ate and blessed him – and indeed he was blessed.
Esau was furious and burst out a bitter cry and asked his father for another blessing. Then Isaac realized it was Jacob who came deceitfully and took his blessing. Esau begged for another blessing.
39 His father Isaac answered him,Genesis 27
“Your dwelling will be
away from the earth’s richness,
away from the dew of heaven above.
40 You will live by the sword
and you will serve your brother.
But when you grow restless,
you will throw his yoke
from off your neck.”
Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He wanted to kill his brother Jacob after the death of their father. But Rebekah heard of Esau’s plan.
“Rebekah sent her favorite son away.”
Rebekah told Jacob about this.
“Your brother Esau is planning to avenge himself by killing you. 43 Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee at once to my brother Laban in Harran. 44 Stay with him for a while until your brother’s fury subsides. 45 When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I’ll send word for you to come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”Genesis 27
She said that she was disgusted with the Hittite women and did not want her son Jacob to take a wife from the land. So Rebekah asked Jacob to bless him and send him away from the land of Canaan to find a wife for himself.
So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him:Genesis 28
“Do not marry a Canaanite woman. 2 Go at once to Paddan Aram, to the house of your mother’s father Bethuel. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. 3 May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. 4 May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now reside as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.”
5 Then Isaac sent Jacob on his way, and he went to Paddan Aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, who was the mother of Jacob and Esau.
Because of what Rebekah has done, she took the consequence of sending his son Jacob away and will not see him until she dies.
We Reflect on Rebekah because:
Rebekah is a woman of character.
She made a stranger drink from her jar even though she knew it would be hard to trust anyone who you don’t know. Rebekah even served the camels, even though she did not know what the servant had prayed for. She stood for what she knew was right and she was blessed. God knew her right before Abraham sent his servant to search for someone just like her.
Rebekah was patient.
Rather than questioning God why she remains without a child, she prayed with Isaac for years (according to the Bible, she got the answer for twenty years after their marriage). She was indeed blessed with not only one child but two and they were meant to be great nations.
But Rebekah also tried to take control.
Because God told her about the younger sibling overcoming the older one when she was still pregnant, she tried to take control of the situation. The day she heard that Isaac will give the blessing to Esau, she tricked him and made a decision for herself, not trusting that the Lord will make a way for his prophecy to come through.
We may not agree with Rebekah on this one but, most of the time, we take control of the situation that God has already planned for us.
You are already chosen.
Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love, He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,Ephesians 1:4-5
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;1 Peter 2:9
God will provide.
19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:19
31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.Luke 12:31
God is in control.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,Isaiah 55:8-9
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
3 he refreshes my soul.Psalm 23:3
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.Ecclesiastes 3:11
Sin has its consequences.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 6:23
We are made by our own choices. God is still in control, but everything we do will have an impact on the path that God has already laid before us.
Choose wisely and knowledgeable by the words of God because only His plan can lead us straight to His hands.
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