In HER Shoes – Rebekah Week 1 – Generosity to strangers

This week, we’ve started studying a new character in Mummy Meditations. We’ve had a great time studying Hagar and have learned loads about God’s care for those who are victims, abandoned, cast out or who have just given up hope. Rachel wrote a great final post in the series which I do really recommend you check out.

Now, we’re moving on to look at Rebekah. She’s actually a much more complex character than I initially realised, and I’m really looking forward to getting to grips with her situation and finding out what God wants to teach us through her. Don’t forget that you can join our Mummy Meditations Facebook Community to take part in the daily discussion.

Rebekah: Genesis 24

As it’s the first week, we looked at the first time we see Rebekah, in Genesis 24. Abraham insists that his son Isaac should marry a woman from his own clan, so he sends his servant to go and find a suitable bride.

I like the servant. He’s clearly a bit of a pessimist, worrying that the woman won’t come back with him, and taking ten camels with him to encourage the girl to agree to the marriage. But when he reaches the town of Nahor, he prays a very specific prayer, that the intended girl will reveal herself by not only offering him, the servant, a drink, but by offering to water his camels too.

God clearly hears his prayers, as Rebekah comes out and does exactly that, as described in our key verse, verse 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.’”

So what can we learn from Rebekah here?

Firstly, Rebekah ticks all the boxes in terms of Abraham’s request. She is from his family, a beautiful woman and a virgin. There’s no difficulty in terms of the legality, no barriers to the marriage.

Secondly, Rebekah is incredibly generous. Was she prompted by the Holy Spirit to offer to water the camels too? Almost certainly. She gives the servant a drink and then draws water for the 10 camels. Now, camels are thirsty creatures – so this was no mean feat!

She’s prepared to work hard for strangers, and her kindness is rewarded. Yet she does this, not for any reward, but out of generosity.

This makes me ask myself, where can I be more generous? Where can I serve people purely out of the generosity of my heart? Where can I go out of my way to serve others? Far too often, I fear I make the excuse of busy-ness, or of having my hands full with the children. I’m sure I’m not the only one!

As we go on to look at the rest of the story, we see Rebekah’s obedience and willingness to serve God. She accepts the nose ring and the golden bracelets and leads the servant to her father’s house. She later follows him back to Canaan to Isaac and marries Isaac.

Joining Abraham’s Line

Rebekah’s story here for me has echoes of Mary. She does not know what is expected of her, or what will be asked of her, but she is obedient. She serves, going above and beyond. She is an ideal bride for Isaac, whose offspring will be more numerous than the stars. In marrying Isaac, Rebekah becomes the woman whose children and descendants will become more numerous than the grains of sand. After studying Sarah, and previously, after studying Abraham’s patience, I think I have a greater understanding of what Rebekah was entering into when she agreed to marry Isaac.

I also love the last line of Chapter 24: So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. This was a marriage of true love, from a beginning that was rooted in prayer and obedience.

Looking forward

After this, it’s not such smooth sailing for Isaac and Rebekah, and she ends up making some terrible decisions with far-reaching consequences. Next week, Rachel will be leading the discussion in our Facebook group and writing up the post on her blog.

We’ll be looking at Genesis 25:21: Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.

I really hope you will join us.

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