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A Word To Women

Rebekah was a woman who showed early spiritual excellence but finished her life in a disappointing way – an example to follow early on and a warning not to let our spiritual walk drift in later years.

Abraham did not want his son, Isaac, to marry a Canaanite. He commissioned his faithful servant to seek a bride for Isaac among his kindred. This was an arranged marriage – but one that was arranged in heaven. The servant met Rebekah as she came to draw water from the well. Asked for “a little water”, she went the second mile, meeting not only his need but the needs of his camels also. Again, when asked about lodging at her father’s house, she displayed a generous spirit and ran to tell her family of their approaching guest. We may not have the outward beauty of Rebekah but we can have her inner beauty by spending less time in outward adornment and more on caring for “the hidden man of the heart … even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” (1 Peter 3:4)

Rebekah could not have imagined the far-reaching consequences of her encounter with Abraham’s servant at the well. Within less than twenty-four hours she was leaving home and family to travel many miles to meet and marry a man she did not know! Gifts were given by the servant and all agreed that the Lord had guided, and that Rebekah should go to be Isaac’s wife. However when Rebekah’s family tried to delay her departure the decision lay with Rebekah. “Will you go with this man?” Unequivocally she answered, “I will go.”
Isaac had gone out into the field to meditate at the end of the day. It was there he met his modest bride. A happy Christian marriage must have the Lord at its centre. Isaac and Rebekah began well and for many years continued to walk with the Lord. When their marriage remained childless, Isaac wisely prayed about the matter and the Lord answered. It was not an easy pregnancy and Rebekah sought help from the Lord. The Lord told her that she was having twins and that the oldest twin would serve the younger.

To this point Rebekah shines out as an example of a godly woman. She was ready to leave family and friends to follow the clear leading of the Lord. She was a faithful spouse to a praying husband. However the arrival of Rebekah’s sons seems to have brought division rather than joy, especially as the lads grew to adulthood. Esau and Jacob could not have been more different. Esau loved to be outside hunting. Jacob preferred to stay close to home. Isaac enjoyed eating the produce of Esau’s forays, while Rebekah enjoyed the company of Jacob. This favouritism led to heartache. Rebekah used her influence to trick Isaac into giving Jacob the patriarchal blessing. It was Esau’s by right, but Isaac seemed prepared to ignore that fact. Rebekah should surely have reminded Isaac, and failing that to have sought the Lord for His help and guidance. Instead Rebekah connived an elaborate plan. Jacob got the blessing but had to flee from home to preserve his life. He would be gone for many years and Rebekah would not enjoy his company again. To further add to her sorrow Esau married heathen wives. Rebekah fades from the pages of our Bibles a shadow of the vibrant young woman who began life so well. Let us take heed.

Mrs Olive Maxwell.