Rebekah ~ Ready, Willing, and Able
This chapter begins with a discussion of the Godly characteristics of a single woman. Many of her qualities are a good example to us of a woman of valor (Proverbs 31). In the Bible account Isaac was nearing 40 years of age, and Abraham sent his trusted servant to find a wife for him to continue to carry on with the promises that God have given to him to be the father of many nations. What were the qualities that the servant looked for? What characteristics did Rebekah display, which can be embraced by our single women today?
Rebekah’s purity: She was a virgin No man had known her. (Genesis 24:16)
Rebekahs busyness: Rather than looking for a husband, languishing, moping, or mourning over the lack of one, Rebekah stayed busy serving her family and others. (Genesis 24:15-24)
Rebekahs hospitality: Her home was open to those who needed her care. (Genesis 24:25)
Rebekahs energy: Abundant energy is generally a sign of happiness, and Rebekahs happiness empowered her with energy enough to serve other people far beyond the minimum. Rebekah ministered to the maximum! pg 55-56
Before continuing, lets look at Gods plan for single women. God calls his special servants to a life of:
Purity: A single Christian woman is to remain holy both in body and spirit. 1 Corinthians 7:34
Ministry: A single Christian woman is to live her life in a way that reflects her complete dedication to God. As one who is unmarried, she has the privilege of undistracted service to God and caring for the things of the Lord. (I Corinthians 7:34) Every day a woman is single is another glorious day to serve God wholeheartedly and without distraction. Her singleness is a green light from God to go all out in service to others. (pg 56)
Checkpoint On The Journey
Is singleness a reality for you today dear woman of God? Although you may desired to be married, let not your longing slay your appetite for living.
Accept and thank God for what is given, not allowing the not given to spoil it. (pg 56)
We also find a Godly characteristic of Rebekah in her willingness to go. Abraham then sent his 85-year-old servant on a 500-mile journey, back to where his people lived to find a wife for his son. Rebekah was willing to go on that long journey to become Isaac’s wife upon being chosen by God. She followed the calling of God to move away from her family, just as Sarah followed Abraham wherever God was leading him. This is a characteristic of a Godly woman.
Lets consider Abrahams qualifications for a Godly wife:
She must not be a Canaanite. (Genesis 24:3) No, she wasn’t to be a wife of a godless people who might lead Isaac and his offspring away from the true God.
Do we struggle with the thought of marrying outside our own faith? God instructed His servants to marry within their own belief system, their own tribe, their own people. Marrying outside of Gods way of life invited strange idolatrous customs to enter into their households. Those who did not take devoting their life to God seriously suffered serious consequences.
She must be from among Abrahams own family. (Genesis 24:4)
She must be willing to follow his servant back to the land of Abraham and Isaac, a woman willing to forsake all – in faith for the glorious future God had ordained. (Genesis 24:5) (pg 57)
How would you describe your devotion to God? Are you willing to forsake the worldly ways (I John 2:16) and follow Gods calling to take up your cross and follow Him, no matter how long, no matter how difficult it may be?
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
~ Luke 9:23
As a woman of God, you have a powerful influence on those around you. One single match can be seen up to two miles away in complete darkness. How much are you allowing your light to shine at this point in your life?
Notice that Abrahams servant Eliezer spoke with God beforehand, entreating Him concerning His choice for Isaac,. Eliezer was not focused on outward appearance or material wealth, but only asked for Godly characteristics and stamina for her to be able to make the grueling 500-mile journey and to flourish in a difficult nomadic life.
Women of God, whats on your checklist?
Single or married, are you focusing on Godly characteristics, rather than on beauty or affluence? Pray about your desires and adjust your standards to match the qualities that God desires in women, not what the worlds call to modern feminism consists of. Degrees, high job status, and total independence are not what God holds in high esteem; rather He looks for a true servants heart and a meek and gentle spirit. He looks for your dependence on Him to make the facing of lifes challenges more fruitful.
“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”
~ I Peter 3:3-4
Imagine the want ad that Eliezer would write to find Isaacs new wife:
Wanted: The Ideal Wife
Must be physically strong and healthy,
energetic and able to work hard.
Must be friendly and industrious,
kind and compassionate,
generous and love to serve
and Devoted to God.
After Eliezers prayer to the Almighty, he sat down by a well at the time of day when the women of the town came to draw water. Weary from the long journey, he and his ten camels needed water to refresh and sustain them. A young woman came with a pitcher on her shoulder to the well and offered him a drink of water. Hospitality is one of the Godly characteristics of the Proverbs 31 woman. Not only did she offer Eliezer water to refresh him, she went on and watered all of his camels! No small chore to do for anyone, especially a stranger. How many draws of water from the well would you think she would have to perform to water ten camels? A camel can drink up to 25 gallons of water after a long journey! Yes, Rebekah went the extra mile in service to a stranger. Then rather than leaving the exhausted stranger, she serves yet again by inviting Abrahams servant Eliezer to her home to find rest after his long journey.
How much do we judge the other’s person’s character by our first impressions? Eliezer’s impression was definitely positive when it came to Rebekah. Yes, he noticed that she was willing to work with her hands, drawing water for him, as well as his camels, and she also came at the appointed time. Yes, she was on time! She didn’t drag her feet when the work was to be done. The Proverbs 31 woman works willingly with her hands. We see her rising up early to feed her servants! She had servants, why didn’t she have them wait on her first? I find this remarkable. Her attitude and willingness to do menial tasks.
“She rises also while it is yet night, and gives meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.”
~ Proverbs 31:15
We also see this in the case of Sarah. When the messengers came to recount the promises to Abraham, he asks Sarah to go ahead and make cakes for them. We don’t hear Sarah complaining, “Why are you asking me? We have servants? I’m the master!” No, we see her heart of servitude, just as we see with Rebekah.
“And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.”
~ Genesis 18:6
Checkpoint on the journey: Do you think hard work is degrading? Do you think hard work is to be done by other people, not you? Do you dread rolling up your sleeves and working hard on some necessary task? Here in God’s word God praises the enchanting Rebekah. So, if your are tempted to disdain your work, allow God’s thoughts about yet another remarkable – the Proverbs 31 woman – to correct your thinking. She “willingly works with her hands….she girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. Strength and honor are her clothing.” (Proverbs 31:13, 17, 25) God values women who work hard to serve Him, and the people He puts in their lives.” (pg 60)
“But I’m not strong. I have a disability. How can I strengthen my arms, when I’m weak?” you might ask. We might not have the physical strength to do hard labor, such as one who is aged, illness or debilitating disease, but our strength can be one of encouragement, support, a beautiful smile and being there for someone in distress. There are so many ways in which we can strengthen our arms to do even these things. A prayer of intercession made for someone, a card sent to someone sick in the hospital or a phone call is a menial task to some, but worth great wealth to God, and it will also mean more than you know to someone who is suffering through a difficult trial.
Willing To Go
When Eliezer states to her family the reason for his visit, to find a wife for Isaac, her parents ask if she might stay just a few more days (Genesis 24:55) with her family before leaving, but she said she would willingly go immediately (vs 58). Even though she would probably never see her family again, even though she did not have time to prepare, even though life would be stressful as a nomads wife, she willingly went with Eliezer to meet her new husband. That was an act of faith.
Take a serious inventory of your own life of faith. Is there any act of faith you are postponing even for just a few days? Any decision you are putting off? Any step of faith you are delaying? Waiting may be easier, but the harder path of true faith is the path to greater blessing. Delayed obedience is in actuality disobedience, and delayed action delays Gods blessing. Every step of faith is a giant step toward the center of Gods will, and Gods abundant blessings. (pg 63)
So, what can we learn from our first encounter with Rebekah? We can challenge our spiritual and physical lives whether we are ready, willing, and able to perform the work God puts before us. Let’s be ready and willing to receive the blessings God has for us as well for a job well done! :)
Next Chapter: Rebekah ~ Tests of Faith
To Read Previous Chapter Posts See Below:
Chapter 1 Eve ~ Remarkable Creation
Chapter 2 Sarah ~ First Steps in Faith
Chapter 3 Sarah ~ Advanced Steps in Faith
Chapter 4 Sarah ~ Rewards of Faith