Rebekah ~ Tests of Faith
“And Rebekah said, “I am weary of my life.’” ~ Genesis 27:46
Each day when we awaken, none of us know what the course of our day will bring. This happened to Rebekah. Coming to the well to draw water was just like any other day, but this time her life would take a turn. She was to start on her journey to become the bride of Isaac, one who would be the wife of the man of promises, that of great nations, that of as descendants that could not even be numbered, as many as the sands of the sea. But she didn’t know that when she awakened that morning to do her daily routine. In the same vein, if we live in obedience to God every day, dealing with our ordinary daily routines, when our hearts and minds are yield to Him, God will also come for us at the appointed time to bring us to the wedding supper. If we are doing our part, being “diligent, ready, willing to perform the spiritual tasks that God requires of us, allowing God to guide our lives, we never know what wonderful things lay in store.
We, like Rebekah will be tested along the way, perhaps in the same way, perhaps in others. What were some of her tests of faith on her journey?
Test #1 – Leaving All
“Every healthy marriage involves “leaving and cleaving,” and it was no different for Rebekah. After a bittersweet farewell to her family and a long journey through the desert, Rebekah caught the first glimpse of Isaac, her husband-to-be. He was in the fields that evening as her caravan moved slowly toward the end of the strenuous 500-mile trek from her home to his.” Pg 66
Spiritually, is not our life like Rebekah’s? We also need to forsake all our carnal, worldly ways in order to live a life that is separate from the world, to “run the race” Christ has set before us in order to be ready for His return and eventually the marriage supper of the Lamb. It isn’t an easy journey. We travel down roads unfamiliar. We are tested along the rugged hills and valleys, through sunny days but also tough, inclement weather at times along our spiritual journey. This was God’s will for physical Rebekah and God’s divine will for our lives. We have to remember, but God had never left Rebekah as she obeyed Him, and God will not leave you either, his precious chosen spiritual daughters. Be assured that at the end of our journey, we will meet our Husband to be to live a life of eternity with Him, chosen by the Father Himself.
Test #2 – Barrenness
“God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9), and God’s timing is not always our time. (Ecclesiastes 3:1) Isaac’s beautiful bride Rebekah had to learn these two lessons about God’s plans. You see, their marriage made in heaven had one flaw. Twenty years passed and there was no baby. No baby to love. No baby to love. No baby to continue the family line. No baby to stand as the flesh-and-blood testimony of God’s faithfulness to His promise. (Genesis 12:2). As God reports it, “she was barren.” (Genesis 25:21…and that was a test for Rebekah.” Pg 67
Consider what might have gone through Rebekah’s mind at this stage in her life. Why? That is a question we might ask after we have taken the vows to love, honor, and obey God, after we are given the promises of God in our life. It’s not easy, is it? God tests us, refines us with fire at times, only to purify us, as gold and silver is purified, but we can’t always see the end from the beginning. That’s where faith comes into play. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen. It is the hope of things to come.
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
“Consider how the heartache of barrenness is often handled today. Doctors are consulted. Parents are informed. Best friends are updated daily. Husbands can sometimes become the target of much anger, blaming, belittling, and criticism. Emotions can swing from shock to sorrow, from fear to panic. Arguments and complaints mixed with tears of discouragement and depression, can ring through homes where the happy blessing of children has been withheld.” Pg 67
“What word of advice would God’s couple, Rebekah and Isaac have for us today when our dreams are thwarted? In a word, pray. ‘Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife’ because she was barren, and the Lord granted His plea, and Rebekah, his wife conceived.” (Genesis 25:21) Pg 68
Have you ever pleaded with God in prayer for an answer that seemingly did not come when you desired it, but when it was God’s timing? Was God involved? Yes. God never left them. He was always with them on their journey, but He answers prayers in His own time, for His own purposes. Sometimes, we can’t always understand why until after many years, but we do know for certain that God’s love never leaves us. He is our Father and takes care of His children. No matter what your trouble is, God cares, and He cares deeply.
“For what are you waiting, dear one? Leave the desires of your heart with God through prayer and live each day in full contentment and confidence that your life – just as it is – is a part of God’s perfect plan and His perfect timing. With prayer you can enjoy God’s peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7…for one more day…for as many days as God’s plan and God’s timing takes!” Pg 68
Test #3 – A Problem Pregnancy
Rebekah’s faith was indeed tested, and both she and Isaac prayed for God’s intervention. Had prayers already been answered? Yes, God had blessed Abraham’s prayer for a wife for Isaac. He answered Isaac’s prayer for Rebekah to conceive after 20 years of waiting. Now, there was something new, a trial of Rebekah’s pregnancy. Something was wrong. She felt her twins struggling within her womb. If you have ever been with child, you know the discomfort it can have on your body during the last months of pregnancy with sleepless nights and pressure on your back, pelvic bones, etc., but this was not an ordinary pregnancy. She was in pain. She felt an unusual amount, as her twins struggled within her. Rebekah’s once again prayed to the Lord to find the solution. Yes, “feeling uneasy commotion in her body, she wondered, ‘If all is well, why am I like this?’” Did God answer her prayer once again? Yes.
What was God’s answer to Rebekah’s prayer concerning her problem pregnancy? God informed Rebekah that she carried within her twins and the prophecy concerning both their future fates.
“And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.” ~ Genesis 25:23
“Her twins would reverse the traditional roles of firstborn. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? So, what’s the big problem? Beloved, an entire book could be written on the pain Rebekah’s problem children brought to her heart, her marriage, and the world! We won’t go into depth about the lifelong conflict between Jacob and Esau, Rebekah’s twin sons. And time and space do not permit an in-depth discussion of Rebekah’s role in promoting the conflict between the two brothers. But here’s a list of the sorrows that soon became the constant atmosphere in Rebekah’s home-sweet-home.” Pg 70
Rebekah’s beautiful marriage and her hopes of a beautiful family life turned sour. Her own words declare her anguish – ‘I am weary of my life.” (Genesis 27:46)
~ Checkpoint on the Journey ~
“Rebekah exhibited her faith in God by praying to Him and inquiring of Him. When perplexed, disturbed, anxious, and distressed, she turned anxiety into asking. Why not make it your practice to do the same – to turn your anxiety into asking? Why not take your problems and struggles and routinely….
Go into the sanctuary of God (Psalm 73:17)
Spread out your case before the Lord (2 Kings 19:14),
And ask counsel at the Almighty’s throne. (Hebrews 4:16)?” Pg 71
We all struggle with life’s issues at times. Sometimes we can feel all alone in our battles. “If I were more Christian, perhaps trials would not encompass me much as they do.” Yes, we can be troubling our own hearts with sins we commit, but as we see from the countless stories of the women of God in the scriptures, they can be women of faith and God can continue to build faith with the struggles we encounter in life.
~Rebekah’s Message For Our Life Today ~
“Everyone struggles…and so did Rebekah. And every struggle is a test of our faith. We struggle I marriage, with finances, with health problems, with family members, in our career, in our job, with friends, and with temptation. Rebekah’s life certainly didn’t turn out as she wished! She failed too many ways as a wife and a mother, but through her remarkable life’s journey with its hills and valleys, you and I learn many life lessons.
1. Decisions must be guided by God’s Word.
2. Problems must be prayed over.
3. Marriage must be worked at.
4. Children must be raised without favoritism.
5. God must be trusted at all times.” Pg 73
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