Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Genesis 24:28-61

The young woman ran and told her mother’s household about these things. Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he hurried out to the man at the spring. As soon as he had seen the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her, he went out to the man and found him standing by the camels near the spring. “Come, you who are blessed by the LORD,” he said. “Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.” (Gen:24:28-31)

In today’s passage, Rebekah rushes to tell her family about the stranger she met at the well (much like the Samaritan woman at that other well, who ran to tell others about Jesus). Notice that her brother, Laban, quickly goes out to meet this man “As soon as he had seen the nose ring and bracelets on his sister’s arm...” I’m a little skeptical of Laban, only because I know how he will do business with Jacob later, but it does appear that his hospitality is motivated by the glitter of the gold! At any rate, he welcomes the servant into his home. And before the servant will even sit down to eat, he wants to take care of his master’s business, so he recounts the whole story to Laban.

I want to particularly review the charge that Abraham had given to the servant as he recounts it here in verses 39-41:

“Then I asked my master, ‘What if the woman will not come back with me?’

“He replied, ‘The LORD, before whom I have walked faithfully, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, so that you can get a wife for my son from my own clan and from my father’s family. You will be released from my oath if, when you go to my clan, they refuse to give her to you—then you will be released from my oath.’

See how this parallels the work of the Holy Spirit? He never forces His way into anyone’s life. He comes and woos us, draws us to Jesus, but He never forces us to believe. We have complete free will to either believe and receive or to reject His gift of salvation. And the servant is very direct with the proposal:

“Now if you will show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so I may know which way to turn.” (vs. 49)

At first it appears as if Laban and his father, Bethuel, are going to immediately obey:

Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the LORD; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the LORD has directed.” (vs. 50-51)

The servant brings out gifts for the whole family, and celebrates with a dinner. However, the next morning, when the servant is ready to head back to Abraham and Isaac with Rebekah, the family now tries to delay:

But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the young woman remain with us ten days or so; then you may go.” (vs. 55)

This is similar to the tactics Laban will use on Jacob. He appears to obey God’s plan, then does a last minute shift to delay. While our Bible says “ten days,” Jon Courson says that the indication is that they were asking for more - as much as ten months. It’s like the young man who, when pressed by Jesus to leave everything to follow Him, says “Let me first bury my father.” There should be no delay in doing what God has clearly called us to do (and in this instance, there was no doubt that God was in control)! While her family hesitates, Rebekah has no such hesitation. When asked what she wants to do, she immediately replies, “I will go.” (vs 58). Oh, that we would so quickly respond to God! I don’t know about you, but most of my responses of eventual submission and obedience have been preceded by LOTS of hesitation, and even some whining!!! I don’t know why He’s so patient with me, but I’m so very grateful!!!

Is God asking you to do something over which you are hesitating? Are you pleading for more time?? Take a leap of faith like Rebekah and trust Him to catch you! If He’s clearly calling, He will also equip you to not only obey but to accomplish what He’s called you to!

Tomorrow we’ll get to the best part of the story, when Isaac finally sees his bride! Don’t you love a good love story?


1 comment:

  1. These stories have been wonderful! I can't wait for Genesis again in BSF! This post hit me right where I needed it. I've been given an assignment today that I'm stalling on...no more! Time to get to it immediately and pray that the Lord will equip me! Thank you, Mom!