Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Genesis 24:59-67

Today’s story is so sweet! Truly we should be visualizing this as a movie right now! Yesterday we read how Rebekah’s family had tried to delay letting her go, but Rebekah, obviously sensing God’s call, immediately responded in obedience. So, her family reluctantly sends her, but does so with a blessing:

So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men. And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,
“Our sister, may you increase 
   to thousands upon thousands; 
may your offspring possess 
   the cities of their enemies.”
Then Rebekah and her attendants got ready and mounted the camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left. (Gen.24:59-61)

Look at this blessing. What a great model of prayer for our children. I’m sure they literally meant that they wanted her to have many children who would be successful in the world’s eyes. However, this is also a prayer we can and should prayer for our children and grandchildren with a spiritual application. In her study, The Patriarchs, Beth Moore asks her readers to rewrite this prayer in such a way. Thinking about my two daughters, Molly and Emmy, and my grandchildren, I wrote, “May many come to the LORD through your testimony and witness, and may they and you be victorious in your walk.” What would you write?

With that blessing from her family, Rebekah mounted the camel and went on her journey to meet and marry a man she had never laid eyes on! As Westerners, we cannot fathom such an arranged marriage, but this one had been arranged by God Himself! Beth Moore points out that this is the first marriage we get to witness in the line chosen for the Messiah, since Abraham and Sarah were already married when God called him. She reminds us that Abraham had specifically told the servant that this bride was not to be coerced into marriage. She was to come willingly. This shows a respect for women as something other than possessions! Let’s see what happens next!

Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?”

“He is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself. (vs. 62-65)

When we first see Isaac, we are told he was “meditating.” Because we are told that he “looked up” from this meditation, I have no doubt that he was actually praying - and probably expectantly as he awaited the return of the servant. Rebekah also looks up and sees Isaac. Are you hearing the swell of the music? When she learns that this man is, indeed, her intended husband, she immediately covers her face with a veil. She knows the value of mystery in a marriage! At the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton, I loved seeing her face veiled! It is just a precious thing to have that unveiling in the ceremony!

If we have any doubt that we can trust God to choose our mates, look at the ending:

Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. (vs. 66-67)

I had said at the beginning of our study of this chapter that we had previously not been told of Isaac’s grief over the death of his mother. Here, in a very simple, poignant sentence, we are told that he, indeed, had been grieving. This verse is so special to me, because it reminds me of my Emmy and her Nathan. When they had been dating about a year and a half, and were in their first year of college (Emmy at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Nathan at Berkeley), Nathan’s mother died unexpectedly at the age of 53 of a heart attack. It happened the week that they were home for spring break (and, amazingly, this was the ONLY spring break during their four years in college that they shared). I will never forget being at the hospital praying for Nathan’s mother, Susan, then seeing Nathan and his father huddled together after hearing that she had died. It still makes me cry! Emmy spent the next few days at Nathan’s side - they clung to each other - as the plans for the services we being made. She joined the family at the front of the church. I could see that the loss of his mother had completely cemented their relationship. for surely Nathan was comforted by Emmy. From then on, he grew increasingly protective of Emmy. It truly changed their relationship!

So, as I see Isaac taking Rebekah for his wife, it makes me cry, thinking of the loss he had felt, and how God gave him the perfect woman for him to move into his mother’s tent. I grew up with four sisters, then had two daughters, so it wasn’t until I had my first grandson, Beau, that I finally understood that whole mother-son relationship. It is completely different than the mother-daughter thing. I adore my girls more than anything, but when a boy tells you he loves you, it is so very special. Nathan and his mother were very close. When he was in high school and dating, he used to climb on her bed after a date and tell her all about it. She was an amazing woman! She had so much energy and had a great sense of humor. In fact, she and Emmy are VERY much alike! She has been greatly missed over these years, but I know that God provided Emmy as a comfort to Nathan - and just like Isaac felt about Rebekah, Nathan loves Emmy!

Beth Moore says we should look at precedent set by this marriage, which provides, "the ideal of parental blessing, prayer and the leadership of God, mutual consent, a draw of hearts toward one another, and a growing love that outlasts the romance of first sight."  It's the perfect blend of the spiritual with the romantic!  Yes, I believe God is a romantic!  And that is why I love this story!

1 comment:

  1. Ok. I'm in tears and I'm on my way to BSF share day so this is not a good thing! I'm going to be a mess!