Friday, December 7, 2012

Jesse Tree Day 7 - Rebekah

Isaac went out in the evening to walk in the field; and looking up, he saw camels coming. And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she slipped quickly from the camel, and said to the servant, ‘Who is the man over there, walking in the field to meet us?’ The servant said, ‘It is my master.’ So she took her veil and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent. He took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.  -- Genesis 24:63-67

Ah, a story of love at first sight.  What could be more romantic?

Abraham had sent his servants out to find a wife for his son Isaac, but not among the locals in the surrounding area. No, the servant had to go all the way back to Nahor, Abraham's former home and where his brother's family still lived. To make a long story short, the servant found Rebekah, she agreed to marry Isaac, her father agreed to the match, and Rebekah and her companions (no way would a girl just go off with a stranger by herself, no matter whose servant he was!) set off to meet her bridegroom. It does seem, well, quite providential that the first man she lays eyes on at a distance happens to be the man she had agreed to marry. Evidently he liked her too. For a wedding, he took her to his mother's tent and that was that.

 It wasn't all smooth sailing for Rebekah. Unable to conceive for some time, when she did become pregnant she carried twins who, evidently, gave her great discomfort. That discomfort seemed to follow her once the twins were born, because the wrestling they had done in utero continued on once they were born and pretty much through their whole lives.

Rebekah was definitely a member of Abraham's family; she could engage with trickery as brazen as Abraham and Sarah had done when Abraham tried twice to pass off Sarah as his sister in order to save his own life. Isaac continued the practice when he did exactly the same thing with his wife. Rebekah used trickery to gain Isaac's inheritance for her favorite son, Jacob, an inheritance that should have gone to his elder brother, Esau. Those two used their own trickery but that's another story. Let's just say trickery seemed to run in the family. Still, there's nothing in the record that says Isaac took other wives although he might have. We are left with the idea that he was faithful to Rebekah, and although there was grief in both their lives, both as individuals and as a couple, they had a good marriage, it would seem.

So what can I learn from Rebekah?  A lot of trouble can be caused by love, and a lot of grief can be soothed by it as well.

Love wisely.

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