Today’s article is another installment in Sister Alena X. Ricci’s series Women in the Bible.
You know, I’ve never really paid much attention to Rebekah. She’s always been the wife of Isaac and mother of Jacob, and that’s really all she’s ever been to me. But I’ve been doing a study of Genesis over the past month, and I was stopped in my tracks when I got to Genesis 24:58.
Abraham’s servant comes to Laban’s home and sees Rebekah. He asks Laban for permission to bring her back to Isaac as a wife.
And her answer is, “I will go.”
I was reading a book that calls this “the ultimate love story.” That Rebekah would (pretty much) blindly go and marry Isaac, a man she’s never met. And they would stay together forever and have kids and blah, blah, blah.
But honestly, I think it’s pretty crazy.
When I really pondered this scenario, it really opened me up to the bold, unabashed woman that Rebekah had to have been.
I greatly admire women who can shatter glass ceilings and walk down paths I would never dare when it comes to the career world.
But a woman who would do that to marry a man she’s never met?
That’s a different story.
(Or so I thought.)
So, let’s take a step back and realize all those little things that Rebekah was taking a chance on with this massive change.
Not only was she taking a chance on her and Isaac’s first meeting, but she was gambling on the rest of their lives.
She was making a decision for forever.
And that’s a really, really big deal.
Culturally, we look for the happily-ever-after ending in every story, right? We live for those moments before the credits roll when the world is great and there’s nothing wrong.
But there’s a whole lifetime-to-come after that screen fades to black. There are dark nights and miserable mornings and days when you just want to cry.
And that is what Rebekah was taking the chance on.
She was trusting God that in those upcoming small moments where the world seems so, so bleak that He would be with her.
She was trusting God that the next time she feels sick and she’s away from all she’s known that He’s there.
And this is key: that He would be there, whether her life was falling apart or not.
I was speaking with a coworker the other day about how weird adulthood is compared to college. All of a sudden there are medical bills and the drudgery of everyday life, while in school the everyday was very, very different.
It’s weird, adjusting to being a functional member of society and realizing that truth, that there are moments in my everyday life that matter just as much as all those finals and other things did.
That the second before I have a staff meeting is just as important as the second before I got on the plane to live in Chile for five months.
But here’s the reality of it and how Rebekah lived this out: she went anyway. She went with the faith and confidence that this was her future, the one she wanted and the one God wanted.
She went despite the doubts, despite the fights and the small, miserable moments she knew was coming.
She simply went where God wanted her.
I’ve said this a million times in McKees Rocks’ Ladies Circle, but I can’t think of a time when I have simply said, “I will go.” I’ve always attached conditions or doubts or questions or complaints.
So yes, Rebekah did shatter a glass ceiling.
Because she simply followed where God was leading her.
Image credit: “Rebecca and Eliezer at the Well” by Carlo Maratta (1655) oil on canvas
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.