Enter Rebekah

“The man gazed at her in silence to learn whether the Lord had prospered his journey or not”  (Gen. 24:21).

- Genesis 24:15–21

Rebekah, whom we first read about in Genesis 22:23, appears on the scene in today’s passage carrying a water jar (24:15). This young woman will play a vital role in God’s plan as the wife of Isaac and mother of the next son in the chosen line.

Rebekah arrives before Abraham’s servant has finished his prayer. John Calvin tells us this fact shows that God moves to aid us prior to our supplications. Moreover, even when He seems to tarry, the Lord knows our needs before we ask (Matt. 6:8) and is working to satisfy them. As Calvin says, surely God proves for all His people “by unquestionable examples, that although the event may not immediately respond to our wishes, the prayers of his people are never in vain: yea, his own declaration, that before they cry he is mindful of their wants, is invariably fulfilled” (Isa. 65:24). Remembering God’s knowledge of our needs beforehand should motivate us to prayerful patience, since there is no doubt He will answer us (Matt. 6:25–34).

Rebekah immediately stands out as a promising choice for Isaac’s bride. Moses tells us her grandparents are Milcah and Nahor (Gen. 24:15), Abraham’s niece and brother, respectively (11:27–29). She is the patriarch’s kin and thus satisfies the criteria to marry Abraham’s son (24:1–4). Rebekah is also very beautiful (v. 16a). Verse 16b suggests she has to go up and down many steps to fill her jar, an arduous task that makes her eagerness to carry water for the servant’s camels until their thirst is satisfied even more remarkable (vv. 17–20). Furthermore, the name Rebekah sounds like the Hebrew word for “blessing,” making her even more fit to join the family who will inherit the Creator’s favor (22:15–18). The Lord has clearly provided a wife who meets Abraham’s godly expectation.

At this point, the servant waits to see if Rebekah is the answer to his prayer (24:21). This is somewhat understandable; all he can see is Rebekah’s willingness to water the camels and does not yet know all that we do about her. Nevertheless, his silence does betray some amazement that God has moved so quickly, a feeling we may likewise experience when the Lord meets our needs so abundantly. 

Coram Deo

We too can expect God to supply our needs magnificently just as He did for Abraham’s servant. It can be easy to forget, but the Lord whom we approach in prayer holds all things in His hand, and there is nothing too difficult for Him (Heb. 1:3a). Take time today to think of an answer to prayer that was far more amazing than you could have ever dreamed. Thank the Lord for His supply and let it remind you to ask Him to do wonderful things in your life.

Passages for Further Study

Genesis 18:1–15
Jeremiah 32:17
Acts 12:1–19
Ephesians 3:20–21

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