50 Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. 51 Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.” 52 When Abraham’s servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the Lord. 53 Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother. 54 Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there. When they got up the next morning, he said, “Send me on my way to my master.” 55 But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the young woman remain with us ten days or so; then you[a] may go.” 56 But he said to them, “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.” 57 Then they said, “Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.” 58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?” “I will go,” she said. 59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 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.” 61 Then Rebekah and her attendants got ready and mounted the camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
Over the years preceding this passage, God has been speaking to Abraham, making promises to him and gradually fulfilling them. Abraham has, after several hiccups along the way, grown in his faith and come to trust in God’s word and promises to him.
And now it is Rebekah’s turn!
Although we may look at these marriage arrangements and feel uncomfortable, we know that they were quite normal for the culture of the time. That’s not to say it would be easy. Rebekah is a valuable member of her family, who is a hard worker, strong, honourable, and hospitable. She commands the respect of her family members, males included, and makes the decision to leave immediately herself, despite the family’s wishes to delay for 10 days (presumably to prepare well, become accustomed to the idea and to say their final farewells).
It would require an enormous amount of courage to leave your family just one day after a stranger asks you to leave with him to marry a man you’ve never met, move to a land you have not seen, leaving behind your home, family and community. In fact, it would require more than courage ….it would require great faith. Faith that God has planned and will use her for his purposes, for his glory.
I wonder if we are this available to God. When a challenging way of serving him is presented to us, are we prepared to jump straight in and follow his lead? Or do we require “10 days” to process it, assess the pros and cons and tidy up loose ends?
Dear Lord, Please help us to trust you wholeheartedly, to search you out and be ready and willing to respond when we hear you calling. Amen
Written by Jocelyn Petschack