Mothers in the Bible: Rebekah, Her Husband Asked God

After Sarah dies, Abraham sends a servant to his home country to find a wife for Isaac.

Abraham sent a servant to search for a wife for Isaac

The servant comes upon a beautiful woman named Rebekah.   She brought back to Isaac and we are told “ And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.”  {Genesis 24:67}

Yet, in the next chapter we are told that the couple was married for more than twenty years and had yet to have children.

Our Women of the Bible Devotional says, “Rebekah was beautiful and strong like Sarah, yet she bore no children for the first twenty years of her life together with Isaac.”

Rebekah was an answer to prayer

“And Isaac entreated Jehovah for his wife, because she was barren.”  {Genesis 25:21}   Our devotional says, “Isaac pleaded for his wife …Isaac prayed and God hear, giving her not one, but two sons who wrestled inside her womb.”

The Old Testament Bible History explains it this way, “For twenty years the union of Isaac and Rebekah had remained unblessed with children, to indicate that here also the heir to the promises must be a gift from God granted to expectant faith. At last Jehovah listened to Isaac’s “entreaty,” “for his wife,” or rather, literally, “over against his wife,” for, as Luther strikingly remarks: “When I pray for any one, I place him right in view of my heart, and neither see nor think of anything else, but look at him alone with my soul;” and this is true of all intercessory prayer.”

Isaac was comforted by Rebekah

But the end of verse 21 says, “ Jehovah was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.”   God heard Isaac’s prayers for his wife and blessed Rebekah’s womb not with one child, but with two.

But is this the blessing she’d hoped for?

Verse 22 says, “ And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, wherefore do I live? And she went to inquire of Jehovah.”

The children in her womb warred within her.  However, Rebekah was a woman of faith because she turned to God for answers.

the children within Rebekah wrestled

So what does God say, “two nations are in your womb…the elder shall serve the younger.”  {Genesis 25:23}

Our Women of the Bible Study Guide says, “battle lines were drawn in the family almost immediately upon giving birth.  From Rebekah we can learn the important of loving our children for themselves.  To play favorites with our children divides a family. “

Rebekah gives birth to two sons.   The first is Esau, which means hairy or rough; and the second is Jacob, which means supplanter.

Verse 28 says that Isaac loved Esau and Rebekah loved Jacob.

Rebekah overheard Isaac tell Esau to prepare for his blessing

The battle lines seem to be set between both the parents and the children.   Even as a young man, Esau sells his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup.   {Genesis 25:27-34}

But Rebekah and her mother-in-law, Sarah, whom she never met had a lot in common.   Both women enjoyed taking matters into their own hands.  Isaac becomes an old man and his eyesight is falling, when he ask Esau to prepare him a meal, so he can bestow his blessings.

Rebekah prepares a meal for her husband and has Jacob, her favorite, dress up to appear as his brother.  Jacob goes in to his father, who at first questions his son on his identity, but is convinced this is the proper son.   Isaac then blesses Jacob, but when Esau returns and discovers the deception he is angry and threatens his brother.   Isaac bestows a blessing on Esau, but it is not the blessing he was hoping and longing for.

Rebekah helped Jacob deceived his father

The Women of the Bible says, “from her actions we can see how crucial for parents to communicate with each other and have united intentions for their children…deceit creates barriers.”

How different things might have been for the family if Isaac and Rebekah had communicated and united together, instead of showing favorites.

Our devotional says, “And though Isaac would live to welcome his son {back}, Rebekah would not…Finding it difficult to rest in God’s promise required her intervention.  Finding it difficult to rest in God’s promise to her, she resorted to trickery to achieve it.  The results, mirroring her own heart, were mixed.”

Rebekah never saw her favorite son again

For his safety, Jacob is sent away.   Rebekah will never see her favorite son again.

But even in her trickery and deceit, God was still using Rebekah.  Our devotional says, “God was still at work, graciously using a woman whose response to him was far less than perfect, to accomplish his purposes. “

Our responses are often less than perfect to God’s calling or promise on our lives.  Yet, he can use us if we allow him.

How has God used you?    Do you turn to God in your time of need?


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