Scriptural Giants: Rebekah


(See Gen. 24.)

Rebekah lifted the water pitcher to her shoulder and started from her home toward the well outside the city gate. It was evening in the city of Nahor as she went to carry out her daily task.

Many women were gathered at the well to draw its cool water. Rebekah filled her pitcher, and as she started back, a stranger approached her. “Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher,” he asked.

Rebekah could see that the man was a traveler and that he had come a long way. Quickly she lowered the pitcher and kindly said, “Drink, my lord.”

As the stranger quenched his thirst, Rebekah was aware of his camels. They would also need water. Even as she voiced her willingness to care for the needs of his animals, she emptied the rest of the water from her pitcher into the trough for them and ran to the well for more.

Rebekah was puzzled that the stranger seemed filled with awe and excitement as she performed these simple acts of kindness. When he asked who her parents were and if he might find lodging at their home for the night, Rebekah responded graciously and said that he would be welcome.

Later, as the guest sat with Rebekah’s family and they were about to begin the evening meal, the stranger announced, “I will not eat, until I have told mine errand.”

Rebekah and her family were astonished as he told his story. He said that he was the chief servant of Abraham, a great and righteous follower of the Lord. Abraham had entrusted him to come all the way to Nahor to find a worthy wife for his son Isaac. It was important to Abraham that his son marry a young woman who would also love the Lord and be faithful in keeping His covenants.

The servant had been very prayerful in this sacred assignment. He explained that when he arrived outside the city gates, he had asked the Lord to help him know who Isaac’s wife should be. He then planned to ask the young women who came to the well for a drink of water. He prayed that whoever would not only give him water but also offer to water his camels would be the one the Lord had chosen to be Isaac’s wife. Rebekah was the answer to his prayers.

Rebekah’s family realized that what had happened was according to the Lord’s will. They answered Abraham’s servant, “Let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the Lord hath spoken.”

Rebekah’s heart must have been filled with wonder and excitement and prayer throughout the night. In the morning her family came to her with a question. Abraham’s servant was anxious to return to his master with Rebekah, but her family hoped that she could remain at home for at least ten days. Now they asked her what she would do. Though she had not met Isaac, and though she would be leaving her family to live in another land, Rebekah trusted in the Lord and knew that He was directing these events. With deep faith, she answered her family simply, “I will go.”

When the preparations were finished and the caravan was ready to travel, Rebekah’s family blessed her and expressed their prophetic wish for her posterity: “Be thou the mother of thousands of millions.”

After many days, the caravan approached the place where Isaac lived. Rebekah saw someone in the fields walking toward them. It was Isaac. Undoubtedly he had also given much thought and prayer to the servant’s mission. Now as he was meditating and walking in the fields at evening, he and Rebekah saw each other for the first time. The servant dismounted and reported his mission. When Isaac heard of Rebekah’s kindness, of her willingness to be of service, and of her great faith in the Lord, it was little wonder that “he loved her.”

Through her obedience to the Lord, Rebekah was a great influence for good in the life of her husband and her family.

[illustrations] Illustration courtesy Providence Lithograph Company