Welcome to the Women in Scripture series. If you are new, I choose a woman in Scripture to review on the last week of each month. So far, I have started with Eve and looked at the life of each woman that I come to next. I hope you continue to join each month.
This week, let’s take a look at the life of Rebekah. We learn about Rebekah in Genesis 24-27.
Rebekah was the wife of Abraham’s son Isaac, but she did not know Isaac when she agreed to be his wife. Abraham had sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac. The servant asked the Lord to show him who should be Isaac’s wife by having the woman give water to his camels. Rebekah was the one who offered the water, and the servant told her family the story of how he met her. She was then willing to follow Abraham’s servant with no delay to be Isaac’s wife. We know that Rebekah was beautiful because Isaac followed his father’s example of calling her his sister for fear that he would be killed by someone wanting to take her as their wife (Gen. 26:6).
We later learn that Rebekah was unable to have a child for twenty years until God answered Isaac’s prayer to allow them to have a child (Gen. 25: 19-26). We do not know much about how she handled her infertility, but she had spent many years waiting. However, we know that she still had faith in God once she was pregnant because she asked him about her concerns regarding her pregnancy.
Rebekah felt the twins struggling within her, so she asked God why, showing that she had kept a relationship with God over the years. When she asked, God told her about the two nations that would be born through her sons and that her older son would serve the younger son (Gen 25:22-23). While we do not know if it was because of what God said or other reasons, we know that Rebekah was partial to Jacob, the younger son. Isaac favored Esau who was the older son by minutes. We do not know if Rebekah told Isaac what God said to her about the twins, but we know that Isaac wanted to bless Esau. Rebekah told Jacob to deceive his father so that he could receive the blessing (Gen. 27:1-17). Her motives aren’t clear, but she likely remembered what the Lord told her. However, she felt the need to take matters into her own hands by deceiving her husband. In that moment, she did not trust that God would handle blessing Jacob. God still used the blessing on Jacob’s life to accomplish His plans.
Regardless of how their relationship was affected by Rebekah’s involvement in deceiving Isaac, we later see that Isaac listens to her needs. She has influence in family decisions because she convinced Isaac to send Jacob to her people to find a wife (Gen. 27:46-57). He not only listened to her, but he sent Jacob to her family. Their relationship is not one in which she plays a passive role in family decisions. Her opinion is valued.
In looking at the life of Rebekah, we see that she had a lasting faith in God, but at times she, like several of the other women we have studied, felt the need to take control instead of trusting God. She also played an active role in family decisions.
We have now looked at the lives of Eve, Noah’s wife, Sarah, Hagar, and Rebekah. Each woman either played an important role in their family or left. We have seen each of them display faith in God at times while at other times some chose to take matters into their own hands or to despise the authority over them. Regardless of their mistakes, God used each of them to play a role in the good purposes He had planned.
Join me next month for a look at the life of Rachel.