Women of Scripture: The Call of Rebekah

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Genesis 24
We have doubtless often heard servants of the Lord speak very beautifully of Rebekah as a type of the Church-the bride of Christ-in that she was attracted by the message of the servant (the Holy Spirit) and conducted by Him across the desert to Isaac (the type of the risen One) to be his bride, joy and comfort.
This is too vast a subject to be dealt with in this short article, so we will consider Rebekah rather in an individual way. We should read Genesis 24 carefully, where Rebekah first comes into prominence, since the details are so beautiful and full of instruction.
Eliezer, sent by Abraham to secure a wife for Isaac from among his kinsfolk in Mesopotamia, crosses the desert and reaches the gates of the city of Nahor in safety. Making a halt by a well he lifts his heart in prayer to God for guidance as to his choice among the maidens of that place. In immediate answer to his prayer, Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel, Abraham's nephew, comes out of the city with her waterpot to draw water from the well, and to Eliezer's wonderment and joy fulfills the special sign he had asked of God. How simple is a life of trustful dependence upon God! Oh that we knew more about it, especially in these difficult, complicated times! Rebekah receives the gifts offered by Eliezer, possibly in recognition of her willing services; but what seems to have more weight with her is what he has to tell of the ways of the God of glory with the family in the distant land. She silently listens to Eliezer's heartfelt thanksgiving to God for thus hearing prayer and prospering his journey; and she hastens home and tells all she has heard. As a result the servant is entertained by her parents and her brother Laban, whose covetous soul seems greatly stirred by the sight of his sister's jewels.
During Eliezer's short stay, Rebekah learns more of God and His goodness to her relations, so when the call came to her it found her ready. The simple and yet searching question, "Wilt thou go with this man?" was responded to with the equally straightforward and unhesitating answer, "I will go."
This beautiful reply is only possible from one to whom the God of glory has in some measure been revealed! Rebekah was no poor, homeless maiden, and the choice was not made between poverty and loneliness, and love and plenty. She possessed home, friends and wealth, and these would have remained to her had she decided to stay. What, then, could have been the power that attracted a girl to leave all she had hitherto held dear, to undertake a long, weary desert journey, with all its attendant heat and discomfort, accompanied by a strange escort, to a strange country and to a people unknown except in name? Years previously the God of glory had called Abraham from the same locality, and, constrained by divine power and in response to the call, he had started out on an altogether untried path. That path proved to be in his case, as it always must be, a path to certain blessing. Now a similar call had come to Rebekah, and with it, however detaining and hindering the earthly ties, came power to obey from the same Lord of glory. I think the report of the servant had much more weight with Rebekah than the gifts he conferred upon her, and learning thus something of the blessing in the far-off country in which she is invited to participate, she is impelled by an unseen power to follow in the footsteps of the one who was first called, and so is "blessed with faithful Abraham."
What a mighty detaching and attracting power is that of the Lord of glory! Do we know anything about it, dear reader? If not, we are still very far from blessing. The sad thing is that to so many the call seems to come in vain. May none of us be found among such, but like Rebekah, respond willingly to the call of God and enter into the circle of true blessing.
Rebekah knew very little as yet of Isaac, the type of the risen One, whose bride she was destined to be, or of what lay before her in the future; but the point is she believed the report and obeyed God's call, and so made a distinct break with all her old connections and chose the path of blessing.
Probably many a time you have heard the report of God's love and grace through His faithful servants. How are you treating it? Has it had any real effect upon your life, or are you simply going on as usual and ignoring the call-the call of God to you? Time is so short and is fast running to its close, as everything around shows. Oh, simply obey, and blessing untold is before you!
No doubt Rebekah learned much during that never-to-be-forgotten journey. How readily would Eliezer reply to her queries, and how gladly would he tell her about his master Isaac! She must have listened with wonder to the story of Mount Moriah, every day learning more about the one who in perfect subjection to his father's will could unresistingly yield himself to death at his command. And she was to be linked with such an One in risen life. No wonder, when at the journey's end the servant pointed out his master, that she took a veil and covered herself. Her heart was won, and from henceforth she was for Isaac alone.
Has not this a voice to us? If we only realized more what depths of perfection there are in Christ and what He can be to us and what He wants us to be to Him, I am sure we would, like Rebekah, turn our back on the world and its attractions, and desire to be for Christ alone!