Rebekah was beautiful and strong like Sarah, yet she bore no children for the first twenty years of her life with Isaac. Unlike Sarah, Rebekah did not take matters into her own hands.
“Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me? So she went to inquire of the LORD. The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” Genesis 25:21-23
When the babies are born their rivalry for one another is further ignited by their parents favoritism between the two.
“Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob” Genesis 25:28
When Isaac was old and he had lost his vision he didn’t think he was going to live much longer. So he says to Esau go kill some wild game and cook it like I like it, and I will give you my blessing before I die. Rebekah hears him. Now Rebekah knows what God has said. She knows God is going to perform His Word. Does she believe it? No, because she quickly calls Jacob and devises a scheme to trick the blessing from Isaac. Disguised as Esau, Jacob presented himself to his father for the much-coveted blessing.
Can’t we get bold sometimes in our stupidity. Rebekah could look at this and say, “All I am doing is what God said was going to happen.” Do you think it was all right for Jacob to lie? To deceive his father? Do you think he has to take on one of the characteristics of Satan in order for God’s will to come to pass? How many times have we tried to help God out only to have it blow up in our face. We get impatient and we feel like we need to to do something, but all God wants us to do is wait and trust Him. It is the same kind of thing that Sarah did when she helped God with Hagar.
But the love Rebekah has for Jacob is one that she thinks she has to cause God’s will to come to pass. Because if she doesn’t do something Isaac is about to blow the whole plan of God. So Jacob receives the blessing from Isaac and it could not be withdrawn, despite the deceit, despite Esau’s tears, and despite his vow to kill Jacob. Afraid of Esau’s revenge, Rebekah persuaded Isaac to send Jacob to find a wife from among her brother Laban’s daughters.
What did it cost Rebekah? She never saw Jacob again. She never held her grandchildren. She dies before Isaac. I would think a broken heart might have had something to do with it.
When we take God’s promise and we bring about something less than what God intended we, like Rebekah, have to walk through the pain of the circumstance.
God in His mercy is still going to work His will in our lives like He did Rebekah’s. He allowed Rebekah to do what she did, so “He might have the glory of bringing good out of evil.” Only a gracious God could use an imperfect woman to accomplish His perfect will. Only a loving God could embrace Isaac and Rebekah and claim them both as His chosen ones.
With the same love Jesus says to us,
“You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. John 15:16
Read more on Rebekah with us on our ‘Learning from Their Examples’ series:
Cheryl Crawford is a daughter of the Most High King, saved by grace. Her degree and field of work are in accounting, but would trade it all to farm if she could. She enjoys reading, writing, gardening, SEC football and playing cards with friends. Cheryl is a natural organizer with a heart that loves to serve. You can read more about Cheryl on her BoP bio.