Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Rebekah - going where God leads

We met Rebekah last time; do you remember how the Bible described her?

Rebekah (verse 16 tells us) is very beautiful. Did you know that only four women are described as very beautiful in the Bible? Sarah, Rebekah, Bathsheba, and an un-named attendant to King David are the only four whose outward appearance is described in this way. Many more women are lovely by their inward characters, but these four are commended to us as physically attractive.

Rebekah is also unmarried. Verse 16 also notes that she was single, and was a virgin. For a servant who had traveled to the old stomping grounds of his master, instead of choosing a wife from the idolatrous neighboring lands, this was great news! These were traits that were highly favored, and the servant must have known then that the Lord was honoring his prayer.

Rebekah is in the right place at the right time. Did you see that she came with her jar before Eleazer could finish his prayer?  God had heard his prayer, and the prayer of Abraham, and had put His plan in motion. We'll see that Rebekah is willing to go where God leads . . . have there been times that we were in the right place at the right time, but we missed an opportunity? Are we willing to go where He leads us?

Let's dive in!

Rebekah was the answer to Eleazer's prayer. She gave more than was needed, more than was asked for. Eleazer only requested a drink of water for himself. Rebekah offered to water the camels as well. She really went "beyond the call of duty."
We forget sometimes that it requires increased levels of effort to receive increased levels of blessings. Whoa......that sounded a bit like a smarmy television preacher.....I didn't mean that we can earn grace, or get to a higher level of salvation, or suddenly find millions of dollars flowing into our mailbox.
We are blessed when we serve God. We're also blessed when we serve those around us. The more that we serve others and do things with the right spirit, the greater the blessings that God will shower on our lives. We don't earn mega-bucks. We earn the blessings of peace, and of joy, and of contentment.
Rebekah was blessed with a new life because of her generosity. Her willingness to give.  Here was a thirsty, elderly man, who needed her help. She not only gave to him, but she graciously helped him by watering his camels.

                   A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will 
                   himself be refreshed.  (Proverbs 11:25)

When we serve God by serving others, the amazing thing is that we are blessed as much or more by our giving!

                   Give generously . . . and do so without a grudging heart; then
                   because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your 
                   work and in everything you put your hand to. (Deuteronomy 15:10)

Rebekah gave willingly of her time and put a lot of effort into helping Eleazer. He was a complete stranger to her, but she was gracious to him. He was tired, and dusty, and probably could not be distinguished from any other traveler, rich or poor. She gave of herself, whether there was a "return on" her investment, or not.

In recent years the phrases "random acts of kindness" and "pay it forward" have become popular with some folks. Many more, though, couldn't care less. They are unwilling to go the extra mile to help someone else, or to help themselves. For example, some people won't put any extra effort into their job. Some won't put extra effort into their relationships; parents say they're too stressed to go the extra mile for their kids; students can't see the need to put extra effort into their studies..... as human beings, we sometimes find it difficult to "give our all." Rebekah is an example of how we should treat others.

Here is an interesting thought -- the National Geographic site says that a camel can drink about thirty gallons of water in about thirteen minutes! That means that Rebekah may have needed to provide three hundred gallons of water for the trough they were slurping from! If her jar that she carried on her shoulder or her head contained five gallons, she must have made many, many trips to the well, and poured it into the trough in front of the camels!

Do we have that kind of "above and beyond" mentality?  Rebekah made a choice that day. She invested her time, her strength, and her compassion for a stranger and his animals. She had no way of knowing that her service to another would change her life.  She is remembered because she gave, and gave.

And then she was willing to go where God was leading her.
We'll see more about this next time.


Katie Isabella said...

I have worked to give as well as receive but it is a work in progress 7/24/365 to not only have the "already there" faith and trust but to do that which is one another. That entails a LOT. Not emotion.

Austin Towers said...

Rebekah is a wonderful role model for us today! To do something for someone else with no thought of reward or recompense shows a kind of humility and altruism that we rarely witness today! Maybe it's because people who do these acts don't shout about it! :)

Belinda said...

Obviously her beauty wasn't only skin deep.

I agree, we see so little of that kind of humility today. It's all about me. I know there are times when I could give more of myself and don't. And there are times when I give without thought, then wind up griping to myself about it later because it's taking up MY time. What good is that??

My toes hurt.

Marla's Crafts said...

My son is like Rebekah that gives from the heart. He sees other people's needs and always finds a way to help. For example a lady that he used to work for was ready to loose their home because her husband had a heart attack and she left her job to look after him. After a year they were out of money and he happened to stop for a visit and when he left he was heart broken for them. They were ready to go back to the bank to pass in the keys to their home, both in tears. Mark came home started a pay it back on Facebook and raised an amount of money to get them through the summer in their home. The husband finally found a job and she had knee surgery and found a part time job. They are still in their home and back on their feet.
He also went to Boston this summer with a few friends and took three homeless guys to a restaurant and sat down with them and fed them. Also on the trip he gave a ticket to a cab driver for a baseball game only with the intention that he didn't sell the ticket. The cab driver came into the game and said to Mark that I have been in this county 20 years and never been to a baseball game. He took lots of pictures but had to get back to his cab. He was so excited.
Now this part my son does not believe in God. He keeps telling me he doesn't exsist. But he is so caring and he is always doing things like this. So I ask for prayer for him that eventually he will become a believer as am sure God could use someone like him.