Nearing Home | Faith Like Rebekah
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
(2 Corinthians 5:7)
Abraham is remembered for his unconditional trust in God. He very literally walked by faith, uprooting his family and leaving the familiarity of his hometown, “not knowing where he was going” (Heb. 11:8).
Such faith is both rare and impressive, but just as remarkable (and yet not as well-known) is the faith exhibited by his future daughter-in-law Rebekah some years later.
Let’s take a look at her story:
Abraham knew it was time to find a godly wife for his son Isaac.
Nearing the end of his life, Abraham knew it was time to find a godly wife for his son Isaac. Since the neighboring Canaanites were idolaters, Abraham sent his chief servant on perhaps the greatest mission of his life. His orders were simple: “You shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac” (Gen. 24:4).
A few verses and about 500 miles later, Abraham’s servant finds himself at a well in the city of Nahor. No doubt tired and ready to return home, he goes out on a limb and prays for immediate success:
“Let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’—let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac.” (Gen. 24:14)
That’s when Rebeka shows up. Impressed by her beauty, the servant runs to meet her and quickly asks for a drink (vs. 17). After a few moments of eager anticipation, Rebekah responds, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking” (vs. 19). We have a winner!
In a matter of 24 hours, Rebekah’s life was dramatically and permanently changed.
The servant is subsequently invited to meet Rebekah’s family, and he wastes no time explaining the reason for his visit. He drops the bombshell around the dinner table, very boldly implying that God wanted Rebekah to move to a foreign country and marry a total stranger. Her family wasn’t quite ready to say their final goodbyes, and so the next day “they called Rebekah and said to her, ‘Will you go with this man?'” Her answer came back quickly and without hesitation: “I will go” (vs. 58).
In a matter of 24 hours, Rebekah’s life was dramatically and permanently changed. Yesterday she was making the familiar trip to the local water well; today she was saying goodbye to friends and family for the last time, motivated only by a strong conviction that she was following God’s leading.
As the long journey back to Canaan progressed, Rebekah no doubt had a few questions about her future husband. What food does he like? What are his pet peeves? Does he have a favorite sports team? (Okay, maybe not that one.) It seems likely that at some point during the trip she silently wondered if she’d made the right decision, but turning back wasn’t an option; the journey would soon be over, and she would finally meet the one she’d given up everything to marry.
Much like Rebekah’s, our journey as Christians is one of faith and great sacrifice.
Meanwhile, Isaac was back at home eagerly awaiting the arrival of his bride. A particular evening found him pacing in the field near his home, and it was no doubt an emotional moment when at last “he lifted up his eyes…and, behold, the camels were coming” (vs. 63).
Rebekah’s excitement was just as great when she realized the silhouette she saw in the distance was that of her husband. “When she saw Isaac she dismounted from her camel,” (vs. 64) not just out of excitement, but because a camel was no longer necessary. The journey was over and she was finally home. Every mile she had traveled was worth it, as Isaac “took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her” (vs. 67).
Much like Rebekah’s, our journey as Christians is one of faith and great sacrifice. The road is long and often tiring, but we continue on, knowing that every tear and trial will be worth it when our Savior appears on the horizon. All of our questions about just what He’s like will be answered, and every fear will vanish when we embrace the one we’ve sacrificed everything to follow.
Like Isaac, Christ eagerly awaits the arrival of the bride provided by His Father, but very soon He’ll welcome us into our eternal home. And when He does, we’ll remember that it all started with a simple decision: “I will go.”