The story Rebekah begins in Genesis 24 with Abraham requesting his oldest servant to find a wife for his son: “You shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” Many people look upon the story of Rebekah as an account of deceit and trickery. However, there is another side to the story of Rebekah. When Abraham’s servant arrived in Mesopotamia, he prayed to God. Before he finished his prayer, Rebekah had arrived at the water well.
When Abraham’s servant asked her for a drink, she gave him a drink and also offered water to his camels. The servant interpreted Rebekah’s act of kindness as a sign from God and the answer to his prayer. He believed God had directed him to Isaac’s future wife.
After providing the servant and camels with water, Rebekah assured him that there was enough room in her parent’s house to accommodate him and his camels for the night. Her willingness and kind heart toward helping a stranger in need exposed the godliness in Rebekah, and the love of God led her to His will.
The next morning the servant of Abraham wanted to leave with Rebekah. Not many women would be willing to leave their family, friends and country to marry a man they had never met and reside in a foreign land. It would take an exceptional woman—one who had faith in God.
When she arrived and met Isaac, he immediately loved her, and they were married. Isaac and Rebekah were happily married for many years, yet Rebekah was unable to have children. She was confused because God had told her that she would be the mother of thousands of ten thousands. Isaac prayed to God for children. God heard his prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant. The Bible says that Isaac was 60 years old when Rebekah became pregnant with twin boys—meaning she was nearly 40 years old.
During her pregnancy, she felt a struggle within her womb and was concerned about it. God told her, “Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger.” This was a straightforward answer from God, and it influenced the course of her life.
Isaac and Rebekah’s sons were Esau and Jacob. As the boys grew, the differences between the two became apparent. Esau was a skillful hunter and became his father’s favorite. Jacob was a quiet intellectual and became his mother’s favorite. This was the cause of many problems in the family. Then more trouble arose when Esau married two Canaanite women. Isaac and Rebekah did not want Canaanite wives for their sons because they believed in different gods.
When Isaac became old and near death, he wanted to transfer his blessing and inheritance to Esau. Rebekah remembered that God had told her that the elder would serve the younger. So, instead of praying for God’s intervention, she devised a plan to deceive her husband so that Jacob would receive his father’s blessing.
Rebekah’s marriage to Isaac was the result of God’s wisdom. Her pregnancy was an answer to prayer and the lives of her sons fulfilled God’s prophecy. Rebekah’s choice to lie and deceive her husband is an example of how wrongdoings by Christians will not hinder God’s plans and how His will prevails despite our sin.