Gen. 24:28-33 – “The girl [Rebekah] ran and told her mother's household about these things. Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he hurried out to the man at the spring. As soon as he had seen the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister's arms, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her, he went out to the man and found him standing by the camels near the spring. 'Come, you who are blessed by the LORD,' he said. 'Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.' So the man went to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and fodder were brought for the camels, and water for him and his men to wash their feet. Then food was set before him, but he said, 'I will not eat until I have told you what I have to say.' 'Then tell us,' Laban said.”
- Most of those reading this devotional are above the age of “obeying your parents,” and we don't live in a culture of submission like Rebekah's. Still, we are all under the authority of someone or something that usurps our control at some level. A boss, a spouse, a government, a circumstance – and if nothing else, the simple aging of our bodies goes on without our consent or approval. We, like Rebekah, must wait and watch as a metaphorical brother, father or mother listen to another decide our fate. The question becomes, how does Rebekah react when she's not the boss of that decision? More importantly – how do you and I react, when we have no control?
- If Rebekah had hoped to stay in Aram with her family – she heard with her own ears – her family could have refused the servant's proposal and kept her. If her family wanted her more than the gold, grain and gifts dripping off the camels. Or...she could consider the honor and prestige such a marriage would bring to her family's household. Rebekah could read many things into her family's decision – good or bad. She couldn't choose her fate, but she could choose to dwell on the positive or negative aspects of it.
- Rebekah's father has been absent throughout. He finally shows up, proclaims God made the decision, so he has no responsibility for the outcome...authority without blow-back if something goes wrong. "God told me to do it, so blame Him!" This is a tough one to guard against bitterness. Still, we must. Because…we're simply not the boss of that decision. Leave it to God and others to mete out justice.
- Notice that Abraham's servant did not give gifts to Rebekah's father. A seemingly unusual “oversight” for the culture, I would think…
- Finally! Something Rebekah gets to decide! She had waited patiently, silently, submissively; and when her time came, she was ready to move in God's direction.