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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Fiftieth (Rebekah)

I hope your week went well! This week we're going to go back to Isaac, but this time after the almost-sacrifice we talked about previously. But first, I must take care of a logistical matter. It seems there's been one or two (or maybe more) weeks that my newsletter hasn't reached your inbox. I'm not sure what the issue is there, but I wanted to let you know if it doesn't show up you can always click on the logo at the top of this email or go to ByHisWill.com to find the most recent newsletter (and all previous ones). And as always, you can always email me if you have any questions!

Ok, so the only radio station I listen to in the car is one that plays Christian music, and this week they had a clip from a pastor talking about the story of Rebekah. Specifically, he pointed out that the account of choosing a bride for Abraham's son, Isaac, is one of the most detailed accounts recorded in scripture. His point was this: the reason this account is so detailed is because God cares about our love. Our love is important to Him, so to make that clear He provided a detailed account of the search for and betrothal of the bride of Isaac.

This is, in my opinion, one of the greatest disservices done by "mainstream Christianity." While it is not wrong to say that Yehovah cares about our love, because He cares for everything about us, it is wrong to minimize the reason for the detail of this account to a reason such as that. In my opinion, this is worse than just providing the "milk" of scripture as the writer of Hebrews describes (Hebrews 5:13). And we're moving into a time when we need to be eating of the "strong meat" (Hebrews 5:14), if we're not there already.

Let's take a closer look at the record provided in Genesis 24. It starts with an aging Abraham sending the head servant of his house with the important task of finding Isaac's bride. He had some very specific instructions. The servant was not to find a wife from Canaan (where they were living), but from the land from which Abraham came. The servant, obviously concerned about failing at this task, asked what should he do if the woman won't come with him back to Canaan? Abraham, being confident in Yehovah, knew this was not going to happen so he told the servant he would be released from the task if that were to occur.

Remember who Isaac represented when we first talked about him and Abraham? The almost-sacrifice of him by Abraham was the representation of the actual sacrifice of Jesus. So if Isaac is the representation of Jesus, who is Rebekah but the representation of the bride of Christ?! Ok, but we just talked about the servant so who is that? Well, who is here now seeking out the bride of Christ? The Holy Spirit, of course! But it gets even more exciting, because there's more to this story in the background.

Let's take a look at where the servant went to find this bride. He took ten camels (vs. 10) and all the goods of Abraham and set out to the city of Nahor. This distance has been estimated at 468 miles, or a 17 day journey with camels. He arrived and stopped at the well outside the city, which is where he prayed to Yehovah to send him the bride appointed for Isaac (vs. 14). Notice the wording there. He didn't say, "send me a bride for Isaac." He said, "send me the bride You appointed for Isaac." This follows with Yehovah choosing us to be His (Ephesians 1:4). Additionally, did you catch where he stopped? Sound familiar? There was someone else found at a well (John 4)...but we'll get into that in a little bit. One more thought is the Hebrew word used for appointed in this verse could also be translated to adjudged, meaning to be determined/decided by judicial procedure. Sounds a lot like a Judgment of Christ to me! (2 Corinthians 5:10)

Now here's where we are reminded of the topic of last week's newsletter. The servant asked her for a drink, and it was up to her to give him one. She could have chosen not to do the work of drawing and giving him water, but she then would not have received what the servant had to offer (all the goods of Abraham and to be Isaac's bride). She didn't stop there, though. She even gave water to the camels. Enough water until they stopped drinking (vs. 19). Camels can drink up to 20 gallons of water at a time...and there were ten of them. That's about 1664 lbs of water to haul out of a well and give to the camels. Almost a ton! What was the result of these works? The servant gave her jewelry. An earring, worth approximately $350 at the price of gold today, and two bracelets, each worth over $7,000 at today's gold prices. Quite a reward!

But what's even more interesting is Rebekah's family history. Nahor, Rebekah's grandfather, was Abraham's brother. But he did not share Abraham's belief in Yehovah and he worshipped other gods (Joshua 24:2). Now, understandably, there wasn't a lot of choices of people who served the one true God at that time, but I think it's significant that the servant (Holy Spirit) chose from what could be considered the "Gentiles" of the time in order to find a bride (the Bride of Christ) for Isaac (Jesus). Now, let's jump back to that well I mentioned earlier. The person chosen by Jesus at the well to reveal Himself as the Messiah was also a woman, and was also not a Jew. Samaritans were hated by the Jews at that time (John 4:9), and what's even more, she was someone who even the Samaritans shunned. This is shown by the fact that she drew water in the middle of the day rather than at the cool evening time (John 4:6).

So we've learned that Rebekah is a representation of the bride of Christ (Revelation 19:7), who was appointed by Yehovah to be married to Isaac who is a representation of Jesus. However, the only way she could accept this honor was to not only draw water for the servant, who is a representation of the Holy Spirit, but also for the camels. Perhaps this is a representation of spreading His Word to the world, but at a minimum I seem to recall a parable that may have had ten of something else! Yep, the parable of the ten virgins! (Matthew 25). We've also learned that Rebekah came from what could be considered "gentiles" and "pagans," much like the people in today's ecclesia (Jesus' called out people).

As you can see, this record being provided to us by Him in scripture is much more important than to show us God is interested in our love. So when you hear things on Christian radio or as you read Christian websites, or even when you hear something at church, dig into it! Let the Holy Spirit lead you to either verify you heard or read some "strong meat," or lead you to it! This account is an amazing glimpse into Yehovah's plan for us!

Shabbat Shalom! God bless you, and I hope you have a wonderful week!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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