There are SO many people mentioned in the Bible, and there are some that stick out more than others. You have some that are talked about, praised, and more widely known than others for obvious reasons. But I believe there are a whole lot of people in the Bible who aren’t talked about as much that we can ABSOLUTELY glean from. One of these underrated people of the Bible enters the scene in Genesis 24 and her name is Rebekah.
I believe Rebekah is underrated because…
1. Rebekah has a HEART OF GOLD & OF GOD. She was just minding her own business getting water at the well like all the other women as I’m sure she did every single day when she notices an older man who asks for a drink of water. Now I’m sure she’s looking at this man (who is not alone but has many camels, several servants, with gifts and all kinds of stuff – he was DEFINITELY not alone) and she had no idea who he is or what mission he is currently on. She doesn’t realize he is looking for a wife for his master’s son and she definitely didn’t know that he’s looking specifically for someone from the family that just happens to be hers. She not only fetched him water, which was kind enough but honestly was not very common back then, but she offered to also water his camels as well without being asked or prompted. I’m not sure how much you know about camels, but camels drink A LOT of water at a time and store it up for long journeys. So, after this long journey that Abraham’s servant took to get to where he met Rebekah, the camels were likely on “empty” and were very thirsty. Camels drink an average of 20-30 GALLONS of water at a time. Let’s just say that he had 10 camels in his entourage, which would have been a good estimate. If each of those 10 camels drank 30 gallons each, that would be 300 gallons of water. Let’s say she had a 5-gallon
bucket, which may have been reasonable if not slightly generous in size that she would carry for her family each day. She would have had to make the trip 60 times. Can you imagine carrying a 5-gallon bucket back and forth 60 times?? Let’s say it took her 5 minutes to complete a “there and back” trip, which included drawing up water from the well in the little bucket to fill her 5-gallon bucket and walk back. That’s 5 HOURS it would’ve taken her to water those camels. Now these are all just rough estimations, so even if it took her 2 hours, you KNOW that’s not what she had planned on doing that day! To do that for a perfect stranger from whom she expected nothing in return shows that she is kind from the depths of her heart, is extremely generous, and is physically strong, as she was able to carry all that water over and over again. She was also willing to serve way beyond what is necessary. Rebekah was humble, putting a STRANGERS needs above her own time. She was helpful BEYOND what was asked of her… remember, only serving a drink of water to him would have been sufficient.
2. Rebekah was BEAUTIFUL & PURE. She was within marriage years and both beautiful & a virgin (Genesis 24:16). She was a beautiful woman and she lived purely. In modern society, it is often assumed that if you are beautiful (desirable to people), it is nearly impossible to remain pure because of our human desires. While God gave us sexual desires, He intended them to be met within the context of marriage. Rebekah is an example of what it meant to live as God intended in our sexuality. God intends for us to live purely in ALL areas of our lives that He might be glorified and that He might fulfill the desires of our hearts in HIS time and in HIS way! What He has for us is ALWAYS so much better than what we can make happen for ourselves, just as the life Rebekah would eventually have with Isaac (and eventually being in the lineage of Jesus, our Lord and Savior) came from her having a pure heart and being willing to wait for God’s plan. Rebekah lived a pure life. Let us strive for purity in all the areas of our own lives.
3. Rebekah was STRONG both PHYSICALLY & MENTALLY. Not only would she have had to be strong to carry all that water to the camels for that time, but she was quick to follow God’s plan even when it came suddenly and where He led her would surely uproot her entire life as she knew it. Imagine you’re Rebekah, you’re just minding your own business, being your genuinely kind self and offered to water this stranger’s camels because you are nice. Then he tells you you’re exactly who he has been looking for as a wife for his master. He presents you with marriage jewelry (basically a vow of good faith and a portrayal of the wealth of his master) and you take him home so he can discuss with your father and brother. They all agree it is God’s will because of how everything came together, and you can feel that too. The servant wants to leave with you NOW! Under any other circumstances it would be customary for you to stay with your family for at least 10 days to prepare yourself for marriage – physically & mentally – and say goodbye to your family. But you immediately agree to leave the next morning. What faith she must have had. She agreed to uproot her consistent, comfortable, stable, sure life for a completely unknown future. How well she must have known the Lord to sense His working and be willing to GO! She didn’t excuse herself to make a pro/con list. She didn’t deliberate and spend hours in prayer to receive her answer. She could feel God’s leading in her heart because she was so familiar with God and the ways He works that she recognized what it looked like when He was moving, and she didn’t hesitate to be part of His plan. What would our own lives look like if we had that kind of faith that led to immediate obedience to God’s leading?
4. Rebekah’s GREATEST ASSET WAS NOT HER BEAUTY. Yes, Rebekah was beautiful, but she has a heart of GOD and that was the greatest asset and was the reason she was chosen to be Isaac’s wife and, ultimately, in the lineage of Jesus Christ our Savior. She was obviously beautiful, yet her beauty had NOTHING to do with why she was chosen. It was her obedience, purity, strength, servant’s heart, generosity, purity and more that was the reason
God chose to place her where He did. In our lives it is easy to be consumed with what is on the outside – what do people see when they look at me and my life? We can equate our value with what is on the outside, our clothes, cars, homes, bank accounts, status…. But God values what’s on the inside: our faithfulness, obedience, generosity, kindness, holiness, purity, discipline, humility… simply put – our character! Based on her actions, Rebekah has strong, Godly character in spades!
As we continue reading in the lives of Isaac and Rebekah, she was not always perfect, BUT she did always hold tight to the promises and declarations of the Lord. Yes, some of her future actions may not have been 100% above board, but through all her actions (good and poor alike) I see a heart that desires to please God and to hold tight to HIS promises and plans, and THAT is something we should all strive for.
For all of this and more, I think Rebekah deserves more attention and admiration for the heart of gold she portrayed through her actions.