Ok so I am starting this post, our second looking at the character of Rebekah, with a bit of a controversial title – “WHAT HAPPENED?”. Last week we learnt about how generous Rebekah was to strangers, that she went the extra mile for Abraham’s servant and showed unbelievable hospitality (do read Naomi’s post from last week here). After that show of love and care for others, Rebekah was chosen as the perfect wife for Isaac and they got married. It all seemed to be a happily ever after moment. Chapter 24 of Genesis ends on an amazing note, reminding us of the kind and caring woman Rebekah was “So she became his wife, and he loved her, and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death”. Rebekah was there for him and loved him in the same way that he loved her.
Cut to chapter 25 and our meditation verse for this week:
“Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant”. Genesis 25:21
Lets do the Maths
To fully understand the change in Rebekah we need to understand the time frames we’re talking about here. In Genesis 25:20 it says that Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah. It then says down in Genesis 25:26 that Isaac was 60 years old when Rebekah gave birth to the twins. So that is a period of 20 years where Rebekah in childless. That kind of time waiting and feeling like a failure can change a person for sure. We need to keep hold of this when we look at what Rebekah does later in life, as those 20 years I am sure had an impact on her kind and generous nature. How would she be feeling? How did she spend those year? Our bibles don’t tell us, but I am sure those who have experienced childlessness themselves know the emotional impact, the toll on your marriage and that sometimes the way you protect from further disappointment is to harden yourself to it. This week I have felt a sadness towards Rebekah and the storm that battered that young soul.
Dealing with it in the right way
As difficult a time as that would have been, we do see that Isaac deal’s with this in the right way – he prays to the Lord about it and petitions on behalf of his wife. We don’t know here if this is the first time for him to do that, or if they have both been praying and asking over the last 20 years. But we know one thing, this time God says yes!!! And Rebekah becomes pregnant. What can we take from this? That we need to make sure we are dealing with our issues in the right way – bringing them to God. No matter what the answer is, or if we are acting into that situation as well, we should always pray about it. If we don’t ask Him about it at all then He has no chance to say yes!
The Storm after the calm
I feel so sorry again for Rebekah when I read on from our meditation verse, as it sounds like this wasn’t the most pleasant of pregnancies. She has two babies jostling inside of her and making life miserable. This must have put a real dampener on the joy that they both felt when she finally fell pregnant. In our Facebook group a few people shared about their experience of being pregnant with twins and how you can feel the babies moving separately. Then God tells her why they are like this in verse 23, and it kind of sets the wheels in motion for the next part of the story. As I stepped into Rebekah’s shoes I felt this cloak of disappointment settle around me – a feeling that the joy of answered prayer was overshadowed by the difficulty of twin pregnancy and this word that sat over her unborn children. All of this on top of the impact of 20 years of childlessness.
What happens next?
Next week we see the story continues as Rebekah gives both to the twins and they start to grow up. We dig deeper into what Rebekah was like as a parent. Do join me and Naomi in meditating on the following verse:
“Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.” Genesis 25:28
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