I have meditated on the story of Isaac and Rebekah for a while and find myself no closer to picking a theme to write about. I’m simply torn between two ideas. A part of me wants to remain in the themes that I’ve written about elsewhere in this book and the other part is thinking just as a father.
On the one hand, you have here another amazing story of faith in God’s providence and absolute abandon to the idea that he will provide a way. Abraham’s servant heads back to Abraham’s home country to find a wife for his son…but how do you do that? How do you convince a father, let alone a mother to let one of their daughters go with some stranger to be married in a foreign land to someone they don’t know? Of course Abraham’s servant isn’t worried about that. Do you know why? Because those are just details. He has his priorities in order and knows that the most important decision is choosing the right girl.
I can certainly learn something from that as I typically know what the priority is at first, but it is quickly lost as my head starts swimming with questions of “but how is it going to happen?” So I try to make it happen. For example, I could be faced with a call from God to go somewhere and be a missionary. Perhaps God might even appear to me in a burning bush and say “I want you to take my gospel to another country.” However, what happens once the flame goes out and the bush is no longer talking to me while I’m left with my thoughts? What am I thinking? How am I going to live? How are my kids going to get education? How do I keep my family safe? I ask dozens of questions about my future but fail to ask the most important one: where does God want me to go?
If you can relate to that, and want to know how to get out of that kind of habitual response to the call of God, then perhaps I can help by delivering some truth: You will never be able to focus on where God is calling you until you learn to trust Him with the details. We should simply be asking “Where, Lord” and trusting that wherever that is, he will also be and will provide for us. We should head into every directional call from God knowing only that where there seems to be no way, he will make one.
Yes this message of faith is certainly in the text of Genesis 24, but another part of me is just a father of a little girl, and when I think of Rebekah, I can’t help but think of my son and daughter.
I love how Abraham has high standards for his son. So much of our focus tends to be on finding the right kind of man for our daughters, but how often do we speak of finding the right kind of woman for our sons?
As a parent, you want your little girl to grow up like Rebekah. Beautiful, respectful, kind, compassionate and pure. You hope that your parenting will lead her spiritually this way. All along, though, you know that you’re not doing this so that she can thrive on her own later on. Rather, you have this sense that you are preparing her for someone else.
My heart goes out to Rebekah’s father. I imagine the news hit him like a ton of bricks if not that night, then certainly the next morning when Abraham’s servant thinks it’s time to go already. What I must assume is that Rebekah’s father feared the Lord, and out of reverence to him raised Rebekah up for such a time as this, knowing full well he would one day have to let her go for his service.
I pray that God can make me into that kind of father, for my daughter’s sake. I want to be able to say with sincerity that while she is my little girl, my pride, my joy, she is not mine at all. I want to be able to give her to the Lord and because of that I pray that he is already writing another story in a godly young man’s heart so that one day their stories can be combined and they can start a new chapter together.