Text: Genesis 24:1-26
I. In archaeology, historians at times notice odd gaps in the records
A. Even in well preserved records, there will be missing time periods.
B. Monuments are clearly defaced.
C. Typically what it indicates that something happened during that time which later generations did not want to remember. Perhaps a major defeat or a rebellion that is just too embarrassing to admit.
D. The Bible is different. It records both the strengths and weaknesses of people, particularly the great heroes
1. Noah was a godly man and was saved from a corrupt world, but he got drunk
2. We see Abraham’s faith, but we realize that he lied twice
3. David is a man after God’s heart, but he committed adultery and to cover up his sin committed murder
E. We are going to focus on Rebekah today, who is shown in a similar way
II. A wife for Isaac
A. After Sarah’s death, Abraham decided it was time Isaac was married - Genesis 24:1-4
1. He sent a servant because he did not want Isaac to leave the land promised to him - Genesis 24:8
2. But he also did not want his son marrying any of the local women who followed after idols
B. The servant journeyed about 400 miles to Haran. Not knowing how to find a wife for his master’s son, he prayed - Genesis 24:10-14
C. It happened just as the servant asked - Genesis 24:15-27
1. You might miss it, but what the servant asked for was quite clever.
2. It wasn’t just a sign, it showed him the character of the woman he was seeking
III. What the servant proved to himself
A. Rebekah was kind
1. When a stranger asked for a drink she gave one - Hebrews 13:2
2. It is a mark of God’s servants - Matthew 10:42
3. But she also went beyond just what was asked. She watered his camels as well. Jesus applied that attitude to even enemies - Matthew 5:40-42
B. Rebekah was industrious
1. She watered ten camels. A thirsty camel can drink twenty to twenty-five gallons of water.
a. Watering a camel doesn’t mean filling a watering trough with a garden hose.
b. A person had to walk down steps into a well, fill a jar and then walk back up to pour it into a trough
c. Water weighs about 8 1/3 pounds per gallon.
d. So Rebekah carried about a total of 1700 pounds of water by herself!
2. She demonstrated that she wasn’t lazy or afraid of work - Ecclesiastes 9:10; Colossians 3:23
C. Rebekah was hospitable
1. She told this stranger that there was room for his camels and a place to stay at her home.
2. I Peter 4:19
3. Romans 12:13
D. Rebekah was adventurous
1. The servant explained his purpose in coming and how the Lord had helped him find Rebekah.
2. He proposed marriage between Isaac and Rebekah that night - Genesis 24:50-52
3. The next morning, he was ready to return home. The family was reluctant, but Rachel was willing to go - Genesis 24:54-59
4. It is the same sense of adventure that we admire in our ancestors who left homes to travel to new lands based on hope.
E. Rebekah was spiritual
1. Years later, when she was married and with child, she became concerned - Genesis 25:22-23
a. She went to God with her concerns
2. We also see how her godless daughter-in-laws pained her - Genesis 26:34-35; 27:46
IV. Rebekah’s weakness
A. She tried to prevent her husband from doing wrong by trickery
1. Isaac planned to go against God’s prophecy and give Esau the blessing - Genesis 27:1-4
2. Rebekah overheard, but rather than going to her husband, she came up with a way to deceive him - Genesis 27:5-13
3. It involved Jacob lying to his father - Genesis 27:18-29
B. The result was Esau threatened to kill his brother - Genesis 27:41
C. Rebekah planned to send Jacob away for a short while until Esau cooled down - Genesis 27:42-45
D. She never did send for Jacob. Perhaps Esau held onto his anger for a long while.
1. But she died before Jacob returned.
V. We don’t put our heros on pedestals
A. We admire their strengths and abilities
B. And yet we realize that we all have flaws at times
C. When we see the consequences of those flaws, it warns away from sin
D. And knowing that even the greatest can slip, we remain on guard - I Corinthians 10:11-12