Rebekah sat far into the night in the same spot on her window seat. Hours had passed and everyone had gone to bed long ago but still she sat unmoving. Her thoughts gradually began to clear and reality began to sink in. Was this really from the LORD? She asked herself over and over. Obviously, if it was then she would have no choice but to agree. But was it? Just that morning (or last morning?) she had told her best friend Abigail that there were no such plans for her marriage and now here she was about to be promised to a man she had never met and heard very little of. She knew this day would come. Every girl did. But not every girl was thrown into it quite so quickly. Well, that’s not completely true. At least this Isaac was a relative blessed by God. What was she saying? In an instant her life had changed completely. If she went through this she would most likely never see her family or friends again. She would live in a land she had never ventured to before, live with people she didn’t know, surrounded by unfamiliarity. Rebekah moved down to kneel by the window seat. “Oh God of Heaven, what do I do. I… this is so foreign, and I am afraid… Are you really a part of this as they say? Do you really want this for me? What would you have me do?…” The hours passed and Rebekah waited for an answer. She trembled with uncertainty and anticipation while unspoken feelings hung over her like a shroud.
Morning arrived too soon for Rebekah and her family but not for their guest. As soon as breakfast was over, he begged to be sent on his way, obviously eager to fulfil his task. Rebekah hadn’t emerged from her room since retreating to it the night before.
Everyone sat around quite awkwardly. Bethuel and Laban, who usually had left to attend to work at this point were still home awaiting the ending result to this turn of events.
At the servants request, they finally addressed the issue.
“Let us see what Rebekah has to say about this,” said her father. Rebekah was sent for and she appeared a moment later in the doorway. Her eyes were tired but clear. Her manner was easy and poised.
“Yes, father?” She asked calmly.
He hesitated a moment and then cleared his throat. “Will you go with this man?” He asked simply.
The room was silent as everyone waited for her response.
When she looked up, her gaze was steady and determined. “I will go.”
The servant smiled and bowed his head in thanks, while her family tried to process the news.
Rebekah spent the next few hours packing her things with the help of her maids who would go with her as well. When all was ready and loaded up, Rebekah kissed her family and mounted her camel. The beast rose to its feet and the small caravan set off. She kept her head held high and only turned back once to wave one last time to all that she would leave behind. Then she set her face to the future.
God, she said in her mind, I have put my trust in you but I am still afraid. Give me courage, I pray.
Then she added, help me to be a good wife.
After travelling for days, they came to Canaan and Rebekah’s curiosity began to rise. Was her betrothed handsome? Strong? Kind? Surely he was kind, God was with him. This gave her some comfort but the unknown dampened her hopes.
And then another thought entered her head. What if he didn’t like her? Her stomach clenched. Maybe she wasn’t what he expected? What if–? she stopped herself. This wouldn’t do. There’s no sense in encouraging the worry she felt. Yes, she had put her trust in God, but it didn’t keep her from worrying.
They approached luscious fields of grain that made Rebekah think of home. A pang drove through her heart but was stilled as she saw someone coming near them off in the distance. Urging her camel forward, she came alongside the servant of her new master and asked who it was coming forward.
The man smiled knowingly. “It is my master’s son,” he said.
Rebekah’s heart leaped into her throat and she bit her lip to still her tremors. So this was him, she thought. Straining her eyes to see, she watched him as he came closer and closer. He did look strong, she ventured to admit. In fact he strode with confidence and an air of authority which caused her hopes to rise.
A few feet more and she could make out his features just barely. He… he was very good looking. Then she blushed. She let her camel fall back to where her maids rode and drew her veil up over her face as was the custom.
They stopped before the man and each of them dismounted. He greeted the servant and spoke to him for what seemed like forever but in reality was only a few minutes. Then he turned to look at her. On shaky legs, she lowered herself before him. He walked slowly to her but she kept her eyes down. Almost kneeling down to her level he took her hand and raised her back up. Slowly she let her eyes move up to his face. She saw his eyes; they were as dark as the sunset.
Suddenly all her fears were vanquished in single moment. When he smiled.
To read the story in its original form, see Genesis 24.
While reading this chapter in the bible, I always try to imagine just what Rebekah might have felt, and though I can’t say for sure, this has been my opinion.
Often times we read the stories of the bible, and especially those of us who have grown up reading them, and tend to skim over and forget that these people were real with real feelings just like you and me. I find it comforting, and interesting, to see them this way and I must say, my story-writing tendencies always end up taking over.
I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. If you would like to leave me a comment I would appreciate it. I’ll answer any question I can as well.
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