So They Send Rebekah on Her Way,
Along With Her Nurse and Abraham's Servant

4: 50-60

DIG: What did it cost Rebekah to follow the LORD’s will for her life, and what did she receive in return? How did God reveal His will to Abraham’s chief servant?

REFLECT: How does ADONAI reveal His will to you today? Have you been putting off a decision that needs to be made?

The servant had given the testimony as clearly and convincingly as he knew how. It was time for a decision. The consent comes from both the father and the brother. In fact, a brother’s participation in these types of negotiations was common in those days. We will see this again in 34:5-7. Both Laban and Bethuel recognize divine providence when they answered: This is from ADONAI and He has plainly revealed His will; we are not the ones to say yes or no, we can say nothing to you one way or the other. Thus, they offered their consent. They said: Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the LORD has directed. Rebekah had heard enough about Isaac (Hebrew: Yitz’chak) from the servant to believe that God had led him to her. She, no doubt, had been praying for a husband. At any rate, she was more than ready to go. When Abraham’s servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before ADONAI (24:50-52).

Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother (24:53). The bride of a prince must be provided with new clothing furnished by the father of the prince. These gifts represented the bride price, which is like the pearl of great price (see my commentrary on The Life of Christ Fc - The Parable of the Pearl). Jesus said: The kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it (Matthew 13:34). Rebekah represents the Bride of Christ who can no longer be dressed in the filthy rags of her own righteous acts (Isaiah 64:6), but must be dressed in fine linen, bright and clean (Revelation 19:8).

Then they finally got around to the festive meal; the chief servant and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there. All the members of the caravan were finally able to settle down to a good night’s sleep. One suspects, however, that there were at least a few who didn’t sleep much that night.394

When they got up the next morning, the servant surprised everyone by requesting that he and Rebekah leave immediately. He said: Send me on my way to my master. The servant wanted to complete his mission without a single delay. Abraham and Isaac were anxiously waiting to hear from him - but her brother, mother and father were shocked. They had been willing to let her go, but did it have to be so soon? It had been only half a day since he had come into their lives, and now he was preparing to take her away forever? They needed more time to say good-bye. They pleaded: Let the girl remain with us ten days or so; then you may go. But the servant had some good reasons to reject the delay, and said to them, “Do not detain me, now that ADONAI has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master” (24:54-56). Furthermore, delay would only give the flesh more reasons for changing their minds.

Then, in a further attempt to delay the servant and Rebekah’s departure, they said: Let’s call the girl and ask her about it. So they called Rebekah hoping that she would want more time to make her decision, and asked her, “Will you go with this man?” The issue is a personal decision. No one can make it for her.And she said: I will go (24:57-58). She goes to marry a man on faith. She leaves home never to return. Making a decision to follow Christ is a personal decision. No one can make it for you. If you decide to follow the Master, this world is no longer your home. You are an alien and a stranger in it (First Peter 2:11). The Bible teaches that all believers eagerly await a reunion with Jesus Christ in heaven where our citizenship actually exists (Philippians 3:20).

So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse, Deborah (35:8), and Abraham’s servant and all his men (24:59). In the eastern family the nurse is a very important person. She is esteemed almost like a parent; and accompanies the bride to her new home and remains there with her. She becomes the adviser, the assistant, and the friend of the bride. To the nurse, as to a mother, the bride will confide her greatest secrets. Thus Rebekah took with her on her long journey to her future home the nurse who had cared for her since childhood.395

And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, “Our sister, may you increase to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess the gates of their enemies” (24:60). Her decision was the right one. One should not go ahead of God’s will, but neither should we lag behind, once that His will is known. This principle is most important in connection with the greatest decision of all – whether to accept Christ or not. Once the Holy Spirit has taught someone about Christ, and they understand the implications of the Gospel, he should accept Him and follow Him immediately. Delay can only be dangerous. I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation (Second Corinthians 6:2).

 

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