I have been studying the story of Abraham’s eldest servant and Rebekah from Genesis 24. Isaac was not yet married and Abraham was very old. So Abraham sent his servant to find Isaac a wife from his home country.
What a task that servant had! Can you imagine being asked to go find someone else a wife? I laugh to think of how that would go in our day and age. Hmm…come to think of it, it may have some advantages!
The servant is clearly overwhelmed with this request from Abraham but in obedience, takes 10 camels and sets out on his journey. He gets to Nahor just in time for the women to come and draw water from the well. The servant has the right idea and asked the God of Abraham for some inside help.
He prayed and asked God to be the matchmaker and send him the right woman for Isaac. To draw water for a journeying stranger was custom in Bible days so the servant went a step further to separate the ‘do what I have to do’ woman from the ‘do beyond what I have to do’ woman.
Along came Rebekah and offered not only to draw water for the servant but also for his ten camels. Ten camels!!! A camel can drink a serious amount of water…and that would be ten times over! She proceeded to give the camels water and all through this time, the servant said nothing to her….hmmm…’can I help you?’ or ‘I really appreciate you doing this’ or any word would have been appropriate I think…but nothing…not until she had finished.
We know the end of the story…Rebekah becomes Isaac’s wife. She became the mother of Jacob and Esau. The grandmother of Joseph who, in his own time and destiny, would save millions of lives through his obedience to God and the grandmother of the twelve of the tribes of Israel.
I haven’t heard too often Rebekah being referred to as the woman with a servant’s heart but that is exactly what she had. Rebekah didn’t know who the servant was. Her motives were pure in giving the camels water yet God honoured her willingness to serve and lifted her to a place of honour.
I wonder how many times we have missed the opportunity to a greater destiny because the request for serving seemed too menial or too much hard work? I need to search my heart’s motive for serving others. This is what the Bible says, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another (Romans 12:10) and, “…but by love serve one another (Galatians 5:13).
Can I give your camels water?
This is a blog post from Jena Grech, the Assistant Pastor of the Pentecostals of Sydney and the President of National Women’s Ministries of the UPCA.