A Meddling Matriarch
Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. The LORD said to her, ‘Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.
For context read Genesis 24-27
As we follow the narrative of the matriarchs of our faith, next in line is Rebekah. She was sought after as a wife for Isaac from Abraham’s relatives after the death of Sarah. As you read the story of how God revealed to Abraham’s servant which woman was to become Isaac’s wife, it is easy to see God’s providential hand in her selection as the next matriarch of God’s people.
She was the answer to Abraham’s servant’s very specific prayer. What’s more, we learn that she was a beautiful virgin, she was kind and hospitable, and she was willing to leave her family behind to become Isaac’s wife though she had never met him. That shows that she was not only courageous, but that she believed Abraham’s servant when he spoke of how God had led him to choose her. She had faith in the providence of God.
We see further evidence of her faith in God when, after a time of infertility, God answers Isaac’s prayers and blesses them with twins! While Rebekah is pregnant with them, her boys were fighting, even in the womb! So, she seeks the LORD and finds out that she has two boys in her womb that will become the fathers of two distinct nations. God told her that the younger son would be greater than the older. Sadly, this created sibling rivalry and division in Rebekah’s household. Genesis 25:28 says, “Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.” Isaac and Rebekah played favorites and it caused major problems for their family.
When Isaac was on his deathbed, he was prepared to bless Esau, his firstborn as was the custom. But the LORD had told Rebekah that Jacob would be the one who would lead the family. So, she devised a plan to trick her husband into giving the firstborn blessing to Jacob instead of Esau.
Rebekah, who had seen God providentially provide for her in the past, suddenly took over the situation and resorted to deceit in order to” help” God fulfill His word that Jacob would be the greater brother. Why did she do this? What happened to that courageous faith that led her to leave home and marry a man she did not know? Why didn’t she inquire of the LORD about the situation as she did when she was pregnant? Why didn’t she trust that the God who had been faithful to her in the past would be faithful to carry out His promises concerning Jacob?
Sisters, the WORD about women in the story of Rebekah is that God does not need us to meddle in situations in order to fulfill His Word. God does not need us to act impulsively, deceptively, manipulatively, or contrary to His commands. He is fully capable of fulfilling His own promises! We can trust that God will act according to His Word.
Have you ever been tempted to meddle in a situation that God clearly had under control? How did it turn out?
PrayLord, I know that You are faithful to fulfill Your promises. You do not need me to manipulate or meddle to bring about results. Help me to rest in the fact that You have all of my situations under control and to seek You before I act. Amen.