Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, ‘Wilt thou go with this man?’ And she said, ‘I will go.’”
King James Version
“A Decisive Woman”
The Story of a Chief Steward, Camels and a Fair Maiden
“Choose well: your choice is brief and yet endless.”
What decision in my life changed the direction I might have taken?
How have my choices affected my life?
“Those who insist upon seeing with perfect clearness before they decide, never decide.”
“Only those who must bear the consequences of a decision have the right to make it.”
Sarah had died. She had been buried. Now it was time for the next generation to become the leaders of Abraham’s family. But in order for this goal to be achieved, a wife must be found for the child of promise – Isaac. As we found out in Genesis 21: 21, Hagar arranged for her son Ishmael to marry a girl from their homeland, Egypt. Abraham wanted the same for his son, Isaac. Too old to travel a long distance, Abraham assigned the task of finding a wife for his son to his trusted head steward. So the chief steward returned to where Abraham’s family lived and as he approached the local well, he asked God to give him a sign that would let him know that a certain “damsel” was God’s choice to be Isaac’s wife.
This first act on the part of Abraham’s steward should help us realize that taking the counsel of God and the counsel of those whose experience is working for our benefit can be of great assistance when the choice for a lifelong mate is being considered.
While Abram’s steward wanted a Godly woman, there were other characteristics he was looking for as well.
He wanted a girl who was hospitable and kind. So he prayed that when he arrived at the city well, the girl he asked for a drink would not only provide him with water but his camels, too. Now this is a very interesting point. Historians tell us that camels were not the most common animal of burden at that time – donkeys were. What’s more, camels were owned only by the very rich. Abraham’s steward had 10 camels. Just think how much water Rebekah had to draw to fill up 10 camels – a lot! And Rebekah, without any thought for herself, not only gave the steward water to drink, but she also filled the water troughs until 10 camels had been provided water to capacity.
This generosity on the part of Rebekah not only made the steward certain he had met the right woman, but was also confirmed by Rebekah’s offer to take him home to her family.
When the steward arrived, he told everyone why he was there and what he had prayed for and then he asked if Rebekah would leave her family and friends; come to a land and to new friends and become Isaac’s wife?
After hearing about God’s leading, without hesitation Rebekah said, “Yes!”
No hesitation. No wishy-washy. She heard what she needed. She heard God’s calling and she didn’t come up with excuses or “back away.” She said, “Yes!”
I recently read a very interesting quote. “All decisions are made on insufficient evidence.”
I found this thought after my husband and I had had a discussion about a decision we had made 10 years earlier.
Our conversation went something like this:
Dorothy: “I bet if we had known what would have happened a few months later we wouldn’t have made this decision.”
Jim: “You’re probably right. However, at the time, we factored in all the information we had. Everything that we knew, we considered.”
Dorothy: “Then, are you saying, we made the best decision we could with the knowledge we had at the time?”
Jim: “That’s exactly what I’m saying. We used what we had to make a choice.”
The author, Evelyn Anthony, penned these words about a character in one of her stories:
“Long afterwards, she was to remember that moment when her life changed its direction. It was not predestined; she had a choice. Or it seemed that she had. To accept or refuse. To take one turning down the crossroads to the future or another. But this would be hindsight, and time always mocked truth.”
To me, these words could just as easily have been written about Rebekah. She had grown up in a protected environment; close to family and friends. She could have said, “I’m comfortable. I like it here. I’m staying here!”
But when presented by the steward’s story of being led by God and hearing her father and brother agree that the touch on her life was from God, the Bible says this decisive lady said, “Yes!”
I like Rebekah for this one quality alone. Decisions are tough. Choices are tough. And all of us have made more than our share of good and bad choices.
However, like Rebekah, if we watch closely for God’s calling in the events we encounter each day; if we seek advice and counsel from those who have let God lead in their own lives; and if we maintain a willing, generous heart, open to serving instead of taking; like Rebekah, I believe we will not be led astray and we will fulfill the purpose God has for our lives.
Eberhard Arnold in his book, Salt and Light: Talks and Writings on the Sermon on the Mount,observed:
“Christ, who is whole, wants us whole. He loves decisiveness. He loves His enemies more that His half-hearted friends. He hates His falsifiers more than His opposites. What He abhors is the lukewarm, the colourless grey, the twilight, the foggy, pious talking that mixes everything up and commits one to nothing. He sweeps all that away whenever He draws near.”
After looking at the courage exhibited by a young, generous-hearted girl who heard God’s call, I too want to be a woman of decisiveness who when asked “Will you follow God’s will for your life?” Answers without a minute’s hesitation, “Yes, I will!”
“Every moment you have a choice, regardless of what has happened before. Choose right now to move forward, positively, and confidently into your incredible future.”
“Lord God, I am no longer my own, but Yours
put me to what You will,
rank me with whom You will.
Put me to doing, put me to enduring;
let me be employed for You,
or laid aside for You,
exalted for You
or brought low for You;
let me be full, let me be empty;
let me have all things,
let me have nothing.
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to Your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
You are mine and I am Yours.
So be it.
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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