Rebekah: A Little White Lie
She was God’s answer to a very specific prayer. Abraham prayed that God would bless His son Isaac with a wife, and not just any wife, a high caliber woman who would help Isaac fulfill God’s purpose for his life. Abraham’s servant had barely finished praying before Rebekah appeared. She was beautiful, a virgin, pure, caring, compassionate…she was perfect. Isaac took Rebekah as his wife. It turns out that Rebekah was barren. They prayed for her to conceive, and she was blessed with not one, but two babies, twins. Talk about double favor.
But trouble began brewing in Rebekah’s womb. Her twins jostled with each other. God told her that she would have two nations, and the older would serve the younger. Even in birth, the younger brother came out holding onto the heel of Esau. So, he was named Jacob, he who deceives. Rebekah made it no secret that she favored Jacob over Esau. Jacob wanted what did not belong to him, his brother’s birthright and inheritance. Jacob stole Esau’s birthright on his own, but it was his mother Rebekah who devised the plan to deceive her husband Isaac into giving the blessing to Jacob. Rebekah was sought by Abraham for her purity. She was essential to helping fulfill God’s purpose for Isaac, but favoritism and manipulation were eating at her character.
I don’t know if it was God’s will that Jacob rule over Esau, or if God was warning Rebekah of the costs of her future actions. But this I do know, Rebekah’s “little white lie,” had consequences that spanned generations:
1. The name Rebekah gave to Jacob gave him low standards to live by and affirmed a deceptive character.
2. Rebekah taught Jacob that it was OK to mislead to get his way and even abetted him in the process.
3. Her husband became entangled in her dishonesty, and their other son was betrayed and deeply hurt.
4. This was the beginning of a web of deception.
a. Laban deceived Jacob by having him marry the wrong daughter (Gen. 29:15-30)
b. Jacob’s wives were full of jealousy and in competition to bear children (Gen. 29:31-30:24)
c. Jacob lost favor with the family of his wives and Rachel stole from her father (Gen. 31)
d. Jacob was deceived by his own sons who were jealous and sold Joseph into slavery (Gen. 37)
Looking forward, God still fulfilled His promise to Abraham of descendants as numerous as the stars, the Israelites. Despite the deception, his offspring was blessed, and Joseph accomplished awesome things for God. But what a price that had to be paid by the family. So many lives were damaged and people hurt along the way. I often wonder if not for a lie, how many of the curses could have been avoided? What blessings were missed?
As women, we are the nurturers who rear our households. And while we are not to step on man’s God-given leadership in the home, we are an integral key in setting the tone of not only our home, by our circle of influence. God has entrusted us with lives - our husband, children, family, coworkers, and acquaintances. We have to be so careful, that the life we are living is exalting and glorifying to HIM so that others are encouraged to follow our example. We can steer others toward successful, God-honoring lives! Generational curses can END or be avoided by a praying, virtuous woman! Whatever standards we set, they will live by! Whatever we deem acceptable, they will follow! The examples we display, they will emulate! The qualities we affirm in others, they will become! We are POWERFUL! So what are we doing with our influence???
Challenge: Map your circle of influence. Ask God to reveal the standards you are setting and example you are portraying to them. Are you giving a great name and high morals to live up to? Are you starting generational blessings? Are you ending generational curses? Share your thoughts with #WomenOfTheBibleChallenge.
Don’t know where to start?
Deuteronomy 30:19 ~ This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live
Psalm 112:2 ~ Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
I Timothy 4:12 ~ Don’t let anyone look down on you [for any reason – age, gender, past], but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
Hebrews 10:23-25 ~ Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.