“So Rebekah and her young women got up and they mounted camels and followed after the man. In this way the servant took Rebekah and went on.”
And thus Laban and the rest of the family are left behind … for the moment at least … and Rebekah travels on with Eliezer to meet Isaac and Abraham. One must commend Rebekah as well as Eliezer for their faith, but in different ways. For Eliezer, his faith is demonstrated in his willingness to follow his master; for Rebekah, faith is demonstrated in her willingness to follow the instructions of Abraham never having seen him or having known his character. She trusts in his authority and follows; Eliezer knows Abraham’s authority and follows. Jesus said blessed are those who believe without having to see (John 20:29). Eliezer has seen Abraham and has witnessed the mighty works that God has done through this man; Rebekah has not, yet she still follows. Eliezer reasonably knows what the outcome will be when he returns home to Abraham; Rebekah does not.
Miracles and magnificent works really are overrated. While they can perhaps confirm faith, they are impotent in producing faith and the faith that Jesus commends is a faith that does not rely on such works. How often, when we are called upon by God to follow his leading in big or even in small ways, we hesitate. We desire confirmation while God desires obedience. We are often more like the child that always asks his parents, “why,” rather than the child who follows in obedience. Loved ones, obedience is the call to which God has called us; may we follow into the unknown — even sight unseen! — along the pathway that God has laid before us and see what God will do through our lives.
“And they said, ‘Let us call to the young girl and hear it from her mouth.’ And they called to Rebekah and they said to her, ‘Will you go with this man?’ And she said, ‘I will go.’ Thus, they sent out Rebekah, their sister, and her nurse as well as the servant of Abraham and his men.”
It almost seems as if, knowing that they are not going to persuade Eliezer to stay, they turn to Rebekah to buy more time. Rebekah’s response is short, simple, and typical of a woman of God. She simply says, “I will go.” While hesitation grips the family (likely out of hopes for personal gain), no hesitation afflicts the mind of Rebekah. She sees the hand of God at work and decides to simply follow God’s leading through the open door.
If the main theme of this chapter of the Bible is God’s sovereignty and faithfulness to his people, one of the next most significant themes is that of how God’s people are to follow God’s lead without hesitation or qualm. It is easy for us to get comfortable in our setting, no matter what that setting is. Even if the context is difficult, it is a “familiar difficulty” in the light of the unknown world that lays before us. Yet, when God calls us to go, we must follow His lead. Rebekah models that faithfulness for us in a pretty radical way. How often we fail even in simple ways.
Let the testimony of Rachael be your example and model. When God opens the door for you to serve him in a new (or in a fuller) way, step through that door and see where God will lead. There will be comforts enough in heaven, let us risk discomfort here to lift high the name of our mighty Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
“Thus he and the men that were with him ate and drank and lodged there. And they arose in the morning and he said, ‘Send me to my lord.’ And her brother and her mother said, ‘Let the girl stay with us about ten more days and then she may go.’ But he said to them, ‘You should not detain me for Yahweh has prospered my way; send me that I may go to my lord.’”
We can only infer what it is that is causing Laban and their mother to seek to delay Rebekah’s return with Eliezer. While we are not told for sure, it seems likely that they have seen the wealth of this servant and have decided the longer he stays the more wealth he will lavish on them in return for their hospitality. Eliezer, ever the faithful servant, sees through their distraction and refuses to be delayed in his task.
Now here is an interesting bit to keep before our hearts and minds. Eliezer has a harsh ride through the wilderness ahead of him on the return ride home yet he is eager to embark on the journey because of the end result: the presentation of Rebekah to Isaac. It is interesting because we often seek to delay difficult paths that are before us as long as we are able — no matter how wonderful the end of the journey might promise. We are often quicker to remain comfortable in the worldly comforts that surround us at the moment than we are to leave those worldly comforts behind for a season to grow in faith and in relationship with God. How quick most of us would be to accept Laban’s offer of “hospitality” only to delay the trials before us.
Eliezer is a model to us of focus and determination. What pleases him is not his personal comfort but faithfully serving his master. Beloved, our master is Christ Jesus. Are you faithfully serving him? Are you quick to set aside the comforts of this life for the pathway that Christ has laid before you? Opportunities pass when we delay; loved ones, do not let your comfort or your fears of stepping out in difficult waters detain you from pursuing the path to which God is calling you to follow. John F. Kennedy once said, “We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” Eliezer says to us across the ages, “We do these hard things not because they are comfortable for us, but because our joy is found in the joy of our master.” Let us pursue Christ no matter the cost or the risk not because it is easy or comfortable, but because it is joyous to please our Lord and Master and Savior and Friend.