Embracing the Big Picture
God, lift my eyes above the plans and problems of the days ahead, and show me Your purposes.
Read Genesis 24:29–67
 Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he hurried out to the man at the spring.  As soon as he had seen the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her, he went out to the man and found him standing by the camels near the spring.  “Come, you who are blessed by the LORD,” he said. “Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.”  So the man went to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and fodder were brought for the camels, and water for him and his men to wash their feet.  Then food was set before him, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told you what I have to say.” “Then tell us,” Laban said.  So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant.  The LORD has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys.  My master’s wife Sarah has borne him a son in her old age, and he has given him everything he owns.  And my master made me swear an oath, and said, ‘You must not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live,  but go to my father’s family and to my own clan, and get a wife for my son.’  “Then I asked my master, ‘What if the woman will not come back with me?’  “He replied, ‘The LORD, before whom I have walked faithfully, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, so that you can get a wife for my son from my own clan and from my father’s family.  You will be released from my oath if, when you go to my clan, they refuse to give her to you-then you will be released from my oath.’  “When I came to the spring today, I said, ‘LORD, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come.  See, I am standing beside this spring. If a young woman comes out to draw water and I say to her, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar,”  and if she says to me, “Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels too,” let her be the one the LORD has chosen for my master’s son.’  “Before I finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came out, with her jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water, and I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’  “She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too.’ So I drank, and she watered the camels also.  “I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ “She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milkah bore to him.’ “Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms,  and I bowed down and worshiped the LORD. I praised the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right road to get the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son.  Now if you will show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so I may know which way to turn.”  Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the LORD; we can say nothing to you one way or the other.  Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the LORD has directed.”  When Abraham’s servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the LORD.  Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother.  Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there. When they got up the next morning, he said, “Send me on my way to my master.”  But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the young woman remain with us ten days or so; then you may go.”  But he said to them, “Do not detain me, now that the LORD has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.”  Then they said, “Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.”  So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?” “I will go,” she said.  So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men.  And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, “Our sister, may you increase to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess the cities of their enemies.”  Then Rebekah and her attendants got ready and mounted the camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.  Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev.  He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching.  Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel  and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?” “He is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself.  Then the servant told Isaac all he had done.  Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIt’s easy to get caught up in the worries of life, isn’t it? God’s big picture tells us there is meaning in the mundane.
Much of today’s reading is a retelling of yesterday’s. This isn’t an accident; the choice ofnarrative technique must have a reason.Also, compare verse 60 with Genesis 22:17. The oneclearly echoes the other, and appears nowhere else in the Bible, suggesting that it isn’t just astandard blessing of the time; the words were chosen deliberately.These two elements emphasize Rebekah’s role in the bigger picture. This wasn’t just a servantfinding a good wife for his master’s son, but a worshipper finding the woman through whom theprophecy of God would be fulfilled.It can be inspiring to feel you are part of a bigger picture, part of God’s purposes for the world.This perspective must have been significant in giving Rebekah the confidence to leave her familyand travel to a new land to marry a man she’d never met.We too are part of God’s bigger picture. The Scriptures are to us what the servant’s narrative wasto Rebekah and her family: they tell the story so far and ask, “Will you go?”Much of today’s reading is a retelling of yesterday’s. This isn’t an accident; the choice of narrative technique must have a reason.Also, compare verse 60 with Genesis 22:17. The one clearly echoes the other, and appears nowhere else in the Bible, suggesting that it isn’t just a standard blessing of the time; the words were chosen deliberately. These two elements emphasize Rebekah’s role in the bigger picture. This wasn’t just a servant finding a good wife for his master’s son, but a worshipper finding the woman through whom the prophecy of God would be fulfilled.
It can be inspiring to feel you are part of a bigger picture, part of God’s purposes for the world. This perspective must have been significant in giving Rebekah the confidence to leave her family and travel to a new land to marry a man she’d never met.
We too are part of God’s bigger picture. The Scriptures are to us what the servant’s narrative was to Rebekah and her family: they tell the story so far and ask, “Will you go?”
What is the equivalent of the “Will you go?” question on your life just now? How will you answer?
Lord and Master, give me strength for the journey. Where You call me I will go—I give myself to You.