This story is based on Genesis 24 - Listen to this chapter.
“Mom, I’m ready to go refill the water jar. The sun’s getting lower and I don’t want it to get dark before I return.” Bekey called out. It had been a normal day; Rebekah had gone about her chores as usual totally unaware that God intended that her life would be completely changed by that evening.
It was customary that in the evening when it wasn’t quite so hot the young ladies of the town would go to the well to draw the water needed for the family. It was hard work drawing the water and carrying it in those heavy clay pots back home to the family but Rebekah didn’t mind it. It was just another way she could help out. She hefted the water jar onto her shoulder and headed out the door. On the way she met up with other girls in the neighborhood and they chatted as they walked to the well. As they drew near, they noticed some men with ten camels over near the well. “I wonder who they are and what they’re doing here,” said Bekey quietly, “and is that old man in front praying?”
“I don’t know,” replied her friend, “but I sure wouldn’t want to have to water all those camels. They look thirsty! Carrying water for my family is enough for me.”
Bekey didn’t think much more about the men as she went down to the spring and filled her jar. But as she came back up lugging the jar the old man ran to meet her. “May I have a drink of water?”
“Certainly,” she smiled as she hurried to lower her jar from her shoulder and give the man a drink, “Your camels also look thirsty, I’ll water them too.” Bekey offered emptying the rest of her jar’s contents into the watering trough then running back to the spring to refill it. Camels are thirsty creatures so it took a long time for Bekey to get enough water for them. Back and forth, back and forth Bekey went filling her jar at the well and emptying it into the trough then filling the jar again.
Ever since she was a little girl, Bekey had enjoyed helping people. Her mom had told her that God had given her a servant’s heart! It was a gift she had treasured; and as she grew up, she cheerfully served her family and responsibly saw to her duties. All the while God had been watching her. He noticed that she had developed a character of selflessness. She got joy out of service. The wonderful thing was that she was like this whether she thought it mattered or not.
But today God was not the only one watching her service. She didn’t notice, but as she went back and forth back and forth between the well and the camels’ trough this old man was watching her carefully. You see, he had just prayed a special prayer and now he was watching to see if Rebekah was the answer to that prayer.
By the time Bekey made her last trip to the well and back she was exhausted but happy to have served this gentleman. Much to her surprise, when she was all finished with her big job this kind old man took out some of the most beautiful and valuable golden jewelry she had ever seen and put it on her “Then he asked, ‘Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?’
“She answered him, ‘I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milcah bore to Nahor.’ And she added, ‘We have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for you to spend the night.’
“Then the man bowed down and worshiped the LORD, saying, ‘Praise be to the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the LORD has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.’”—Genesis 24:23-27.
Bekey ran back home to tell her family what had happened. She wondered what all this could mean. Her brother, Laban, was very interested when he saw the valuable jewelry. He had always been the money hungry one, so when he saw how rich this man was he ran to the well to invite the gentleman to stay with them.
The servants unloaded the camels and brought fresh straw and fodder while Bekey and her mom got a meal together. But when they were about to start eating the old man 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…. 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 [promise], 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.”—Genesis 24:33-38
“He promised that God’s Angel would come with me and give me success. So I set out immediately on my journey. This evening when I got here I came to the spring I wondered how I could possibly select find a young lady with the right character. So I got off my camel and prayed, ‘O 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 maiden 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.”—Genesis 24:42-46
When the visitor had finished telling his story everyone was speechless. The visitor asked Bekey’s dad, “So what do you say? May I take Bekey home with me to be my master’s son’s wife?”
“This is from the Lord. We don’t really have anything to say about it. It’s obvious that God has planned that Bekey and Isaac get married!” They responded, and Bekey readily agreed.
I know this story may seem a little strange to you because people don’t get married like that anymore but did you notice that Rebekah was blessed because she had built a good character that loved to serve? Our character is what we’re like when we don’t think it matters. Rebekah didn’t know that her character was being watched; she just served because that’s how she was. But God used that character to bless her in ways far beyond her wildest imagination. She became the wife of the patriarch Isaac, the one God chose to make the earthly ancestor of Jesus!
What are you like when no one’s watching? Are you building a character that loves to serve and share? I hope so!
Originally posted and (c) 09-30-2007