Thursday, March 13, 2008

Understanding Rebekah

Welcome back, are you enjoying the first week? Yesterday I had you read two chapters on Rebekah - her early years as a young woman and a bride, and her later years as a wife and mother. Her early years sound like the kind of woman we expect to read about in the Bible - she possesses purity, kindness and a willingness to do the Lord's will. But her later years seem surprising and shameful - she clearly favors one child over the other, and manipulates her husband and sons in a significant manner. Are you're wondering, "What happened here?"

I'm so glad you asked! I would love for you to read more of the Word of God in search of an answer. It will only take you a few minutes to click here and read Genesis 25 and 26, which are the two chapters in between yesterday's reading.

OK, now that you've read more of Rebekah's story you've learned some critical pieces of information about her and her family. You likely also noticed some parallels between her and her (deceased) mother-in-law, Sarah.

Rebekah is Abraham's great niece (she is the grand-daughter of Abraham's brother). When she is somewhere around 15-20 years old, she marries Sarah and Abraham's son Issac, who is now 40. At this point in time it was not considered wrong to marry within your family tree. Incest within the "nuclear family" was not practiced but cousins were deemed distant enough to marry.

In fact, parents would often rather their children marry within the family than marry into another family or, what they deemed worse, another culture. So possesions, land, and people were usually kept within the larger family clan. Plus, their identity was that they had been set apart by God.

Behind the scenes God was establishing Jesus' bloodline - though we'll discover God used women outside of the Hebrew clan in this endeavor.

Issac and Rebekah's marriage starts quickly and quite well - he adored her and she was the only wife Issac ever took. I believe Issac was the only patriarch that only had one wife/lover - he was monogamous! Soon they tried to have children. That didn't work. Like Sarah, she was barren.

Issac learned a few things from his parent's mistakes (though he too moved when a famine hit and claimed his wife was his sister for protection) and he decided to go straight to God and ask for his wife's womb to be opened. Given that he was the son of (old, barren) Sarah, he could no doubt pray this prayer with great faith. God granted his request and after 20 years of marriage, Rebekah finally became pregnant when he was 60.

Her pregnancy, however, was rough and troubling and she felt something was out of the ordinary. So, like her husband had, she went straight to God for answers. She learned she had TWO babies inside and God said this about them:

And the Lord told her, “The sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning, the two nations will be rivals. One nation will be stronger than the other; and your older son will serve your younger son.”

So, God birthed a nation through Abraham and Hagar. And then again, as promised, through Abraham and Sarah. And those two sons were rivals. And now God is doing it again, only the two rival sons/nations will come from the very same womb this time - Rebekah's. (If you are tracking with me here, that means multiple nations will be against the nation of Israel.)

Imagine for a moment that you are pregnant with twins. And the Lord tells you what he told Rebekah in the verse above. Would it influence they way you viewed your two boys? Or the way that you raised them? Would you be extra proud or extra protective of the one God said would rule?

Would you think maybe God told you this so that you could make sure it came to pass?

Rebekah did not favor Esau. Did you read that description of him as a baby? It sounds like his was a face not even his mother could love. What's with all the redness and hair everywhere?

Esau grew to be a man of the wild. He loved to hunt and catch the food his father loved to eat. I imagine he was always a bit too dirty and smelly for Rebekah's taste - always dragging in some beast he had killed. Always staining his clothes with guts and blood. Esau also took wives from outside the family/culture and Rebekah did not condone that.

Jacob, however, was more mild-mannered. Not a hunter but a shepherd. He was smooth-skinned and relational. He was the baby of the family - and you know how mothers can mother the babies of the family! Jacob stayed close to the house and close to his mother's side, and she concentrated her attention and affection on him. After all, he would be the leader. God had said so.


An important thing happens in chapter 25:27-34. According to today's text, Rebekah is not present for it (except perhaps in the back of Jacob's mind). Esau arrives home from being in the wilderness and he is extremely hungry (unable to catch any food this time?) and he wants something to eat so badly that he AGREES to Jacob's proposition to trade his birthright as first born for some food to eat.

First born rights enable you to receive the father's inheritance and blessing when he dies. The ancients believed that once the deathbed blessing is spoken, there is no reversing it or diverting it from its course. It was considered powerful and irrevocable. In this case, that blessing would carry God's promise to Abraham of forming a great nation through your lineage.

Here we have two boys, twins, born at the same time ... but Jacob was trailing Esau out of the womb while holding onto his brother's heel. That means Esau was technically deemed the first born. And yet he agreed to give that title - and all it entails - to Jacob that day in the kitchen.

We're not told if the parents learn about this or not, but I gotta believe Jacob was quick to let his mother know what happened. Did she assume this was God's orchestration? God's favor on the one He said would rule? ... Was it??

As the day of Issac's death draws near, Rebekah learns that Issac still plans to pass the blessing to Esau, his personal favorite, the first child out of the womb. This isn't right, Rebekah thinks, Esau gave that right up to Jacob. Jacob deserves the blessing. Besides, God said that the younger son would end up ruling the older one. Issac is about to mess everything up. I've got to do something.


Now do you understand what motivated that sweet young girl from chapter 24 to carry out the events of chapter 27? Do you see how she, like Sarah, took matters into her own hands to ensure that God's words came true?

One thing is for sure, it wound up costing Rebekah everything - her relationship with her husband, her eldest son turned on her beloved youngest son, and her youngest son had to be sent off in hiding where she would no longer see him.

Don't you wonder how things would've played out differently if she had never heard what God said while she was pregnant? Or if she hadn't sent Jacob in to clandestinely get the blessing? I'm sure you still have some questions after reading Rebekah's story and my post - I know I do!

God heard and answered Issac's prayers for Rebekah, and God knew from the start what the deal would be with Rebekah's children. So none of this was beyond God's vision and none of it stopped His promise to Abraham or His plan to bring Jesus into the world. And nothing that happens to you or me is beyond God's vision either.


Let me hear what you are thinking and what you learned.

*Tomorrow we are "off" and then I'll post the next reading on Sunday.

GREAT JOB THE FIRST WEEK!

179 comments:

  1. Wow! wow! wow!
    This is awesome. Thank u Racheal. I really thank God for using you and i mention you in my prayers ofen. You opened my eyes to this story in a really practical way.

    You know reading the passages, all i kept thinking about was " what happened to Rebecca?" Why turn 2 brothers ( her own children) against each other?
    She seemed so different from the young Rebecca who married Issac.

    Reading ur post has however made me less critical as i realise that, given the same circumstances ,i might have done the same.
    It's a big lesson to learn.
    I guess she felt compelled to make sure nothing disturbs God's words from coming to pass.
    Not like anything would have changed their destiny( as already proclaimed by God) or would it?
    What do u think?

    P.S - In the last post, someone wanted us to mention our countries/ states.....
    Well, i am from Nigeria hanging out with y'all.lol...

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  2. having read the two inbetween chapters it gives me more understanding of what rebekah did. I think in her own way she was trying to make what God said come ture. I have been there! giving God a little helping hand instead of waiting for him to lead me into the next move. Why is it so hard to execpt that God is God He will and can do what He says he will do without our help.
    Thank for this insight into Rebekah's life and into my own as well.
    have a great week end!

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  3. Thanks for your added comments, Rachel. I for one see Rebecca from the start adventurous and bold. She tended well to a stranger's request (OK maybe God prompted her!), but she also didn't listen to her mother and others's advice to wait and prepare a bit before rushing off with the servant who was just happy to find the bride for his master. She was ready in her mind to go immediately, too, and fortunately her nurse and girl servants accompanied her.
    Also as the mother of identical twins, I can relate to the struggle in the womb, even though Esau and Jacob were obviously fraternal twins. In any case, twins altho' closely tied are separate persons and need nuturing as individuals, but I and their spouses have found that when they fight, all should step out of their way and let them resolve their twinly differences! Instead mild Isaac and Rebecca took sides and in a way probably spoiled each and that kind of parenting/planting bad seeds, coupled with their heritage and life experiences, produced a sad harvest. Yet, isn't wonderful how the Lord—when we turn to Him—can bring about His perfect will and good can come out of it? I'm glad God is loving, forgiving and keeps working on perfecting us...
    Oh and hello from South Africa!

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  4. It is always good to read again passages that are so familiar but then you read them in a new light and receive new understanding.

    Although the bible says that Rebekah and Isaac each "favored" a different son it doesn't say that they didn't love the other one.
    After Jacob leaves it says that Esau takes a wife that might be more pleasing to his parents. He is the son that is left with aging parents while Jacob goes off to find a wife. I wonder if there was some relationship healing going on while Jacob was gone. After all he was also blessed by God with many heards and children and he was able to forgive Jacob when Jacob returned. - Sylvia, Illinois

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  5. Hi Rachel. Thank you so much for making these scriptures clearer to us all. I never noticed before that because Esau had sold his birthright to Jacob he really had himself to blame for what later transpired.

    Something that caught my attention about Rebecca, when Isaac's servant noticed her, was that she offered to water his camels, he had 10 camels that had trekked through the dessert and she was watering them with water from a well, it must have taken ages before they finished drinking! Rebecca certainly possesed a kind and patient spirit at this time in her life! I admire that. I also like the fact that the servant watched Rebecca in silence until she had completed the job, I think that way he knew God had really answered his prayer!

    Tam - London, England.

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  7. First time blogger :-) I'm in and I'm participating!

    Thank you for presenting this opportunity to challenge ourselves to spend time in the Word. AND, really take it in...

    MRT, Louisiana

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  8. Thank you Rachel for your insight on these chapters. I have been taking notes as I do my reading in a spiral journal on each of the ladies you have chosen to study. The early patterns are arising and I now understand that I am not alone in my "well intentioned help" for God's plan of my life.
    But, the impatience issue arouse at the beginning, when Rebekah went immediately with Abraham's servant. Isaac adored her probably to the extent that she felt "superior" and could handle anything that came her way. God's plan for us will carry on despite us - I thank God that he is in control and can make good come out of anything I attempt to "fix" on my own. ......Dublin, Ohio

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  9. Hi I have three boys myself and am amazed by how different they can be even though they have the same parents. One right now has disowned me because I took in my grandchildren and daughter in law when he threw them out during the winter months. My youngest son as been a blessing passed anything I could have imagined and have heard the other call him my favorite son.

    I never treated them differently when they were small but their actions as grown men have made keeping them on equal standing impossible from my stand point.

    Was Esau difficult and Issac an easy going loving child, that can make a huge difference in how you treat them.

    I pray often GOD will bring my other son back with his heart where it belongs, turned to GOD and not to himself.

    Thanks Rachel for opening this story up for us it is a real pleasure to have someone to study with especially since I am home so much with my husband or at work, I miss going to church right now and this is a big help.

    GOD Bless you
    Elizabeth

    PS. I am from Caldwell, Idaho

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  10. Thank you for your insight. There were some eye opening, thought provoking things that were read. I too have 2 little boys and 2 twin boys in heaven. I understand Rebekah completely. There are times when a mother would appear that she "favors" (although she shouldn't) one son over the other.
    Even though God doesn't speak to us in an audible voice like He did back then, He still speaks to us through His word. I wish we could learn through others mistakes and see ourselves before we repeat history.
    Thank you again for this study. It's been a great week. This has motivated me to spend time with the Lord.
    --Hello from Santa Cruz Bolivia South America

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  12. Hi Everyone

    I have read this passage several times but never got the meaning like I did today. Thank you for having us read the in-between part. It explained a lot. I couldn't figure out why Rebekah would change so much. She seemed to have such a heart for the Lord leaving her family and everything.

    After reading today, I realize I probably would have done the same thing as Rebekah. She probably thought it was why God wanted her to do. It made me think about if I am doing things because I think thats the way God wants it to turn out when really it is how I want it to turn out. I think I will be more aware of doing this pattern because of what we learned today. Thanks!

    Connie - Genoa Illinois

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  13. We do this all the time as wives and moms with little thought on how the end result could affect family, and or our nation. I doubt these women could even begin to comprehend. We need to remember that our actions do have lasting consequences....

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  14. It was very evident to me how God used Abraham's family as a model for how obedience and faith works. In the beginning, Abraham knew that to be in God's will he must get a wife for Isacc from his own people. They would be the people God would choose to fulfill His promise. His servant knew that, and also wanted to be in God's will...and in turn Rebekah yielded easily to the plan along with her family. I love it when a well oiled plan comes together!!!

    Then along comes humaness...and we mess it all up. Issac clings to the cultural by wanting to bless his first born...rather than the one more suited for famliy leadership. Rebekah thwarts the plan by helping Jacob manipulate Issac. Esau has no use for his spiritual heritage and Jacob manipulates a weak Esau into selling his birthright.
    When we obey, as Christians we are showing the world how peaceful and successful life can be under the guidelines of our Heavenly Father. When we don't, we are just like everyone else....God loves us all, but we have a responsibility to be faithful so that we can be great examples to a dying world out there. Our day to day decisions in life are the most impactful to those around us. Many times we will make unpopular choices or choices that set us apart from the world.
    Wow! I realize that staying grounded in the Word and praying is the only way I can surely protect myself and be the kind of person I want to be for Him!!!

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  15. First off, thank YOU Rachel for your time and effort. You are making a positive contribution to so many! After reading today's comments, I can 100% understand where Rebekah was coming from. Like many others have posted, my 5children are as different as their very fingerprints, but my overwhelming desire is to make things "right" for them. What is "right" is very different for each child, and quite honestly, I sometimes find myself acting/making decisions simply out of FEAR. I don't think it's wrong to want the best for my kids, I think though that it's my loss when I make decisions before prayfully listening to GOD....they're his kids too:)
    Have a great weekend everybody~
    Deb in VA

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  16. Thanks Rachel for starting us on this study... To think that a few people's actions could make such a difference! ....(a)Eve chose to eat the Forbidden Fruit because she was convinced that God was holding out on her.... and that brought EVIL into our consciousness......
    (b)Sarah used her own logic rather than waiting on the Lord's timing for Abraham's descendants (yes, I know Abraham was culpable here too) and this "created" a nation which would be Israel's enemy......
    (c) and now Rebekah chose for herself who should be Isaac's heir rather than letting Esau as the firstborn be the heir... then complained that Esau married Hittite women... well maybe if she had treated him more nicely he would care what she thought :-( (Of course he made a rash decision too when he "sold" his birthright to Jacob for one day's dinner)... Poor lady... She certainly started out wanting to do the right thing back when she left her family and went with Abraham's servant to marry Isaac........
    Sometimes it seems that my life is too small... that the work I do for the Lord can't be making much difference.... but these lessons we're learning here point out that every decision... GOOD or BAD.... can have an impact on future generations. So as I continue on my journey through life, now starting the new chapter of Marriage... it's a good reminder to me to make every decision (big or small) with care... because I don't know how it will impact other people.
    Also, this sure is shedding some more light on the battles between Arabs and Jews, and other culture wars.

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  17. P.S. I'm from Pennsylvania..... it surely is wonderful to be able to get in touch with people all over the world via the internet!!!

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  18. Again, I am floored that after years and years of reading God's Word that I'm still able to glean something NEW. How awesome is that? Rachel, again you have opened my eyes to the practical aspects of these women. I see Rebekah in a different light and I am growing each day.

    If God told me I had two nations in my womb that will be against each other, as a mother I know I would help things along because I just have to fix things. But God is slowly teaching me to lean and depend on Him.

    I can't say thank you enough for this opportunity................

    Lakeisha...............New Jersey

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  19. Thank you, Thank you Rachel!!
    I am so Loving learning more about the women of the bible and your take on the stories. Looking forward to Sunday!!! Blessings!! Kim

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  20. What a week! And thanks again Rachel. As I have gone through each of these womens stories again about their life I've been able, to find new meaning in them. God is good that way. I've also seen the proof that Gods word is the same yesterday (then)today and tomorrow. He is faithful, even we are faithless (or laughing :)). It has also been a great week knowing that I can't be the only one of these hundreds of women that rush to the computer first thing in the morning to find out more .. About God through his word. We are not only learning about God, but ourselves, and each other. I'm thankful that so many of you have opened your hearts and lives and have asked for prayer and support. It allows us to put the God in us to work, and also it shows someone that may have the same issue they are not alone. Like Rachel said before we started this study, we may just walk away with some new friends, and I hope we do. Now back to the story... We as women do have the tendency to want to get it done. We have work to do, we don't have time to wait. And hey if we can justify it because God said it was going to happen.. even better. We get deceived or deceive ourselves by wondering and wandering. Nothing is happening, so God must want me to take action, after all He said this was going to happen anyway. I've noticed in those quiet seasons we tend to think nothing is happening because we don't see it. So we get "helpful". Lining the Women up together has given me new revelations about Gods word and myself. It's been a great week. God Bless
    Lynn Oregon USA

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  21. So much to take in and so little time in which to do it! Thanks to everyone for your insights. I have never gotten so much out of scripture as with this study and I have all of you to thank.

    Rebekah, like me had her faults too. But I do think her main driving force was that she wanted God's will to be done. She just didn't seem to realize He didn't need her help to acomplish that. And I too am so guilty of trying to help God. Things would go so much better if I would step back and give Him the power that is already His, here in North Carolina and ALL around the world.

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  22. Thank you so much for the insight. I sit back and my mind wonders on wondering how Jacob would have received the blessing and what God's plan of events were if Rebekah hadn't stepped in. Just like in our own lives, it would be interesting to know what God's plan of events would have been in situations we take into our own hands.
    I look forward to Sunday!
    Nicole--Wabash, Indiana

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  23. Like others, I want to say Thank You Rachel for this study. I have renewed my faith in the last few years and am now trying to live as God wills me to while growing closer to him and and Jesus.

    These passages in the Bible really hit home with me. It has not only given me insight into how to patient and wait on God's timing but also insight into my own husband and his family. You see my husband is the second son and also the youngest of five in his family. All his life, he felt his father favored his brother over him as his older brother naturally possessed the qualities his father wanted in a son. From talks with my mother in law, she readily admits that my husband was favored by her. My husband is a lot like the way Jacob is described in the Bible and stayed close to his mother and still is to this day. His brother has all but disappeared. This is compacted by the fact that his father passed away suddenly 11 years ago and my husband was with him when this happened. His brother was not present. He has not had the chance to make things right with either his father or his brother. I just see many parallels with this story and that in my husbands family. It gives me new understanding of my husband and his needs and I thank God for this insight. I will keep Rebekah in mind as I deal with family matters with my husband both in his family of origin and one that we create if God should so bless us. I will be reading these passages again with my husband so that he will gain the insights that I am seeing. This I know will bring us closer as it is my husband that lend me into the renewing of my faith and walk with God.
    I wish you God's grace from Florida. I look forwarded to reading and learning with you all next week .

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  24. I'm not sure I can put down exactly what I want to say but, yes, I think God is trying to tell us something as women. We tend to be able to quickly "see" things, maybe more so than men? I really think Rebekah, and Sarah too, immediately understood what God was telling them--that He had wonderful plans and in their hearts they "saw" what He was up to. The last so many years I have been learning that instead of that tendancy being a negative against women, it is actually put there by God Himself, as a reflection of the relational part of His nature. But, we so often take it too far and, knowingly or not, do what we can to manipulate things to bring about the final result that we have "seen" so clearly. May God in His mercy keep working with us that we may see our complete undoneness apart from Him--He is the only one able!

    I have tried to make this a part of my everyday life--just because I "see" something that my husband doesn't, gives me no right to insist on a certain decision or move. I still need to allow him to decide what will be done or not done (and in his time, I might add)--and it has made a difference in our marriage. I am much more relaxed in letting him lead.

    I am also learning to trust God to work through my husband--than I don't have to try so hard to work things out myself!

    I am so grateful for being able to communicate with God as we can. For the stories and examples in the Bible--both negative and positive--to learn from. And the wonderful redemptive work of Jesus!

    I am really enjoying this way of studying together! Thanks to everybody...
    Pauline--El Salvador, Central America

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  25. I have read the reading. What a lesson we can all learn from this. I often wonder what in the world possessed Rebekah to do such a thing. She sure wanted to make sure that what God proclaimed would come to pass. I know that sometimes we all want to control a situation in our way instead of God's way. I always thought of Rebekah as so conniving. I often wonder why God allowed this to happen in the first place.

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  26. The overwhelming message I have received from Eve, Sarah and now Rebekah is WAIT ON THE LORD!! He has perfect timing--no matter how much we think we know what we are doing, we will never have a better way than the Lord's way. I can definitely relate to Rebekah in her relationship with her husband. There have been times that I thought my husband was not making the best choice, so I stepped in to "fix" it. Boy, that is not a good idea! I have learned that trusting my godly husband and honoring his leadership position in the family is the best. God has blessed me with a man after His own heart. Of course I don't always agree with my husband, but communicating in an effective way and giving one another respect leads to a great outcome--which is God's plan all along!

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  27. Love reading from everyone from all over the world. I would have done the same thing as Rebekah - take hold of what I thought God was trying to accomplish and make it happen rather than let God work His will in His timing and in His way! Thanks for clearer pictures on these wonderful women of the Bible. Debbie - New York

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  28. I think like Rebekah often. As how easy it is for me to "help" God solve my friends' or my own problems. But i do not know God's perfect timing. I often wondered if God had not spoken to Rebekah about the children in her womb if she would have still loved Jacob more?
    This is awesome to see everyones else's responses and interpretations.

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  29. I am still left wondering why God placed to opposing nations in her womb? Everything negative seems to happen because of a consequence. (Ex. Ishmael's people fighting with Isaac's because of Sarah's sin) What happened to cause this? Maybe there is no explanation or maybe it is following a chain of already consequential events. Just curious if anyone has any insight. Thanks! Hello from Ohio.

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  30. Hello ladies,

    I just finished reading all of your comments and I find it interesting how we have all come away from this, with a new understanding. What I got out of it was just how much we should all wait on the Lord and not run ahead of His plans for our lives. Let the light of His lamp show our way. If Rebekah had just waited, and not interfered with Gods timing, then who knows how it would have played out. The ending would have still been the same, but perhaps what took place in between, might have been different. One thing is for sure, learning more about God is never boring!

    Thanks Rachel for opening up this venue for daily reading of the bible. I always found it difficult to just do it, and I am very happy that I am finally making it a daily part of my life.

    Sincerely,
    Laurieann from Canada

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  31. After I read these scriptures for Rebekah I posted that I had an attitude with Rebekah because of her having a favorite. Now after reading Rachel's spin on it & reading other post, I realize I had never thought of it that way. I knew Esau had given his birthright away for food, one reason because he didn't realize the magnitude of what he was doing and the other reason because God said Jacob would rule over his eldest brother contrary to tradition. As I'm typing this it strikes me that God allowed tradition to be pushed aside which is something it seems like some people tend to get caught up in. Doing things a certain way because it has always been done that way. God knew what Esau was going to do long before he was born, Romans 8. This discussion has allowed me to see Rebekah in a new light and also to show me when God says he knew us before we were born, that is what He means. As for Rebekah helping God, well of course we all know God doesn't need help, we are His hands and His feet, she was only doing what she had to do as a woman who loved the Lord and knew what He had told her would come to pass. We are used that way by God, His thoughts are not our thoughts His ways are not our ways, so what seemed wrong to me, may not have seemed wrong to God. Ingyr-Columbus,Ohio

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  32. WOW!!! What a story! After reading the first 2 chapters on Rebekah, my immediate impression was that she wanted to make sure *both* of her babies were blessed...obviously I didn't understand what was going on! lol!
    Now, after reading Chapters 25-26 & with your insight, Rachel, I have different feelings!

    I think if I was Rebekah, I would have become very nervous in that God's will wasn't happening & I'm sure my worry would have led to me taking matters in my own hands, to try & *force* the hand of God, so to speak. The more I read God's word, the more I realize we cannot force anything! Yet, in my life, being a little distant from my faith, I have tried to take matters in my own hands & it never ended well...lol! I am so incredibly thankful that I am on a renewed spiritual journey & this Bible study is helping me on my journey!! THANK YOU!!!

    Also, I just read something else today in my daily Lenten devotionals that help me to understand this reading as well & I'd like to share it here:

    "So often the day-to-day matters we deal with may not seem to fit what we would consider God-given designs....but hanging on a cross does not seem to fit with God's purpose either" (Lenten Little Black Book, Bishop Ken Untener, 2007 Diocese of Saginaw)

    This combined with Rebekah's story really struck me & I can only sum my impression up in 2 words: TRUST HIM!

    I look forward to this daily!!
    Blessings, everyone!
    Pat in NYC

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  33. Well, once again I am reminded that it is so important to have all the facts...the whole story...before jumping to conclussions. I was so disappointed in Rebecca initially. I couldn't believe that a mother would set one son up for success and the other up for failure. However now, understanding more of the inbetween, I see how Rebecca thought she was "helping" God. Oh, how I have been there! Even though I know from experience that God is in control and that His plan is much better than anything that I can come up with on my own, there are still times that I try to "help" Him.

    I have also been encouraged in my personal life by this very timely study of these women. (Not a coincidence, I am sure) I am in a situation where I have at times become impatient...no, I haven't tried to "help" God YET (!!!), but through these studies I am reminded and encouraged to wait on God and let Him work everything out in His perfect timing. Don't we serve an amazing God?!!!

    Pam...Amarillo, Texas

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  34. This makes things more clearer. Yes I still have plenty of questions, but I understand Rebekah more than I ever thought I would. I read this over and over and heard it growing up. Now it makes much sense to me, as a young womean entering into "adult hood" I have seen and heard the promises God has given to me. I still doubt! Despite everything HE has shown me, I still try to take things into my own hands "well maybe I need to Help God maybe this situation needs a push" I know this is not the way God intends His promises to play out. Why is it so hard for us to trust God? I have pondered this many times within the last week! So many emotional rollar coasters. I see how Rebekah "helped" God along and crazy thing I know what she was thinking!! It's amazing to see how life plays out and how human struggles have not changed! Why God gives us this book to show us that we are not the only ones going through these trials. How we need to trust in God, and his will. He know's better than anyone of us! He sees the future, past and present. Wow, pretty amazing.

    -Hello From Sunny West/Centeral Florida!

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  35. I am just in awe at all the women from all over th world reading this same passage. Isn't the Bible incredible? Rebekah has always intriqued me. I know that my world changed the minute I had my son. You see that her world did the minute she had her two boys. It is hard not to try to "manipulate" God and when we do things do not turn out the way they should. This is a good reminder to give it all to God and let him have it all. Stephanie, South Carolina, USA

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  36. Another devotional that I read was on Rebekah this morning. Three things stood out to me with Rebekah:
    Weakness in faith
    Lack of respect for her husbands leadership
    Favoritism among her sons

    Such a beautiful love story was the beginning of Rebekah's marraige and that is where most of us start. . but the direction it goes from then on and choices we make can bring joy and fulfillment or sorrow upon sorrow.

    I am enjoying seeing where each of you are writing from.

    Texas

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  37. Thank you for your commentary. If anyone thinks the Bible is "boring" they are missing the multiple soap operas! It is heartening to know that God placed these stories in his Word to show us that we are not alone when we take matters into our own hands. We must remember each and every day to turn it over to him, and that we are NOT consultants to him!

    p.s. posting from The Heartland - Altoona, IA

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  38. Rachel, I really enjoyed your reading this morning! I was so excited reading this, and could hardly keep myself from responding yesterday!

    Genesis, chapter 24 reveals the trinity of God, and is a beautiful picture of Christ’s redemption plan, woven into the Old Testament. He has been there all along – “In the beginning…”

    I hope you will give me the liberty to re-name characters: Abraham is an analogy of God; Isaac, the son, is Jesus Christ; the servant is the Holy Spirit; and Rebekah, the bride, is me/you.

    Abraham (God) sent his servant (Holy Spirit) to seek out a bride (me/you) for his son (Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom).

    Since Isaac (Jesus Christ) had already been offered as a sacrifice, and a blood offering made (Gen 22); this analogy starts where the Holy Spirit has been sent in place of Jesus Christ, until He returns again (hence, “My son is not to leave.”)

    Abraham (God) sent his servant (Holy Spirit) to seek out a bride (me/you). “If she is unwilling to come back with you, then you are free from this oath.” Note, the bride has free will to choose whether to accept the servant’s (Holy Spirit’s) message.

    So they (the family of Abraham (God), or believers) called Rebekah (me/you), “Are you willing to go with this man?” And she replied, “Yes, I will go.” By faith (sight unseen), Rebekah accepts the servant’s (Holy Spirit’s) message, and went to Isaac (Jesus Christ) to be his bride.

    Isaac (Jesus Christ) brought Rebekah (me/you) into his tent. HE (Jesus) LOVES HER (me/you) DEEPLY.

    I hope you will read this chapter again. And then I encourage you to seriously consider what happens to Rebekah (me/you) when we lose our first love (Gen 27). I pray this study will open your heart (as it has mine!) to fall in love with Jesus all over again!

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  39. Thank you Rachel for a great week. I too have two boys and not "favoring" one over the other is difficult but I am reminded that God is in control and all three women we have read about so far remind me how we all try to Manipulate God even when we don't know that we are doing it. I, for one am going to try to be more aware of my actions.
    Bonnie K
    Chandler,AZ

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  40. Wow! This is so great. I have read all the post and my glad that I can be a part of this special study.
    I thought it was just us that lived in the "have to have to now age" but I see that they also wanted to be God's helpers just to help things along. We only see our timing (the now) and don't stop to think of the blessings we might miss by not wanting on God's timing. Rebekah felt that she was doing what God wanted because she knew that Esau would serve Jacob, but us (like Rebekah) just wanted to help.

    I also see how quick decisions(Esau and his meal)can be life changing. I pray that I can learn to wait on the Lord.

    I can't wait until Sunday.
    Lisa, Mississippi, USA

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  41. Something I find interesting is the fact that God has recorded in His Word, for all future generations to read, both the good and bad about Eve, Sarah and Rebekah. He doesn't hold anything back it seems. He must have done this because he wants us to learn from their successes and failures. I also think, sometimes, that he wants us to be more open in sharing our trials and temptations--since we all have them! Life is full of valuable experiences (again, both good and bad), as seen be these three women. May God help each one of us to achieve victory today over our own struggles and to grow in His character.

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  42. What a great story! I was discussing the reading with my husband and we were both perplexed at the idea of a mother favoring one child over another.

    However, like anything else God always knows what he is doing. We only get little snidbits of information and should FULLY rely on Him.

    I am so glad I serve a HUGE God with many different women throughout this world.

    Cathy-Virginia

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  43. Rachel, thank you for leading this study of the women of the Bible.

    Like Amanda, I see a pattern developing in Eve, Sarah, and Rebekah. Although all three are Godly women, they are impatient Godly women who think their help is needed to move God's plans along.

    I'm sure none of us have ever done that! I know I haven't! Ha ha! All jokes aside, I believe that it's in a woman's nature to want to help things along. God MADE us to be helpers.

    But I also think that the lesson that he's tried to teach us for a couple thousand years now is that there is a time to help and a time to trust. It's the trusting part that we're really having trouble with. I know I do. It is so hard for me to trust that God knows better than I do what I want and need from a mate, from life, from my children, even from my career. And because I find it hard to believe that God understands, I always get in the way of the plans he has for me.

    My lesson from this week? Patience and trusting that God has a better plan than you can ever image. Achieving that patience and trust means staying in his word and constant prayer.

    His~
    Jae (In Alabama)

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  44. Thank you Rachel! December Rose -Wow! how awesome! I will certainly re-read these chapters. Thank you for your detailed description of Father, Son, Holy Spirit and the bride of Christ that is revealed in these chapters.
    Debrah - New York

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  45. December Rose- I am not sure of internet rules/ethics...I would like to share your revelations on these chapters with others...is that okay?

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  46. After reading these two chapters, I sat back and wondered if Rebecca had ever told Isaac about the prophesy she had recieved from the Lord. I think if I were in her shoes the first thing I would have done was to tell my husband because it seems like quite a load to carry alone. In any case, I think like many women have said, she got caught up in "helping" to fulfill the Lords prophecy. What a difficult situation she was in.
    We received a word of knowledge last year after much heartache and it was so exciting that it has been hard to sit back and wait for it to be fulfilled, and not do what I think I can to bring it to fruition. Learning that these great women of the bible went through the same things has done a lot to encourage me to wait on the Lord.

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  47. Debbie in SCMarch 14, 2008

    Thanks, Rachel--I got up extra early today in anticipation for this study. I shared the link w/my Sunday School ladies--sure hope they tune in! I agree with your comments today that since God told Rebekkah she was having twins and that they were scuffling in her womb as they would as nations; as well as God's will that Jacob would be the preferred leader (the eldest will serve the youngest). She was just "helping God out" when it seemed her husband might mess up God's plan...don't we women try that in our home situations?...and don't we usually mess up family relationships as well as our relationship w/God when we do? A lesson learned here! :o)

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  48. Wow, so many posts and it's only 10:30 am over here in Winter Park, Florida!

    You know, I was kind of upset after having read the verses last night. I thought to myself that Sarah was rebuked for her lack of faith and for taking things into her own hands, but Rebecca didn't seem to be punished at all. Yet she lied and manipulated things to deceive her husband and cheat her eldest son. I'm still slightly confused about the whole situation to be quite honest.

    I guess you could look at it this way: God planned for Rebecca to have two sons and that those two sons would grow into warring nations, so in order to set it up, he used a pure women's indiscretion in lying to her husband and cheating her other son.

    I still don't feel comfortable with that explanation either though.

    One thing I did learn from the reading was in the first portion, I saw how kind and caring of a person Rebecca was. As a 15-20 year old, she's walking to the common well to draw a large amount of water for her household. When she gets there she sees what I would think would be a weary traveler and his many camels. Not only did she pause to give water to the servant but she also drew water many different times to fill the thirsty camels as well. Those earthen ware pots must have been heavy, then to add a substantial amount of water to it as well and to do so many many more times than was requested of you (by household duties mind you) is such a nice and seemingly simple gesture. But it holds much more than that. She didn't know this man and there was no law stating that she had to give all men and all of their camels water when she sees them. It was extremely kind of her to think about his well being and the well being of his animals too.

    She was a very nice person and she followed Gods orders to go with the Servant the very *next* day and not to wait with her family for 10 extra days as they had asked. That's a scary trek to take. She didn't know any of these people, but she knew that God wanted her to go with them to meet and marry her future husband. Unlike Sarah, that was quite trusting faithful. Well, let me know down Sarah, she only had a lapse in faith.

    I also think that Rebecca, having known that Jacob would be important later on, cultivated a kind and benevolent behavior in him from the very beginning. I think she helped shape him into the person that he would need to become.

    I have random thoughts all over the place about these passages...so I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's thoughts and ideas as well!!!

    Thank you again Rachael for this study! This was a God send. I needed this in my life and daily walk.

    Rica ~ Winter Park, Florida

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  49. I am enjoying reading everyone's comments and mixing them with my own insights to produce a new
    insight that I had never experienced before in reading these passages. I look forward to Sunday and continuing this journey in faith.
    Thank you, Rachel, for all of your efforts and thank you, ladies for the company!

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  50. I've read this and was always confused until you explained it so well. Thank-you so much!! I'm glad I have someone with the missing pieces of the great puzzle we are trying to put together. This is all so interesting!!

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  51. i love this and its making me reflect on myself more critically and gives me lots of strength to wait upon Gods promise though it may seem to take time he hasnt forgotten.HEY u forgot about AFRICA and KENYA IN SPECIFIC.WE ARE ALL IN THIS.lets keep up the good fight gals and men-i know there are some...claire-av forgotten my account.

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  52. December Rose, you made me cry. I have NEVER considered that analogy before. That was mind blowing and tear starting. I still never fully get the point that we can or could have said "no" to the prompting of the Spirit to accept Jesus. I have some parallels with Rebekah, but not as many as some people. I was convicted not too long ago about "helping God do God's work". He pointed it out when what I was trying to "help" Him do was shot down immediately. I then took my hands, but not my heart, off of it and let Him have it. I know, soul deep, that when it's time for me to receive His Plan for me, it'll be so much grander than anything else I could have imagined. He will provide the Plan, the Way, the Timing, the Passion; all I have to provide is the obedience.

    I remind myself each day that this is GOD'S day. No matter what His spirit prompts me to do, I have to do it even if it interferes with my plan for my day. I have been utterly amazed at what He has me do that I would have never dreamed of doing myself.

    Oh, what a Great God we serve.

    Blessings,
    Emily in Ohio

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  53. P.S. I'm from Mississippi

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  54. All this time has gone by, and women are still the same. God made us in a special way. Thank you, Rachael for helping us learn from these women and what they went through. It helps me be more aware that I face the same trials and temptations that these women faced but maybe in different situations. Thanks for your insights!

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  55. Imaginensen esto!
    Isn't it funny how we can see that woman have not changed all these years. We are always looking to see how we can take matters into our own hands and not let God do His thing (Even thou His word will inevitable be done without our help).
    Like Sarah, we see Rebekah also liked to be on top of things. Listening in on others conversations was a way to make sure she could have control over her family. Sometimes, I confess, I do the same thing with my daughter (she turned 13 yesterday). Not to be controlling but maybe to prevent any harm to be done to her or to make sure she is safe.
    Thank you God because you are showing me that You have everything in Your hands and You will do Your will always. I need to step down and let You guide me not me guide situations.

    I'm having a great time looking into the Word of God! Thank you Rachel!

    me from Puerto Rico

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  56. This is mind blowing, that there are women from all over the globe reading this at the same time and discussing what God reveals to them. What a blessing to be in on something so wonderful and expanding. I only have a few comments...one that was pointed out to me by someone else....Rebekah did not point Jacob to God..as mothers we are so needed to point our children and grandchildren to God every chance we get...Rebekah knew what God told her, but when she "heard" what was being planned, she wanted to make sure that she "helped" God out and have His plan carried out. God needs NO help, but we have such a hard time learing that fact. Rebekah as well as the women we've read about earlier in the week and as we all can relate to, has a big problem in trusting God go carry out what He has planned. Waiting on God is one of the hardest things to do, but oh, what rewards and blessings are ours when we do wait on Him and trust Him. He has shown me in the past few weeks that I was not waiting on Him and trusting Him to do a work in my husband and when I shut up and backed off and waited on Him, He moved in my husbands' heart. How I was blessed. So, ladies, even though I'm still in a waiting room and still not trusting fully every day all day...I know in my heart that He will come thru in His time and it will be perfect,just like He wants it. Too bad that the ladies in the Bible had such a hard time, but what a blessing that we have them as an example of how not to be. God is so good to us.

    Mary Lou in TN

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  57. Interesting thought, "December Rose"...
    I am grateful for the reassurance that God can work things out even when we try to "fix" things and/or try to "help" Him (as if he needs OUR help!)
    For me, I am totally reminded of Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

    I too, wonder how things would've played out if Rebecca hadn't intervened.

    Enjoying this with you ladies!
    Somerset, KY

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  58. Thanks Rachel! This is GREAT! I really can't blame Rebekah. I would have probably done the dame thing myself. But it all boils down to God has a paln and no matter he will carry out his plan somehow, someway! GOD is so GOOD!

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  59. Thank you again Rachel. Thank you for loving us unseen women enough to share what God has gifted you with. I read yesterday's passage today, and left a little comment there. It has been unlike me lately to "get something more" out of a Bible passage than just a story. I learned something before I read your wonderful insights into God's word, and thats exciting to me!
    Connie from Canada

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  60. What a mess we make when we try to do it all ourselves. The consequences of our rash actions are great. I'm in New Mexico.

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  61. Wow,,, what a awesome story about her. I too have been reading and sharing these passages with my husband so that he will gain the insights that I am seeing. Him being a pastor he fills in where I still may have not seen and it has made great conversation for us both while having dinner. But with us I did learn along time ago how to talk with him, talk with respect that he had never gotten before from his previous marriage, and our relationship has grown leaps and bounds. I have a man that I love, charish, respect, and we are bestest friends :)
    have a wonderful weekend everyone!
    Thank you for your time Rachael see u next week
    sharon

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  62. The women of the bible and how they relate to us today. We can and do learn so much from His living word. Thank you Father God and thank you Rachel for this study. I'm looking forward to Sunday.
    Karen in central Oregon

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  63. Thank you Emily in Ohio for reminding me that each day is God's day, even if it seems that it's interfering with what I have planned for the day - like taking time to do morning devotions instead of immediately starting the much needed housework on my only day off this week!
    Connie from Canada

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  64. DecemberRose....That's an awesome revelation.
    Will surely go back to read with that in mind.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  65. I am really enjoying this study!

    It makes you think about your choices. However, when we think we need to step in and "help" God, He always is able to work out His perfect plan. His love for us is so amazing!

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  66. Thank you Rachel, December Rose, Emily, and so many others! Being on the West Coast, I have the benefit of seeing so many postings by the time I get to it!

    I love the parallels December Rose drew and I will re-read the passage to see what speaks to me. I also relate to the posting that said we sometimes act to "help God" becuase in those inbetween times, we really think that is the will of God. If nothing is happening, are we supposed to act? The biggest lesson I am learning is WAIT! Be Still! Know that I am God! and PRAY ABOUT IT!

    Thanks again everyone!

    - Karen, Pleasanton, CA

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  67. I have no copyright on God's Word - it is meant to be shared. I, too, am being challenged to dig deeper into what God wants me to understand. I confess to thinking "parts" of the Bible just don't apply to me, but all of God's Word is relevant. That's the joy of reading the Bible over and over - I find another buried treasure that I didn't see the first time!

    Susan - from Virginia
    (December Rose is my treasure in heaven - and a reminder of God's faithfulness one long ago winter season of my life)

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  68. I am so grateful to God for using you, Rachel to be a leader for the Women of God. I would believe that God uses you to be the encourager! I often have questions why one child is favored more than another, Mom's especially show more favortism to one child over another. I have walked away from this reading knowing Gods way is not my way and He does not need my help (i know he uses me, but not to take over). I am truly learning to trust God and stay on the Path of HIS will not mine, and these readings are teaching me more and more why this is so important.
    P.S. I am in Dallas, Texas.

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  69. I am loving this Bible study and you ladies! I've learned so much already. Growing up we hear these stories, but don't really dive into them. I'm so thankful for your insight Rachel, and for everyone's opinions, ideas, and thoughts. I feel like I'm really getting to know these women of the Bible and how they made history (HIS-Story hehehe).

    Thanks again, from Pinehurst, NC!

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  70. Every time I've read about Rebekah, I've just taken the story at face value. I guess maybe I should have thought more about her actions and why she did the things she did, but I never have. Reading all your comments has been really thought-provoking.

    All that happens in the OT is just a part of the bigger picture, the whole story. For example, Jacob has to leave home because of Esau's anger. Next week we will see what happens at while he is away from home.

    God likes the "little guy" -- the one who is not expected to be the leader. We mirror that when we root for the underdog--and we all seem to have a little of that quality in us. Don't we?

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  71. I really thank you for doing this Bible study for us! God knew that I would need it! This week my husband was told that he and all the other men he works with would be losing their jobs in July. It is a huge loss as my husband has been with the company for eleven years. I am a control freak, so this Bible study could not have come at a better time.I know that God is telling me to just hang in there and to let Him fix the situation.

    Thank you again for your ministry!
    Chandler, AZ

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  72. It's amazing how exactly alike we women are even those women in olden times. We tend to try and 'help God' in ways that we thought were practical and later on realize that we've just prolonged and ruined the natural flow of events.

    I hope we will all learn from Eve, Sarah and Rebekah on how to leave matters in God's hands and try not to play the Holy Spirit.

    Greetings from the Philippines!

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  73. As many have said before, thank you Rachel for starting this bible study!

    I would like to think that Rebekah thought she was doing the right thing when sending Jacob in for Isaac's blessing instead of Esau. It made me wonder how can we be sure that what we are doing is what God wants us to do at that time or are we just trying to "hurry up the process" as Rebekah did? Upon reflection, I see decisions I have made which were not what God had planned for me at the time. I also know that when I made those decisions, I did not pray for God's guidance over the matter. Rebekah knew what God's plan for her sons was but I think her main mistake, as with Eve and Sarah, was that she did not seek guidance from God.

    While we may still misinterpret God's will for us, praying for guidance is the only way we can be sure we are following His will. Just acting without prayer can lead to devastating results.

    Karen in Kansas

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  74. i myself, was wondering what happened to rebekah. what made her do what she did! i am understanding it a little more now. i love this bible study.

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  75. Wow, Our God sure answers prayers. I have been praying for sometime now for Him to show me and teach me thru His word daily. I just could not seem to get to the Bible everyday,now I have this wonderful bible study with a great group of women.Thank you Rachel for having this bible study.
    Teri from Corona, Calif

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  76. WOW!!! Rachel, this has been an awesome week for me. As some others have said, I don't take the time I need to spend time in God's word and this has been an absolute blessing for me. I have found myself getting up in the morning and looking forward to doing my lesson. Thank you so much for this!!!

    Your post was absolutely amazing. It really broke everything done and gave me so much to think about. It seems that no matter what anyone has going on in their lives, we always seem to want to have our hand in the middle of it, when we just simply need to release it and allow God to work his plan. Like I have mentioned before this is something that is very hard for me to do and something that I am working on daily to make better.

    Thank you for a great week, I can't wait until next week.

    Selena - Moore, OK

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  77. WoW from Gray, Louisiana.
    I never realized how far back the generational curses come from.
    Eve- I also need to know all and why, and was quick to blame others.
    Sarah- I also encouraged a situation and was not happy with the outcome.
    Hagar- I also because of peer pressure felt forced to enter into a relationship that I was not ready for and had to suffer the consequences of my actions.
    Rebekah-I can write a book on how this woman was all over my life as a result of the generational curse that came down from Rebekah. I was guilty of marrying too soon, deceiving situations with my husband for my 3 girls, spoiling my kids, especially the youngest yet the middle child was my favorite, and being critical about the boys in their life (because it is to soon to call them men).
    About 2 years ago I thought I broke all the generational curses in my life but I see I still have the ones further back, pass my parents.
    Rebekah tried to be obedient to the Lord and sometimes we try too hard, and the TRYING can be the sin in our life. Cause it is the TRYING that hurts us. We need to just stop TRYING and LET GOD. We must remember that GOD knows our future and just because HE gave us insight to the future doesn’t mean we can do anything about it just LET GOD. Remember when we put our own spice in someone else’s recipe it turns it into another dish, and sometimes the end result doesn’t taste too good.
    Thank you Rachel for a wonderful week, you have given me the boost to start reading the bible and devoting more time into understanding it.

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  78. Man, that's deep... As I read that passagae, it reinforces that God is an immutable being and his word will go forth.. Here we have a woman that knew God's plan and stopped at nothing to bring it into being. Rachel, I am so blessed to have joined this beautiful journey with you and my other "chat sisters" in Christ. Have a beautiful weekend everybody!

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  79. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  80. Reading #3 - I did it.

    "Em"

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  81. **FOR LACEY**

    I would LOVE to talk, too...I don't have a direct way to get in touch with you. Will you please e-mail me directly at wallsdown@yahoo.com? Let's "get together".

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  82. I have a hard time being so critical of Rebecca. I know deception is not the answer and maybe she should have gone about it differently. She knew that God had a plan. Maybe she thought this is what she was supposed to do - part of Gods plan.

    I know in my life, I have a hard time knowing when I am to wait and when I am to act. You don't always know until it is all played out and we can go back and point out what we should have done.

    I can pray about a situation and wait until I see a door open. I can either act or wait. Is this really a door that God has opened or one that I think (or want) to be opened.

    I would hate to think that God has opened a door and I stood and looked at it waiting for something to happen - when it was a time that I should have done something. I know that God does not need our help with anything - but I do know that there are times that it is expected we do something.

    Again, I am not condoning deception. Reading about these ladies just reminds me that I need to really think through my actions as they can and will affect the future.

    Florida

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  83. I sure wish I had more time to read all the wonderful comments. It has been heart warming to be in this study together. My name is Laura and I am from Michigan, USA.
    It is great being in the company of all of you.

    Many of you have commented on treating our children the same. I have a son and two very different daughters. My husband and I cannot help but treat our daughters differently. My oldest has a stronger and colder personality, able to take on any assignment without much help, plus she is in her teenage years. My youngest is all smiles and hugs and kisses and "Mom sit by me and help me" personality. I wish I could have the close feeling with my oldest that I have with my youngest. I have had to work on it, especially since we hit the teenage years. Yet it all comes naturally with my youngest. We have had to talk with the oldest about how she and her sister are very different but we love them both very much, because she naturally picks up on the warmth of the relationship we have with our youngest. She is now 17 and I feel it getting better.

    I was impressed over the large family God gave Ishmeal. Here Abraham has this promise from God that he will be a great nation and Sarah finally has a child of her own, Isaac, when she is 90. Then the promise is given to Isaac and his wife has trouble conceiving as well. In the meantime the half brother has 12 sons! I didn't ever realize this about Ishmeal. I guess it was a bit of good character that caused Rebbecca not to try to compete with Ishmeal's family in view of the "Great Nation" promise and in view of Sarah's ways of securing an hier. But now we see in Rebbecca the tendancy to favor the child of promise.

    I am glad I was not born a patriarc or in the O.T. times. No big revelations compete with the contentment I have watching my children's lives unfold--well sometimes a bit of worry--watching what they will become and trusting God with the details. It is good to have basic promises, like "God has it all worked out" and "He has a good plan."

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  84. I just finished reading Rachel's
    comments and all the related
    postings. I am learning so much.
    Thanks to everyone.
    Eileen in Fargo, ND

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  85. I also am loving this bible study and look forward each time to read your thoughts. You make each study so clear along with all the ladies' comments, this is making me want to spend more time in His word. I too am guilty of making hast decisions, by taking matters in my own hand instead of waiting on God. Thank you again for opening up your heart for me, a lady in Louisiana.

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  86. Thank You Rachel.
    What an awesome idea to study with women across the globe.

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  87. Many of my musings were changed after reading the insights on todays post.

    Looking at Sarah and Abraham and Isaac & Rebecka was interesting to see similarities play out in their lives. It makes me wonder if they were aware (Isaac says "well mom & dad tried this 25 years ago and it worked out well for them") or if it was a "new" concept for them.

    I've learned this week that I need to let God do his thing in my life and release the reigns to him and put my own planning, wants and desires aside and wait. Not easy but I'm encouraged. Thanks again for this study and I'm so glad I found it!
    Sara in NY

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  88. Rebekah--Man i act like rebekah daily. OUCH How I want to help God's plan along also. She really spoke to me. I have 4 children and love them all unconditionally. I can't imagine telling one of them they were my favorite and then helping "my favorite" trick the other son out of what was his.
    I also wonder if Rebekah and Esau ever improved their relationship after this incidence.

    Thanks Again Rachel

    Iowa

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  89. I can't help but wonder if Rebekah thought that was God's will for her. That the reason He told her about her boys while they were in her womb was so when this moment came she could do what she did. However, is just popped into my mind that decieving is just like lying and God doesn't like that. Now, I can't help but wonder why God told her about her boys future in the first place. He obviously knew how she would react. Which leads me back to my first thought!!! Sometimes the bible can be so frustrating. But I am glad to see that the boys made up in the end. Can't wait for next week.

    I am from Mississippi and I am loving all this warm weather.

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  90. Rachel...this bible study has been an answer to prayer. I haven't been able to "get into" anything I've tried lately.
    I too need to remember to be patient and not help out and that God is in control and His timing is perfect.
    Mandy from Florida

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  91. Rachel, thanks for the Bible study. God has once again proved Himself to me. I have had to trust Him for so many things in my life, my husband, my children, my health and most of all my time with my Heavenly Father. I have struggled with the last part for quiet a while, but when we trust Him completely we can be assured that He will give us an answer at just the right time. It has been interesting to find that a lot of women think the same way especially when it comes to your children. Mine were 5 years apart and the second one had a lot of problems from her early years to the present. She is married to a wonderful man and has two great children. She has continued to have problems even through the years of her married life but God would not let her go and I can now see (at the age of 40) a definite change in her. My oldest daughter did very well in school, college, and her career. I sometimes would say to her that I felt she was being left out because I gave her sister so much attetion but she always said "don't worry about me, Mom, you take care of my sister." I can relate to Rebecca as you can see. This study has been wonderful for me and put me back on the right road. Having to stay at home since 1999 because of my health I have gained so much from the internet, getting to know some of my family through emails, doing a card ministry through my church and now this study. We as women sometimes can see what could happen in the furture if our children did certain things, but as always God has a plan for them and I have learned that praying for them and encouraging them has been my calling as a Mom. We all make mistakes but then God knew we would and always makes things come out right inspite of what we do and to Him I give Him all the praise and honor He so richly deserves. God bless you Rachel for this Bible Study.

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  92. Thank you Rachel for the overview you included in the post. I found the reading to be a little confusing so your comments helped a lot! I love reading where everyone is from. I'm from north carolina. Isn't it amazing that technology can bring people from South Africa and Ohio (or any US state) together?
    When I was reading the chapters I was surprised by Rebekah's decisions. She sure did seem to change a lot over the course of a few chapters. But if I were in her situation I would probably have made similar choices. While reading and reflecting on the chapters, I thought about the many times I act similarly to Rebekah trying to "help" God out with my needs or answers to my prayers. I often think that God needs my help! how silly is that? but then again I am often perplexed because sometimes God does call us to take certain actions that will lead us to His answers to our prayers, but then at times I know that often He arranges everything for me and I simply do nothing. So it is hard for me to understand exactly how to hear His voice. So many times I think I've discovered a revelation but nothing comes from it. when do I pursue things that I "think" God is telling me to do?

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  93. Rebekah was a compliant woman in agreeing to go with Abraham’s servant to be Isaac’s wife, etc. The whole scenario took on a new perspective for me after I read the “middle chapters” today and remembered that God had spoken to Rebekah about her older son being under rule of her younger son. I’m sure that when she overheard Isaac planning to give his blessing to Esau, she felt like she needed to intervene to help God “accomplish HIS plan”...which we, as women, so often do! I, hopefully, am learning so much about needing to relinquish my control of situations and to “trust” God to accomplish His awesome plan.

    Thank you, Mary Lou, for sharing your struggle to wait upon the Lord and let Him do a work in your husband...I too have been struggling, trying to change some things to my way of thinking instead of waiting upon God. He is showing me that “His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts”...I’m learning to “Let Go & Let God”! Hopefully, I will get there...

    I do wonder (in my human mind) how God would have accomplished His plan for Jacob to receive Isaac’s blessing...wouldn’t it be fun to know...just as it would be interesting to know how things in our lives might have turned out if we had not “helped” God!

    Thanks, again so much Rachel, for your insights on these women and for allowing us to share our thoughts. I’m excited about seeing how many countries are represented by the women in this study!

    Cari in CO

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  94. Wow, this reading has been an eye opener for me. I am such a "fixer" and feel like I have to take matters into my own hands, specifically when it comes to my foster children and my husband. What is reassuring for me is that God does not only have to put up with me trying to help Him but this has been going on with women since the beginning of time. I am not sure about the men of the bible and their wiring since we are studying women but it seems that God has designed us with certain traits as a gender group. Maybe the challenge for us is to focus in on the way He designed us and bring balance to it so that He may be glorified. We are called to be help mates for our husbands but have to be careful not to confuse that with control or fixing things. I feel so blessed to learn about these women, some of your challenges and in turn learn much more about myself. Blessings, JOcelyn- Washington, DC

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  95. So, reading the in between two chapters really helped me gain a better understanding of what happened for her to change from the innocent young woman with strong faith, to the woman in later years that was deceitful and eager to rush God's timing. I think all women can relate to this. I remember when I was a very faithful and even innocent (for the most part) young lady. I think that college was my turning point. Now, I am a single mother (which I would not change, but know that it was not God's plans for me) and tend to be in a rush for more. I want the house that is ours and the job that I intended on when graduating from college. I don't feel that I would be deceitful to get there, but I can see how she was able to be that way.

    I do struggle with the aspect of her favoring Jacob and deceiving her husband and other son. I mean, I only have one son, but I don't think that I would favor one over the other if I was to have more. Is this normal? I mean, do mothers and fathers usually have a favorite when they have more than one? (I am an only child also, so was not in a position to see this while growing up.)

    One more thing, I am finding it interesting how far back we are seeing the rivalry against Israel. I mean, wow!


    Melissa (Louisiana)

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  96. Thank you Rachel. Being a mom of twin boys I can relate to the womb very much and they are very different. But I could also relate to the fact of taking matters in to my own hands and not waiting. So hard for us and it did have its consequences as it did for Rebekah. We have such an awesome God who has a plan but our humaness sometimes takes over. It is a lesson I still have to learn on occasion.

    thanks for sharing this week. Ihave learned so much.

    Tammy from Nebraska

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  97. I never thought of it in that way! I always thought that she was just being deceitful. I never thought that SHE was trying to make Gods words come true. How often do we fall into trap, try to lead God in the way we think it should work out and not being patient and letting His perfect plan unfold!
    Thanks for the new incite!
    ~ christi

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  98. Sorry about my spelling in the last post. I meant insight. I was too excited and got in a hurry!
    ~ Christi from Texas

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  99. Wow, I really appreciate this bible study. Being a mother of two sons, I can't really relate to playing favorites and yet someone else had a comment about how their children are so different in personality it's easier to act more loving with the youngest because the older one was colder and more independent. Anyway what I have taken away from this bible study is all of these women have had trouble waiting on God's plan but their husbands also have contributed to the sins of the wives. I guess we are all lucky we have a loving God who sent his son Jesus so that we might be forgiven. By the way I'm from Ohio. It's really great to read all of the comments.

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  100. Why didnt Rebekah seek further answers from God about her younger son? Like, how will this be when the blessing is passed to the oldest son.

    Often, a child becomes a favorite because of their similiar interests of the parent or one child may need more careful quidance. But, no matter what road we take, God's Word never fail.

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  101. One thing I've learned in my life, and seeing in this story about Rebekah is that one choice we make can affect not only our lives, but others' lives as well. We have to be really careful and make sure we're doing what's best for ourselves and others--we must consult God on all of our decisions!

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  102. Thank you, Rachel, for your time and attention in doing this study.

    I see a running theme with the first three women we have studied and the statement, "Never underestimate the power of a woman.", seems to apply to all three, but not in a good way. Deceit, manipulation, using influence in the wrong way, scheming, and divided loyalties, and running ahead of or trying to give God a helping hand, are some not so pretty character traits that say a lot about our nature.

    I really can't say what I would or would not have done in each individual circumstance but I'm quite sure it would not have always been the right thing.

    All three women were pleasing to look upon but inside dwelt the not so pretty human nature. It gives me a better understanding of the importance of cultivating inward beauty, letting God draw out and reveal the impure traits in me by showing examples of them in His Word.

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  103. Hello Ladies,

    It's so great to be part of a global bible study group! I've really come new to these biblical women - I haven't heard these stories since childhood. I hadn't recognised the human element of Rebekah's story - favouritism between two sons is a TOUGH one. But protectiveness and wanting to do what's right/best is also such a strong pull. I don't know what I'd have done.

    Thanks Rachel for this. I can't wait to read the next one!

    Carrie, England

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  104. Hello from, yes, SUNNY and 53 degrees Michigan! Woo-Hoo!!! Loving this warmer weather :) I have gained new insight from these passages, too. Crazy how I've read about these women all my life, and still get to learn new truths. Love it. I know I tend to be a "control freak", especially when it comes to my children. Biggest lesson for me, is to CHILL and entrust them, daily, to the One who loves them and knows them even more than I do. I'm reminded of our family verse Proverbs 3:5-6.

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  105. Wow! This is so GREAT! :) Thanks for putting this all together Rachel!

    Rebecca
    Mississippi Gulf Coast

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  106. I have two sons, they are grown now and I have found it is much better to remove yourself from any conflict that they may have with each other.

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  107. It is interesting to learn reasons why Rebekah may have encouraged Jacob to trick Issac. She probably just figured she was doing her part in bringing about what God had told her.
    I also loved learing the parallels between Rebekah and Sarah!

    Michele in McKinney, Texas

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  108. i read them, and I have to say the message just didnt jump out at me- I felt so bad for Esau, being decieved of his blessing, but at the same time had to remember he gave up his birthright for food- a selfish need. My take on it is deception, and how it tears everything apart. But also how God still loves us abundantly. I will re-read it and see if I can get some more insight in the meantime I am loving this idea of study- it really makes me sit and read, and not make excuses. thank you

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  109. Wow is right! I am so glad to know the remaining part of the story. I too would be tempted to act as Rebekah did, if not only because of what God told her, but also because of the oath the two brothers made. Although, I still wonder if Rebekah or Isaac knew this oath. I agree that Rebekah probably knew this and Isaac probably didn't. God is awesome, huh!?

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  110. Thank you for your insight. I am learning so much. It's interesting to see how even these women tried so hard to "help" God.

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  111. Thank you, Rachel, for your insight into Rebekah's thoughts. I've always wondered what happened to the sweet Proverbs 31 woman in Chapter 24...as women, we do try so hard to manipulate things, even to the point of sometimes thinking it must be God's sovereign hand! And it's not hard to see how she would favor a child who was more like her in mannerism and personality. It is a somber reminder that, without God, we can really hurt our children and cause issues of abandonment and wounding.

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  112. Thank you so much for starting this Bible study! I have wanted/needed something like this for so long. I'm learning, so my comments will be few.

    Suz....grapevine, tx

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  113. I found Rebecca to be couragous and bold when she first left her family to marry Issac. Scripture states that he loved her- this leads me to believe that they had a good relationship with one exception their children- I have one child but 2 sisters and often ask the questions do parents have favorite becasue I believe they do but 100% of the women I have asked this question deny they do- Rebecca and Issac were honest they had favorites and show it. The result is that they both were looking out for the favorite- but we know God already had a plan for Jacob and that plan was carried out- was Rebecca and Issac parenting influenced by God- I believe so. I alos beleive that we have to look at Rebecca's family remember Laban is her brother and we know what he does to Jacob down the road. Though Rebecca willingly followed God to marry Issac I believe some of her upbringing came out in this story when she made the decision to put Jacob before Issac- and God knew she would. "His woprd does not return void.

    Thanks ladies I am really enjoying this. I am glad so many women are reading the Holy Word- but it makes it difficult to read every post. But I love everyone's insight. And it is great to be sharing with women from all over the world. What a mighty God we serve- even though the technology can be frustrating.
    Sandston, VA

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  114. Awesome December Ros You have inspired me to go back and read these chapeters yet again. I love when I see the Holy Spirit working in people. Thanks for that anology

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  115. Hello everyone!

    After reading all comments so far, one thing occurred to me. Several of you have commented on the "favoritism" issue.
    I think that most times, one child is closer to a particular parent because the child spends more time with that parent. Rebekah favored Jacob because it says he liked to stay at home...Rebekah would have had more interaction with him there.
    Isaac favored Esau more because it says he became a skilled hunter, an outdoorsman, in particular because Isaac liked the wild game he brought home. This leads me to believe maybe Isaac spent a lot of time with Esau outdoors...maybe teaching Esau to hunt.
    I am not convinced one parent "loved" one of the children more than the other. They just shared similar interests. I am not a parent, but I have heard other parents explain the differences in their children and the way they related to them. They have said they loved them the same. I would like your thoughts on this.

    Where it really jumps out at me is this: As a child of God, am I spending enough relational( one on one)time with my Father?
    This is where this great Bible study comes in!

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  116. Thank you, Rachel, for your insights. You gave me a completely different perspective of Rebekah that I had never thought about before. Even though it appeared that she changed drastically from the Chapter 24 Rebekah to the Chapter 27 Rebekah, she consistently showed initiative. The young Rebekah offered to water the camels even though she was not asked. The married with children Rebekah showed initiative by trying to make God's promise come to pass (Jacob receiving his father's blessing).

    Similar to Sarah, I think Rebekah wanted to control her situation instead of letting God lead the way. I am so guilty of doing the same thing! It is so easy for me to take matters into my own hands instead of trusting God's promises and letting him lead ME by the hand.

    P.S. I am from Binghamton, New York

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  117. I forgot!

    I am from North Carolina, USA

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  118. Hi
    Having read Rebekahs story I have to say it seems that parenting was just as difficult in Biblical times as it is today. I am going to pray that God will help me be the parent He wants me to be and I'm going to try harder to seek His will for my family rather than think I know whats best.
    Thank you again Rachel for your insight.
    God Bless
    Sandra - England

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  119. Well, we made it through week 1. Congrats everyone! Definitely a common thread with these ladies. I myself am a recovering "fixer". My mantra used to be God helps those who help themselves. What a damaging statement! I fall off the wagon at times trying to find verses in the Bible to justify what I "feel" God is calling me to do. The times I do sit back and wait on God it's really amazing how easily things fall right into place, and all the anxiety and stress I put on myself was all for naught.
    I do have a little confusion though, how is it that Esau would give up his birthright over lentil stew? Am I missing part of the equation?

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  120. PS. I'm from Toronto, Cananda

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  121. It's kind of embarassing to see how judgemental I quickly became, without even realizing it. After thinking about the qustion, "what happened to Rachel", prior to reading the in-between chapters, I felt as if she really seemed to had lost sight of God. Then after reading Ch. 25 & 26 I see that in reality she was, in a way, deeply searching for God and the truth as to what the future held for her family. I honestly can't say that I don't do the same thing, almost on a daily basis, maybe not the same thing exactlly, but the same idea. I get so impatient at times, waiting for God's plans for me to come about, that I try to look for clue's as to what the future holds. And at times it can sort of be a self-fufilling prophecy, I think so much that I know what God's planning, that I make things happen because of my own doings. Then God has to drag me out of my mess that I made and then put me back on the perfect path he has planned for my life. Thank you this has definately been an eye opening and very thought invoking reading :D

    God Bless!!!

    Angela (Bowling Green, OH)

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  122. Plant lady: I agree with you regarding favortism. I don't believe parents necessarily favor children but rather have more common interests with one over the other. I too am not a parent but I have two neices, 5 and 7. They are sisters. I find it easier to love and be affection with the 5 yr old. However, with the distance of not seeing her as much, I have grown much closer to the 7 yr old, though she is still not affectionate. I do not love or favor one over the other but I am just closer to one and am able to spend more time with her.

    I too wonder as one other lady had posted: How would God have orchestrated Jacob receiving the blessing had Rebekah not intervened? Esau was on his way to receive the blessing until she intervened. Please do not get me wrong as I do not believe that Rebekah should receive the praise nor do I think that God needed her help.

    I am a strong believer (unless otherwise convinced) that we DO have a role in this. He does want us to move, take stands, act, etc. I mean WHERE is the fine line between when God wants us to be still and allow Him to work and knowing when He wants us to move and act?

    This has been a major struggle of mine in my recent trial in my marriage (or rather legally not). I know God does not need me to fulfill His plan BUT doesn't He use His people?? I want to be sure that when He's calling me to act, that I follow. However, I struggle with knowing when He is wanting me to "move" and when it's my heart's desires to reach out to my husband.

    If anyone else struggles with this and has some advise or experience, I would gratefully appreciate your input. I never want to get in God's way but I also don't want to miss an opportunity to fulfill my part in our relationship and "do" what He's asking me to "do".

    Be Blessed In Him,
    Paula in Indiana

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  123. I agree with 'anonymous" from FL. I don't find myself too critical of Rebekah. She remembered what God spoke to her...that the older son would serve the younger son. The blessing would've gone to Esau had she not "intervened." Perhaps the way she went about it wasn't the best way. She could've told Isaac about the Lord's word to her so that no deception would've been involved. But if she hadn't done what she did, Esau would've received the blessing, and then what? Wouldn't THAT have delayed God's plan? Just a thought.

    Brooklyn, NY :)

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  124. Hi everyone, what a blessing to be with all of you again. To answer Shelly's question, as to why did God allow Rebekah to do what she did?......because He gives all of us "free will". I, too like so many others have tried to "help God" when we all know He doesn't need our help. When we try to help out God, I believe we can very well delay our blessings when we intefere in what God is doing. Perhaps this is what Rebekah should have done...."we should pray first and get God's plan, not plan first and then pray for God to make our plan work." God already said what He was going to do and He didn't need Rebekah's help. However, we all must remember...we all fall short. All of you have a blessed weekend. Looking forward to Sunday, Rachel. I am really enjoying our Bible study. I had read about Eve, Sarah and Rebekah a few times before, but this time I got so much more out of the Word. God is good....I prayed for wisdom and the ability to get more out of His Word and as always, God answers prayers. From Denver, Co.

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  125. Hi, I would like to share something i got from a training session I attended today which helped me to understand all three women's actions thus far;

    We have \ANTECEDENT'S (god's word bein spoken to us),
    Behaviour (which results from our naturAl ability to act on something that would have been triggered by the ANTECEDENTS and then we have,
    CONSEQUENCES (what would happen positive or negative based on our behaviour or actions.

    FROM TRINIDAD,W.I.

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  126. Thanks for the great study! I think Rebekah should have read "I love you the purplest"...wait, that wasn't written yet :)
    http://morequestionsthana.blogspot.com/2008/03/rebecca-i-love-you-purplest.html

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  127. Hi Everybody...yes I read about Rebekah......thought provoking and each time I have read those scriptures I learn something new..Rachel, thanks for all your added insightful thoughts. From Denver Holla...

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  128. these women sure can be conniving but i guess she felt like she didn't have a choice. it's awful that she didn't get to see her favorite son again on this side of heaven.
    thanks for your thoughts, rachel! GOD bless!

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  129. After a long day at work it was interesting to catch up with all of you. I think our wanting to "fix" things is part of being female...we nurture/support/guide, etc. etc. and want things to turn out like they should. I too have followed the saying, "The Lord helps those who help themselves" and moved ahead without God. But yet doesn't God direct us to do things? So the hard part is the listening to Him, being patient until He speaks and then trusting Him. At least it is for me. Have a great weekend from North Dakota!

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  130. in reading these chapters,it revealed to me that history has a way of repeating itself....even through the offspring and family lineage. Isaac was 40 yrs old when he married Rebekah. Esau was 40 yrs old when he married Judith. Abraham and Isaac both calling their wives...sisters.
    Also, similarites...Sarah and Rebekah both barren. Abraham and Isaac making covenants w/Abimelech @ treaty of Beersheba. Abraham and Isaac marrying relatives. Rebekah and Sarah, both, getting ahead of God and trying to "help" God to fulfill his promises to them. It's amazing how we think that God needs our help. Instead of waiting patiently on him...we become impatient and lean unto "our" own understanding...instead of God's. God revealed in the passages of scriptures....that He knows the end from the beginning....and he knew what we would will be and do from the beginning....even, in our mother's womb...he knows our DNA....just like Esau and Jacob. How God revealed to Rebekah what she was carrying in her womb...."foreshadowing" of the twins life...nation against nations. That's what happening now...so, the scripture was fulfilled then and is being fulfilled now. We can rest assure...if God said it...then it will surely come to pass. This also makes me think about how God "deposited" into Rebekah's spirit what she was carrying in her womb and how God makes daily deposits to us...the holy spirit...guiding, teaching, and leading us into all truth..but, we have to be careful not say it was the holy spirit...when it was the flesh....self....wanting to do what...."me" wanted to do.
    I praise God for these devotionals and for the bible study...i look forward to reading and posting comments. Thank you again, Rachel, for being obedient to holy spirit in starting this study. Blessings Always

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  131. Okay, I did the reading and immediately took a bunch of notes in my journal. If what I post is a bit disjointed, it's because the thoughts and ideas were coming fast and hard, and I was trying to get it all down so I wouldn't forget.

    I also noticed what a different person Rebekah was in the first chapter compared to the last reading. I thought that she was quite adventurous, leaving her home and all she had ever known less than a full day after meeting Abraham's servant. She might well have never seen her family again, and yet she was willing to go.

    I wrote in my journal that I didn't want to be quick to condemn Rebekah in the last chapter about her, I could easily do the same things. What part of me does she represent? I think the part that desires to see my child(ren) receive blessing. How often do I or have I manipulated or wanted to manipulate a situation so my child(ren) is the blessed, privileged, or noticed one?

    I'm beginning to see that each of the women we are reading about represents some part of me. What I noticed in this last reading is that each of the women we read this week has a similarity of desire...Eve desired more knowledge, Sarah desired the promise of God, Rebekah desired the blessing for her youngest son. Each of them stepped out on their own to try to make those desires realities. I'm learning that only God can fulfill our desires, whether it is for more knowledge, a child, a unsaved husband to come to Christ...our desires are powerful motivators to take things into our own hands. When we do that, the results can be devestating.

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  132. p.s. I'm in Colorado, USA

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  133. God's plan was set in stone...

    What is sad was the manipulation that was going on in the family. Esau manipulates Jacob into feeding by giving away his birth right, then still willing to receive the blessing intended for him. And, yes I could see were Jacob may have gone to his mother. Then Rebekah manipulating the blessing intended for Esau, when God had already told her that the older son was going to serve the younger. She must have felt that God, making her aware of the out come of both her children, was a way of God asking for her help. I know that I am guilt of that, that God being who He actually needs my help in bringing forth His plan. What a lesson to be learn, be still and rest in God for He is strong in our weakness.

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  134. Wow! I know I'm late.. All I could say this is an eye opening for me and I learned something new from your interpret of the story!

    Rebecca would have done differently if she had let alone and allow Esau receive the blessing, however I'm amazed at How God knew what to do and everything. Again God's plans and his timing are perfect for the good.

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  135. how often do i try to help GOD? these women didn't have a whole line of women to learn from in the BIBLE. so... we are the ones who should now know better and yet in certain ways we do try to help GOD.

    i've had some hard lessons recently... my husband was fired from his ministry and then we found he had alzheimer's disease. we had been serving as a team for 24 years. he was 54 at that time.

    i learned a lot more details about rebekah ~how Goe worked in her life. thanks for teaching me so many things...and also thanks, GOD, for preserving these things in Your holy Bible.

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  136. This has been just great "hearing" all your thoughts from so far.
    The stories of these precious women has always fascinated me. It is just such a pleasure to read your thoughts and insight. I'll have to begin earlier to read everyone's comments.

    First I want to say to Hisrose that your husband's story touched me..thank you for sharing.
    And Sweetpea...aside from we women who feel the need to "press on" when it comes to decisions with our families....I related to what you said about knowing when to take the leap of faith and move...

    In my mind I kept thinking of how we have learned.... God opens doors and we need to know when to walk through....
    I know I've made many decisions in my lifetime that I knew didn't even feel like it was me who was making them.
    I believe perhaps that may be why Rebecca was given this message from our Lord.
    Don't you think it's possible God needed her help? Nothing happens by accident. Afterall, she knew her "men" well and what they were capable of.

    I'm glad I just happened by on the day this began. That's right...nothing happens by accident.:)
    May God continue to bless us through you.
    Thank you Rachel for this opportunity from Macon, GA.

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  137. Wow it always amazes me how relevant God's word is so many years later. Yet we still make the same mistakes all three women this week made. I think we all, especially us women, have our Rebekah/Sarah/Eve moments. At least I know I do. Impatient should be my middle name! I am far too guilty of trying to hurry along what I think is God's plan for me. When I set my eyes on something I want it now. I don't want to have to wait for when it is 'right' for it to happen. I try to overplan and rush instead of waiting patient and faithfully for God's will to work itself out. Sarah and Rebekah in the end both got their destiny just as sure as they would have if they hadn't tried to interfere with its course themselves. And who is to say it wouldn't have been SOONER and more wonderful if they had not tried to speed up the process?

    I can't wait to read and study more next week. So here's an early Saturday morning e-toast to patience. May we all gain more of it as we grow in our faith these coming weeks. :)

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  138. Racheal thanks so much for taking the time to do this study. It is and absolute blessing.
    I have to say I can relate to Rebekah as I'm the impatient, take control kind of person, and sometimes have trouble waiting for God has to say or do in my life.
    I have learned so much more on the story by reading everyone's insights. THANKS TO ALL.
    God Bless!
    Tammy - Sherman, NY

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  139. I'm really enjoyed this study. I do understand the "favored" child thing as I have 2 daughters and one's personality is so different, she's just easier to get along with and is more loving. This doesn't mean I love her "more"...it's just eaiser.

    I am so grateful for the encouragement to be "patient" and wait on God to do handle things. I too was a "fixer" for many years and in the past 5 yrs have done alot of personal work on my relationship with God...and Wow...what a change in my life it has made!

    So glad to be here and be apart of this group...from Southern IL...JT

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  140. Isaac's prayer was being answered by the Lord for his wife to get pregnant. The Lord allowed her pregnancy to happen, but with these struggles to occur. Rebekah was following the Lord's will, even through it seems so harsh to Esau. As a mother, it had to hurt Rebekah to treat her first born in the matter that she did. She knew that the bloodline of Jesus was at stake and she couldn't risk any disobedience to the Lord's will.

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  141. Thanks for adding the extra chapters after the original chapters. I was already asking myself the same question that you ask. "What made Rebekah change" I was thinking more along the lines of what did Isaac do to make her act that way but not about the words that the Lord had spoken to her while she was pregnant. That was really good! I have always been able to relate to Rebekah because I too tend to step in and "help" God out sometimes. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this study. It has been a huge encouragement to me each day to check in and read Gods word. It can be lonely at times being a stay at home mom. This is GREAT!

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  142. Hmmm, Here's a thought I've been pondering re: Rebeka, Eve and Sarah. We'll see if the theme continues to resound. We keep trying to understand why "God allows 'these things' to happen". I know He has a plan for each of our lives but I think our "free will" can cause His plan to get "messed up"!

    He knew every hair on our head before we were created and I believe He knew the choices we would make but He can't stop us from making them and therefor can't prevent the consequences.

    The consequences are not what He wants for us but once we've acted He can only be there to catch us when we fall, if we surrender to Him and ask Him into our lives and give Him complete control!

    He grieves with us and for us and desires nothing more than our fellowship, but even He can't control us...we have to turn our will and our lives over to Him...willingly. He knows the exact point when that will happen and I believe does everything He can to steer us away from those "bad choices" but the consequences are on us and when we finally hit that rock bottom and call out to Him, He willingly, tenderly, lovingly and most importantly, unconditionaly comes. Thus the amazing and beautiful sacrifice and gift of Easter.

    He is sooo GOOD and loves us so much. He wants nothing more than our entire selves!! He wants fellowship with us. He doesn't let things happen to us...we do that to ourselves by the choices we make without asking Him, but He will be there to pick us up when we fall, if only we ask Him!

    "If we turn our eyes upon Jesus the things of this world will grow slowly dim, in the light of His glory and His grace." And He is all we need!

    Blessings to each of you! RL in CA

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  143. Wow, what's up with these Bible time chicks, taking everything into their own hands! I do that all the time. I don't want to wait for God's timing because I think mine is better. So not true.

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  144. Isn't it amazing that no matter how many times we read a passage, the Good Lord will open our eyes to something new when His time is right and we need it most :)! I identify with the negetive human actions that Eve, Sarah and Rebecca have, just like most of us. However, the one common thread that I see (besides God) is that these women were not "special". They were ordinary women, just like you and me. AND GOD USED THEM!!! With no training, no special attributes (other than Eve being the first woman) they became mothers of nations. God is awesome!!God used those attributes that He instilled (or allowed to be instilled)in us - being the helper, fixer, caregiver, free will, etc - to accomplish His will. God has known before the beginning of time what choices we will make and made the provisions for them. After all, he was already building the lineage that would produce Jesus Christ.
    I thank God for each and every one of you! (See how God is using ordinary women to do extraordinary things? AND this is happening all over the world :))
    In Christ, Lorri
    PS I am from Eastern Oregon

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  145. Wow! I can't believe I get to participate in a study with so many women from around the World! This is awsome! Reading and skiming through the comments is amazing! I'm realitivly new to studing the Bible, and to have a guide like Racheal, and Lori (a "piggy back" study is unbeavable! I have looked at these passages in whole new way, thank you all for sharing! I think God is certainly blessing this Bible study.
    Lorrie
    From Beaver Fall PA

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  146. From a life-application standpoint, I imagine myself in years to come in the same place as Rebekah ... although I will try hard not to be! My first-born is a true gift from God. She was conceived in a body ridden with cancer (had no clue I even had cancer until she was 6 weeks old). Doctors told me that my body should have rejected the pregnancy at the very beginning, and it was a true miracle that she was born completely healthy. Makayla is now 3 1/2 and truly her mother's daughter. But what about her sibling(s) ... the ones I haven't conceived yet? Will I feel the same about them? When I look in their eyes, will I see the miracle that God created?

    I want to say yes ... I want to believe that I will look at either little Caleb Benjamin or Izabella Mercee and see the miracle of God's mercy in giving me another child (or two)!

    So I can relate to Rebekah ... it's hard to see your children fight, or even know that they will fight when they are older. Does it make sense for me to be jealous of other children that will inhibit Makayla's "birthright"?

    The answer is no ... because whether we only have one child (Makayla) or we have more children, God has blessed us with a child who, according to medical science, should not be here. If God blesses us with another child, or more, than that is even more of a testament to the loving God we all serve.

    I know God is going to continue to bless our family ... because we have trusted Him with our entire lives. We know that God will continue to bless us, and we know that one of those blessings with be either Caleb or Izabella.

    carlyn ... from nc

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  147. As I have been reading the comments, my head is getting sore from nodding in agreement.
    I sometimes wonder though, aren't we suppose to move out in a direction instead of sitting idle? After prayer, isn't stepping out in faith important and letting God open or shut the doors as an answer. I too try to fix all the time but I do know that God has given us gifts that he doesn't want us to waste either.


    Thawing out in WI

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  148. First of all, thank you, Rachel, for taking your time, your energy, and your talents to lead this study. Without a doubt you are following God's leading for your life.

    Secondly, I have found - like Rebekah - that when I step back and allow God to work His will, His way in His time, it is so much better than when I put my hands in it! Talk about muddy water!!!

    From Texas...with gratitude!

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  149. Monica -- TexasMarch 15, 2008

    Pauline from El Salvador -- your comment was EXACTLY what I needed to read tonight. I am SO guilty of pushing my husband to make the decisions that I believe I've "seen" from God rather than waiting on God to show those same things to my husband. This is particularly what God has been working on in my life this year of 2008! Thank you for another great reminder of what my position in this marriage is.

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  150. finished better later then never.

    Boy did that shed light on it all.

    Thanks Rachel,,this is such a wonderful study.
    BonnieM

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  151. Up to now is seems that one of God's favorite words is WAIT! A promise would be given and years later nothing seemed to be happening. This is a reminder that when "nothing is happening,something is happening", even though we cannot see it. Oh, to be able to WAIT and TRUST and BELIEVE with childlike faith. What a difference it would make in our life and the lives of our family.

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  152. I always try to start out this bible study by asking God to reveal something from his word that I need to learn..and He never fails! We can never achieve God's plan for our lives through any type of sin, wether it be deception, lust, or just taking matters into our own hands rather than waiting for God's will.

    God Bless you all.

    P.S. I am from Arkansas:)

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  153. Thanks Rachel for the Bible Study. I am enjoying learning about the women of the Bible. No matter how many times we read His Word we can always learn something new from God. He is always loving and teaching us if we will but only be still and listen. It is awesome to read the post from my sisters in the Lord ALL over the world.

    Sylvia in Little Rock, AR

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  154. I read about Rebecca, and am so greatful for the comments from you, Rachel. They really helped me to identify with her as a woman, and not just as someone in the Bible... so long ago.
    Your comments have caused my heart so soften, and to feel as if i need to be less judgemental of others... and perhaps try to be more understanding and thoughtful when i may not realize all the details to explain the actions of others.
    This lesson has also really brought home how much of an influence that we mothers may have on our families- husbands, childrens, etc - and that the actions and decisions which we make ( even the smallest) may have such a huge impact on others and the future.
    Just the thought of that encourages me to vow to be more prayerful in my daily actions, behaviors and decisions- to strive for God's WILL and not be so impatient and quick to "HELP GOD"- he does not need my help!
    It also reminds me that I do NOT always have to be doing something in order to satisfy God's WILL for me and my family- just like silence in a conversation- silence can be good - eventhough it's not always comfortable. Just because there is silence in a conversation- doesn't mean that something HAS to be said. As a parallel- just because it doesn't seem like we are DOING something in order to have God's WILL happen, doesn't mean that anything more than simple prayer needs to be happening... maybe that is all that the Lord may want from us at the time- not necessarily some type of action of "help" from us.
    Thank you for taking this story and making the Bible feel more personal to me- since i feel like this lesson was for me- and that God knew that i could benefit from hearing about Rebecca.
    Thanx, again and again!
    God Bless!

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  155. So little time to read everyone's comments.
    However, I must agree with everyone; I am so thankful that God is using Rachel in such a mighty way.
    I thank him for this opportunity to fellowship with woman all over the world. As women (wives, mothers and some of us are grandmothers) we have so much on our plates and don't often take time out for ourselves let alone God.
    I wonder sometime how I have the energy to do all that needs to be done..it's because of Him. God is our everything and without him we are nothing. Like Rebecca we make decisions based off of what "we think" God wants instead of waiting on Him to do what he promised. We have to be mindful (including me) that God doesn't need our help. We just have to let go and let God.

    I look forward to the future and all of the days we will spend together.

    Your sister in Christ from Texas, US.
    Rena

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  156. Understanding Rebekah and reading everyone's comments... show me how much women of our generation are not so different from that of years ago. My only concern is even though God told Rebekah the younger would rule over the oldest... would there still be the level of resentment between the two if she did not have Jacob deceive Isaac for the blessing? And the parallels between Sarah and Rebekah... I never realized how similar their lives were.

    Ironically I'm struggling with helping God in a particular situation and after these few studies thus far I'm backing off. The desire I have for this dream is soooo huge... that there is no chance I'm willing to take to have to deal with any repercusions such as the women we've been studying went through as they tried to help God complete the desires he promised them.

    This study has truly been a blessing to me as each time I set aside for this study.. God's revelation comes through just as I prayed it would.... Again showing us that all He wants us to do is seek His face!!!!!!!.... Wow doesn't that sound soooo simple.. but His yoke truly is easy!!!

    Carol - St. Louis, Mo

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  157. I (as a mother of a set of twins) would agree that I probably would have "helped" God out in this situation.
    But I am now in a phase of my life where all I can do is wait on God. I am in a deep valley and am trusting (most days) that He will carry me out -- in His time. I've seen His faithfulness in the past and seen that His plans and His timing were always better than mine (even if I didn't think so at the time).

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  158. Oh, I look so forward to reading each of your comments each day. It really is amazing doing a Bible study with 150 and more women. WOW! The insight you gals have is so eye-opening.

    I can't wait to get to my computer each day altho' sometimes it is night by the time I can log on. Something so funny happened last night--I had my lap top in my bed and I fell asleep sitting up reading your comments and slept that way for quite awhile and I really did not want to sign off when I woke up even tho' it was 4am!

    The thing I was impressed with after reading about these first three women is how easy it is for us to think these women should have 'Just waited on the Lord' but when it comes down to the actual waiting--it is very, very hard.

    I heard the Lord tell me he would heal me. I thought He meant then or at least soon. I have been waiting seven years. And it is so hard to wait. Especially in our "microwave get it instantly society"--we don't have to wait for anything!

    But I do have to wait on the Lord and so I will and until then I will praise the Lord and just like another Bible character said, "though He slay me I will follow Him"...

    I pray God will make His presence known in each of your lives!
    In Joy, Gwendolyn in Arizona

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  159. I think of like this: Jacob was always God's plan to carry the line of the Kingdom but Rebecca forgot and tried to help God along. She didn't trust Him enough to do His work, like Sarah and Abraham really. The lesson I need to learn is to trust God for what He has for my life and not try to help Him; to do the works He has prepared for me and the wisdom (of Solomon) to know the difference.

    Elizabeth from the UK btw.

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  160. Wow! How convicting that I often try to take things into my own hands to work "God's will". I wonder what wonderful things we miss by doing that? This was very thought provoking. Thanks! I have more thoughts about these passages on my blog. http://scrappinlife.blogspot.com/2008/03/rebekah.html

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  161. i read it. I'm really enjoying these passages and look forward to the next weeks of studing. THanks so much Rachel and everyone else i learn so much from others comments. Can't wait till SUnday. From VIrginia

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  162. There are no words to adequately describe how much this Bible Study means to me. It has been the best thing. I, like so many others struggle in reading my bible and this study has really taught me a lot this past week. I have gotten soooo much out of everyone’s comments as well.
    Thank you, Rachel. I can't wait to get to my computer every morning to start your study. Thank you December Rose for your insight into chapter 24. I cried when I went back and reread it. I copied your comment and have put it in my bible as a reminder. A day later and I can't seem to stop thinking about it.

    Keep up the good work everyone!!!

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  163. Wow. I have never given thought to Rebekah like that. I do now understand what she was thinking when she tried to take matters into her own hands. I keep seeing it in all the women we've read about -- they should have let God be God and not try to take over. I know the Lord repeats things in the Bible for a reason - so we'll learn it!! And, I am one of those girls that needs to learn it -- let God be God and wait for him to work. Thanks for the comments, Rachel. I'm really learning alot.

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  164. Txmomx6 - be encouraged.

    Habakkuk 3:18-19 says, "Yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, and He will make me walk on high hills."

    If God doesn't walk you THROUGH the valley, He will provide you "deer's feet" to CLIMB the valley!

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  165. I did it,I did it and I did it, for all the readings I wasn't able to send a comment that I did finish.
    Rachel May God bless you, I can't tell you how it feels to actually go to another greater level with God as I read and understand the Wonderful Women of God in the Bible. I mean now I see them as Human beings like me and you compared to what I thought of them before, I don't even know what I thought of them.
    But I am still questioning why God allowed this to be, why He told Rebecckah knowing what she was going to do; My question now is when God gives me a word should I work on it or just know and continue knowing even through all this in the end I know what will happen. I dont know if you understand but in Sarah and Rebecckah I see Women wanting to delight God and after getting the word they want it to come to pass as God said and during normal life they see things are not playing as they are supposed to be so they try to make it go as God wants it to be, on the other hand as human beings we have been given a free will, and was God telling these Women this so as even when free will was exercise His will could continue.
    About where an from Kenya, "Busking" in MN winter.

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  166. this really opened my eyes!

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  167. Speaking of favoring one child over another...I have three children 2 boys and a girl...born boy-girl-boy. They would ask me which child was my favorite and I would always say what all parents seem to say, "I love you all"
    But when the oldest boy was about 12, girl 10 and youngest 8 we were sitting around one night and I said, "You know Logan is my favorite because he is the oldest." Immediately the other two started to say something like we always knew it! But, right away I said, "Well actually Lynn is my favorite because she is my only girl." and then I paused and said,"Well, actually Michael is my favorite because he is my youngest. You see all three of you are my favorite in one way or another. I love each of you with my whole heart. I could not love any one of you anymore. There is not a finite amount of love. It just keeps expanding as you add more people into your life."

    Each child is so special that they can be loved wholly and completely as an individual child of God.

    In Joy.

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  168. So, so interesting - my husband's grandmother once told me that you can't treat all your children the same - you have to treat them differently because they are different and you need to give each of them what they need. I have a boy and a girl and they are night and day - I need to nurture my girl in crowds and I need to pull my son back when he strays away from me (he's only 4 and oh so independent) Perhaps, Rebekah was doing the same thing - giving each son what he needed...

    Diana from Connecticut

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  169. Rebekah didn't trust in the Lord's promises. Sometimes we are that way to and "take matters into our own hands". Seems to be a theme in our ladies that we're studying. My favorite song that we sing in the choir is "Four Days Late". The message is that God is always on time, even if it isn't in our time. And, that He will always be good to His word.

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  170. catching up in batson, tx
    awesome reading!

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  171. I found there were definitely similarities between Rachel and Rebekah. Once again, as we all have probably done ourselves, we try to help God with His plans when we know He doesn't need our help. His plan will be completed without our help, however if we choose to assist Him, that could very well delay it (the blessings) I am a firm believer in the reality that there is "NOTHING" we go through that we can't go to God with and He will help us as long as it is according to His will. God is so.....GOOD! Wake up, people....some wonder why He hasn't come back yet? He's waiting to save all of us...He loves us so much that He wants to see all of us in Eternity. The devil is busy and is trying to get as many as he can because he knows his time is short. Rachel, again, you are my Angel because you have inspired me to do my daily Bible reading because my day doesn't seem complete unless I read The Word and reading about the women of the Bible (Eve, Sarah, Rachel, and Rebekah) is thought provoking and it shows that we all deal with "problems" no matter the time in history. Life is so...short and I tell as many people as I can about how much God loves each and everyone of us and He is just waiting to put His loving arms around us. No matter where we are in life, God can "fix" us and the situation no matter where we are.....We All Fall Short....by the grace of God,,,there go I......Everyone...I love ya and wish for you an ideal day and God's blessings...Isn't it wonderful that Rachel has given us a forum to express ourselves. My day just doesn't seem complete until I read Rachel's thoughts and The Word now. Thanks again so..so very much...It's JoAnn from Denver, Co. BE BLESSED!

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  172. I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it NOW ... the group Queen sings in a 2007-2008 credit card commercial. As much as we think we are different in 'this day and age' I think it's obvious that we are descended from women ... Eve, Sarah and Rebekah ... who also wanted it all and wanted it NOW.

    Beverly in Iowa

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  173. I did it.

    --MRT--
    Baton Rouge, LA

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  174. This is awesome. I love the approach you are taking with this. I can't get enough of it! Thank you!

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  175. Until rereading these passages, I never realized how much I could relate to Rebekah.

    In my younger days, I was that impetous, impatient young girl who sought adventure at the drop of a hat.

    Even now, my impatience gets me into trouble. I know firsthand how taking things out of God's hand and putting them into my own NEVER works. Yet I do it, time and again.

    Thanks for this study, even though I'm a few days behind the rest : )

    Keri - Raytown, MO

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  176. Wow!!! is all that i can say.
    I am in awe of how much i am learnign....

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  177. Some history:

    Esau's anger after Jacbo took his birthright transferred to his descendants who are from edom which is now Palestine...
    Judas was the only palastinian disciple out of the 12. The rest were hebrew. Judas was the one who turned Jesus in.. Interesting.

    That is what was meant I will make the two a great nation..

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  178. Really, I learn more about Rebekah now. Thanks to you, Rachel.

    JL @-@

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  179. I think that Rebekah truly believed that God confided in her so that she would play her part in his plans.
    However, I feel that she should have told Isaac what God had told her so that they could have worked together encouraging and nurturing their sons to develop their individual skills appropriately. And, at the same time, teaching Esau & Jacob to respect each other's uniqueness. How she could have gone all of that time without sharing her experience with her husband, I can't comprehend. I would have been so honored and excited that the Lord had presented Himself to me that I would have told my spouse immediately!

    I certainly don't agree with the deceitful way she went about securing Jacob's future, but I think that she panicked when she heard Issac talking with Esau and felt that she had to intervene.

    I have a very difficult time believing that God wants us to let Him do everything. Just as when He told Peter to get out of the boat and walk on the water, God wanted Peter to show Him that his blind faith would enable him to do so.

    Why else do we pray to Him for guidance & direction?
    Isn't it so we can
    "listen" for Him to tell us what to do, or "watch" for Him to direct our path?

    I honestly believe that we are to hand our problems over to God for him to handle according to His Will. And, just as we are suppose to sow seeds in others, God then sows His seed in us to do the right thing. I don't think that he just wants us to sit back and let him do ALL of the work. Once we have done so, then ALL honor and glory are HIS. Don't you think that is why we are waiting for Him to answer us? Otherwise, we may as well purchase a ticket, walk into a theater, sit down and watch the movie of our life presented on the "big screen." Then we can applaud and say, "Oh, that's how my life played out!"

    I would love to hear more specific opinions on that aspect.

    Thank you ladies, and of course, you, Rachel for providing this wonderful opportunity for all of us to "soundoff!"

    Karyl ~ Bonners Ferry, ID

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