Titus 2

“Obedient to their own husbands…”; A Study of Rebekah — Pt. 1

Sometimes the Word of God is “in your face” stuff. I like that. I tend to respond to that. Maybe we’re supposed to.

Titus 2 has no minced words here. No vague concepts. Try as we might to evade this challenging topic, and boy have we tried, the word is simple and straight forward.

    “…the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things– that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” Titus 2.3-5 NKJ

We’re coming to the end of our year long study of Titus 2. Next we thought we would spend a year or so studying various women of the Bible. The two will overlap this month as we study Rebekah’s disobedience and betrayal to her husband.

As we finish up our study of Titus 2 with Paul’s exhortation to older women to “teach the younger women to be…obedient to their own husbands…” I thought we would look at an example of what not to do. I usually don’t approach things from the negative vantage point, but, sad to say, Rebekah provides lessons learned the hard way.

Let me state a disclaimer: I’m not down on Rebekah. A reading of her life story reveals that she possessed certain virtues that I envy. But later in life she made some serious errors which we would be wise to learn from. After all, if someone else did it and it backfired, maybe we should try a different approach.

Here’s the beginning of her story.

Isaac was born to Abraham late in his life. In preparation for his death, Abraham sends his servant back to the land where his family dwells to find a wife for Isaac from among his father’s household. Read Genesis 24 for the account of God’s marvelous provision to Isaac on Abraham’s behalf. Rebekah, a young woman in her father’s house (probably you and I would consider her to be but a girl), hears of the servant’s search for a suitable spouse for his master, is plied with golden earrings and bracelets, asks a few questions and is off — plopped on top of a camel with her few worldly possessions, then sent with her nurse and some servants to meet this relatively unknown man who is destined to be her husband.

Let’s realize, she has been trained for this. From a young age she has learned the ways of her culture, been taught home management and how to care for a husband and children, dreamed of what that husband and those children would be like, and is more prepared than most American 20 year old women for such important doings. None the less, I am sure it was hard. Unless life was horrendous in her father’s house, she was leaving safety, comfort, and familiarity for unknown places, people, and culture.

    But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the girl remain with us ten days or so; then you may go.” But he said to them, “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.” Then they said, “Let’s call the girl and ask her about it.” So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?” “I will go,” she said. Genesis 24.55-58

You and I would be reticent, I suspect. If such an offer were made to my husband regarding our daughter, I know how he would probably respond. And I think my daughters would be less than excited.

This girl was a faith-filled young lady, exuding a sense of confidence in her God. After traveling a long distance, she sees a man in the distance, discovers that it is Isaac her future husband, veils herself, and soon becomes his wife.

A new family is established. A new life begins for Rebekah. It was a life conceived in the heart of God. His will brought her to this place. She embraced her call to this adventure, abandoning herself to all but His plan, giving herself wholly to it. This is faith at its best and she is starting out on the right foot.

That is “a very good place to start!”

May you and I, as we discover His will for us this week — whether it be a challenge to love more consistently, speak with more nurture and care, honor our husbands in word and deed, or declare His goodness instead of complaining — receive His purpose readily and willingly, even as Rebekah has shown us today when she answered, “I will go.”

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