What We Can Learn From Sarah & Rebekah

This Mother’s Day devotional was published over at The Glorious Table! Enjoy the preview below or click here for the full post: What We Can Learn From Sarah & Rebekah


This year, I have been reading through the Bible in exactly the way people tell you not to, from front to back. This is not some holier-than-thou hero effort; it’s simply that I just don’t need any more multitasking in my life right now. I have young children, and I just don’t think I can manage one more switch in my brain, even if it is from the Old Testament to the New. So, along I read, trying desperately to stay present in these old stories, occasionally spending my days learning who begat who begat who.

Going through the Bible in this way has been an interesting process. I have read many of the accounts before, but typically in isolation. Adam and Eve in the garden. Noah and the Ark. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. It is a different experience to read the stories in order as they tie into and influence one another. And, as irreverent as it may sound, I just keep having one particular reaction over and over again.

It is all so dramatic!

We have seriously been a broken, manipulating crew from the get-go. I find myself literally slack-jawed over and over again as dudes try to pass off their wives as their sisters (Genesis 12:10-2020:1-1826:6-11), pull tricks to steal blessings (Genesis 27), or swap one daughter for another to get more work out of a guy (Genesis 29:15-30). Truly, it’s a hot mess at times.

Oh, and the ladies? We don’t get a pass. Those Old Testament gals created some pretty impressive scandals, with their actions, premeditation, and willingness to use their influence to get what they want for themselves or their children. My initial reaction is usually, “Goodness, that was super messed up.” Until 2.5 seconds later, when the Holy Spirit kicks in and I am humbled into prayer, “Lord, help me learn from these women.”

You see, the call for us to avoid judgment (Matthew 7:3-5) does not just apply to our interactions with modern-day people. We are called to remain in a position of humility and learning toward everyone, of every age, no matter how seemingly inapplicable it may seem at the time. History always has lessons to teach us. So let’s learn from these gals because like it or not, we all reflect some part of these women; we’re just dressed up in modern clothes.

The two gals we’re going to learn from today are Sarah and Rebekah. The most well-known missteps of both of these women were tied to their children. They both spent a portion of their lives barren, and in fact, Sarah became so distressed waiting to conceive that she ended up giving her husband another woman, and he initially had kids with her instead (Genesis 16). Rebekah had a shorter wait for pregnancy but then, after she was blessed with twins, she loved one child more than the other (Genesis 25:20-28). There isn’t space here to go into all the craziness that followed, but suffice it to say that these initial lapses in judgment were not isolated incidents. Like so many of us, these women tried to live by God’s standards, but when they got too desperate, or their desires outpaced God’s timing, or their plans eclipsed God’s own, they slipped right back into those old controlling habits—and it got messy.

A woman who wants something so much and is so tired of waiting on God that she takes matters into her own hands? Uh, yes. I believe I recognize her.

To read the remainder of the post click here.

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