I’m sitting in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, in a corner of some room filled with amazing paintings. Some of them are just tests – the artist was practicing so that he could later do a masterpiece. It’s a great place to be considering the longest story told in the book of Genesis (longer than Noah, creation or Joseph). I believe that this story, found in Genesis 24, is a vivid portrait (or allegory) of the God’s own search. The story is a masterpiece but the subject of the story is young and immature.
I would entitle the story of Genesis 24: “Rebekah’s Extravagant Responsiveness.”
This story starts with desire (every great love story does) – the desire of Abraham for a family. He wants a bride for his son. There is no mention of Isaac’s desire for a wife, but I think we can safely assume that his passions are coming alive and his dad wants a daughter-in-law who will carry on the family line that God started. This bride must be pure and carry the values of Abraham’s family. God is starting a family and this bride will be the mother of descendants as numerous as the sands on the beach.
So a search begins. The servant must search for his master’s family and return with a suitable bride. In a desperate moment, a fleeting prayer made in exhaustion, the servant finds Rebekah. She is everything he has been looking for: pure, serving, extravagant, faithful and without ever meeting her new husband, she gives her whole self to him. She is ready. “Quickly” is the word to describe this woman of promise:
- quickly lowered her jug (and gave this stranger a drink)
- quickly poured the water (enough to fill quite a few bathtubs)
- instantly in agreement
- immediately left her family to be in the family of the Promise
How does this reflect our story?
What does this tell you about how God thinks and feels about you?
There’s going to be a wedding! The Father, longing for a family has sent his Spirit into the world to find those who are ready to be extravagantly responsive. It’s not just a story of someone, it’s a story for us. The Spirit prays and asks – “Is this the one? Is this the one who carry on the name and the promise? Is this one who hungers for righteousness like my Master? Are you the one?”
This father, is not looking for Christians, he’s looking for his people. He wants a family. He wants you. He wants you now. Not a cleaned up, showered and bejewelled you – a sweaty, just watered the camels, you.
Rebekah is a vivid picture of what God is looking for. Purity, extravagant generosity, outrageous hospitality, love without seeing and a YES in her heart. He’s not looking for a masterpiece, he’s looking for someone to become His masterpiece. It’s not your finished work that he’s looking for, it’s the evidence that you’ll become what He’s forming – His family!
My invitation to you is to stop trying to become God’s masterpiece but to simply agree to become His masterpiece. He sees in you more than you see. He’s just looking for a partner to say yes – be that partner. Don’t get hung up on becoming a Christian, the Father is looking for a family so that he can pour out his good gifts and open his treasure stores to you.
Abraham’s servant found the mother of nations eagerly serving water to camels. How will God’s Spirit find you today?