Then She Fell off her camel

Here we have the a Biblical story of true love.

Its kind of a funny story, because it has a lot of loopholes. Sarah has died, and the hope is that Isaac will find a wife among his own people instead of the Canaanites, which makes sense at that time. Arranged marriages worked, primarily because the matches were made among those couples who had similar backgrounds.

Here we go, Isaac is to try to find a wife among his father’s people. His father Abraham, sends a sworn-servant to find such a woman, but if he can’t he’s released from his vow. (Which I find hilarious). Then the servant goes to the well, the Meeting place of all the people & decides that the best woman would be one who will give water to not just him but also his camels.

Here’s the thing, Israeli wells are dug deep into the earth. These uneven and slippery steps are climbed by women with cisterns of water. So, when the servant says he will choose such a woman he is indicating this woman would be not only nice, but also generous, and strong, and capable.

For a woman who hardly speaks, we learn quite a lot about Rebekah from this interaction.

After she waters the camels (10 of them!) The servant explains the situation and she agrees to marry, then they go to her family, the servant tells the story & she agrees again.

Then they go to Isaac, to tell the story, and Rebekah is so surprised by the sight of Isaac she falls off her camel! It then becomes clear that this is a love match (what a way to fall in love).

What’s amazing about this photo-fairy tale story, is this is before fairy tales. Fairy tales and true love and generosity and hard work being rewarded really come onto the scene with the advent of Jesus Christ, and the modern concepts of blessings. There is no such thing as “happily ever after” until Jesus Christ and heaven and the idea of building God’s kingdom on earth become a part of culture. Before this, gods only are thought of as beings who mess with humans for their own amusement. This is even before the Ten Commandments. There is no “love your neighbor as yourself” yet, only the practice and culture of generosity.

But here we are, love at first sight, good deeds rewarded, generosity at the heart of the family. This hints at who our God is! Our God is not a God we worship to placate or get good crops out of (unlike the contemporary gods of the time). We worship our God, because our God is a generous God, gifting and blessing us beyond our imaginings.

So here we are, a meet cute scene, with a fairy tale ending. The beginning of the understanding of who God is!

Author: katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant since 2010, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ. She is an writer and is published in Enfleshed, Sermonsuite, Presbyterian's today and Outlook. She writes prayers, liturgy, poems and public theology and is pursuing her doctorate in ministry in Creative Write and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible. "Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal. Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one.[66] Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times.

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