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!