Bible study was excellent last night. All those years in religion classes and seminary, and the matriarchs were passed over. Never focused on–never part of the promise. But Disciple brings the matriarchs front and center: Sarah and Rebekah. God partners with them to realize his covenant promise. In God’s eyes they are not expendable as they are in the eyes of men–including their husbands. Abraham was not enough to begin the covenant people: Sarah was needed too. The son of promise had to come from both Abraham and Sarah. Abraham might think of Sarah as disposable (by giving her to two different kings), and Sarah might think she was expendable (by giving Hagar to Abraham), but God knew Sarah was vital for his plan of redemption.
Rebekah’s steps of faith and trust in God reflects Abraham’s faith and trust. She too leaves her country and goes to a land she does not know. Unlike Abraham, she leaves her family behind (whereas Abraham brings his), and makes the long journey to Canaan to be Isaac’s wife. When her hard and difficult pregnancy makes her wish she were dead, she goes to God directly to find out what is going on. What is happening to her? What does this mean? God answers her, and tells her she is bearing twins, two nations divided, and that the older brother would serve the younger. When the time came for Isaac to give his blessing, Rebekah was reading to make sure God’s will was done. For the first time I heard that what Rebekah did was right. She knew of God’s oracle–she knew that Jacob should receive the blessing. She partnered with God to make sure what he planned would happen, and she furthered the covenant promises. In doing so she became the mother Israel. No sin–only tenacious obedience to what she knew to be the will of God. I also want to look at Rachel and Leah differently too. They are matriarchs as well. Hopefully I will have much more to say about Sarah and Rebekah and about Rachel and Leah as well. I would also like to look at Hagar as a matriarch in her own right. She too had a son of promise, and God honored his covenant and commitment to her, even if Abraham and Sarah didn’t. I have just started reading about them and seeing them with new eyes. I am hoping for new revelations and new insights in the coming days.