Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rebekah's Farewell

By Mary Vee


Genesis 24: 54-58
Last time we talked about Rebekah's family agreeing to let her journey with Eliezer to marry Isaac. First, you need to know that parties were held on the roof of a house. This served like a family room. Around the edge of the roof was a railing, (called a parapet), to keep people from falling. Eliezer would like tell what happened next.

The smartest thing for me to do was to stand back.

Such noise! Laban teased his sister. Rebekah's mother danced around the house laughing and singing. The servants who came with me huddled back in a corner to keep their feet from being stepped on.

Rebekah's mother suddenly pushed her hands against her face like she forgot something. "Eliezer, bring your men to the table. Come, hurry, the food will get cold."

We squished together around the table and waited for the blessing.

I couldn't believe all the food on the table. Huge platters of lambs meat, goat stew, tabouli and grape leaves, freshly baked breads. My men and I hadn't seen a meal so fitting of our master in a long time. They smacked their lips then shoved handfuls of food into their mouth. I'll have to speak with them later about grunting and gulping when seated at a fine table.

Laban grabbed his glass, leaped to his feet and laughed. "A toast to Isaac. May he find peace even though he'll be married to my sister."

We raised our glasses and shouted, "To Life, L'Chaim."

Bethuel squinted his eyes at his son and signaled for him to sit down.

After Laban slithered back into his seat, Bethuel grabbed his glass and stood. "May God bring blessing to my uncle Abraham and his family. May his son, Isaac, find true happiness with my beautiful Rebekah."

Everyone stood and held their glass high, "L'Chaim."

We danced and sang, and of course Laban had a story to tell. He climbed up on the parapet, "Listen everyone."

Rebekah nodded her head at her brother. She turned and sneaked down the stairs.

Laban bowed. "One day, years ago, as I set out to hunt, I found myself in an awkward situation. I wanted to impress my father by bringing home the finest kill, a wild boar.

After tracking for hours, I came upon a clearing. There the boar stood. My foot shifted and a twig snapped." Laban paused. He searched his audience as though looking for someone.

He sighed. "The boar broke into a run, straight for me. I froze."

For the first time that evening, his face grew serious. "Someone grabbed my tunic and yanked me out of the way. I looked up and saw Rebekah. She pushed me and signaled to follow her. Later, I asked her what she was doing away from the house. She said, 'I wanted to see what you were doing.' I may tease my sister a lot, but I'll never forget the day she saved me from the boar."

He turned his head toward the stairs and shouted loudly, "Rebekah, if there ever comes a time that you need my help. Maybe a son of yours will need protection, whatever it is, you can count on me."

With those words, he stepped down.

The next morning, I went to the family and asked permission to return to my master. Laban and Rebekah's mother asked if she could stay a few days before she went.

I couldn't bear to wait another minute. Abraham, my master is waiting, I have chores, my family is waiting; I can't wait. "Do not hinder me since the Lord has prospered my way; let me return to my master."

They looked at each other then said, "We'll call Rebekah and see what she says."

Rebekah came a moment later. She listened to her mother and Laban then looked at me. "I will go."

She twirled over to her mother. "Oh, Mama. This is what I've wanted. He will be my prince, I can feel it in my heart. I'm so happy. Please say I can go today, this morning."

Her mother put her hands on Rebekah's face. "My lovely daughter, I shall miss you."

Rebekah hugged her mother. She wiped and laughed. "Thank you, Mama."

She ran back to her room to pack and I prepared the camels.

Sometimes we need to say good bye to people. We have a new adventure in front of us. God knows we are ready to do something new. How does it feel?

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