Rebekah, wife of Isaac, presents us with a very different picture than we see with Sarah. Sarah is commended by Peter for her character as a wife, but Rebekah is never commended at all. Her actions show us yet another truth about the risks faced by wives.

Rebekah, of course, is the wife of Isaac, the promised son of Abraham on whom the promise rested. Isaac and Rebekah were married after Abraham's servant fetched her from her family, which was related to Abraham. The story is a wonderful one, told in Genesis 24. 

We know very little about their lives together, except that she was barren for many years. Eventually, in response to a prayer of Isaac, she conceived twins. As the twins were very active in the womb, she sought help from God and was told:

      "Two nations are in your womb,
        and two peoples from within you[c] shall be divided;
     the one shall be stronger than the other,
         the older shall serve the younger."

Genesis 25:23. The sons were Esau (the elder) and Jacob. For whatever reason, Isaac and Rebekah each favored a different son. Isaac favored Esau, a hunter and outdoorsman. Rebekah favored Jacob, perhaps because of the word she had been told. 

Rebekah had received God's word, after all, telling her that Jacob would be stronger than Esau and that Esau would serve Jacob. She apparently believed this promise was of earthly strength and earthly power, rather than the promise of God's blessing (see Romans 9). 

When Isaac was old, he prepared to bless Esau with his physical wealth. Rebekah, however, wanted that blessing to go to Jacob and she convinced Jacob to deceive his father so that he would receive Esau's blessing. The result was, of course, bitterness and division, ultimately forcing Jacob to leave the area. 

Rebekah, therefore, was a dishonest wife, tricking her husband (and getting her son to trick his father) in order to obtain what she thought was important. She thought Isaac was wrong to bless Esau, but rather than talk to Isaac, she deceived him. She loved Jacob more than Esau, and by her action obtained wealth for Jacob, but at the cost of the enmity of his brother and years of exile. She had to know that the deceit would be discovered (once it was done, it was done, and Esau would not accept it quietly). She did not care about Isaac's humiliation or her part in his humiliation.   

She, it appears, tried to do something we often do -- to accomplish God's will through our sin. She believed that God's promise meant that Jacob should receive the earthly blessing and probably justified her action to herself on that basis, but she was wrong. God's blessing was about His promise to Abraham, not about tents and cattle and servants. 

It is easy, as a wife, to deceive your husband in many things. It is easy to deceive him in many things that seem wise to you or helpful to you. But it is always a sin. The promise of God did not depend on her dishonesty and the blessings of God are not obtained by your dishonesty. 

Do not make Rebekah's mistake. Do not embitter your relationship with your husband through dishonesty. There are many things that put stress on a marriage, but few are as destructive as deceit. Deceit causes a pain, a doubt, and a barrier that can only be removed through years of struggle. 

Remember Rebekah, but do not be like her. 

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