Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Rebekah - A Woman of Service

Another study in the Proverbs 31 series. First published in Keepers at Home magazine Spring 2019.

She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. Proverbs 31:19

For thousands of years, providing clothing for the family wasn't as easy as walking into the nearest store. You couldn't choose a new robe, tunic, or pair of sandals off a rack. Your next garment was running around the pasture or growing in the field. Women invested hours into preparing wool, cotton, and linen for the clothing needs of their family.

A drop spindle could be carried in a pocket to spin wool into yarn while waiting your turn at the well. Socks could be knitted while chatting with friends. Flax was woven while watching the cooking pot. Out of necessity, women's hands were not idle.

Rebekah, like many young women through the centuries, carried water to her home each day from the village well. This was one of those endless tasks like sewing, laundry, and dish washing.

We don't know if Rebekah wearied of the task of carrying water. Maybe she was in a hurry to get back to her house to prepare the evening meal. When Abraham's servant stopped her and asked for a drink, we know that she willingly offered, not only a drink, but to draw water for ten parched camels.

She had no obligation to this stranger. By his obvious wealth, she could have assumed he could afford to hire help. In fact, he had men servants traveling with him, and maybe he could have ordered them to draw water for the camels. Yet she served in the most basic human way possible; she gave a drink of water.

If people share your house, especially little people, many tasks, such as dish washing and laundry are never completed for more than a few minutes. I often feel unappreciated and grumpy when faced with the monotony of unending, unappreciated tasks. My desire to multitask and use my minutes wisely sometimes drives me to push people and their needs out of my life.

Sometimes I want to choose the way I serve. I desire to do something important with eternal value. Sharing a Bible lesson at the detention center seems like a higher, more godly form of service than making breakfast or mopping the floor. But we will never know the result of our faithful performance of mundane tasks. Watering camels was the step that put Rebekah in Christ's earthly lineage. “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” (Colossians 3:23)

Rebekah carried only a water pot. And God used it. God often uses our gifts, interests, and skills to bless others. What is in your hand? A whisk, a dishcloth, a pen, a needle? You might not have the same gifts as your sister but never underestimate the power of a prayer, an encouraging word, a short note, or a simple meal. 

We may think we don't have much to offer, but we all have ways to serve if we are not worried who gets the credit, who could do it better, or whether it is important.

Serving requires joy, or it will feel like slavery. When I drag myself out of bed for the third time in the same night, I don't feel like singing. When I sew a dress for my daughter, and she rips the hem the first time she wears it, I show my displeasure. Rebekah willingly drew many gallons of water for a stranger’s camels, and they didn't smile sweetly and say “thank you.” Service given grudgingly or with expectation of appreciation robs me of the blessing of serving.

The reward for our busy hands does not often show up in valuable jewelry as it did for Rebekah. But God gives recognition for our diligence in His time. 

“Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:24)


  1. Thank you Gina for allowing the Lord to use you....this article is so true and I can learn much from it!

  2. Thank you for sharing this, Gina. It is so well written and just what I needed to hear right now. Rebekah's story has always been special to me because I have the same name (albeit spelled differently=)).
    This part especially stood out to me:"We may think we don't have much to offer, but we all have ways to serve if we are not worried who gets the credit, who could do it better, or whether it is important."
    Blessing to you and yours,

  3. Thank you for sharing this! I found it inspiring when it first came out in KAH and it was again what I needed to hear today. I also want to tell you that I found your bread recipe and it is now my favorite. Thank you for all the home making and home schooling tips you share. I enjoy reading your articles and usually find something to mull over and put into practice! Blessings as you walk this journey you're on.


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