Aren’t rejections sad?
Have you ever watched a youtube video or a movie where a man proposed and the girl said no? Aren’t those the most heart-wrenching, awful things in the world? We probably don’t even know these people, and we’re grieved by their heartbreak and embarrassment.
The story of Isaac and Rebekah has often been paralleled to the story of Jesus and his bride. It isn’t the first time Isaac has been dubbed a type of Christ. Surely the story of Abraham offering Isaac brings God offering His only begotten Son to the forefront of our minds. In the same, though less often examined, way, the story of Isaac and Rebekah should bring to our minds the picture of Jesus and His bride-to-be.
One of my favorite moments in the Isaac & Rebekah story is when the servant who has been sent to get Rebekah decides it’s time to leave, but Rebekah’s family isn’t on board. They’re arguing over her staying, and finally someone decides to ask Rebekah what she thinks. Genesis 24:58 gives her answer:
Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.”
How sad would this story have been if she had said no? In a real life (for us) scenario, as we’ve already mentioned, we’d be devastated if someone rejected a sincere proposal. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen here. The beautiful story comes to a beautiful close as Isaac takes Rebekah to be his wife.
But wait, we’re talking about a parallel here. Jesus is the one who is proposing, and we, sinners, are the ones in Rebekah’s shoes. We’re the ones who get to decide if we will go with Him (Luke 9:23) or continue in our same sin-stained lives.
It is so tragic that so many people would be torn all to pieces if they found out someone they didn’t even know had been rejected when they proposed to their girlfriend. We may cry, or at the very least, feel heartbreak and embarrassment for the poor boy who, what, was out a bit of money and had his pride bruised? And yet, we feel nothing when week after week the aisle stays empty, the buildings full of people rejecting the proposal of Jesus, the One who bled and died on a cross for them.
You see, it’s one thing to reject the proposal of someone who bought you a ring. It’s another thing entirely to reject the proposal of the One who bought you out of slavery (Rom. 6:15-22), using His own blood as the purchase price.
We talked recently in the teenage girls class that I teach on Sunday mornings about proposals. We talked about rejections too. And we decided that Jesus has the ultimate proposal. Sure it’s sweet when a guy gets down on one knee and declares his undying love, but Jesus wins. He hung, hands outstretched, on a rugged, bloody cross for you, pledging His undying love while dying for you. And still, we reject Him. We reject that. And not just once. Constantly.
It is my prayer that we will think about Jesus’ proposal every day; that we will dwell on the words He spoke to the disciples when He asked, “Do you also want to go away?” (John 6:67), and that we will always answer as Peter answered…with a loud, resounding, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”.
Rebekah is such a great example of willingness. May we all be as willing to follow our Lord.