Rebekah in Bible is case study for marriage, parenthood

By JASON REYNOLDS

Tennessee Christian News

You can learn a lot about marriage from the book of Genesis, whether it’s the creation of the sacrament with Adam and Eve or the relationship between Isaac and Rebekah. The latter is highlighted in a new book by a Tennessee publisher.Janet Walsh

Sword of the Lord Publishers in Murfreesboro is the publisher of “Rebekah: The Chosen Bride.” The author, Dr. Janet Walsh, last year released another book through Sword of the Lord: “Following the Man of Faith: The Lives of Sarah, Hagar, and Keturah,” which follows Abraham’s story through the eyes of the women closest to him.

She has also published a book on the life of Ruth, “Gleanings From Ruth.” All the books are based on notes Walsh, who holds a doctoral degree in Christian education, has compiled over the years while leading a ladies’ Sunday School class for her church, Lighthouse Baptist Church in Dover, Pennsylvania. Her husband, Dr. Sterling Walsh, is pastor of the church.

Walsh said she has been compiling Sunday School notes for a long time and is “in it for the long haul. We are working through the women in the Bible. It’s an ongoing process. As you study thoroughly any character of the Bible, it brings them to life for you.”

If you are not familiar with Rebekah, she was the mother of Esau and Jacob (whom God later renamed “Israel”). Rebekah loved Jacob more and helped him trick Isaac into giving Jacob his older brother Esau’s blessing. The boys were always bitter rivals, with Esau having earlier sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup.

Walsh said the book’s main takeaway is that Rebekah was Isaac’s chosen bride. The Lord blessed her as He blessed her husband, despite their shortcomings.

“The Lord blesses all of us despite who we are,” Walsh said. “Their shortcomings were very apparent. The Lord used Isaac to birth Jacob, who became the Father of Israel. God will keep His promises despite our shortcomings. You can learn that from a lot of characters in Scripture.”

Rebekah’s story also provides valuable lessons on parenting, Walsh said. Rebekah and Isaac caused some of the tension in their household because of the way each favored one of their children. That can serve as a warning to modern parents.

“She loved one son over the other, thereby driving her own family apart,” Walsh writes in her book. “She did not submit to her husband’s decision to bless Esau.”

In another part of the book, she writes, “God will give you blessings if you will just do right. You do not have to plan and scheme to get what God would give you if you would just wait.”

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