Rebekah’s barrenness

After God has promised Abraham and Sarah that they would have children as numerous as the stars in the sky and a descendant through whom the whole world would be blessed, they continued to remain barren for many years. Finally they had a son Isaac promised to them.

But the problem of barrenness is not gone from this line. Isaac’s wife Rebekah, who was supposed to have many descendants as a result of God’s promise to Abraham, was also barren.

She was barren despite her sisters blessing her with many offspring.

(Gen 24:60 NIV)  And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, "Our sister, may you increase to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess the gates of their enemies."

This tells me that when God promised us something, that is not automatic. The devil is out to foil God’s plan. When God promises you offspring, you can be sure the devil works overtime to try to close your womb. When God promises you prosperity, the devil tries to bring you poverty. He does not want God’s will to be fulfilled in your life.

Rebekah was barren for about nineteen years. Isaac was 40 when he was married (Gen 25:20) and the children did not arrive until he was 60 (Gen 25:26). After 19 years of marriage, Isaac did not give up and he prayed to God for a son. His prayer was a result of his faith in God's promises, because Isaac would have descendants after him (Gen 17:19). So he prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife.  All the barrenness stopped when Isaac interceded for Rebekah.

(Gen 25:21 NIV)  Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.

This illustrates the power of intercession. When God’s promise in our life is slow to come, we can find people to intercede for us so that we can see the fulfilment of God’s promises.

Another person in the Bible who interceded for his barren wife is Zechariah. He too received the answer to his prayer and a son born to him none other than the forerunner of Jesus Christ.

(Luke 1:13 NIV)  But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.

Rebekah’s barrenness was not simply restored by her having children. First she had twins. That was 100% more than what she could have hoped for. Then they were no ordinary children. These children would be victorious against their enemies, which means they will be great.

(Gen 24:60 NIV)  And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, "Our sister, may you increase to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess the gates of their enemies."

When God restores unto us as He has promised in due time, we get a torrent of His blessings.

​Below: Rebekah at the well