The back-story of Genesis 24:57-59 is terrific. The Scripture states, “Then they said, ‘Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.’ So, they called Rebekah and asked her, ‘Will you go with this man?’ ‘I will go,’ she said. So, they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men.”  

My understanding is that the moral imperative of asking a woman if she will marry a man is a Jewish teaching based on Genesis 24:57-59. This is where the servant of Abraham asked Rebekah if she would go to be the wife of Isaac. She said “yes”. 

Within God there’s a compelling respect of choice. He made mankind as “free moral agents” meaning that He has given each of us the freedom to choose. What we chose reveals our character, who we trust, and who we love. Every choice carries an aspect of morality. It’s like the French language which carries gender characteristics to its words, so our choices carry moral characteristics. God gave us the freedom to choose even when our choice can harm us and others. And, He holds us accountable for our choices.  

God doesn’t do evil, we do evil because we can, not because He made us do it. God can and will stop evil, but it seems this usually requires much prayer from His children. Not until there is a unity of God’s people asking Him to intervene in the affairs of mankind does He step in and say, “No more!” This is one of the reasons we are admonished to pray for our leaders: leaders in church, in government, in all positions of authority.  

As I mentioned earlier, with every choice there is a moral imperative – an immediate moral impact from our choice. It seems that God holds this freedom so highly that nothing He does will override our freedom in this life. People can even choose to shoot people, steal money or reject Jesus – each of these carry a moral impact.  

We are told by Jesus to: “ask and ye shall receive”. Asking changes our direction, from selfishness to surrender. That very action of asking is a surrendering and a recognition that the one you ask has something you don’t have. 

The power of asking is under appreciated. All around the world today somewhere a young man will ask a young woman to marry him. He may not know it, but he is following the tradition set forth in Genesis chapter 24. If we say “yes” then we are bound by our moral commitment to fulfill that to which we’ve committed. Rebekah committed herself to marry Isaac. I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life, so I committed myself to yield to Christ’s will.  

Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash

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