When God Delays His Answer

crying woman
When God delays, you need this one thing. (iStockPhoto / Chepko)

Rebekah asked, "If all is well, why am I like this?" (Genesis 25:22). Have you ever felt like Rebekah? Feeling a struggle within, but no understanding of what was happening? Rebekah inquired of the Lord and He answered her by telling her what was going on, and what would happen in the future.

Years later we see the same woman that had immediately turned to God in her time of struggle, now taking control of the matter herself, without inquiring of the Lord. As we read in Genesis 27 we see a desperate woman, driven by her desire for her son. "Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go..." (v.13).

What happened to Rebekah, a woman of faith and courage? Had frustration and discouragement overshadowed the promise of God? Was she lonely because she had no family near to talk with? Was she blaming her husband for her family problems? Perhaps her attitude was due to her husband's influence. Like his father, Abraham, he was not above resorting to deception, trying to pass off his wife as his sister to protect himself. The attitude, "any behavior is permissible as long as you don't get caught" seems to have been as popular in their day as it is in ours!

"You have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God , you may receive the promise."(Hebrews 10:36). What is the will of God? The will of God is that you ASK! God desires that you ask and inquire of Him about everything in your life. After you ASK, then you must walk in obedience! Rebekah asked, she inquired of the Lord, and she received an answer. She was told exactly what would happen, ... "The older shall serve the younger." (Gen. 25:23) This was totally opposite of the world's way and could only come about through the hand of God!

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When she heard Isaac talking to Esau she had a panic attack! Somewhere her feet, that were shod with peace, had walked through some mud! She immediately started manipulating and making plans. Did she stop to talk to the Lord? Did she consider talking to Isaac? I'm sure he was aware of the word she had received. It seems that communication was broken with her husband as well as the Lord.

Rebekah had need of endurance! She had done the will of God, she had ASKED. Endurance (hupomone) Strongs 5281, means: constancy, perseverance, continuance, bearing up, steadfastness, holding out, patient endurance. The word combines 'hypo', under and 'mone' to remain. It describes the capacity to continue to bear up under difficult circumstances, not with a passive complacency, but with a hopeful fortitude that actively resists weariness and defeat.

Rebekah, a woman with great potential, came to an unhappy ending. Both sons left home and her relationship with her husband became strained. A woman that was an answer to prayer could not wait and endure until God fulfilled the promise He had given to her when she prayed. She manipulated the plan and prolonged the promise! God did fulfill His promise to Rebekah by establishing two very distinct nations from her offspring. If we follow history, we can see the rivalry between them continuing through the centuries to the present.

Living in this world it is sometimes very hard to understand why the answer does not come. It takes strength to endure. We must build a strong spirit to have the strength it takes for endurance in this world. Other times when we look back, we are happy that God didn't answer when and how we thought He should. No matter what the situation, we must endure, and have confidence in God. He is for us, not against us. He is working out all things for our good! Remember, He knows the future – you don't! He said, "Ask and receive that your joy might be full." (John 16:24)

To study Rebekah's life further read Genesis 24-28.

Joyce Tilney is the Founder of Women of God Ministries, teaching women today from women of yesterday. She is an author and a conference speaker. To schedule a seminar or conference in your area, contact her at whydiets.com. Her books are available on amazon.com. For information about Women of God Ministries, visitwogministries.com.

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