Will the Chosen Bride Let Down Her Pitcher? by Ben R. Peters
Whenever I get to sit under the ministry of Heidi and Rolland Baker in Mozambique, I find the Spirit of revelation activated to a fresh level. This August (2011) while in Pemba, I was given a timely insight into a very simple concept. It was taken from the common culture of the world in the time of the Hebrew patriarchs. Having never seen this insight before, in spite of the dozens of times I have read the passage, I do believe it is now being released for “such a time as this,” for a prophetic people, the “believing Believers,” the chosen and prepared Bride of Christ.
Genesis 24 tells us the intriguing story of Abraham’s servant obediently searching for a bride for Isaac, who would inherit the vast fortune and the covenant promise of His faithful and faith-filled father. I know that many preachers and teachers have likened Abraham’s servant to the Holy Spirit, coming to discover and prepare the Bride for Jesus.
What caught my attention for the first time, however, was the repetition of certain seemingly insignificant statements in the story. The first one was found in verse 14. “Please let down your pitcher that I may have a drink.'” The important phrase here is “let down your pitcher.”
Verse 15 tell us that Rebekah “came out with her pitcher on her shoulder.” Rebecca went to the well, filled her pitcher and prepared for the trip home, which involved getting the heavy, water-filled pitcher back up onto her shoulder for the journey. Abraham’s servant then asked Rebekah for a drink.
Notice, please, the following narrative in verse 18: “So she said, ‘Drink, my Lord,’ Then she quickly let her pitcher down to her hand, and gave him a drink.” Of course, we know that she also watered the servant’s camels according to his request as a sign from the Lord that he had found the right bride for Isaac.
After arriving in the house of Rebekah and Laban, the servant recounted his adventure with Rebekah’s family. Notice the repeated details in verses 45-46:
“But before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah, coming out with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down to the well and drew water. And I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’
“And she made haste and let her pitcher down from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels a drink also.’ So I drank, and she gave the camels a drink also.”
The simple and obvious fact is that the ladies who carried water from the well to their tents or houses had to lift their heavy pitchers up onto their shoulders for the long walk home. It was probably a difficult and tricky task, which every girl had to learn to master. Taking down the full pitcher from her shoulder would be another challenge, because the girl wouldn’t want to lose any of the precious water she had carefully transported to her home and her thirsty family.
To pour out a drink for a stranger meant interrupting her journey and it also meant an extra effort to let the pitcher down and then get it back up again. Plus she would have to draw more water so she wouldn’t be returning home with a partially empty pitcher.
“Stopping for the One”
This is where Heidi Baker’s message of “stopping for the one” comes in so powerfully. I personally might have viewed this stranger’s request as a real obstacle to my personal goals for my present journey. Couldn’t the man see that I was already in travel mode? I had my valuable resource in position to care for the needs of my family and me. You can’t overemphasize the value of water when you have to walk a distance to get it and then carry it home on your shoulder.
I would think that this man is asking me to sacrifice what belongs to me and my own people. It will take my time, my energy and my material resources to meet his need. I have to think about my own needs, too. The man has hands! Why can’t he draw his own water and give himself a drink? My pitcher is already on my shoulder. Why should I bring it down to my hands and pour him a drink?
But Rebekah saw an opportunity to bless a stranger and she did not hesitate to quickly bring down the pitcher from her shoulder (travel mode) to her hands (serving mode) and pour him a drink. For Rebekah, the literal mother of Israel (Jacob), it was the one act in her life that would change her future and the future of so many people and nations. Because she sacrificed a little of her time, energy and resources, she immediately received valuable gifts of jewelry from Abraham’s treasury, and then became the wife of a very prosperous and wealthy man, who would become famous throughout all of history as one of the great patriarchs of the Hebrew people.
Turn an Interruption into a Divine Appointment
I believe the Lord is speaking to us as individuals and as the corporate Body of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 13:2 reminds us to entertain strangers knowing that we might be entertaining angels without knowing it. Will we take advantage of the opportunity to change a potentially irritating interruption into a divine destiny appointment? Or will we choose to pursue our own security and maintain the monotony of a life with no adventure and no need for faith in God?
The natural man works hard to save and prepare for the security of his own household. He makes sure he has sufficient insurance, pensions and resources to care for himself and his family when he is old and after he is gone. But somewhere along the way, God may send someone to him with a need that would require him to sacrifice his own security. This is a hard test for a man, and one which he usually takes time to process.
Financial resources may be the least significant resource we have to share. God may ask for our time and energy, our spiritual gifts and the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which He has placed in our lives, even when we don’t feel like giving anymore. And, in addition, we may just be on the way to a very important meeting where we will minister to thousands. We just don’t have time for the one person’s need. So, like the priest and Levite, we pass by the wounded person and go on to our Jerusalem assignment, leaving the opportunity to turn an interruption into a divine appointment to the “Good Samaritan.”
God’s ways haven’t changed and I believe He still gives us special opportunities to “stop for the one,” and in so doing, to minister to Him and open doors of promotion and blessing for ourselves. This is why it is so important to walk in close fellowship with the Holy Spirit. We certainly can’t give every person we meet everything they want. In many countries, you may see hundreds of beggars in a day’s time. But one of them might be a “servant of Abraham” who is looking for a bride for Isaac. You don’t want to miss that one. The secret is to walk listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit and to keep a servant heart, willing to stop at a moment’s notice.
“I Am Releasing the Spirit of Rebekah”
I believe Jesus has a word for His people. I believe He wants to say the following to His people today:
“My Holy Spirit is truly preparing My Bride to be My joy and delight. He is asking her to let down her pitcher and give Him a drink. But He is speaking through other people, including even the ‘least of these,’ and testing each one to see who will take the pitcher off their shoulders and give the thirsty a drink.
“For I am also releasing the ‘spirit of Rebekah’ into My Church. I am raising up a generation of those whose hearts are conformed to My own heart of love and compassion. And they will respond to the test. They will take the pitcher off their shoulder and bring it down to their hands that they might pour out a drink to those My heart is longing to bless. In doing so, they are pouring out a love offering to Me.
“The result of their obedience will provide unimaginable blessings. Just as young Rebekah immediately received lavish and valuable gifts from Abraham’s servant and a huge transfer of wealth when she married Isaac, so shall those in My Kingdom receive a sudden and extreme blessing from Heaven and from others who will bestow it upon them.
“I am purifying and preparing My Bride to rule and reign with Me. My Bride must have a true oneness with My Servant Spirit and My heart of love and compassion. Through serving one another you will strengthen and beautify My eternal Bride, while you fulfill My commandment to love one another.”
Many of us have been waiting for the often-prophesied transfer of wealth. But maybe some of us have missed some opportunities to let down the pitcher we already have on our shoulders. We could have poured some of it out to others who are thirsty, but it was too much of an inconvenience and we continued on our journey without taking time to help a needy person.
Without making a real sacrifice, Rebekah would have never experienced her amazing destiny and her own personal transfer of wealth. But even though we may have missed many opportunities in the past to let down our pitcher, God in His grace and mercy is willing to give us more opportunities if we ask for them.
I do believe, however, that there are many Christians today who have already made many seemingly insignificant sacrifices because of the love of God flowing through them, who will experience incredible rewards from the God who sees what is done in secret and rewards men openly. Beware of being too busy to meet someone’s need when you have the full pitcher sitting right there on your shoulder. Take the time and energy to bring it down to your hands and pour it out as a sacrifice to God. You might be surprised at the amazing results.