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The First Dismount in the Bible

The context of today’s passage has the anticipation of an elementary boy asking a friend during recess to go over to the girl that he likes who is playing on the playground to see if she is into him. Yet, on this occasion Isaac’s father sent out a party led by Eliezer to find him a woman to marry. Like a boy scanning under the tree for presents on Christmas morning, Isaac can’t wait to find out what his wife looks like.

And Rebekah and her maids arose and followed the man upon their camels. Thus the servant took Rebekah and went on his way. 62 Now Isaac had returned from going to the well Beer-lahai-roi [A well to the Living One Who sees me], for he [now] dwelt in the South country (the Negeb), Genesis 24:61-62.

This same pitter patter appears to be going on inside of Rebekah’s heart as well. While I’ve ridden on a pony, traveling on a camel in the desert is far worse than a long summer car ride. As this caravan comes over a ridge, making a descent into a camp of tents, a man stares into the distance to see who is arriving. When Eliezer¬†gives word that they’re almost there, Rebekah asks about the curious man coming towards them.

And Isaac went out to meditate and bow down [in prayer] in the open country in the evening; and he looked up and saw that, behold, the camels were coming. 64 And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from the camel. 65 For she [had] said to the servant, Who is that man walking across the field to meet us? And the servant [had] said, He is my master. So she took a veil and concealed herself with it, Genesis 24:63-65.

Back when I was in high school, there wasn’t an ESPN, Fox Sports or any other sports channel. The any program devoted to sports weekly was ABC’s Worldwide of Sports. This is how I was introduced to gymnastics. When Rebekah eagerly dismounts the camel she was riding, I immediately envisioned a woman’s dismount from the bars, balanced beam or rings. A dismount in gymnastics is symbolic of the grand finale, end of a routine. For Rebekah, this dismount signaled the beginning of a new life with a man she’s never met. This is true faith.

by Jay Mankus

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