Genesis 24: 59-61: Parting blessing
“59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, ‘Our sister, may you increase to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess the cities of their enemies.’ 61 Then Rebekah and her attendants got ready and mounted the camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.” NIV UK
As Rebekah left, her family bestowed their blessing. It was particularly that she might have ‘’thousands upon thousands’’ of descendants, and that they would ‘’possess the gates of their enemies’’ (60). In other words, take possession of enemy strongholds (see 22:17). Tom Hale makes the excellent point that: ‘Since Rebekah’s spiritual descendants today constitute the church of Christ, one is reminded of Jesus’ statement that the gates of Hades will not be able to overcome His church (Matthew 16:18).’ Tom Hale: ‘Applied Old Testament Commentary’,p.167.
The song, ‘To dream the impossible dream’, has in it a line which speaks about marching into Hell ‘for a heavenly cause.’ It has long seemed to me that this is the role of the church. We are on the offensive in Jesus’ Name, taking ground from the enemy, who will be unable to prevail. Our enemy is real and we must not underestimate him. But let us always believe that in Jesus we are ‘on the victory side.’ As someone said, ‘We are not fighting for victory, we are fighting from victory.’