In a previous writing, I made a case for the unnamed servant of Genesis 24 being a picture of the Holy Spirit. In similar fashion, I believe Rebekah is a picture of the church. My basic underlying logic to this, is that I believe Isaac to be a picture of Jesus, the Christ; and just as Rebekah becomes the bride of Isaac, the church is the bride of Christ.
From a spiritual standpoint, what we see in Genesis 24 is illumination into the interaction between the Holy Spirit and the church, with a culmination in the marriage to Christ. This prophetically represents a very long time period – the entire “Church Age”, though it is contained in a single chapter in the Old Testament. I do not believe that when drawing such spiritual parallels between testaments we are restricted to lining up on some sort of a timeline.
In Rebekah, we see character traits that the church should have. Rebekah is a beautiful virgin, untainted with the world. (Gen. 24:16) Our first impression is that of kindness and hospitality with eagerness (Gen. 24:18-19).
Additionally we see this element of repeated filling, and emptying (Gen. 24:20), to satisfy the thirsty. That which we are filled with is to be poured back out for the benefit of others. Rebekah shows us how to be a voluntary vessel; to be such may be tiring work at times, but it is of mighty use to God.
We see the repeated ascending and descending to obtain the water (Gen. 24:16, 20), perhaps showing how the church must go to the lowliest among us, and in turn ascends unto Christ, the highest apex of our spirituality.
In this case, camels are unclean animals by Jewish standards. Although these standards have not been formally established in scripture yet, this knowledge was likely already common among the people of God, as Noah, for instance, was directed to bring seven pairs of ‘clean’ animals (Gen. 7:2-3), and Abraham had performed several offerings to God, although sacrifices are not established in the scriptures until the book of Leviticus.
We must learn to understand that just because it was not written yet, it does not mean it had not been revealed to people by God yet.
We see the servant/Spirit giving good gifts and Rebekah/the church receiving them. Her pedigree is obvious by her actions. The servant gives her the gifts even before asking if she is from Abraham’s family. (Gen. 24:22-23) Her actions truly do speak louder than her words.