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Jan 7, 2015

90 Day Challenge – Day 7

Sarah Christmyer

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Bible Time Period: Patriarchs

In the time of the Patriarchs, you called Abraham and promised his children land, a royal kingdom, and worldwide blessing: Help me to trust in your promises today.

Reflection

The generations pass, but God’s faithfulness continues even as the blessing he promised to Abraham is passed down.  Get a feel as you read for the people of this family that God is rearing.  It’s easy to relate to Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Esau.  The Bible doesn’t whitewash their character but “tells it like it is” as God meets each one where he or she is.

Today’s Reading

Genesis 25-28

Today’s Question

What does chapter 25 tell you about Isaac and Rebekah’s children, even before they boys are born?  How does this play out as the story goes on?

Join the discussion below!

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  • Verse 25:23 clearly foretells the main story for the twin sons of Isaac and Rebekah. Esau, the elder, emerges first, Is stronger , and will lead a nation of people. Jacob, the younger gripping the heal of Easu at birth, is weaker, steals the birth right from Easu, and will lead a separate nation of people. In these chapter readings, this plays out in Isaac’s favoring of Easu, Rebekah’s trickery to help Jacob obtain the first born birth right, and the separation of brothers with Isaac fleeing.

    • Mike, the hint of what is to be is evident even before they emerge. The Lord tells Rebekah that “two nations are in your womb, two peoples are quarreling within you;”. Their quarreling & “race to be first” continues until Jacob departs.

      • So, from the earliest of times, man was not to get along? Without Jesus as our intercessor, we are a doomed people! Thank you, Jesus that you came as a baby, grew to a man, ministered to all people, and died for us all so that we can live in harmony!

        • That harmony won’t occur until the New Jerusalem in Heaven….In this lifetime, we’re still stuck with each other fighting and clawing and scratching. However, by focusing on Christ even in this lifetime, the fighting is less, the clawing is less, and the scratching is less. Reason – His vision on the cross shows us what is important and what is not; how to be happy through humility; how to focus on giving rather than receiving; serving rather than being served. All these lead us to the Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth. Blessings, Gig. .

          • Thanks Joe, I’ll take a Blessing any day! In reading Revelations we can see a glimpse of that New Jerusalem in Heaven on earth in the Mass. I am thankful for that as well!

          • Yes, very true about Revelation and the Mass. I had such an a-ha moment when I went to see Scott Hahn up here in Toronto and my eyes were open to the truth about Revelation. It is a poetic, sometimes mysterious and beautiful look at the Mass through the eyes of John.

            I’m so glad that I was nudged by the Holy Spirit to sign up for this online course. It brings me together with others out there starving to talk about God. Seems it’s difficult to do the same in our secular society. When did it all change? Has it always been like this?

          • I too am enjoying it, love to read and reread the comments! My parish just finished a study by Dr. Edward Sri, A Biblical Walk Through the Mass. I still find myself distracted during Mass but far less than before. Being able to hear the word of God and know where it is in the story of Salvation and knowing my responses are from the scriptures is awesome! Heaven on earth!

          • Hey that’s fantastic…I had brought the same Edward Sri study to my parish last spring. It was incredibly informative. I don’t participate in the Mass the same way again. The Mass has come alive. When the priest raises the Host to the Heavens I envision the heavenly hosts with all the saints praising Jesus at the same time – wow.

          • That was such a wonderful study! I highly recommend it to all! It has really deepened my appreciation of the Mass.

            A friend of mine at work, a fallen away Catholic, asked to borrow the book when I was done with the study. She told me how much she enjoyed the book, and how it helped her to understand more about the Catholic Mass.

  • The on gong activity in Rebekah’s womb seemed to foretell of a fierce competition that would last with these twins for quite a while. Esau with his compulsivity and Jacob with his calm but shrewd thinking. When reading about these two, I sensed that they had a brotherly love for each other yet there was that underlying competitiveness that had no bounds. Esau seemed discontented that he shared a bond with Jacob who was completely opposite to Esau’s approach towards life. Esau’s impulsivity caused him to loose his birthright. Jacob, on the other hand, was shrewd and worked on one of Esau’s weaknesses. Because Esau was hungry, not starving, mind you, his brain was focused on food rather than the question the Jacob asked. Perhaps as if he was shooing a fly away that was bothersome.
    Esau caused much angst with his marriages to women that were not of the Jewish bloodline; “and they made life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah.” Genesis 26:35 The way this was presented in this reading seemed to prove again that Esau was compulsive and reacted to his anger, not trying to think things through. Esau had a lot of hatred and resentment in his heart that he chose to cause frustration for his parents because he lost so much due of his impetuousness. Yet, his ego stood in the way for him to see who was really at fault.
    As a side note, I can relate to Esau because I can be so impetuous and compulsive when making decisions! However, I have learned to look inward and see that it was I who made the error, not the other guy! This Challenge, and believe me, it is one to work on the brain juices that lie dormant occasionally, has helped me mature to see my shortcomings and to work on them.
    Thank you, Sarah for this thought provoking Challenge!

    • God is not entirely against impulsiveness when our focus is on God…as we shall see with David down the road…and David was called a man after God’s own heart…but the importance of making wise choices is the message in these chapters…and that Esau did not do…and God knew that before he was even born…God knows us so well…

      • You are so right! But, reading the challenge that was given to us, I could see how one twin surpassed the other in God’s eyes. I realize that God loves us regardless of any shortcomings. Thank you again, for pointing that out. May God bless.
        One quick note, I try to read these challenges without knowing what is to come in later readings. It really gets those brain juices going in the morning!

    • hmmm… there was no ‘Jewish” bloodline, per se… that would not happen until Jacob grew into the man God would bless, got married himself, and the kiddoes would be almost all grown – and then they were known as Israelites… but the Hittites were of the Canaanite blood, and given how much trouble the Canaanites were to the Abrahamic line (Abraham, from Ur of the Chaldeans) had been given the Canaanites own land for an inheritance), it is natural to suppose there was tenseness between them…
      .
      Esau sought to marry the Hittite women, maybe to take them over, maybe to convince the Hittites ‘all’s well with Esau’… he was only 40 (meaning Isaac was 100) when he married two separate women…
      .
      consider Jacob – he didn’t marry until his father was almost dead… perhaps 70 or so years after Esau… and then he married not one, but two of Laban’s daughters – and Laban was Mesopotamian of Syria…

  • Question related to Chapter 25 – Rebekah had a difficult time in getting pregnant. In fact, 20 years since she married Isaac. Isaac humbly prayed to God asking to intervene. Soon she became pregnant but had a difficult time of it – she was going to have twins and they constantly kicked in her womb. When Rebekah asked God to bring her relief from the discomfort, the Lord told her that the twins would father nations and that the older will serve the younger. This will be a foreshadowing of things to come within the family. It’s not mentioned whether her pains subsided. When the boys were being delivered, the younger was holding the heel of the first born as God had said would happen. The first born was named Esau and the second, Jacob. To show one’s heel to another symbolically means that one is leaving the other. Jacob would soon take all of his father’s inheritance and leave Esau behind (actually running out of fear of him). Holding on to the heel represents Esau trying to hold Jacob back from his destiny; which as we know never comes to pass for God’s sight was on Jacob to build a nation onto God.

    • I find it interesting that both Abraham’s wife, Sarah, and Isaac’s wife, Rebekah, both had difficulty getting pregnant. Only after prayer did they receive the blessing of children. Both Sarah and Rebekah appear to lack faith in God and tried to control destiny by their own efforts. Sarah by driving off Hagar and Ishmael and Rebekah by trickery to get Isaac’s blessing upon Jacob. I have two boys and I find it difficult to understand how a mother can favor one child over another. Any thoughts?

      • Blessings Jennifer. To respond to your comment about the Rebekah choosing one son over the other we need to put things in the proper context. The deception happened in Chapter 27. But let’s look back at the close of Chapter 26 – Rebekah had big time daughter in law issues. Her son Esau wouldn’t abide by his parents wishes that they marry within the faith. He went out and married Canaanite women (Hivites and Hittites). And we know how Canaanites live, right? She was worried that these women would benefit from the inheritance and blessing Esau was supposed to get. As any mother, she was concerned about keeping the wealth in the family; Jacob followed more with the wishes of his mother than Esau did; hence the source of the deception. Hope this helps…. 🙂

  • I was struck with how the parents “favored” one child over the other. I have seen that play out in families and it is not a good thing, I think. Even though the boys seemed to have a natural competitiveness, the parents, Isaac and Rebekah, didn’t help their relationship by choosing favorites. Each child is special and unique not better or worse than the other! I know God had a plan and it did play out when Jacob returns and the brothers are reunited.

    • I see what you are saying but I also wonder if the “favor” is not due also to their personalities growing up. I have twins as well and I know that though I love both of them equally My firstborn has the tendency to gravitate toward my husband and my younger has the tendency to gravitate towards me. We always are conscience to purposely plan outings with the opposite pairings to reduce any feelings of being left out but the way they tend to gravitate will probably always be there.
      What I have always had a problem with is Rebekah’s purposeful deceitfulness against her son Esau and Jacob’s cooperation in it. I guess it goes to show God will work through us even though we are imperfect, but It always bothers me that Jacob’s blessing was brought threw ill-gotten means.

  • It’s interesting to see all the parallels between Abraham and Sarah and Isaac and Rebekah– the problem with the wells, the famines, both men trying to pass off their beautiful wives as sisters, etc. It’s interesting how both women tried to make God’s prophecies come true by intervening. Sarah didn’t believe that she would be able to conceive a child, so she offered Abraham her servant Hagar. Rebekah tries to force the prophecy that her (favored) younger son Jacob would be served by the elder (Esau) by tricking Isaac into giving his blessing to Jacob.

    What if these two women had trusted God? How things might have changed! Without Ishmael, perhaps there would be peace in the Promised Land (see Gen 16:12) or at least a little less conflict. As far as Esau and Jacob, Esau willingly and foolishly sold his birthright for some food, showing he had no regard for the traditions of his culture. If Rebekah had not intervened, he may have willingly given away the blessing as well.

    Sometimes it is so difficult to discern God’s will for me. I’m never quite sure if I should take action or wait for God to show me the right path. I guess more prayer and study and time spent before the Blessed Sacrament would help.

  • In the Bible, twins are trouble!!
    It seems there is always the juxtaposition of light and dark, good and evil, and the situations of twins in Scripture illustrate this perfectly.
    And yet – there is grey area — in these particular chapters, neither Esau nor Jacob are perfectly good or perfectly bad. They are immature and flawed like every other human: weak, conniving, envious, ambitious, prideful. Yet they also love, show obedience and mercy as the situations call for it.

  • The Lord had promised Abraham many descendants. The Lord makes both Abraham and Isaac long for children. Though the Lord had promised ,he carries out his promise after Isaac prays for Rebekah. I have taken so many times my Jesus for granted thinking that he knows my needs and will provide for me without making any attempts to pray and plead. Oh Jesus please help me to surrender my life in your hands so that I believe everything I posses is a gift from your hands..

  • You know in reading all of your thoughts the same question comes up repeatedly and that is why did the women of the men of God not have the same trust in God as their husbands? There seems to be no relationship with God and the women. We could actually take this all the way back to Adam and Eve. Adam had a good relationship with God but Eve, God was evasive. God appears to have a great relationship with his imperfect men but does not with the women. What am I missing?

    • Blessings Kim, there are many women that are shown in much more of a better light than most men we think were favored by God. Two women in particular I could think of was Ruth and of course, Our Mother – Mary.

      • I did focus to much on the narrow picture and not the greater. You are right about the women being shown in a better light.

        • If you think about it, both Sarah and Rebekah played instrumental roles in ensuring that their men stayed true to God’s focus for their people by removing obstacles in their way – Sarah with Ishmael and Rebekah with Esau. God would never leave it up to a guy to finish the work – He brings us women to keep us focused on the prize. Women in the Bible did so much to keep things going. 🙂

          • I hope I didn’t suggest that I’m a woman in my last post “He brings us women to keep us focused on the prize”. I meant to say “He brings women…” One too many us’. 🙂 Guess I was tapping into my feminine side. LOL

          • I assumed with the spelling of your name that you were a male. Woman tend to spell their names Jo no e.

          • After reading this back and forth, I am beginning to think there should be an “A” and a “B” team for this discussion. I believe I would be leading the B team, as the only member!

    • If you look to the literal lenses first in interpreting the Scripture passages, you may take a softer view of women and their relationships with God in these stories. Remember what the culture(s) was, who wrote the books, who the intended audiences were of the times they were written. Women were property, had very little value even through Jesus’ time and beyond. This is what makes Jesus’ encounters and relationships with women in the Gospels so astounding and shocking to the people of his time, I would maintain.
      Women did what they felt they had to do for survival. The interesting observation for me actually focuses on men – from Adam onward: why did they do less to protect their women and why were they so willing to listen to the women instead of God? Adam was charged with protecting Eve, for example, yet where was he when Eve was accosted by the serpent, and why did he not seek the protection of God when the serpent appeared? Christ the Bridegroom, in covenant with the Church the Bride, points out the necessary partnership inherent in covenant – which the Sacrament of Marriage certainly should mirror.

      • Kerry, well thought out response and agree with most. There is one point that I need to make with respect to your use of Adam and Eve as an example. When God created all that is seen and unseen, did you realize that before the Fall, both men and women were EQUAL. In the perfect world God created, God always intended to make man and women equal to each other; a byproduct of each other; connected always. Only after the Fall was man shown to “master” over the woman. Therefore, in Heaven, women don’t have to flex their muscles to demand woman’s rights – it’s a given as it should be on this plain of existance. We’re all equal in the eyes of God. Isn’t that amazing?

        • I understand your point; not sure mam was ever intended to be master over woman, though, before or after the fall. Equal, but different, applied then as it applies now, I believe. Eve succumbed to temptation and encouraged Adam to do the same, but Adam was not there to protect her nor did he seek God’s intercession in the situation – only implying they were both culpable in equal but different ways. Thanks, Joe.

          • I agree with Kerry. Not to split hairs, but I don’t see where it says in the bible that Adam and Eve were “equal”. God allowed Adam to choose a helper to be a partner. Does
            that imply “equal”? The ancient people had the mindset that women were, shall we say, “less important”. Even during Jesus’ time, when they counted the number of people present for the multiplication of the loaves, they counted the men only.

            I do believe God INTENDED for men and women to be equal, and so Jesus interacted with women in a way that seemed radical to the first
            century audience.

          • In a previous Bible study on Genesis, we noted that God told Adam not to eat the fruit of the tree. He did not tell Eve Himself. Therefore, it was really Adam’s responsibility to make sure they obeyed this command.

          • Hmmm… what struck me in the study of Genesis was the fact that Adam was so quick to blame Eve when he also ate of the fruit. As Kerry mentioned, he didn’t protect Eve and he also succumbed to the temptation.

            It seems that since the dawn of time, humans have a tough time accepting responsibility for their own actions. And whether its man vs. woman or brother vs. brother, or any other combination, humans have been looking out for their own self interests.

          • Marianne, Wow, I didn’t catch your comment last year! Shame on me! What you said is so true. Jesus did treat women as equal to men.

          • I think this is the nice thing about having the old comments along with the new. I know that when I read my bible, sometimes seemingly “new” things pop out at me that I never noticed before. Which is why I’m never too old to learn! And reading the bible is truly a “Great Adventure”!

  • It seems that the competition between Esau and Jacob was a compulsion that fulfilled God’s plan. Esau, seems the athletic fearless hunter who on the surface may seem the ideal leader, yet it is the quieter Jacob who has better leadership skills in that he could manipulate people and situations and in modern terminology could be described as Teflon man. Initially, I was disappointed that Isaac repeated his father’s failings, his wife was scheming and dishonest and his sons were not nice people. Yet despite all this, they did their best to obey God in their broken weak ways and he still loved, guided and blessed them. The story seems to me to be one that is repeated in different ways throughout time and even in our own lives.

  • I find it difficult to “root” for either brother because each had their share of shortcomings. Esau was foolish and Jacob was cunning. I don’t believe Esau knew what stood before him should he fully embrace his rightful birthright. Although I don’t condone favoritism among parents it is easy to see why Rebekah favored Jacob. When a mother sees one of her children hurting she naturally wants to be there for him/her. Perhaps this is what Rebekah saw with Isaac’s favoritism of Esau, that Jacob was hurting. She therefore did the only thing she could do, work to ensure happiness for her less loved son. I don’t agree with this but see how it could be true. That being said, Rebekah didn’t know when enough was enough. Thankfully, God knew the ending before it began, as did Rebekah one might argue. Again, it seems odd that Jacob was brought to heights of greatness on ill-gotten means but who knows what events may have transpired should Esau, who to me was quite foolish, have kept his birthright and blessing. Thankfully, God’s timing is always perfect, whether we recognize it as such or not!

  • I was particularly struck by the last verse so Chpt 28

    21. Jacob then made this vow:* “If God will be with me and protect me on this journey I am making and give me food to eat and clothes to wear,
    21 and I come back safely to my father’s house, the LORD will be my God.

    How often do we make a prayer to God like this. It this happens, I will obey you forever God and by the way God, I make big donation to the Church, How like Jacob we are

  • Peggy Bowes, I agree with you. What would have happen if Sarah and Rebekah would have trusted and listen. I wonder if Eve would had listen where would we all be. I guess we are all still trying to trust. We need to pray and listen to him in his word and spending more time in adoration.

  • Thanks for all the comments. I enjoy reading them as well as going through these 4 chapters. Life has no change as we challenge who can do the job better, that also happened to a community I used belong. God has so much patient on us and bless us and leading us at the bigger plan than we ever know. Thank you Sarah for this challenge to help me to stop and think is my plan fit into God’s plan?

  • Even in the womb, the two brothers seem to be at odds with each other. Reading these chapters one can hardly believe how beautiful God’s plan will unfold for His people despite their (our!) imperfections. It is interesting that Isaac and Rebekah has different favorites in their children. I think this hints of God’s love and sense of fairness. We are all given a chance to make better our lot in this life no matter what.

  • Chapter 25 gave an indication of how the boys would live, constantly at loggerhead with the first born being the master of the second. Through trickery and deception that was turned around. This is so much like the experriences we have today with those that we trust backstabbing us and trying to deprive us of our successes and blessings. Abraham had a sense that he was being tricked but Rebekah covered all the bases so Abraham at such an old age, his senses not being 100% fell prey to the deception.

  • I, too have twins and the competition between the two is constantly present. What I got out of the reading today shows the difference between the two men. Jacob realizes that although he obeyed his mother by being a partner in the ruse against Esau, Jacob was repentant because what he and his mother did was wrong. Esau on the other hand, was angry and could not let go of that anger. I don’t think I could blame Esau feeling that way that cost him a very special blessing from his father, Isaac. Even when he heard the alternate blessing Isaac gave him, Isaac says that he would be subservient ti Jacob! That, I would think would add fodder to the fire! Esau wanted to kill Jacob! This part of the Bible is a definite page turner, stay tuned!!!

  • rebekah knew from the beginning that Jacob was to be the favored one from what the Lord told her while the twins quarreled in her womb. She was only for filling God’s plan for her son Jacob by the trickery she played on her husband in his old age. She was getting Isaac to fulfill the blessing to the younger son, Joshua, whom God blessed in the womb. Rebekah was the obedient one

    • Sara, I have a different opinion about what Rebelah did. I do not think she was being obedient. I think she meant well but she took matters into her own hands instead of trusting that God was going to work things out in His own way.

  • From Chapter 25 it is obvious that there will be feuding between Rebekah’s twins and
    it does play out when Jacob steals Esau’s birth right. I remember reading
    this story as a child and thinking that it was incredibly unfair for Jacob to
    do what he did. I wondered why God let him get away with it! Esau
    pleading for a blessing is heart wrenching! What I had failed to see (or
    rather skipped my attention), was the fact that Esau didn’t care much about his
    birth right in the first place – he swapped it for a bowl of food! The
    lesson here is that we mustn’t take fore granted the gifts that God gives us!

    As for Jacob, life is not all fine and dandy after he stole his brother’s birthright.
    He is forced to leave home, fleeing for his life – a metaphor for sin. When we sin, we are running away from home, we move away from God.

    The issue of intermarriage with the ‘people of the land’ seems to be an important
    thread in the story. Abraham in his old age sends his servant to bring a
    wife for Isaac from among his kindred. Esau goes against this grain and
    his foreign wives bring great bitterness to his mother. Jacob however obeys his
    father’s charge not to marry a Canaanite, but to pick his spouse from his
    mother’s kindred. And the blessing carries forward through the house of
    Jacob.

    • Excellent observations, Pauline. I, too, felt empathy for Esau and was wondering the justice of him not even receiving a secondary blessing from Isaac. I had not really thought about your astute point regarding Esau not caring for his loss birthright. Once he realizes what he loss he is turned to anger. This seems to foreshadow much of what happens in our world today; and, also, clearly demonstrates the importance of our actions.

      • You know John, through this study and reading everyone’s comments I have realized the importance of ‘immersing’ ourselves in the scriptures. God speaks to us and meets us where we are (in life), in the scriptures. As a child, I read these same stories but didn’t pick-up up on half of the things that are becoming apparent to me now. It is only in immersing ourselves and wrestling with the scriptures that we can come to know the deeper truths of God. This is truly a Great Adventure!

  • Not so much the question (because I get very confused in all these early readings) but I do love how Gen. 28 ends: Jacob then made this vow:* “If God will be with me and protect me on this journey I am making and give me food to eat and clothes to wear,21and I come back safely to my father’s house, the LORD will be my God.22This stone that I have set up as a sacred pillar will be the house of God. Of everything you give me, I will return a tenth part to you without fail.”

    The first time a real “deal” is tried with God. Interesting.

    And I just love this image from the same chapter.

    • I was interested that Jacob seemed to give God an ultimatum with “if God will be with me and protect me then …” This struck me oddly. Also, I thought the first mention of tithing was with Melchizedek but discovered that there is a reference to it here in Genesis.

  • m.g. I wonder if ‘striking a deal with God’ is the same as trusting God? It definitely sounds like Jacob was trying to strike a deal here! A very human thing to do. We love to ‘strike deals’, we want to know what’s in it for us? However, Noah in the earlier chapters gives us a good picture of what trusting God looks like. He is told to build an ark and he just does it. No arguments, no deals. God asks Abraham to sacrifice is only son and he trusts God and goes ahead to sacrifice Isaac, no questions asked, no deals struck. It is easy to say we can trust God, but when it comes down to it, most of us are looking to strike a deal with God!

    I didn’t pick up on this, thanks for bringing it up. It’s got me thinking about my own level of trusting God.

  • To me, it seems that the rivalry between the brothers began before birth and was fueled in part by one parent preferring one brother over the other. After Esau tossed away his birthright and then was tricked out of his blessing, he bore a grudge against both his mother and father. He had married Canaanite / Hittite women and when he realised how displeasing marrying Canaanite women were to his father, he went out and married more Canaanite women. This strikes me as an immature attitude and shows how Esau uses people for his own purpose.

    At this point in the story, it seems that Jacob the trickster is getting his way but I know that the tables will turn and the boys will grow up to be men.

  • Rebekah immediately reminded me of Eve with Adam, influencing Jacob, and I wonder if he would have been so shrewd without her. I can’t believe a mother playing brother against brother. I used to ask my mother who she loved the most of all her 5 children and she always said, she loved us the same, even though we were all so different. I never knew if she played us against one another except when I was a difficult teenager, she would ask me why I couldn’t be as good as my older sister. LOL. However, when siblings have a constant rivalry, is it because of a parent’s underlying affection towards one of the children? I can understand Esau’s anger because he was defeated twice by his brother. Here lies the question of love again. The question of God’s tests to see how we overcome anger and hate for the sake of love.

  • Chapter 25 tells us that the two children (nations) will become rivals, a prophecy that is suggested from their moment of delivery. I believe there is a play on words with the names, as Jacob in some translation I believe means “to protect” and it seems pointed out when Jacob “grips Esau’s heel”. Now there is a similarity here between Isaac and Jacob: God favored the second son Isaac over Ishmael just as he favored Jacob over Esau. Abraham was the recipient of amazing promises by God which was then passed along to Isaac, and then we see Isaac beginning to take hold of some of the land that was promised to his father (26:12-22).

  • Wow! What a story. I have heard it talked about before and read it before, but now it really hit me in the heart and it makes me wonder: How many times have I willingly and un-thoughtfully ‘relinquished’ my ‘birthright’: God’s gift of the Holy Spirit, joy, and love among many others, for the passions of this world? From now on, I am asking God for the grace that I be more conscious and discerning!!! My God, help me to love You above all else, without counting the cost!!!!

  • God said that the older twin would serve the younger. It came about by deceit by Rebekah and Isaac. I am sure there is great spiritual depth about this, but, in my simple mind, I am so saddened by the deceit. I guess I want to put these great people on a pedestal, but it is not where they are…………Is there any human that belongs on a pedestal? She will be born in the future……

  • Ch 25 speaks about the rivalry that will become of Esau and Jacob. Starting in thw womb and carryiing on in the bieth of the two. Thinga that stood out were the cpntrast between jacob and Esau.m the human factor plays in the early bible stories and humanity make the same mistakes over and over. Getting into the Word of God is true Wisdom to help us overcome being deaf, dumb, and blind. Help us Lord Jesus to overcome.

    • I wouldn’t say that it is praiseworthy. There are a few people in Christ’s geneology whose lives were not exemplary. It shows that we are all human. I think it just means that sometimes God uses our mistakes to fulfill His plans.

      Rebekah initiated the deceit, just like Isaac did when he tried to hurry God’s plan for his descendants. She told Jacob, “Now, my son, obey me in what I am about to order you.” (Genesis 27:8) Jacob protested, and Rebekah said, “Let any curse against you, my son, fall on me! Just obey me.” (Gen 27:13)

      So you see, Jacob’s initial response was to question his mother. But like all good Jewish boys, he ultimately obeyed his mother.

      “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

      Kind of like when we mess up our lives, and yet, somehow
      something good came of it; at the very least, a lesson learned.

    • it isn’t – God chose Jacob because God wanted Jacob’s line for His own… if Jacob had not been so deceitful (at his mother’s behest), maybe the Bible we’re reading now would be that little bit different… God chose Jacob from before the womb – if Jacob had been more trusting or Esau less of a two-fisted so-and-so, it would still have been Jacob’s line God sought…

  • It just seems difficult to explain to students who are told the ends don’t justify the means. In Jacob’s case, because he lied and cheated his brother, he received what he wanted.

  • Even before the boys were born it is clearly defined that they were competing with each other while in the womb. I’m stricken by just jow far Jacob takes it. Although I think Rebekah didn’t help matters by joining forces in the set up of trickery against Isaac. As the story continues my thoughts are that he will pay justly for his wrong doings, but I am thinking the same of Rebekah who instigated the trickery idea to Jacob.

    This particular section really shows lack of faith and trust in God and when that’s the situation we all know God already know the outcome down the road. We need to continually remember to put our trust in God.

    This story so much mimics today’s life.

    • it isn’t up to us to accept or blame each other’s perceived mistreatments of others… but to go to each, express God’s love and concerns for each of them…
      .
      in this case, I, too, formed similar feelings of disgust against all of them… Isaac, for treating his wife’s feelings for so little… Rebekah, for treating her sons differently one from the other… Esau, for his dismissing his own birthright for so little a thing as a bowl of his brother’s pottage… and Jacob, who tried to get out of his mother’s plan to deceive his father, but didn’t try hard enough…
      .
      I faulted all of them… until they turned into my own sister and brother-in-law and niece and nephew… because I knew my b-i-l’s treatment of his wife was true to him, I prayed for a fuller revelation to him… because of my sis’s going through cancer both hurt and dismayed all of them, I prayed for forgiveness of my sin in asking for my b-i-l to suffer as badly as my sis had done all those years ago… for my poor nephew, who knew not what he had and threatened to give it up for some plan of his to take his own love’s life so poorly as to dismiss the plans of her to marry… for my poor niece, who hurt the entire time, I begged forgiveness for ever saying or thinking of her “What a brat!”
      .
      it took me years to realize that those people in the Bible lead lives like all of us do… primarily selfish, until they learn by means similar as this that every body counts, and our own prayers count…

      • Sleepy, my response today would differ from just days ago. I agree we must pray for sinners, oneself and others. Therefore, now that I see how things unfolded with Jacob, Rebekah and others in the section they came around just as I hope is true for all of us. Putting them as brothers and sisters is so eye opening.

        God bless!

  • One thing I found interesting while reading these chapters was the two times that Rebekah said “why should I live?”. When Jacob and Esau were jostling with each other in her womb, she asks “is it worthy to live?” (Gn 25:22) as she was dealing with the pains of childbearing. When she asks herself of about Jacob marrying a Hittite woman, she asks “why should I live?” (Gn 27:46). I feel that this can relate to all the trials we face in our lives, such as losing a loved one, or if one can never get a job after getting laid off recently, or if one can never get married and have children. Some people may ask themselves, “why is life worth living?” due to all the pains we face. When I lost my oldest brother and my sister in law a few years ago on the same day, I asked God why does this happen and why am I living to see this happen? It is through our hard times in life that we must reach out to God and trust him. Just like when Abraham had to trust God despite waiting to have a son. Recently I graduated from college and I am searching for jobs. This may be a long process but I must trust Him even if I have to wait. Instead of intervening in our own lives to make good things happen like Rebekah did with Jacob in chapter 27, LET GO AND LET GOD.

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