CHILDREN OF THE PROMISE
Spirit of the Living God, “melt me, mold me, use me, fill me” to Your glory, I pray.
Read Genesis 27:41 – 28:9
41 Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
42 When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Your brother Esau is planning to avenge himself by killing you. 43 Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee at once to my brother Laban in Harran. 44 Stay with him for a while until your brother’s fury subsides. 45 When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I’ll send word for you to come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”
46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living.”
28 So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him: “Do not marry a Canaanite woman. 2 Go at once to Paddan Aram,[a] to the house of your mother’s father Bethuel. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. 3 May God Almighty[b] bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. 4 May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now reside as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.” 5 Then Isaac sent Jacob on his way, and he went to Paddan Aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, who was the mother of Jacob and Esau.
6 Now Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him to Paddan Aram to take a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he commanded him, “Do not marry a Canaanite woman,” 7 and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Paddan Aram. 8 Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac; 9 so he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow do you see your life as a journey of discovery with God?
Abraham took the initiative to find a wife for Isaac to secure his family line. But his daughter-in-law, Rebekah, took the initiative to find a wife for Jacob (46). Her reasons for doing so were complex. What were they (26:34,35)?
We could speculate on the prime reason. After all, how could the twins live in the same household after Jacob’s deceit and Esau’s rage? How important was it that Jacob should marry a cousin, maintaining some semblance of racial and religious purity? Rebekah’s father and brother had referred to God when negotiating with Abraham’s servant (chapter 24), but there’s little evidence that they were committed to obeying God as Abraham had been.
In the end, Jacob became the father of many sons who would become the nation of Israel (35:10–12). But Esau married his half-cousin (9), from whom came the nation of Edom (36:9).
Abraham’s descendants were as many as the stars in the sky, but at this point in the story, Jacob’s family line remains precarious. Who will his descendants think they are? It’s too early to say, but God’s promise has been made – and God keeps His promises (3,4).
What has God been revealing to you about your journey of trust in Him over the last two weeks? Today, share one thing you have discovered with someone else.
Revenge comes quickly to me when I have been betrayed and hurt. I need a special provision of Your grace to forgive and move on.