Lord, help me forgive those who hurt or anger me, especially my family. Help me love them as You would.
Read Genesis 27:41-28:9
 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.”  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.  Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee at once to my brother Laban in Harran.  Stay with him for a while until your brother’s fury subsides.  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?”  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.”  So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him: “Do not marry a Canaanite woman.  Go at once to Paddan Aram, 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.  May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples.  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.”  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.  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,”  and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Paddan Aram.  Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac;  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. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat marriage pattern do you see repeated here?
Like the elder brother in the parable (Luke 15:29,30), Esau is embittered by his brother’s behavior. He’s angry enough to kill, as Abel’s brother was before him (4:8) and Joseph’s brothers after him (37:20). So Jacob’s search for a wife becomes a timely excuse for him to slip away on the same journey that Abraham’s servant took years before. There is a natural pause in the story here; as Jacob leaves, does Rebekah reflect on her part in events? Her strong devotion to her family has given them security, but maybe she enjoys wrapping them round her little finger too much. The tie that binds can also be the noose that ensnares. My eagerness to manage my own family is sometimes Rebekah-like, although they frequently resist my organizational powers! “O time! thou must untangle this, not I; It is too hard a knot for me to untie!” says Viola in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Such faith in time, often called “the great healer,” is not entirely misplaced. Time can put space between people and events, taking the sting out of painful episodes, but only God can help us forgive. Only he can transform our attitudes and mistakes. Let’s unite ourselves with him.
If there are painful episodes for which you (or other family members) need healing, pray about them now.
Lord, show me how to be the best family member I can be. I want to be a helper and healer.
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