Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger. ” When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them. The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Dear God, I think it’s interesting that you gave Rebekah some insight into her boys while she was still pregnant with them. I mean, it’s not unusual for there to be conflict between to brothers, but the part about two nations and the older will serve the younger. I wonder who she told this to later and when. Did she tell Isaac immediately? Did she tell the boys? She obviously told someone because I just read about it. What in interesting thing to know about your children ahead of time. Did you tell her so that she would be more inclined to meddle in Isaac’s blessing when they were older or to change how she felt about him? I’ve found that you keep me on a need-to-know basis, and I rarely need to know. Apparently, Rebekah needed to know this for your plan. Interesting.
I wonder if Rebekah would have favored Jacob without this prophecy, or would his deceitfulness have driven her crazy. Of course, we will learn that Jacob comes by his own deceitfulness naturally. Both his mother and her brother, Laban, are very deceitful. Perhaps they were more kindred spirits and Esau, although not a great guy, was more straightforward and a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of person.
I have to admit that I’ve always judged Rebekah for the role she played in deceiving Isaac. Maybe Isaac was foolish and needed to be deceived. I don’t know. And maybe she wasn’t allowed to plead her case to Isaac or make an argument for favoring Jacob so she felt she had no other choice than deception. It does, however, leave me wondering about her relationship with Esau. Did she love him? Did she “get” him? Did she regret him and wish she had only had Jacob? A hard question for a mom to answer, and one that I suppose she did answer through her actions.
Father, help me to see my own children with your eyes. I don’t think either of them will lead a nation, and there should be no need for competition for power between them. They are living and leading different lives. They each have their own needs. Help me to love each of them well and to give the what you need them to have from me.
In Jesus’s name I pray,