Saturday, June 4, 2011

Genesis 27:42-46

“Anything we have to manipulate to get, we rarely get to keep.” I have this written in the margin of my workbook for Beth Moore’s study, The Patriarchs. I’m assuming it’s something she said in her video that struck me about the last verses in this chapter:

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.” (Gen 27:42-46)

This last scene in this chapter truly shows the consequences of the many dysfunctions in this family: favoritism, manipulation, deceit, a lack of spiritual discernment, enablement, unchecked anger and bitterness. The favoritism that Rebekah and Isaac each showed to their sons set the scene up for unhealthy competition between these brothers. Rebekah’s need to manipulate the outcomes “for God” thrust Jacob right into the middle of his largest deception. Isaac ignoring all of the warning signs that something was amiss and failing to lead these boys spiritually. Esau was allowed to go with his impulses, whether in his tendency to anger or in his choice of brides - the classic enablement by a dad who saw his son as a man’s man, the hunter, the jock superstar! And at the heart of it? Everyone wanted his own way over God’s way! Can we relate just a bit?

And look what happens in the end. Rebekah was told by someone (Isaac? A servant who overheard?) that Esau was plotting murder. So she told Jacob to “get out of Dodge” for a “awhile” until Esau could simmer down. That “awhile” lasted more than twenty years, and Rebekah died without ever seeing her son again! Note that nothing turned out as they had probably hoped, as she laments the women in Esau's life, who did not know or love God.  What a mess!

I’m right in the middle of this kind of situation at work right now that has just blown up. And as I’m reading God’s Word, which is always given at the absolute perfect time, I’m seeing how favoritism has created a competition that has lead us down all of these same paths! And the need to manipulate every detail (which really comes from that need to have our own way by hook or by crook), ends up with everyone losing in the end! As I said at the outset of this chapter, who needs a soap opera when we have these Bible stories? But the sad part is that I could now say, “Who needs a soap opera when you can be living one out yourself?” Yesterday I felt like I was a main character in “As the School Turns!” It was ugly - and feelings were hurt and people felt misunderstood and we all ended up guilty as sin! LORD, help us!!!

I am so thankful for this lesson today. I almost didn’t want to even open my Bible this morning, because I was feeling so discouraged. But, once again, God’s Word pointed out the heart of today’s problem! How thankful I am for the “sword of the Spirit” that cuts us to the quick and does exactly what God sends it forth to do!

Praying for peace!


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