13 His mother said to him, “My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me.”
Kids! Isaac and Rebekah loved their kids. Parents do that. They carefully feed and nurse them as infants. They raise them with the valued principles of God and life as youngsters. As they mature they provide the best example of adult life possible–showing the transparency and frailty of all humans. Then as adults, they pray, hope, celebrate and grieve with the young adults they have to release to be their own persons.
Such was the case with Isaac and Rebekah. Jacob was the worker, the quiet and unassuming brother. He was smart, insightful and a bit crafty…Esau was “Gaston”–rugged hunter, conceited and in his mind, invincible. He was a superhero by the world standard. So to him, rules did not apply. That broke his folks heart–birthright, marriage and general attitude toward God was aligned with his Canaanite in-laws much more than with his family.
In our culture, we are not a great deal different. We simply want to raise kids that will not be entangled and entrapped by the world. We want them to enjoy the peace and purposeful life–only available if they walk with the Lord. Still, no matter how hard we work, we have to let them go. They get to make their choices and often can break our hearts. We continue to counsel and pray for them–but, then we have to step back and let them be adults. Such pain and grief is hard to bear. The only good news was given to us by Solomon in Proverbs 22:6, “Raise a child in the way they should go, and, when they are old, they will not depart far from it!” God wants us to remember he loves them even more than we do–Like us, he will never give up!!!
God Bless You
When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35 They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.
8 When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelek king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. 9 So Abimelek summoned Isaac and said, “She is really your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?”
Isaac answered him, “Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her.”
10 Then Abimelek said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.”
11 So Abimelek gave orders to all the people: “Anyone who harms this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”
There is no accounting for what drives people. Isaac waited a quarter century to have sons. When his sons arrived, there was a clear distinction; Esau was a burley–“Man’s man” and Jacob was an inside guy. God told Isaac and Sarah–Jacob would continue the lineage–but, Isaac loved Esau. He loved his talent, his rugged style and the yummy food he made. So much so, that Esau clearly felt confident he had his future made. He became cocky–self absorbed–his God was his stomach.
Esau felt like the rules were not made for him; so, when Jacob offered him a nice dinner for the family birthright–well, there was no question that he would take the soup. Esau was all about now. He worried about his next meal, his next hunt and his next desire–long term thought was simply not a part of his routine. When Jacob traded him the soup for birthright–it spoke volumes of the hearts of the men. Esau never desired the responsibility of continuing the family line–he only wanted to hunt and fill his stomach.
In our world, not much has changed. Most folks are like Esau–self-absorbed and self-reliant. Their concern is for today, for themselves and not for God. People admire their rugged style, their false bravado and the way they take care of themselves. The truth is–it takes an eternal perspective to see past the here and now. When people live for eternity–the world feels they are foolish, weird and out of touch with the times. Truth is, however, it is that perspective–that will change the world. We have to look beyond our personal needs and trust God for who we are and what we have. That is the only life that will leave a legacy. Those who live for now will only leave stuff and emptiness. Paul spoke of those people as the enemies of God in Philippians 3–“Their God is their stomach and they glory in their shame.” In short–Esau was not an enemy of his birthright, He was an enemy of God.
It brings to a head what Joshua said–“Choose this day whom you will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!” Joshua 24:6
God Bless You
29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.[f])
31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”
32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”
33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.
So Esau despised his birthright.
The building of a lineage is no small task. Isaac was charged with the duty of continuing the line. Now, his half-brother Ishmael had 12 sons and would have been glad to take the job, but God was clear–The lineage would come through Isaac. Like his dad, however, Isaac had to wait a quarter century to see his kids be born.
Rebekah was like Sarah–she was barren. So Isaac did what he did when he sought a wife, he prayed, and prayed. God was kind and gave him twins–once again, God did exceeding and abundantly more than Isaac could have imagined. But, there was a catch, the older would serve the younger–From the start, that would not play well. But, God’s plan was perfect, so as Jacob and Esau entered the world, God was kind enough to let their parents know how things would progress.
God is not in the business of hiding the truth–since Adam and Eve, God has shared the truth with his people. We often miss it, or disregard it; simply because we think we know better–“That tree of knowledge of good and evil makes some yummy looking fruit…!” Still, as a father, I am constantly reminded that even though we train our kids on what is the right thing, they periodically disregard it, because they think they know better. So we continue to teach, discipline and coach all the days of their lives–as God does with us, hoping to direct them toward the journey God has laid out for them–so they can experience the peace we have in humbly and gratefully following our Lord. Paul said it best, “He who has begun a good work in you, will carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus!” Phil 1:6
God Bless You
Abraham became the father of Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram[c] and sister of Laban the Aramean.
21 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. 22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.
23 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.”
24 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau.[d] 26 After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob.[e] Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them
7 Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. 8 Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. 9 His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, 10 the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites.[a] There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. 11 After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who then lived near Beer Lahai Roi.
55 But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the young woman remain with us ten days or so; then you[e] may go.”
56 But he said to them, “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.”
57 Then they said, “Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.” 58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”
“I will go,” she said.
59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,
“Our sister, may you increase
to thousands upon thousands;
may your offspring possess
the cities of their enemies.”
61 Then Rebekah and her attendants got ready and mounted the camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
62 Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. 63 He went out to the field one evening to meditate,[f] and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. 64 Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel 65 and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?”
“He is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself.
66 Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. 67 Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
17 The servant hurried to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.”
18 “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink.
19 After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. 21 Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful.
Abraham was now very old, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. 2 He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh. 3 I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, 4 but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.”5 The servant asked him, “What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?”
6 “Make sure that you do not take my son back there,” Abraham said. 7 “The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring[a] I will give this land’—he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. 8 If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.” 9 So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.
10 Then the servant left, taking with him ten of his master’s camels loaded with all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim[b] and made his way to the town of Nahor. 11 He had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water.
3 Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites.[a] He said, 4 “I am a foreigner and stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead.”
5 The Hittites replied to Abraham, 6 “Sir, listen to us. You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead.”
7 Then Abraham rose and bowed down before the people of the land, the Hittites. 8 He said to them, “If you are willing to let me bury my dead, then listen to me and intercede with Ephron son of Zohar on my behalf 9 so he will sell me the cave of Machpelah, which belongs to him and is at the end of his field. Ask him to sell it to me for the full price as a burial site among you.”
10 Ephron the Hittite was sitting among his people and he replied to Abraham in the hearing of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of his city. 11 “No, my lord,” he said. “Listen to me; I give[b] you the field, and I give[c] you the cave that is in it. I give[d] it to you in the presence of my people. Bury your dead.”
12 Again Abraham bowed down before the people of the land 13 and he said to Ephron in their hearing, “Listen to me, if you will. I will pay the price of the field. Accept it from me so I can bury my dead there.”
14 Ephron answered Abraham, 15 “Listen to me, my lord; the land is worth four hundred shekels[e] of silver, but what is that between you and me? Bury your dead.”
16 Abraham agreed to Ephron’s terms and weighed out for him the price he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weight current among the merchants.