We have all read the stories about parents who do dishonorable or foolish things to put their children in a good position. Whether it’s in school, sports, competitions, or social circles some are willing to put ethics and morals aside to push their child to the top of the list. In chapter 27, we see a mom (Rebekah) put her son over (Jacob), not just others, but her other son (Esau).
She helped Jacob steal the blessing intended to be passed from Issac to Esau simply because Jacob was her favorite child.
So he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and she prepared some tasty food, just the way his father liked it. Then Rebekah took the best clothes of Esau her older son, which she had in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob. She also covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with the goatskins. Then she handed to her son Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made. Genesis 27: 14-16
Both Rebekah and Jacob were divisive, conniving, deceitful and corrupt as they moved forward with their plan. How could the Lord let them get away with it? Why couldn’t Issac just take it back and give it to Esau? After all, it was his blessing, to begin with, and his brother had already tricked him out of his birthright. Talk about family drama!
What struck my heart this week was a great truth and reminder that although we may try to alter God’s plans (unknowingly or deceitfully), He will have His way. His plan will prevail and there will be consequences for our sins. Forgiven, yes! However, the consequences of our sin do not go away.
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?” Genesis 27:45
Of course, Esau is furious about his brother stealing his blessing. This wasn’t their first tangle as brothers. So, Esau was out for blood. In order to protect her favorite child, Rebekah hatches another plan to keep Jacob safe and sends him off to live with an uncle and find a wife.
So did Rebekah and Jacob end up paying any consequences? Well, the coming chapters will unfold more about the challenging life Jacob had with Uncle Laban, but it’s also interesting to point out that although both Rebekah and Jacob thought he would only be gone a couple of days. Jacob was gone for 20 years! Not only that, while Jacob was gone, Rebekah died. She was never able to see her favorite son again after she dishonestly secured him Esau’s blessing.
I wonder what that was like for her? Did you think she still felt it was all worth it after she said good-bye and year after year she never saw her treasured child? Did she ever regret her actions? And what about Esau? He stayed. What was their relationship life after Jacob left? I imagine it was pretty chilly around the dinner table (at least for a while). Did Esau ever really forgive her for how she had tricked him out of his blessing or for her outright acknowledgment that Jacob was her favorite? Did she ever apologize or try to explain herself?
I have so many questions. But finally:
As moms, women, Christians, and parents, what can we learn from Rebekah? When did things start to go wrong in her heart? What could she have done to guard her heart against fear, deceitfulness, and greed that led to such a broken family?
Being able to read and ponder these questions about Rebekah’s story is more proof that the Bible is a living text and still relevant to us today? God’s lessons are alive and teaching throughout time so we can try to avoid the sinkholes of Satan.