“46 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.’ 28 So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him: ‘Do not marry a Canaanite woman. 2 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. 3 May God Almighty[b] bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. 4 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.’ 5 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.6 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,’ 7 and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Paddan Aram. 8 Esau then realised how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac; 9 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.” NIV
You find plenty of things that seem disappointing in the Bible. But in truth, it is holding up a mirror to real life. Isaac and Rebekah’s family was so dysfunctional. Their relationship seemed to start well, with that wonderful story of God guiding Abraham’s servant in chapter 24. This seemed to be a ‘marriage made in heaven.’ It clearly was God’s will to bring them together. But we, with our innate sinfulness, can mar and tarnish something that begins well and is initiated by God. Sin is a great spoiler of human relationships in general, and of marriages in particular.
We have already witnessed Rebekah assisting Jacob to deceive Isaac. Now, it seems to me, she was again being manipulative in what she said to her husband (46). There was undoubtedly truth in her words, but did she tell ‘the whole truth and nothing but the truth?’ I don’t think so. That’s the first disappointing thing I see here.
The second disappointment is with Esau (28:8,9). Talk about ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face.’ See how bitterness can poison a person’s spirit. It’s tragic.
Even the best of people will disappoint us at times.
But God is never a disappointment (28:3,4). Sandwiched between stories of fallible human beings, we are reminded, in the words of Isaac’s blessing, that the Lord is faithful to all His promises. He has done as Isaac said. We can always trust Him.
F.B. Meyer says of Jacob: ‘Sad as he was at the inevitable separation, the star of hope shone in the sky, beckoning him onward. It was necessary that he should be taken from under his mother’s influence into that greater world where, through pain and disappointment, he could become a prince with God. Often our nest is broken up that we may learn to fly.’ Devotional Commentary’, p.25.
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