Rebekah: Playing Favorites
Today, we're visiting with Rebekah over coffee. So pull up a comfy chair and listen in! I believe this Bible mommy has some wisdom to share about avoiding common mistakes in parenting.
Good to have you with us today, Rebekah! Seems to be a pattern in Scripture of infertility. You experienced this as well, didn't you?
Yes, but my husband, Isaac, prayed to the LORD on my behalf. God answered with twins! I remember how much they thrashed about in my belly. So much so, it concerned me. The LORD told me that two nations warred in my womb, and that the older would serve the younger. Even at birth, the younger was grabbing onto his brother's heel.
What was it like as the mother of twin boys?
Rebekah giggles.Never a dull moment, I can tell you that. The oldest, Esau, loved to hunt. But the younger, Jacob, liked to stay home. I know it's not right to pick favorites, but Isaac loved Esau because of the game he brought home. I, on the other hand, loved Jacob because he was a quiet boy, preferring to stay by my side in the tent. He liked to cook, too. What woman doesn't like that? Sadly, though, that's the very thing that led to trouble.
Tell us about that.
Rebekah sighs. Well, one day Esau came in from hunting, all hungry. He saw Jacob cooking stew, and he told his brother to give him some. Jacob, born with a cunning nature, said, "First sell me your birthright." You see, the oldest child was in line to inherit from his father. But Esau, ever the impulsive one, said, "Look, I am about to die. What good is the birthright to me?" So he sold his birthright for a bowl of stew.
Oh dear. That would spell trouble, I suppose.
Yes, and grief seemed to follow us into their adult years. When Esau married Judith, they gave us nothing but heartache. Perhaps I didn't do the job I should've when he was little. At any rate, they made life miserable for Isaac and me.
I'm sorry to hear that. But I'm sure many of my readers can identify. Often, grown children can vex their parents, in one way or another.
So true. Later, when Isaac was on his death bed, he called for Esau and asked him to prepare some game for him and he would bless him before he died. I was listening in and got an idea. Rebekah hangs her head. I told Jacob to prepare tasty food from our flock, using the hairy skins to cover his neck and arms so that Isaac would think he was Esau. You see, Isaac couldn't see well. Not at all. Like Sarah, I took matters into my own hands to assure that the LORD's prophecy to me would work out--that the older would serve the younger. Sadly, my example of trickery rubbed off on Jacob and followed him throughout life.
Did Isaac fall for the scheme?
Oh, yes, with no problem. As I said, he was quite unable to see in his old age. He blessed Jacob, and when Esau came in from the field and asked for his blessing, there was none to give. This upset both Isaac and Esau greatly! But nothing could be done.
Ooh, I can only imagine how angry Esau must have been.
Yes, quite so. He held a grudge against his brother and wanted to kill him. But I sent Jacob away to my brother Laban. Eventually, many years later, Esau did let go of the grudge, for God provided for him too, in many ways. Wives. Flocks. Children. And such. And even though Jacob received the blessing, he struggled in many ways, for a long time. Even with God.
What would you say you learned from your experiences, Rebekah?
Never play favorites. Never take matters into your own hands. The LORD will do as He promised, in His time and in His way. And perhaps the biggest lesson of all: a mother's influence is powerful. Live a godly example before your children, because your words and actions will come back on you, whether good or bad.
Thanks for joining me today, Rebekah! Next time on Bible Mommies, we'll talk with Rebekah's daughters-in-law who have an interesting story to share too.
For more of Rebekah's story, read Genesis, chapters 26 and 27.