Thursday, December 16, 2010

Genesis 27:42-46 Rebekah's Solution

Rebekah was told of her son Esau's plan to kill Jacob.  Her previous plan for Jacob to receive the blessing was rapidly spiraling out of her control.  She sent for Jacob and told him that Esau was consoling himself with the thought of murdering him. (v 42)  She instructed Jacob to obey her next plan:  "Flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran.  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?" (Genesis 27:43-45 NIV)

This seems a bit naive on Rebekah's part.  Did she really expect Esau to just 'forget' what Jacob had done?  She herself described Esau's attitude as furious.  Perhaps she had seen similar incidents where the brothers had fought, and eventually mended their relationship.  However, this matter of the birthright and blessing was a matter of a far greater magnitude than normal squabbling between brothers.  At least Rebekah took Esau's threats seriously and did what she could to protect Jacob.

Rebekah needed a reason for Isaac to send Jacob away, and she soon arrived at her solution.  "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.' " (Genesis 27:46 NIV)  This verse makes it clear that Esau's wives were creating problems for Rebekah.  Actually, Scripture says that they were "a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah" (Genesis 26:35 NIV)  Aside from any personal character traits which the women may have had, I believe that Esau's parents' real grief came from the fact that these women were not spiritually appropriate for Esau, for they were apparently not following the God of Abraham and Isaac.  It is somewhat surprising that Isaac had not been more involved in the matter of Esau's choice of spouses, especially considering the extent of his father Abraham's planning for choosing Isaac's own wife.  However, from Genesis 26:34-35, I get the idea that perhaps Esau just went out and decided on this matter without consulting his father at all.

At any rate, Rebekah's plan was rolling along on its way.  One thing that I noticed is that there is no mention in this passage of her consulting God on these matters by going to Him in prayer.  Another thing is that much of her reasoning seems to be centered around her own needs ("Why should I lose both of you in one day", "my life will not be worth living", etc.).  I am sure that she was genuinely concerned for Jacob's safety as well, but her attitude does not seem to be one which is searching for God's way in this matter.

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