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.”
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.
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,” and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Paddan Aram. Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac…
Genesis 27:46; 28:5-8
For all Rebekah’s scheming to keep Jacob, she’s losing him.
We know this.
She does not.
Rebekah still thinks she’s right.
And she’s still using what ever trick it takes to get her way.
Flavor of the day? Threaten suicide on account of Esau’s wives.
You didn’t realize that Esau’s wives were a problem?
Well, you’re not alone. Evidently, neither did Esau.
A Bit More Backstory
You may have noticed that I conveniently skipped over Genesis 26 when looking at Isaac and Rebekah’s backstories.
During a famine, God appears to Isaac in a dream and tells him where to live and promises to bless him. Isaac obeys. However, when the men of the land ask Isaac about Rebekah, he tells them she’s his sister because he fears that the men will kill him over Rebekah’s beauty.
Eventually, the king discovers this and is furious with Isaac. ““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.” (Genesis 26:10)
It appears that Isaac trusts God in most areas, but when it comes to Rebekah, he forgets Who brought her to him in the first place!
And at the end of Genesis 26, we also learn that Esau’s wives “were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.” (Genesis 26:35)
Rebekah was no dumb bunny (as my mother used to say.) She knows that Isaac’s love for her has become a dependent devotion. What was once a strength has become a weakness.
A weakness she learned how to exploit.
And it sounds like Isaac and Rebekah kept their grief over Esau’s wives to themselves rather than entering into open dialogue with Esau, prior to his marriages or after.
Their unspoken concerns festered into resentment and bitterness.
More weaknesses which Rebekah learned how to exploit.
A Final Failure
Rebekah still expects everything to turn out okay in the end.
We know that all of her plans fail.
Jacob will be gone for decades. There’s no record of Rebekah and Jacob ever reuniting.
At this point in the story, I wonder, “Rebekah, if you could have seen the entire story play out, what choices would you regret? And if you then had a chance for do-overs, what would you do differently?”
This, I believe, is the great gift that such stories offer us: the opportunity for vicarious learning.
The chance to witness — from a distance — the consequences of someone else’s poor choices.
Someone who was a lot like me.
And so today, as I look back over our Journey Thru Genesis 27, I’m asking myself:
- Which of Rebekah’s choices have I made, in my own way?
- Which of Rebekah’s consequences have I experienced, in my own way, or am I likely to experience?
- What can I learn from Rebekah’s consequences so I can make different choices?
How about you?
Try This Today:
As you’re building your “God Will Provide” family time line, include a failure, a farewell, or both.
When have you learned vicariously through someone else’s story and been able to avoid consequences?