Wednesday, June 27, 2018

2018.06.27 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 25:19-28

Questions for Littles: Whose genealogy is this (v19)? How old was Isaac when they got married (v20)? Why did Isaac plead with Yahweh (v21)? How did Yahweh respond? Looking at v26, how long had Isaac pleaded, and how long did it take Yahweh to respond? What were the children doing within Rebekah (v22)? What did she do about it? What did Yahweh say was within her womb (v23)? Whom did Yahweh say would be stronger—whom did Yahweh say would serve the other? What did the first twin who came out look like, and what did they call him (v25)? What did his brother do when he came out, and what did they call him (v26)? As the boys grew, what was Esau like (v27)? What was Jacob like? Who was Isaac’s favorite and why? And who was Rebekah’s favorite?
In the passage for this week’s Old Testament reading, we continued to follow the line of promise, from which Jesus Christ, the Savior, would eventually come. And, we continued to see both man’s sinfulness from which we need to be saved, as well as evidence of God’s gracious work by which He is saving us.

Isaac and Rebekah serve as a warning to us here in v28. As he gets older, Isaac is such a slave to his appetite that it twists his heart. Here, he plays favorites with his children—and even picks his favorite child by his favorite food! Eventually, he won’t even be able to indulge his plan to thwart God about the blessing without satisfying his food craving first. Rebekah too has her favorite in Jacob, the gentler boy, as mothers are tempted to do. More on her later though.

But they weren’t always like that. The Lord had graciously worked in their lives for many years. Let us be warned not to rest upon prior grace, but to always be pressing forward in our walk with the Lord! For twenty years, Isaac’s solution to their childlessness was to pray for his wife. Not blame. Not manipulation. Prayer.

And this had its effect upon his wife. The man whom she had met while he was out praying in the evening prayed for her, cycle after cycle, month after month—more than two hundred months! So, when her pregnancy made her bemoan her very existence, she too prayed.

And the Lord answered. The Lord doesn’t always answer when we ask, “why?” But He did this time. Two nations were in her womb—well, it certainly felt like that, didn’t it! But then again—two peoples. And they were already in a battle. One would be stronger than the other.

Interestingly, as the boys grew up, Rebekah’s faith would be tested. Will Jacob really turn out to be stronger? Will the people of Esau really turn out to be the servants of the people of Jacob? What the Lord’s word had said, and what Rebekah’s eyes seemed to prove were opposites. It may in fact be that, in this particular case, her special favor to Jacob wasn’t favoritism, but faith. Are we willing to trust God’s word over our eyes?

In what situation could you be choosing to pray instead of blaming another?
What is a situation in which you have promises from the Lord, but your eyes seem to be saying something else?
Suggested songs: ARP4 “Answer When I Call” or TPH522 “Behold the Throne of Grace!”

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