Summary: Rebekah the Mother of Esau and Jacob, is a lesson in struggling through: First, 1) A disappointed home (Genesis 25:19-21), 2) A distressed home (Genesis 25:22–23) and 3) A divided home (Genesis 25:24–28).
Genesis 25:19–28 19 These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham fathered Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. 21 And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.” 24 When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them. 27 When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents. 28 Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. (ESV)
Mother’s Day can be difficult at the best of times. There are those who have miscarried, aborted, lost a child to illness or accident. There are those who cannot or have chosen not to conceive. There are those who are alienated from their children and those who just can’t seem to get through. There are those who weep over unsaved children and those who weep over backsliding children. Put into the mix of a pandemic and you have those who have not seen or been with their children for some time. Here we have yet another year where it almost doesn’t seem right to think of a mother day in lockdown. In one way this is the best time for thinking about Mother’s day, because it enables us to cut through the unrealistic concept of motherhood and deal with the real difficulty that is a regular part of motherhood.
One of the prime examples of the difficulty of motherhood displayed in scripture seems so appropriate for the difficulty of our day. Rebekah, as recorded in Genesis 25, struggled with infertility, family conflict and the future for her boys Esau and Jacob. Starting from the point of God’s apparent abandonment, well beyond her child bearing years, she wondered how God would fulfill His promises to her family. Even when God did seem to grant her prayers that her husband brought before the Lord, God did so, in a way that seemed to just bring more trouble. So much trouble that she wondered why this was all happening to her. God’s answer to her plight only seemed to bring more confusion. Her story is a story of struggle, faith and mistakes. It is such a real story that we can see ourselves in the struggle.
Rebekah’s story should cause us to ask real and tough questions of ourselves. How do we properly respond when things don’t seem to be progressing? What do we do when difficulties only seem to get worse? How do we learn from past mistakes, and what do we do to avoid falling into the same trap? Rebekah’s story shows the reality of motherhood in all its struggles, conflict and pain. But it is a story of God’s faithfulness even when everything seems to be going wrong. It should direct us, encourage us and cause us all to be awed in the wisdom, workings and majesty of God.
Rebekah the Mother of Esau and Jacob, is a lesson in struggling through: First, 1) A disappointed home (Genesis 25:19-21), 2) A distressed home (Genesis 25:22–23) and 3) A divided home (Genesis 25:24–28).
Rebekah the Mother of Esau and Jacob, is a lesson in struggling through:
1) A Disappointed Home (Genesis 25:19–21).
Genesis 25:19–21 19 These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham fathered Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. 21 And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. (ESV)
Barrenness in those days was a real reproach for the couple but especially for the woman. And for Isaac and Rebekah it was also a real test of their faith, for God had promised Isaac that the promised seed (Christ the Messiah would come through him [Genesis 21:12]), but without any children that promise seemed impossible to fulfill. (Butler, J. G. (2008). Analytical Bible Expositor: Genesis (p. 238). Clinton, IA: LBC Publications.)