Today, we are getting back to learning about the people of the Bible and the lessons they learned in life that have been left in the Bible for us to learn as well. So far, we have taken a look at ten Bible characters: Eve, Adam, Abel, Cain, Noah, Abraham, Lot, Sarah, Lot’s Wife, and Abraham’s Servant. Today, we are going to take a deeper look at Rebekah, Isaac’s wife.
When Jacob and Esau were born, in Genesis chapter 25 verse 28, it says that Isaac loved Esau and Rebekah loved Jacob. That, I believe, was the start of the conflict between the two sons, but that’s another lesson for another day. Rebekah favored Jacob, although it doesn’t say why. So much so that when she overheard Isaac’s plan to bless Esau and name him heir, she concocted a plan with Jacob, rather than trusting in God’s plan.
Genesis chapter 27, verses 5 through 13 says, “Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt game and to bring it. So Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, ‘Indeed I heard your father speak to Esau your brother saying, “Bring me game and make savory food for me, that I may eat it and bless you in the presence of the Lord before my death.” Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to what I command you. Go now to the flock and bring me from there two choice kids of the goats, and I will make savory food from them for your father, such as he loves. Then you shall take it to your father, that he may eat it, and that he may bless you before his death.’
And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, ‘Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man. Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him; and I shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.’
But his mother said to him, ‘Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me.’”
First, what we see here is that Rebekah took matters into her own hands, just like Sarah did, rather than trusting that God would work everything out in His timing; that the right son would end up with the inheritance. Not only did she plan to deceive her husband and son, but she got Jacob involved and caused him to deceive his father and brother. Jacob seemed reluctant at first, for fear of bringing a curse upon himself, instead of a blessing. What was Rebekah’s response?
“Let your curse be on me, my son.”
How many times do we ignore the consequences of our actions? Those moments when we feel deep inside ourselves I shouldn’t be doing this, yet we ignore it anyway. “Oh, well. It won’t be that big of a deal.” “It’s just one drink.” “It’s just a white lie.” “What I’m doing can’t hurt anyone.”
Our actions have consequences, whether good or bad. Unfortunately, we can’t escape the bad consequences, even if we don’t think about it. Sometimes, we don’t think our actions hurt another person. Sometimes, they do and sometimes they don’t—not outwardly, anyway. But here’s the thing; even if our actions aren’t hurting anyone in life here on earth, our actions have spiritual repercussions as well. Our walks with God can be hindered when we put our own desires before His.
The truth is that God knows best. He sees the whole picture, whereas we see life through a dim-glass, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:12. We only know things in part, but God sees outside of time—the past, present, and future all at once. He already knows our choices before we make them and He knows exactly what’s going to happen as a result of our choices.
Think about the concept of the Butterfly Effect—that, in science fiction, if people could time travel, if you went back in time and stepped on a butterfly, hundreds of years later, time would be messed up and there would be drastic consequences that could change the events that took place. That isn’t physically possible, obviously, but my point is that God DOES know that stuff. He knows every small and big thing in our lives—from what’s going to happen because of the person we decide to marry, to what breakfast we decided to eat, and how that’s going to affect the rest of our day, and our lives. And the lives of those around us.
We want control. Not all of us, and not all the time, but many times, we humans crave control. It’s why so many wars have happened, it’s why people argue and divorce, it’s why siblings fight, and why there is always drama at school. When things happen in life that are out of our control, that’s when it feels like life is the most chaotic and stressful—disease, pandemics, natural disasters, terrible political leaders, rights being stripped away, terrorism, mass shootings, and more.
In this case, Rebekah wanted to control which of her sons received the birthright. She wanted it to go to Jacob, and indeed, that was what was meant to be. But she took matters into her own hands, and both Isaac and Esau were hurt and deceived in the process. Jacob became a deceiver as a result, and was forced to flee his home because Esau tried to kill him. Because of Rebekah’s choice, Jacob had to stay away from his close family and home and spent many years away. Then, because of that, the consequences fell back on Jacob as well, and he was later deceived into marrying a woman he didn’t want.
Now, God turned her mistake into something good. In his time away, Jacob married two women and started his own family, and was blessed by God with a large flock. But that’s the beauty of God is that He takes our mistakes and uses them for His good. But we can avoid a lot of unnecessary heartbreak by choosing to trust God and let Him work things out in His way and in His timing, rather than jumping the gun and trying to take control like Rebekah did.
Give the reigns of your life over to God—He’s way better at steering than we are!