A study of Genesis 25:19-28:22
We continue from week three. Now that Abraham has passed, the story centers on Isaac and Rebekah. Rebekah is unable to conceive. Isaac prays to God on her behalf. The Lord answers his prayers, and Rebekah becomes pregnant and had twins, Esau and Jacob.
The Lord had appeared to Isaac and gave him directions as well as, once again, make several promises to him. We always hope to learn from our parents and the things they did and things they should not have done; we see that is not always the case. God directed Isaac not to go to Egypt. God told him to stay in the land that He told him to stay in, Gerar.
Promises from God
Promises God made to Isaac
‘Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants, I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees, and my instructions.” ‘ Genesis 26:3-5
So Isaac stayed there in Gerar as the Lord directed. This is where we see Isaac follow in his father’s footsteps in not trusting in his God. Isaac deceives the men of the city and tells them that Rebekah is his sister. (See Genesis 12:10-20 to read Abrahams deception)
Eventually, the truth was discovered. Isaac claimed it was fear for his safety because Rebekah was so beautiful. The king immediately told all his people that Isaac and Rebekah were under his protection. Therefore no one was allowed to harm them in any way. The Lord blessed Isaac there and grew his possessions until Isaac was a very wealthy man.
Favoritism drives the brothers apart
As Esau and Jacob grow, there is blatant favoritism from their parents. Rebekah favored Jacob and Isaac favored Esau. Rebekah coached Jacob into stealing his brother’s birthright. She helped him deceive Isaac so that Jacob received the blessing of the firstborn. In addition, Jacob also stole Esau’s inheritance which would have made Esau head of the family. Jacob listened to his mother instead of listening to God. Esau was so angry he threatened to kill Jacob. Rebekah sent Jacob away as she was afraid Esau would kill him.
A wedge drove this family apart because of the favoritism. With this blessing, his father told Jacob that he was not to marry a Canaanite woman and was to go to Paddan-Aram to find a wife. Jacob obeyed his father and mother and went. Esau knew marrying a Canaanite woman displeased his father. To get revenge, Esau married a Canaanite woman. Abraham was very displeased by this act.
Jacob encounters God
As Jacob traveled, he had a dream from the Lord. Jacob saw a ladder that went from the earth to heaven, and angels went up and down, from the earth to heaven and again. In the dream, the Lord was standing above it and said,
”I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and The God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to your one dot your descendants. Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you ad will keep you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have somewhat I have promised to you.” Genesis 28:13-15
As much as the Lord promised to be with him and his family until all God’s promises are delivered, Jacob still, at this point, did not give his whole heart and trust to God.
In verses 20-21, Jacob says, “Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the Lord will be my God.”
Jacob leaves a stone as a pillar and promises to give a tenth back to God of whatever he receives from God. I believe this is when Jacob’s heart starts to really trust in the Lord. We will pick up next week with Isaac meeting Rachel.