Jacob has just acquired his father’s best blessing, through deceit, and now he is to follow one last task from his father. This was his mother’s doing too but was commissioned by Isaac.
Abraham started this “tradition” of marrying within the family when he sent his servant to find Isaac a wife. Later on we are told “why” this is so. I believe it is because of the family’s relationship with God. Tera introduced his sons to the true God. His relationship set the stage for his sons. Abraham saw the people in the land and the gods they followed. He wanted no part of that for his son Isaac. Therefore the trip back to his family to find a wife.
Isaac and Rebekah have been dealing with NOT following this tradition with their son Esau’s wives. They brought only bitterness to Isaac and Rebekah. But Jacob’s trip back for a wife was twofold. Yes, his parents wanted him to marry within his faith but Rebekah wanted to save his life too.
Esau was furious with Jacob for his treachery in stealing his blessing. He promised to kill him as soon as his father died. I was curious and wondered how much longer Isaac lived after giving his blessing. He was actually still alive when Jacob came home with his new family. Jacob was at his uncle’s home for 20 years! Would Esau really have waited all that time to kill Jacob if he had stayed? Isaac was a bit premature in predicting his death.
I wonder how Jacob feels about being sent off to find a wife. Abraham refused to allow Isaac to go to his kinsmen to find a wife. The wife had to be brought to him instead. But Jacob is sent to his family’s home on his own. The circumstances and reasons for this were very different.
Jacob was also told exactly which line to choose his wife from. What would have happened if Laban didn’t have any daughters? Where would Jacob have been allowed to search next? That is really a moot question because God provided for Jacob’s need before it was even contemplated. We will meet Laban’s daughters later too.
I don’t think Rebekah had any idea how long it would be before Jacob returned from this mission. We are not even told if she survived to see her favorite son again. But at least she believed he was safe. I wonder if she ever received word about his travels. Did Isaac and Rebekah assume he was dead when he didn’t return for such a long time? Did Rebekah hold fast to the promise she had been given while carrying her sons? How did she comfort herself in his absence?
God knew the plans He had for Jacob from the beginning. Nothing his parents did could stop God’s work. He didn’t need their “help” and He was able to overcome it when it cropped up. He can turn anything around for good. In human hands this family was doomed but in God’s hands it blessed ALL mankind. I’m SO GLAD His plans aren’t dependent on my abilities to work things out! I love watching how He turns the hearts and minds of men. Would Rebekah have even thought of sending Jacob away if not for fear of Esau taking his life? How would God have orchestrated it that Jacob received the best blessing from his father instead of passing it to Esau? Questions we won’t have answers to; at least this side of Heaven.
Thank You Father God that YOU can take my messes and make them messages. I don’t have to get everything perfect for Your message to be shared. You do the sharing in spite of me and the messes I make. Maybe that is an important part of the message. Your being able to redeem anything I place in Your hands.
That is one of the important pieces too. I have to be willing to surrender whatever it is to You. You won’t pry it from my hands. Thank You for Your patience in waiting until I am ready to turn loose. Sometimes You have to make it very uncomfortable for me to hold on any longer before I’m ready to turn loose. Thank You for that too. Help me turn loose BEFORE my fingers get singed; again.