Tag Archives: Genesis 26-28

January 9, 2018 Bible Study — Will We Make God Our God?

I am using the daily Bible reading schedule from “The Bible.net” for my daily Bible reading.

Today, I am reading and commenting on Genesis 26-28.

    The first thing which struck me in this passage was the comment about Isaac harvesting 100 times more grain than he planted one year. We think of Isaac as a nomadic shepherd, yet here we have it being recounted that he planted crops…and the harvest he got from those crops played a significant role in him being a wealthy man. Clearly Isaac was starting to put down roots. It was a short time after this that the ruler of the Philistines demanded that he move because he was becoming a threat to them. It took some time before Isaac was able to find a place far enough from the Philistines to settle again without conflict, but once he did they made a treaty with him.

    We get yet another hint about the differences between the Canaanites and the family of Abraham in today’s passage. We are told that Esau married two Hittite women and that they made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah. We are given no hint as to what they did which made life miserable for them, just that it was bad enough to make a valid excuse for sending Jacob off to Rebekah’s family. Further telling is that when Esau learned that Jacob had been sent to their Uncle Laban to marry one of his daughters Esau married one of Ishmael’s daughters. All of this indicates that there was some significant cultural difference between Abraham’s family and the people living in the land of Canaan. Related to this whole mystery, at least in my mind, is Jacob’s reaction to his vision at Bethel. After seeing the vision, Jacob declares that if God will see him safely on his journey and home again that God will indeed be his god as if there were other gods to choose from.

January 9, 2017 Bible Study — Isaac and Rebekah

I am using the daily Bible reading schedule from “The Bible.net” for my daily Bible reading.

Today, I am reading and commenting on Genesis 26-28.

    When Isaac lived among the Philistines he did something which Abraham had done twice. He told the locals that his wife was his sister. However, Isaac’s lie came out when the two of them were seen sharing public displays of affection. Now ordinarily, my comment would be on the lack of faith in God demonstrated by Isaac here. However, it struck me that it actually tells us something about Isaac and Rebekah’s marriage. The fact that Isaac and Rebekah shared public displays of affection, even when they were trying to pass themselves off as brother and sister, tells us a lot about their relationship. Despite having two sons (and only two sons), it is clear that Isaac and Rebekah were deeply in love, and still attracted to each other.

    Usually when we look at the account of Rebekah and Jacob tricking Isaac into giving Jacob the blessing he intended to give Esau (which, it could be argued, Esau had sold to Jacob for a bowl of soup years earlier), we focus on the mechanics of the trickery, or the dynamics of the relationship between Jacob and Esau, or sometimes on Rebekah’s role. However, it struck me today that even after being tricked in a way which must have angered him, Isaac continued to love Rebekah and Jacob. I suspect that Isaac knew that Rebekah’s reason for sending Jacob to Paddan-Aram was as much to protect Jacob from Esau as it was to get him a wife from her people (who were technically Isaac’s people as well). So, despite being tricked by his wife and son in a way which must have angered him, Isaac still loved them.

    Finally, I want to point out that Isaac and Rebekah had a problem with their sons taking wives from among the local people similar to the one Abraham had. Esau married two local women. We are not told what about them made Isaac and Rebekah unhappy. However, whatever caused the dislike was something related to the actions of Esau’s wives, not just because of who their families were.

January 9, 2016 Bible Study — The Great Men of Faith Had Flaws

Starting on New Year’s Day (well, technically, on New Year’s Ever), I switched from using One Year Bible Online for my daily Bible reading to the daily Bible reading schedule from “The Bible.net”.

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Today, I am reading and commenting on Genesis 26-28.

    The passage tells us that Isaac moved into the land controlled by the Philistines during a drought after being told by God not to go to Egypt. While among the Philistines, Isaac followed a strategy which his father, Abraham, had used. He, initially told everyone that Rebekah was his sister. However, Isaac could not help himself and treated Rebekah like a wife in public and Abimelech, the king of the area, saw this. It is interesting that Isaac told the same lie about his wife which Abraham had used twice. Both Abraham and Isaac are held up as men of great faith, yet both of them felt the need to lie about their relationship with their wives out of fear of what men would do to them. Perhaps, my faith is not as weak as I fear.

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    When Isaac was getting old, losing his sight, and beginning to be in poor health, he decided to bestow his blessing upon Esau. However, Rebekah conspired with Jacob to steal that blessing for Jacob. Despite his deceitful behavior, God appeared to Jacob at Bethel as he fled from his brother’s justified anger. The key message in these stories is that even with our flaws God can use us to accomplish His great things.