The story of Rebecca contains three different episodes.
1. The betrothal and marriage of Rebecca. (Genesis 24) Rebecca is introduced as a brave and resourceful young woman; she impressed all the people who met her. She was a good match for Isaac.
2. The birth and youth of Esau and Jacob. (Genesis 25:19-34) Rebecca gave birth to two sons with very different temperaments. The conflict between them would be the basis for conflict between later generations and nations.
3. Rebecca and the blessing of Isaac. (Genesis 27) Rebecca manipulated the situation so that the older would serve the younger. Rather than let the Lord direct the outcome, Rebecca becomes just as deceitful as Jacob. Parental favoritism will bear its poisonous fruit.
Rebecca will show remarkable initiative, which leads to her marriage to Isaac but would become her eventual downfall. She and her husband Isaac each favored one son over the other, which led to deceit between the two parents and the two brothers. She will go so far as to deceive both her husband and her son to claim the birthright for her younger son Jacob.
Instead of relying upon God and trusting in His promises Rebecca resorted to favoritism and deceit which tore the family apart. It is one thing to say “it’s God’s will” it is quite another to force our own itineraries, plans and agendas in God’s name. Lent calls for us to reflect on the will of God in our lives, for us to seek His path and plan for our lives and to rely upon Him and His ways rather than insist our own ways.
Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with Your most gracious favor, and further us with Your continual help, that in all our works begun, continued and ended in You we may glorify Your holy name and finally, by Your mercy, obtain eternal salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Schnorr von Carolsfeld Woodcut used with permission © WELS
Collect for Divine Guidance Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis